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Welcome to clairebear's blog!

2 May 2009 11:35 AM

What a great idea. I plan to put it into practice today.

Upon reflection I realise we are already doing it without consciously giving it much thought. I frequently shop in second hand stores, yes to save money but by doing so I am providing funds for charities to assist those in need of their services.
I am not interested in keeping up with "fashions" of the day so am not steered into buying things just for that reason. I buy what I need and when from what is available not to compete with what my friends and neighbours have. Over the years I have acquired many items (from clothing, shoes, sheets to furniture) from friends or relatives as they have out grown the use of them. Sometimes the items are free but sometimes money is needed to assist in purchasing a replacement item. One friend needed a bigger bed for her child. So the money I gave for the older smaller bed helped buy the larger. Indeed I also pass them on in the same way and also donate items to charity.
My husband was going to the library this morning to borrow some books for his father which he takes to him each weekend along with 4-5 home cooked meals. My husband also kindly returned books on my behalf and borrowed more for my mum and I.
Our family sponsers a child in Malawi, collect for red cross, donate to certain charities on a regular basis as well as when disasters occur.

I am sure most people do similar things, imagine what we could all achieve if we consciously made the effort on a daily basis. Cheers Claire

10 Mar 2009 12:39 PM

I have been a tad low in the last couple of days and feel that blogging about my woes sorry everyone this is a long one.

These last four days caring for my parents have been quite difficult as the incontinence and dementia are escalating. My mum (89 in April) will not return to the person she was before breaking her hip recently. She is mobile but not very active now. They sleep more frequently and when awake it is not uncommon for dad(88 in Nov) to have his eyes closed even when conversations are taking place around him. At least they still enjoy crosswords (I give them the clues and they answer-mum is quicker answering than is dad), cards are also a valued pass time. Mum reads and the big print books are great as she is prone to misplace her glasses. My mum never uses a bookmark etc (I have tried to get her too) so it can take her some time to read a book. I must continually ask what page she is at so that she does not keep rereading the same pages each time she opens the book. The books are borrowed from my library and l want to avoid paying late fees.

My parents actually have more meals at my home than theirs so now I have arranged to at least get some payment to assist in these costs. My sister drops them off on Fridays and frequently they have not had their lunch before they arrive and they get picked up generally after morning tea on Tuesdays.My sister stays with them at their home the other days and a carer also assists there.

During the last couple of months my 20 year old daughter who was attending uni has been assisting  her aunt and young cousins while her aunt undergoes chemotherapy for breast cancer. Thankfully this is the last of the chemo doses (she has had four) so hopefully after this week my daughter will be home and able to once again be able to accept all the casual work she is being offered.  My family offered to help but my father-in-law has taken to ringing and telling us when he wants our daughter there and for how long. As he has recently been in hospital for a leg problem and on another occassion to have catarcts removed in one eye we needed to oblige him, eventhough the help was not required by my sisiter-in-law at the time, as we did not want to impact on his recovery. He lives in his own home but he is within a very short stroll of my sisiter-in-law's and he goes there each morning to assit with getting the three grandaughters to their respective schools, of which there are also three. I have been providing meals for him for many years and only had respite from this for one year when my sister-in-law and family lived with him when they rebuilt. Not once has he offered any financial payment towards the cost of the meals, yet he goes to the shop and buys food items etc for my sister-in-law and is assisiting her family financially in other areas as well and from my understanding has always done so.

My 26 year old daughter is being used as a chauffeur by my brother-in-law and his wife. While they are going to be holidaying in Tasmania they need someone to drive their two children to and from school and to all their extra activities outside of those hours. So for about the next 9  days my eldest daughter will be residing at their house and she will commute to and from work from there. An annoying thing is that they have not arranged to pick her up from the nearest train station so she has to lug her belongings and organise her own transportation when in fact she is doing them a favour.Personally I have holidayed when my family could join me but it seems they do otherwise.

Last year one of my daughters friends started staying overnight either fortnightly or weekly. She worked in our area and attended uni about 20 minutes by car but she lived some distance away. So her mum worked out if she could stay at her friends houses as work and uni dictated she would not need to rent/board or commute from home. There were occassions she stayed several times a week.She provided her own food most of the time. But she did not use her own bedding/towel and she showered daily, obviously. Unlike our family she was also accustomed to use heating and cooling whenever she felt like it, rather than wearing suitable apparell/using rugs. I had to habitually wash the sheets and towels and clean up after her. Towards the end of the year I had enough and thankfully she now rarely stays and when she does so she brings a towel with her. I might also add that during that entire year she gave us one  box of chocolates as a thankyou. During this time my husband and one daughter were in fulltime paid employment and one daughter occassionally worked as a casual.In addition I was also providing the care to parents mentioned previously. 

In addition to this my youngest daughter frequently goes out with her friends and to play soccer. One of her friends lives nearby. It is frequently the case that I have to drive her friend too as her mum for varying reasons is unable to. So again it is not often that the favour is reciprocated. Perhaps that will all change one day.But along with all the above I am not going to hold my breath waiting for that day.

A hugh winge I know but I just feel that my entire family is habitually being used by others.

Now a another gripe.......

We need some work done to a floor, roof and some painting done. The painter came this morning to appraise the job so at least that has been done. After waiting for two lots of flooring people I contacted a third and was given a quote over the phone. After three attempts to get a roofer, the fourth has indicated he will come sometime tomorrow. Fingers crossed that he does. Also we had sliding doors installed by a builder. The fly screens he provided do not have latches so they open with the slightest breeze (and by our two dogs) which kind of negates having them. Anyway it seems the screens were not purchased with the doors so do not know whether we can have latches attached as there is no accepting device in the door frame which is aluminium!

16 Feb 2009 12:46 PM

On Saturday night (valentines day) my husband and I together with a couple of close friends had booked to see/ listen to the Beatnix (a beatles copy group) at an outside venue in Sydney with great atmosphere and a very pleasing veiw of the harbour and cityline (venue-Taronga Zoo). It was booked last November and we had been looking forward to the night. My husband and I had never been to one of these events before but have ventured to the zoo on many occassions over the years.

It started raining the night before (when it rains where I live it is generally raining everywhere in Sydney and beyond) and as it happens sometimes, I had an argument with my husband. As my parents were in residence (which happens each week, Friday-Tuesday, unless a sister takes the role), as has been my practice whilst they stay since my mum broke her hip recently, I slept on a sofa bed near their room (hubby generally joins me on nights when he does not need to work the next day), on this occassion however he did not join me. I woke after the usual disturbed night ( I wake when parents get up to go to the toilet or wake and talk) to a wet, cold and dreary morning. I did not want to go out to sit on a chair (low or otherwise) exposed to the elements for hours. I conveyed my feelings to my husband. We eventually contacted the others who were to accompany us (we were driving) and were told it was not raining at Lane Cove and had not been, so we set off, picking up a couple enroute. We all said "wonder where the rain will stop", in jest, as it was quite clear that it was not going to. In fact when we arrived at our friends place it was obvious it had been raining for some considerable time.

Due to the rain we did not picnic at the venue but dined at our friends house and got to the zoo when the music began at 7pm.......  The rain did not stop ( and it was confirmed it had been raining since the preceding evening)......the entertainment was very good, we heard so many of the beatles songs and they went quickly from one to the next. They spoke with British accents and they carried on as I believe the "Beatles" would, it was enjoyable. The rain did not stop and of course there were those that stood in front and raised their umbrellas so you could not see. There were large amounts of alcohol consumed  (and the audience appeared mainly of my generation) and I thought some of the people would engage in fisticuffs, but gladly that did not happen. Don't get me wrong I do drink myself , frequently , but within reason on nights out like this.
Eventhough the Beatnix were very good  the night will be remembered for the rain, lack of visibility, cold etc.

The next time I see the Beatnix I hope it is inside!!!!

As an aside I too would like to say I have been horrified  by the extent of the fires in Vic.  My family has donated money as we are not in a position to do much else and after talking about the fire and what we donated I was really pleased to hear one of my daughters, who can least afford it donated $500.00 and another $200.00. In addition, I will also be doing my 2nd annual doorknock for red cross next month.

1 Feb 2009 11:28 AM

I have been viewing this site for only a short while and have posted several blogs, commented on others as well as made an entry into discussion. I have not gone into the chat room.

I consider myself to be an intelligent overfifyite and have learnt through my life experiences that one cannot change others, only oneself. 

I will continue to enjoy reading some of the blogs etc and those I do not enjoy I will disregard. I hope the discord between a number of users will abate so the site can be used as I assume it was intended.......a place where those overfifty can make contact so that  friendships can develop. 

26 Jan 2009 6:49 AM

To all you aussies (and everyone else) have a beaut day.

Today I am having a family bbq and then we intend to see the movie Australia. We visited extended family yesterday and had lunch with close friends.
My husband returns to work on Tuesday so this year we are not attending our local early morning Australia Day activities. It has been an intergral part of the day for us since our 23 year old son joined cubs at the age of 8. We always felt more connected with the community by attending the local awards ceremony. We got to learn of the achievers in the area, what they had done through charity, sport, academia etc.
There is always a guest speaker which has always proven to be humourous and enlightening. We have had politicians, writers, actors, sportsmen/women and entertainers.This year I will have to be content to read about it in the local paper.
Hope you all have a bonza day.......slip, slop,slap and don't forget the aeroguard!

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