My new eyebrows

I went out and got myself a pair of new eyebrows the other day.

Sounds a bit weird when I say it like that but nevertheless, that’s how it happened.

I’d been thinking about it for a while, as I was sick of ‘looking’ sick and having no eyebrows made me look like I had some kind of medical condition.   While, yes, I did have a medical condition – I didn’t really want it to involve my eyebrows.

I found the perfect solution to my dilemma online with cosmetic tattooing.  I wasn’t sure about the authenticity of the ‘look’ but I found the perfect cosmetic tattooist who used a gentle ‘feather’ approach that could be almost mistaken for real hair in the brows.  I’m not sure what I was worried about really – I’m covered with tattoos – but while my body is my artistic temple I didn’t want my face looking like a painted Barbie doll.

It all went pretty well – or so I thought until I spotted my husband’s face when I breezed into the lounge room later that day.  He didn’t say anything but right now  they are a little dark until they settle and I have my second session to add lighter ‘hairs’ is finished.  As my face is quite pale by comparison I guess they will take some getting used to.  I’m not quite Morticia Addams but I’m sailing pretty close to the wind as far as he is concerned.

I’m not really bothered.  For a long time I’ve had either very little hair or a penciled line to frame my eyes, so anything more than that is going to look a little odd for a while.   Besides, I’m not the one who has to look at them all the time.

So far it’s been plain sailing but then again I’m not much of a social butterfly.  I will be testing them out at the local diner on Friday night for our usual island gathering.  I think it will be safe to assume that if nobody stares at me for more than five seconds straight unless they are speaking to me, I will be flying under the radar.

I’ve lived with the weirdness of no hair, some hair, bandanas, no eyebrows, lots of tattoos and very pale skin for some years now.  If I can find a way to enhance one thing about myself – kudos to me.

What I’m grateful for…

I was invited to do one of those ‘three things per day that I am grateful for’ in a five-day challenge recently.

I don’t normally go for requests but it seemed feasible enough to me to pay homage to the origins of my gratefulness, so I gave it a whirl.

I covered the usual suspects in the first two days, like my husband, my family, my home and my friends and then I really had to think about it a bit.

Just what are the other ‘things’ that I am grateful for?  The things that escape my notice while I’m negotiating this often precarious, interesting, volatile and sometimes mildly mundane life of mine.

I am grateful for my husband’s cooking.  That’s what I am grateful for.  I can’t cook for nuts.  While my husband is away at sea it’s Lean Cuisine all the way.  Microwave ready in four minutes.  Easy-peasy.  I don’t know what my son and I survived on all those years but I must have cooked a passable dinner or two at some stage in my life while my husband was away, as we are all still here.

I’m grateful for my hair.  I have finally hit the volume-and-shine jackpot after years of illness and very few brushworthy hairs of note.  I have finally turned a corner on the right medications and my hair is making it’s way down to my waist.  I plan to get it there and flaunt it for all its worth.

I’m grateful for flat shoes.  Anything over two inches high is a vertigo no-go zone for me.  I like comfortable, flat, dependable shoes.  I have a better grip on this earth and on my faculties, as I am not living in fear of falling on my face in the latest must-have fashion essentials.  Kudos to those who try and do well at it.  My sympathies in 20 years time for the irreparable damage that has been done.

I’m grateful to the woman down the road who saved my dog from being mauled to death by a much larger mutant dog from around the corner.  My dog is grateful.  My vet is even more grateful.

I’m grateful for deodorant.  Yes indeed.  There are people out there who could benefit a little more in the way of personal hygiene with the use of a good-quality personal deodorant.  I like to keep an extra spray can in my bag for when I’m out and about.  You just never know.

I’m grateful for chocolate.  Who isn’t?  It’s a happy snack, a sad snack and an anytime snack.  Enough said.

And I’m always grateful for Johnny Depp.  The man is brilliant.

…and the list goes on.  It isn’t complete and it probably never will be.  Being aware at times of all the ‘things’ in life that we could be grateful for is an eye opener in itself.

Just another day…

I really like my electrician….

He lives locally, which is important, as I live on an island.  He works on the premise that  ‘if you’ve got the money, then he has the time’.  To be fair he is reasonably priced but he has been shafted so many times by our local island skin flints that he makes it a rule these days to be selective.  Thankfully, I am one of the chosen, as he is quite good at his job.

As far as listening to instructions outside of his electrical realm, however, he falls into another category.  Mere male status.

He fronted up last week to install the fancy leadlight fittings that I had purchased and he proceeded to blaze a trail in and out of my house to his truck to collect all of the necessary bits and pieces that he would need.

After his the third time out the gate I asked him if he was going back out the gate again could he please shut and lock the gate behind him, as my dogs would be out before he could blink to check out all and sundry smells in the immediate vicinity.  He nodded his head and stared at me.  I should have recognised that blank look for what it really was.

Approximately 10 minutes later, as I was holding the ladder the electrician was perched on, I heard a terrible screaming  and rushed outside to see my two fat Bichons running for their lives towards the gate and a larger, ferocious looking mutt being chased off by my neighbour who then informed me that the aforementioned mutt had my Bichon, Angus, in a death grip before she managed to scare it off.

As Angus had shot into the house and under the ladder to hide in the corner, it was impossible to see how much damage had been done to him but the electrician soon learned a new vocabulary as I pushed him and his ladder aside to get to my poor quaking dog who was beginning to howl.

To cut a long story short, my dog had three rather large puncture wounds in him and had to be taken to the vet for sedation, antibiotics and various other medical administrations.

Apart from the trauma for my poor dog, the entire day cost me approximately three times my original estimation for light installation, as I had the gate fixed up so it would never again be left open.  I’m thinking of adding an extra-large spring to flick back on any potential offenders in the future.

As for my electrician, he beat a hasty retreat after the job was done and I received a half-price guilt-induced bill  in the mail.

I’m back…..

Well I’m back.  It’s been a while.  Nearly a year in fact.

I will now use the old cliche that ‘life got in the way’ but illness and time has a way of not playing fair… and so here I am.  I hope to be able to add reasonably regular content this time around.  I will also attempt some half decent stories every now and again.

I have my good friend Jo to thank for bringing me back from the writing dead.  She has started her own blog and I don’t want to be outdone.  So thank you Jo.  I hope to be critiquing your blazing good foray into legendary writing status in the near future.

For the record it has been a nearly interesting 12 months in parts.  I’m still soldiering on with my MT work and making a half-decent attempt at pegging doctors’ and their linguistic idiosyncrasies.  I fear I will never reach the great heights of MT elitism but I’m earning a regular income and that has got to account for something.  I’m not aspiring to great levels, simply because I would like to have a life and health restrictions limit me to part-time MT semi elitism only.

In the meantime I will be finding at least one or two days per week to jot down my thoughts and process the flickerings of literary creative goop bouncing around between my ears.

Stay tuned….

The credit shuffle

My son recently tried to expand his trust horizons and hit me up for my credit card number to make a purchase because he didn’t have a credit card.  The statement that he would pay me back after my adamant refusal to cough up didn’t hold much weight considering the thousands of dollars he had amassed over the years in loans, payments, presents and free lunches.

To be honest it was more than my lack of confidence in my son’s ability to control his expenditure that was holding me back, it was my lack of confidence in the banking system after a past-but-not-forgotten incident of fraud that could have been avoided if the bank’s so called ‘Falcon’ had been a little more diligent on his nest that day.

I’m a reasonably paranoid person.  My husband has another name for it but I won’t go there.  My Internet transactions involve my banking website and a small collection of trusted sites that I use on a regular basis.  I rarely deviate and I don’t like surprises.  My husband, however, is a different beast and I could find myself with two of something that he just had to have on eBay while he was bobbing around in the middle of the ocean with nothing to do one night.  When I saw an exorbitant tag way out of my safe-transacting price range during a general paranoid Internet check, I trained my sights on him and let him have both barrels.

To his credit, he managed to look like a stunned bunny caught in the bright lights momentarily because he wasn’t really sure – until he saw the statement.  He stopped sweating, shook his head and pointed triumphantly to the code next to the transaction – GB.  As he hadn’t been to Great Britain – ever – he was momentarily off the hook and shoved out of the way as I made a beeline for the phone to yell at a hapless banking operator instead.

After a 20-minute wait imagining our money disappearing at a rapid rate, I was finally put through to an operator who then put me through to a special fraud operator.  At this point I asked the special fraud operator if I hadn’t caught the faceless freak’s transaction what would have happened?

The simple and disconcerting answer to that was – nothing.  But they might have picked it up after three more large transactions.  So it was a good thing that I was online when it happened, they said.  Furthermore, they said, it would also have to be proven that we didn’t actually spend that money ourselves and when that was cleared up it  would then take at least eight weeks to get our money back.  It would also take two weeks or more for our new credit cards to be sent out in the mail.

Oh yeh?

I managed to get our new credit cards in less than a week by express post.   I also got our money back into our credit card in less than two weeks after a relentless campaign of twice-daily phone calls until they finally got sick of me and conceded defeat.  I take exception to being told that I might be lying about spending money in a country that I have never been to.  I also take exception to being told I will have to wait eight weeks for money that I haven’t even spent to be given back to me.  I’m pretty sure the bank has me on a special list with a red flashing light going off whenever they see my phone number on the screen – but I don’t care.  To be complacent and apathetic is worse than being vocal and annoying as far as I’m concerned.  At least I get my say and I get my way.

Give my son my credit card number?  I don’t think so.  I don’t even want the bank to have it.

The chicken run

I was back at the hospital recently picking up the much-anticipated trial drugs from the endocrinology department.

I am not a fan of many hospitals, this one in particular.  There were too many bad memories and needles to speak of but that generally all paled in comparison to the drive getting there.  I tried to pick my times carefully when I left so that they didn’t coincide with the 4wd brigade picking up their over-indulged and under-exercised kids on the 3 o’clock run – but alas, sometimes even the best laid plans had a tendency to go awry.

I managed to get myself to the hospital without too much fuss – apart from the red-faced, screaming redneck I managed to beat off the lights – which is another story best left to extolling the virtues of my turbo diesel VW over a feral-fur lined gas guzzler.  But I got in the door of the hospital 15 minutes early, so I was on track.

Unfortunately, I had overestimated my doctor’s confidence in my abilities to self-administer the required dosages and the hospital pharmacy’s speed of administration of a box of these dosages, so my estimated time of departure was delayed dramatically to approximately 15 minutes before school got out.  In retrospect I’m surprised that I was allowed to take home any sharp implements at all after dropping the NovoPen and nearly stabbing the doctor in the arm in my haste to speed things up a little.

I got out of there with the drugs on ice and my foot on the accelerator pedal in an attempt to get through the epicentre of the chaos and out the other side without too much anxiety.  I was a veteran of the kamakaze not-for-chicken’s run and although I knew all the shortcuts and secret runs, so did every other frustrated fractured personality on the Southside and it was  just a good verbal jousting away from a crowbar through the windscreen.

With an esky full of nonrefundables and an expiry date on patience, I decided that discretion and inventiveness would be the better part of valor when I spotted an ambulance in the outside lane.  As soon as I let it past, I was right behind it.  I managed to get a good 10 kilometres through the worst of it before we went our separate ways and I slowed down a little.  I’m surprised I wasn’t pulled up by the local constabulatory but I was high on what little adrenaline I had left so I didn’t care.

So shoot me.  I’ll be sticking needles in myself for the rest of the year to get a semblance of the quality of life back that most take for granted.  I’ll enjoy my moments when I can.

Personality plus

Well, my drug trials begin soon.  Not the kind that involve a criminal court and an angry mob, I’m talking about the needle-in-the-vein, guinea-pig-experimentation kind.  And I’m the guinea pig.

I’m not sure how I’m going to go, as the new drugs I have had to go onto in the last few months to ensure no contraindications on the trials have turned what would have been a mere mood swing beforehand into something out of a Bram Stoker novel.  My husband has taken to having his hand on the front doorknob after I get up in the morning just in case he has to go down to the shop for something he has ‘forgotten’ for a few hours until my medications settle down.

The upside of the whole thing is that even the local nutters are keeping away from me.  I think they figure I’m one of them now so their scare tactics will be better served on somebody a little more gullible and a little less likely to take a swing at them.  The greenies and their sympathisers are also giving me a wide berth.  Gossip gets around fast here and apart from the few that are privy to what is really going on, it is taken as a given that I may end up on the 6 o’clock news in the near future and they don’t want to end up on there with me.

I’m hoping that the new drug I will be given next month will balance me out or at least make me feel a little less likely to want to put my hands around the neck of that woman down the road who keeps telling me that it’s all in my head and I need to snap out of it.  I know what I’d like to snap and it’s not anything in my personal vicinity.

With any luck the real problem in my head, the remaining tumour, won’t grow and I will be feeling like a new person.  In the meantime, expect sarcastic comments, acid degradation of fools and zero tolerance for the masses for a few months more, at least.


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