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The Other Worst Week Ever

Published October 26, 2022 by helentastic67

The Other Worst Week Ever

So, this is the last post with the subliminal message, has anyone picked it yet or even noticed? Please comment.

So, last week was the dreaded week of my father’s funeral, worst day ever. First piece of advice, someone offers you tissues. TAKE THEM!!!

Even though I had a friend, who saw my support person handing me a tissue every other minute, it wasn’t enough. 

All the talks-talks, song, light candle stuff for which you think takes forever, it’s over before you know it and I was almost left behind. I did the walk out metres behind his coffin and tried badly to not rush, while desperate not to do the ugly cry. You know the cry where you at least want to bury your face in a hand, so no one witnesses it. You know I use a walking stick in my one good hand right? Yeah, not helpful.

The Funeral Home director asked if I could walk over to the cemetery or if I would need to go over in a car. Wisely, I said yes, car please. He had not been offering me a lift but if I had not been helped into the front passenger seat of the hearse, I would have been left behind. Lovely driver Phil made small talk to take my mind off things. I tried to sell him Dad’s car. But alas, dad no longer has the Valiant Charger in Vitamin C orange. So, that was a fail. 

With all the love and respect in the world, if I ever hear the song by Bette Midler, The Rose it will be TOO FUCKING SOON! Jesus Wept!

Second piece of advice, when trying not to do ugly cry, try breathing in and out of your mouth. Not saying it worked, but it felt like it helped. Lastly, my family gave me the awards Best Worst Ugly Cry and Best Worst Timed Ugly Nose Blow. Charming, no.

The night of the funeral we had a pool party with our cousins around catching up and playing pool. I have cousins I’ve not seen for 30 years. And the most common memory was dad teaching everyone how to hammer in nails into a small off cut of pine. One cousin who has become a builder wants dads hammer, but I have already laid claim to it. What! I think we made dad proud that night.

His house felt like a home because it previously felt like someone had been merely existing there. We will be there for this upcoming Christmas, so I imagine dad watching over us as he promised. I might convince a carer one day to hold a nail for me while with half the necessary eyesight I smack in the nail in the triple tap technique my dad used. I’ll explain that better another time. 

On Sunday, two days later I received the award of 1st Caligiuri Daughter to surface and be reasonably functionable. The household likes to start the day with coffee. I made the statement I prefer to start the day with my own natural energy and you should all be aware I’m NOT A MORNING PERSON. I need to end the day with my Medicine (coffee) so I can get through the rest of the day. 

I guess all the family dysfunction we put off dealing with for one day in the future comes to the foreground when the passing of a loved one happens. Now we have to deal with all of that too. While grieving.

A friend shared a perfect statement with me today “The Price of Love is Grief” 

I know this is not a happy post, but I’ll try better next week when I reveal the reason for the subliminal messages.

Fresh Friday

Published December 20, 2019 by helentastic67

Fresh Friday

It’s not every Friday, it’s not even every other Friday but when it happens it’s fresh! And I’m writing it the day before it goes live because it’s time sensitive and needs to be said. That is because Christmas is only a week away – not even!

While there are many pluses to being a single barren spinster, there are a few negatives and the main obvious ones is the dilemma of Christmas. Before you ask, no my family do not read my blog! But it is also to say, despite the situation at Christmas time it’s not anyone’s fault. No one is to blame it still goes under the heading, it is what it is.

It’s just kinda crappy!

At Christmas, my family is in opposite ends of the state. My mum and younger sister live in one direction close to where I grew up. My older sister and her partner, sorry fiancé live in the other. My father is still in my hometown and I only generally get there to see him when I go to my mums at Christmas for about a week.

While arriving at my mums in the countryside, opening the car door usually late at night upon arrival, brings an instant breathe of fresh air, I fled with pine trees and wood smoke. But from the moment of my arrival, I need someone to help me do everything. There is slip and trip hazards everywhere. Also, doors that must be kept closed to keep this cat outside, my cat inside, me away from cobweb-hazards.










And while my mum very generously gives me her bedroom for the duration of my stay, I’m down the other end of the house from activity. It’s hot and isolating. We all like different things but mine is not at all in line with my hosts. I pitch in by way of packing and unpacking the dishwasher and usually upon arrival I get a wave of OCD, because so much doesn’t have a home, and they have both been so busy making it to Christmas the dust kick-starts my hay fever and I can’t sit still for collecting things for recycling, etc and that just drives them insane that I can’t sit and relax.

We are all tired and we mostly all go into a kind of survival mode. I hibernate, watch my TV shows and sleep.

There is a day I go to visit my high school friends for a few hours, I browse my favourite shop and go visit my father where he has arranged his two brothers and sister in law to visit for afternoon tea. My Aunty always asks, “do you still like honey bread?” Do we all of a sudden stop liking chocolate? Or needing air to survive? And I go home with honey bread. It’s rhetorical right?










My older sister and fiancé are dog people. They have three. Why are they not labelled crazy dog ladies??? No! Of course, it’s just cat-ladies that get a bad rap. They generally do their own thing Christmas Day, this year being the first Christmas my future sister in law without her mum, sadly.

In recent years, we have managed to get together for what I refer to as a lovely lady’s lunch. Usually early December, somewhere a bit special. This year, I offered to attempt to arrange where and when and something we could all afford to contribute to. We all have vastly different fluidity of funds. (That’s a lot of F’s, and none of them my favourite version) You gotta give me a point for that? And after early efforts it became obvious it was to be put off for January, I was fucking (sorry, not sorry!) busy and everyone was proving hard to please. So, I dropped the ball.

So, it has not happened. I made the decision to spend Christmas home with Mika in air-conditioned comfort where I can at least have my carers every day and maintain my independence without need for someone to stop what they’re doing to open a door or move something for me. Not to mention our blend of intolerable foodie intolerance’s. No turkey? Last year I was informed mum forgot the stuffed turkey roll only 30 minutes north of Melbourne in a 3.5-hour drive to the country. Take me back and no Christmas pudding! Because the youngest hates peel! What?

So, this year I decided to go it alone at home and I’m ok with that. I’ve got enough ham to last me a portion a day for two weeks and some for the freezer. Not yet sorted a pudding, but I can cope with that. Besides I have rum balls.

I’ve also been managing the guilt and expectation of others, at the last minute my mum has asked if I can invite some of my neighbours over on Christmas Day? Because Christmas is supposed to be about family and being together and putting all of your shit aside for one day, so you can celebrate together and I don’t want to inflict myself upon others and ruin some other family’s day. I told my mum the people she suggested I could invite over we’re going to be in the States for two weeks and the other neighbour is Muslim, so no ham for her, or rum balls.

So, as a gentle reminder to those with plans for Christmas Day. Please check in on a neighbour or elderly person or anyone you know who may be socially isolated. It means so much to hear a friendly voice when you feel you are all alone.

FYI, I’m off social media Christmas Day and both my numbers are silent. So, if you want to reach out be prepared beforehand.

Now, on a more upbeat note: I do have a really upbeat post planned for Christmas Day, so stay tuned. And JD, you will get your cat-friendly Christmas tree!


Today’s Lunch – 20th November 2019

Published November 20, 2019 by helentastic67

Today’s Lunch

Good Mental Health Day

Happy hump day! It’s hot in Melbourne today! Have I ever mentioned how much I love hot weather? (Sarcasm) Yeah, that’s because I don’t! And I’m out in it……all day!

Even though my AVM (Artereovenous Malformation) has been fried with radiation so it’s not at risk of a bleed, a stroke or even blood flow but in hot weather my brain is not happy. My left side of my body works even worse than normal. So, my AFO and Shoe wears not quite right. My body compensates by just pushing through and smashing it out. I still have all the same deadlines. The same appointments to get to. At least once home I have air-conditioning and cold water in the fridge. Once home the cool change will throw my brain into a brain freeze. I predict a kip until my brain and body normalises. Welcome to my summer!

Meanwhile, luckily as I was here yesterday, much cooler. I had yummy sausage roll with relish and a side salad and medicine and macaron. Everything else had sold out!











Meanwhile, today’s lunch consisted of…….the brain grain salad. And medicine.











Glad I’m at home for the most part tomorrow for an even hotter day!

Meanwhile my Egg-Dealer is back from his holiday in Queensland! Putting in a huge order. Hoping the eggs don’t fry in my apartment or hatch! Got a mental image of little chicks chasing Mika! “Muma? Muma?” To cement the image, I’m ordering 140 eggs! Poor Mika!

Punchline Revealed

Published October 6, 2019 by helentastic67

Punchline Revealed

I think the punchline to the previous post is that despite eating dinner by 7pm, doing the classic dinner and a show, I was actually home by 11.30pm.

Despite being completely spent and everything hurt from the 4,500 steps I’d managed all past a time I’m normally committed to my couch, I couldn’t go to bed until 2am.


It takes me days to get over it. I don’t drink, so I really don’t understand the drinking/partying mentality. Where you are hungover the next day, or is this just getting old?

Did I mention I didn’t even drink?



Published July 22, 2019 by helentastic67


Oh! Going to write about something a bit different today, despite the backlog, I’ve got to catch up on.

Was having a conversation with my Lady Girl-Friday earlier. She’s one of my carers that is often mistaken as my daughter.

We were discussing travel and the mentality of when you travel. I should point out she has travelled to New Zealand on a typical ‘young-person’ travel holiday and then with her Oma (Dutch for Grandmother) to Holland for a slightly longer period of time.

My only real overseas holiday dates back to (wait for it) 1994, with my first serious boyfriend (I will circle back to this later) Needless to say, I don’t mention him in current time so, plot-spoiler, it didn’t end well. Most of the three months, I went to the UK for a visit with a whole week in Europe (two days in Paris, two days in Rome and two days in Florence).

So, it’s safe to say our experiences were very different. However, I made the point that when you travel, it’s great to be somewhere different, see different things, places, cultures, languages and the food. Oh my God the food.

But, if you are in one place for a few weeks, you will likely go out and find a café. You will also keep going back to that café because you can quickly get to be known as a regular. If you are trying to not spend too much money, it’s not a huge expense, it gets you out of the ‘house’. I spent my first month staying in a place about an hour from London while the boyfriend waited for his ‘interest payment’ to come through so he had his spending money. So, even on a holiday, we crave a place that makes us feel like home.



Published July 8, 2019 by helentastic67


I had a dream yesterday; well I dream a lot. But mostly I have weird dreams where 3 or 4 crazy things are smashed into.

I dream, it usually includes house that are apparently my home, there is definitely a feeling of this is my home to it, but they are places I don’t recognise, in area’s that remind me of the 90’s, my earlier days but yet not in areas I would live in now.

At such times the details are insane, a door handle that isn’t working properly, reminds me of houses I have lived in. Opening a door to the outside and seeing an abundance of plants hanging from the eaves with bright red tomatoes in abundance. Then my sister is there. Well, either of my sisters would be strange.

The other times I’M ON ROLLER SKATES. Anyone else having these dreams? Yeah, I did roller skate when I was a kid and I’ve a friend who does Roller Derby.

But my dream, I was roller skating around the city, around Federation Square and I had some speed, was cutting in and around people and not hitting anybody and still managing to stay upright.

HOW? I don’t know…

Then I got to the top of some stairs and I just flew down them, my wheels catching the platform in between the second drop of stairs and still UPRIGHT. People cheered!

I guess I am not prepared to try roller skating as I imagine I don’t need scrapes and wounds to add to my drama. But it was a nice dream with a feeling of freedom, success and achievement.



Published September 22, 2017 by helentastic67



Is where the heart is, right? My parents built the home I grew up in from the age of about 5. (better first check that)

My bedroom had a window on the side of the house so the only view I had was of a fence. When the men next door worked on their cars in the driveway after hours with the lights on, late into the evening.

The house was built in the 70’s and my parents never did any major renovations, so to this day the kitchen still has its orange (sorry, mum, Mordarine) bench tops, its brown cupboards and orange spaceship lights.


70's Kitchen

Space light










They seemed to make them to last back then, right? But anyway, I digress, I moved out of home and to Melbourne when I was 19 years old, to study. This is probably when it seemed to be my home. It was a base, sure and my teenager “stuff” remained here, but it wasn’t really my home any longer.

When I was about 23 years old, my parents finally divorced. I say ‘finally’ because from about 12 years old, I knew it was imminent.

In the late 90’s (me in my late 20’s) I lived with my mum and younger sister (then 13) for 2 years, but while her house feels like a home, it doesn’t feel like my home.

It definitely feels like their home and when my dad had a thing for moving “stuff” around inside his house, much of my important childhood “stuff” migrated to my mum’s.

Every rare visit to both my mum’s home and my childhood home brings up different emotional ‘traumas’!

A visit to my mum’s, some 3 ½ hours north from Melbourne, upon arrival, as soon as you open the car door, a whiff of fresh country air, with a subtle pine and burning wood fireplace smell takes me back and refreshes me.

Melb to Wangaratta

I was quite isolated and depressed when I lived there for 2 years.

But my dad’s house, doesn’t feel like a home. Over the 20 years, its felt like the ‘life’ left.

The good furniture is still there, the wall units in dark timber is still there, the timber chest in the billiard room that housed the stamp collection, the roll-timber desk and of course the beautiful pool table. (I call dibs)

Wall unit

Op shop finds have sprung up and taken root (or even stored) for some insane reason, where it’s not needed or used. Dad’s house seems strange, like time stood still, I got bigger, but ironically, when I’ve spent a rare night there as I did last October, when I went to my 25th High School Reunion. Kitchen cupboards, the laundry sliding door, they still sound the same. Like it’s been frozen in time.

My father did move on and found another relationship (weirdly with someone 20 years older) so he has kind of aged in a strange way, if you know what I mean. She has never taken up residence there and they maintain they are ‘friends’, although I suspect he has helped her financially.

Romantically mum never moved on and was busy being a single parent to my younger sister and didn’t make time to meet anybody.

While I’ve moved so many times in the last 25 years, my mum has called me a gypsy. I have desperately wanted my own home, where I never had to move again. A place I could renovate, plant trees in soil and put down roots.


My father in the last 10 years, while I’ve had my disability, has retired, slightly early to deal with bowel cancer, then bladder cancer. He has beaten both, a little worse for wear, but winning all the same and earlier this year he decided to sell his house. Not to downside, but for financial reasons he has upsized.

So, his house sold and the new house is not yet built and he’s renting for maybe 9 months in between. He’s not even renting far from the home I grew up in. He’s moving from 30 to 1/22, I know, insane!

I’m not sure how I am meant to feel about this. It has certainly bought up much emotional trauma for my mum who has clearly felt short changed for the last 25 years, since her divorce. I know, I’ve heard all about it, but while I feel a little sad, I don’t feel like I’m losing anything. If that make sense?


New home


Published February 13, 2017 by helentastic67



If I ever want to hate myself, I Google real estate properties to rent in my dream suburb, where I lived previously for 8 years.

I know there are houses near me that cost as much if not more, but it is ridiculous.


I have been called a gypsy by my Mum who has helped me more times than I care to admit, but one of these days I’d like to own and never have to move again.

Is it too much to ask to have what everyone else takes for granted?

Obviously, on the whole I can imagine planting my plants in actual soil and getting Solar Panels and a water tank. That would me amazing.


And to imagine I could be more “Green” and look after the environment… And save money? I want a veggie garden.

I know the government clearly prefer everyone live on their own money, not require a pension, if they own their own home, they sell it and live in Public Housing. So, the Government can make money off us.

A girl can dream… One day…



Published November 4, 2016 by helentastic67



I currently and have only ever lived as an independent adult in private rentals. And obviously in recent years on a Disability Pension and the rental market increasing, it’s been ever so much more challenging, but I manage. I decided 3 years ago, I was done having to have a housemate and for the last 3 years, I’ve lived alone.

There are many pitfalls to having gotten to this point in my life and still being alone, but it was not for a lack of trying.

Anyway, currently I live in a spacious unit on a large block with only 2 other units. Luckily I’m at the front so have street views. The other units have had turnover since I moved in and while Unit 2 are younger and only think of themselves, the back unit has a lovely older woman and her younger son. They are my people.

My landlords are ‘wogs’ (keeping in mind, my father is Italian therefore I’m allowed to use that term) and they live close by. Not next door, but close enough I consider them neighbours. I would drop in treats and soup and such when my landlady was in hospital. I did so because that’s the kind of community I want to live in.


Anyway enough background.

Many things have fallen into disrepair, before I moved here due to lack of upkeep! My landlords don’t like spending money and recently came down with a plastic stool and a fork to fix my front lounge blind.

I had been asking them to attend to it for some time. My side lounge blind having been replaced about a year into my tenancy here.


Sometimes I have to go through a very elaborate process to have anything fixed here.

You already heard in ‘The Horror’ about my new Hot Water Service.

With the blind, my landlord came one day and I suggested he open the blind and while with great pain to my one good hand, I could open and close it. (It’s a block-out blind) the one with the chain on the side he completely F.U.B.A.R.D. it!

It would never work again!

Yeah Helen gets a new blind.

Still not my point.

My issue is this; something needs doing, I call my Property Manager. He steels himself for the call to the landlords because they like to yell! (Not my problem)


The landlords are always nice to my face.

‘No matter! You tell us and we fix!’ Those landlords. But they are elderly (over 70) and I don’t want them to hurt themselves trying to fix things so when their eldest son picks his kids up from Grandparents, Daycare/After kinda care, I often stop to say ‘Hello’ and mention something that needs fixing (he really should have learned by now not to park in front of my home!)

He always says to call the agent!

The landlords always say their kids are the owners yet they deal with the agents!

And the agent says things will come up when he does the next inspection.

I’ve been here 3+ years and by law should have an inspection every 6 months.

He has done 2! Of which nothing or ½ of nothing gets fixed!

The Property Manager told me years ago, when they have good tenants, they like to leave them alone. When my landlady came to see about fixing the blind, about a month ago, she told me “we got home from out Geelong Beach Holiday Home to a $1,000.00 Hot Water Service bill!”

And she told me “It broke her heart!”

It sounds much better with a good Italian accent – trust me!

I wish my rent was $1,000.00 per month!



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