Shopping

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Minestrone

Published July 11, 2022 by helentastic67

Minestrone

So, let me tell the older generation what you’re doing wrong in life. No, hanging in there with how I spent four or five days with my father over Christmas at the end of 2020. (I’ll get to the younger generation soon enough, never fear!)

It was the abomination year that wasn’t! Damn you Covid!

I went to the supermarket with him and he, so help me God, told me every recipe for all the things he buys and makes. Which, Lord love him, every recipe was a variation of minestrone. 

I made him my version of a minestrone which has added ingredients over the years including Lamb shanks because my last boyfriend needed more meat in his “soups” how dare he.

These days, I make my minestrone in my larger slow cooker on the bench so it doesn’t stick to the bottom, and the yield is usually 7-9 bottles.

In between lockdowns in 2021, I even managed to Mule more minestrone to my dad via a friend, because logistics and “Muleing” things have become my superpower.

To be continued………….to be sure.

Adapt

Published March 2, 2020 by helentastic67

Adapt

Being one handed, the most important thing I can recommend in order to survive is, learn to adapt.

It’s the day’s I go to the city and I do some hunter/gathering, that I push myself a little more and while it exhausts me, I notice how my physical body adapts.

My standard trips to the city meant a lot more steps and carrying. If I can’t carry it, I can’t buy it. So, I’ve gotten creative.

Yesterday, I bought two novels and a box of envelopes. Not heavy, just cumbersome and sharp corners. These day’s I travel with one of those fold up grandma bags. (Not a slur) but you can carry it around until you need it. It weighs nothing, takes up no space, but once it’s got two novels and inside it, I usually ask someone to help me put the handles on my left arm above where my cuff and collar sits, just on my elbow. The bag swings along my side and doesn’t hit my left thigh.

My next stop I collected comics, they are flat and not very heavy, so they go in my bag that sits on my right glutinous maximus. Slap, slap, slap.

Then I stopped at a chemist and picked up a few things. Definitely the weightiest purchases of the day. I might even have behind packaging to save or bulk. At this point I’ve reached my maximum density.

I’m starting to feel weighed down and I’m walking a little sideways and bumping into people. Or it could just be people on their devices not paying the least bit of attention to where they are.

After a quick pee break where the bag on my left arm stays there to save needing to put it back on. I walk not far to the tram or Bourke Street Mall and I get on the tram.


Waddling like a pregnant lady now, I try to get two seats near a door facing forward. I might start with one seat and the bag sits on my lap, the straps digging into my shoulders. My right leg in the isle making people brush against me. The bag on my left arm is beside me digging into whoever didn’t think to offer me both seats.


• I’ll just point out here I’m not bigger than Texas. I’m just a wide load by this stage.

Thirty-Five minutes later, I’m at my tram stop (Maybe I was able to spread out for the last 15-20 minutes) I stand up on the tram, readjust my bags, the strap on my left shoulder. I carry my walking stick with the wrist strap between my teeth, so it doesn’t bang all over every piece of metal known to man.


Have I mentioned, I can’t do stalker or stealth? I manoeuvre my way to a door, favouring my right side as that’s my better peripheral vision. All the better not to step on or bump into people and while holding on to one handle or another I manage to get to the right-hand door handle. Walking stick still in mouth.


Tram stops, door opens and I swing my left leg out and bending my right knee, step down. I don’t let go until both feet are on the ground. Hoping just hoping people have followed the road rules and cars have actually stopped at the back of the tram. Yeah! That does not always happen.

I then use my walking stick to walk to the curb. Right foot up, lift and swing left leg attempting left toes to clear the curb.


Fast forward to me getting inside my apartment. There have been days I’ve taken off the bags and weighed them and I’m surprised I’ve carried the extra five kilos home from the city.


But the biggest surprise to me is after I’ve unpacked everything and take my extra layers off (jacket, scarf, etc) I’m moving around my home feeling like I’m on a permanent tilt.


So, by gradually adding weight, my body compensates to do what I insist on it and when all of that is gone, my body still acts like it’s needing to adapt to carry the extra weight and that is today’s lesson.


You don’t know what you can do until you try. Do a little more on top of that and a migraine.

Animal Print

Published October 18, 2019 by helentastic67

Animal Print

I confess to say I’m not a fan on the animal print on people. I know, I know, it’s been around for eons.

Thank God, wearing fur is largely over and done with. But, every now and again some fashion victim tries to bring back Leopard print on pants or bags or fucking something.

I know I’m sounding rather grumpy about it but, every now and again I see an eighty-year-old Italian lady wearing them.

Now, I know an eighty-year-old wearing them. Wow, Wow, NO! Her children are doing her a disservice, take your mum shopping for age appropriate clothes. Her arse is no longer a peach. Might never have been.

I realise I sound very grumpy. Sorry Not Sorry. I’m just saying, let animals do animal print. They do it best. Leave it be.

Grumpy over.

 

Sweet Success

Published February 11, 2019 by helentastic67

Sweet Success

Sweet Success

I’ve had many carers that take me shopping over the years, on a Friday. That is my day for having a carer put me in their car and we go on an adventure. This is when I feel mostly like a normal person. Like I’m hanging out with a friend, laughing, joking, teasing, sharing stories. Having fun right.

Hanging out with Friends

At the moment, I’ve a young lady (Wow, that just happened, I just became an old lady) who is only 23 years old and we have the best time.

Best time

I make the habit of writing shopping list through out the week, so I can restock, but once out, I’m happy to keep an eye out for my favourite things when on special and anything new that might catch my eye.

Shopping List

My carer these days has a rule; I can only get one thing that is not on my list. “Yes Helen, but that’s your one thing”. So of course, the simple answer is you put EVERYTHING ON THE LIST. Correct.

Cherry Ripe

Cherry ripe

Snickers

Snickers

Chips (you Americans call them Crisps) etc, etc, etc.

Chips

But I then of course make up the rules as we go. “I have to get Jaffa Cakes.” They’re on special. At times I will see something and just sneak it in the trolley, when I’m not looking, she will put it back.

Jaffa cake

Later, I will tell her the last bit of leftover Christmas pudding would have gone so much better with a little thick Bailey’s cream. As I dart my eyes towards her, she will go to take a defensive tone with me and I’ll tell her it doesn’t matter.

Christmas pudding

One week, we were in the lolly isle, I reached for a Cherry Ripe bar ($1) bonus reward points. C’mon, and a debate ensured.

Cherry ripe on special

“No! You already have your one thing?

“But these are on special”

“No!”

So, I just put them in the trolley. She stated that only if she could have one.

“Fine!” she thought that could stop me.

She probably needs a hit of sugar to complete her shift with me and then I told her I was allowed to get two Snickers bars. We had a quiet drive to our next destination as we both ate our Cherry Ripe and Snickers.

Snicker bars

I still win.

I win

Often by the time we work our way around, the regular familiar staff we encounter, wonder what we are giggling about, so we explain the “One thing that isn’t on the list” rule. They share their solutions for me to have a work around. But then this scenario is my young charges worst nightmare. We are standing in the queue for our checkout. On my left (my blind side) is this wall of TIM TAMS and she noticed it before I did or at least I didn’t connect. I suggested to move the trolley closer and I could just scoop them all in the trolley.

Tim Tams

We agreed it was her biggest nightmare! No one is due a TIM TAM care package. Not eve to Texas (even she can’t be trusted – she has to wait) and I already have two unopened packets in the fridge.

Tim Tams 1

Rehab – Part 6

Published November 5, 2018 by helentastic67

Rehab Part 6

Rehab Part – 6

I have carers, as you know who take me shopping and even my morning carer that helps me get ready after my shower, to face the day, they all become my friends. It’s inevitable, the ones I can’t crack are usually very reserved, on account of them not planning to put down roots and those don’t plan to stay in the job long term, choosing to move onto other things.

Carer morning routine

When out and about on my shopping adventures, it’s much more like I’m hanging out chatting with a girlfriend.

Shopping adventure

I might have mentioned, my carers are usually older, sometimes younger, rarely my actual age.

I’m now 46 years old and I get along with all my carers regardless of their age.

Carer friends

Off to the supermarket on Friday, I don’t remember what we were discussing when I said “Yeah, well, I finished High School in 1990.”

Supermarket shopping.

And she said

Wait for it.

“I wasn’t even born then”

not born yet

Yeah that just happened and then later that day.

Today’s Lunch – 15th August 2018

Published August 15, 2018 by helentastic67

Todays Lunch

Today’s Lunch

Good Mental Health Day

Have had a crazy week so far so really glad to have only lunch and my stabby appointments now on Wednesday.

Crazy Week

Have no idea how I’ve made it home the last two days! No idea, have walked and walked and carried (learnt nothing from my Milk post obviously!) so much! Got home Tuesday and weighed my bag before unpacking it. 5 kilos’! Unpacked it and it was still 2!

Walking

Friday is looking to be a crazy day, with an extra appointment with my guy who made my AFO, my GP and the chiropractor and that’s on top of the normal grocery shopping and my only food prep appointment for the week.

Friday

I’m exhausted and it’s only Tuesday night when I do my prep-work on this post. Is this week over yet? I am always surprised that people have no idea how knackered I am once home. People must see me and assume I’m energetic all the time because that’s probably how they see me when I’m out. They have no idea I got home Monday on a whiff of determination that I had to get home.

Knackered

I even went upstairs to unpack my bag from my adventures in the city, then went back down to go to the local supermarket just to get milk and kitchen-tidy bags as I wouldn’t make it to Friday. I avoided what I call “Danger Alley!” So, or to buy unnecessary items and you pick which supermarket I live way too close to? It’s the one with all the weird stuff you wouldn’t find in the one place in any other country other than Germany? (Hint! Hint!) still ended up getting about 5 things!

Aldi

Oh, here’s a nice Lebanese pizza I had last week. Close to home.  Can’t tell you how confused the girl was when I ordered Vegetarian but asked they put salami on it! What?  (Handy Hint!)

Lebanese Pizza

And today’s offering? Because it looked too big to eat I ordered half a Mediterranean focaccia. So, yummy bitter green olives, eggplant, feta and zucchini. With my standard medicine.

PanniniLatte

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then because I decided I could eat more, this naughty little chocolate tart!

Chocolate Pudding

I stayed close to home before my stabby appointment as I didn’t have the luxury of seeing Young John. But will make up for it by walking home.

Walking home

Also, a picture of Mika my new fur-baby. Just proof she has settled in even sleeping snuggled against my legs overnight telling me she trusts me. Yeah, that’s the sign. For those who don’t speak Cat!

Mika

Cheers,
H

Have a great week

Milk

Published August 13, 2018 by helentastic67

Milk

MILK – for want of a better tittle.

Have you ever wondered about the cost of milk? Often there are lots of hidden issues with having a disability that the average person wouldn’t consider. Now, it’s going to annoy me to explain the intricacies on this very simple topic, but I’m by all means not crying over spilt milk.

Spilt milk

I shop with a carer every Friday, they collect me from home and drive us to my local shopping complex. It’s not a huge Westfield, so thankfully has the basics of what I need. Butcher, baker, candlestick maker. Supermarket, you know.

Shopping list

 

Whatever, foodwise I’m going to need I must get or I run out, paying more for it at a smaller independent supermarket, carrying it around for a period of time or risking it spoiling because it’s out of a fridge for too long, like milk.

Shopping list

About once monthly I buy an extra litre of milk, so I don’t run the risk of having to resort to using sweetened Condensed milk in my coffee. Year, nice but that’s diabetics right there.

Condensed Milk

The following Friday arrives and I check the fridge for my supply of milk. Sometimes I’ve still got an unopened bottle. The Use by date is the following day, now being unopened, it’s possibly going to last beyond the Use by date, but can I be sure.

Check fridge 1

Lately, I’ve been joking if I eat something I’ve had in the fridge a little too long and I ask if the worst that happens is I spend the night on the toilet and loose five kilos, that’s a lazy diet right.

Getting sick

So, I throw out the milk, which is wasteful and go shopping and get more. Maybe the guilt plays on my mind so I under stock milk and the next week, I ration a bit.

Ration milk

By Wednesday during my busy punchy/stabby/foodie , mental health post day, I need to debate picking up milk in my travels. I am near two independent supermarkets, one of which I walk past later in the day.

If I get one at either of the independent supermarkets, they cost more than a coffee. Outrageous. Aside from the risk of how long the milk should be out of the fridge.

More than coffee

Fun Fact: – Did you know, every degree milk loses (after coming out of the fridge) it loses a day of its shelf life.

Fun fact

The other issue is of course, how I need to carry the milk. I wear a bag that has a strap, which sits on my left shoulder and the bags sits on my right glute. My Gluteus Maximus.

Gluteous Maximus

Despite disc bulge surgery, my lower back is always at risk when carrying anything home, no matter the length of time I carry it.

My lower back twinges and when I get pain down the back of my good leg, it’s a sure sign any heavy lifting or excess carrying of heavy things is temporarily banned.

Lower back pain

So, while to the outside world I’m portrayed or seen as this confident, flexible and mobile semi-broken woman (my term), underneath the cost of a simple litre of milk is either my pocket or my back.

Strong Independent Woman

Both require medication and time out to not spend money. So, that was actually not as painful as I thought. Maybe I didn’t do it justice.

Doing Justice

 

Hot Flushes

Published April 2, 2018 by helentastic67

Hot Flushes

Hot Flushes

Went shopping today with one of my regular carers of the last four years and our adventures are always a highlight of my week. Despite when you read this, it’s mid-January now and Summer.

My carer and I walked out of the shopping complex and because it’s important I did an instant commentary of the weather. First an assessing frown and “OH?” It’s a little humid, but a cool breeze and a little light rain. To which ’T’ (let’s go with that) responded with something about her hot flushes and an advisement, that you should be able to flip a switch and opt out of Menopause.

Menopause

And the banter had just begun.

“Well, I think your well past that option.”

T, still in fantasy land, so I tried again.

“OK, what if you sacrificed one of your children?”

She has three sons and one of course is the problem child. All adults now, but she loves them all the same.

My Three Sons

She made a little sound like her decision would be easy and I told her she could not choose. I suggested, if she didn’t paint some of her husband’s blood above the front door, she would lose her first born. She did not like that suggestion and it wasn’t the part about blood-letting her husband.

Blood Letting

She enquired where this has happened and when? Accompanied with the query “Does that really happen?”

“What?”

I looked at her and told her where I had taken some of my inspiration and imagination from and declared nine years of Catholic School, such influence. I emphasised the “nine years” and pointed my thumb to my chest and I thought Catholic School has been a waste of my time.

Catholic School 1

Friday’s

Published November 10, 2017 by helentastic67

Fridays

Fridays

And this is why I love Fridays! OK, so it’s nearly 6pm and I just had ‘lunch’ and I’m yet to actually have my coffee/custard scroll perfect combo that marks the end of the week, but still.

Coffee and scroll

Had shopping with my carer today. Did a provisional shop and still justified buying some socks from the supermarket, got some meat from the butcher’s? (I ring on the drive over and order, so they have time to cut it up since I can’t).

Shopping

Did the standard, butcher, baker, candlestick maker, tour of my local small shopping complex.  Clearly, not exactly like that, but butcher, baker, supermarket, Greek Deli, Chemist, maybe K-Mart, German Supermarket, fabric/craft shop etc.

Butcher baker and candlestick maker

Once home, groceries unpacked, lunch in over, water a few plants with recycled water from kitchen, sprayed the aphids on the roses, put away clean folded clothes, had to spot clean the floor and eventually I eat “lunch” and I hit the wall.

Unpacking

Now I’ve got the rest of the day, now 6.30pm to finish my ‘Admin’ (or what I call ‘Admin’) and check my email so I can put it all aside again until late Sunday night.

Just gotta get past danger hours, that time I really want to have a kip that is intended to last 30 minutes, but goes for 2 hours.

Kip time

Must keep moving, left eye hurts already.

Time for coffee…

Coffee

 

I.D. is not ABI

Published October 6, 2017 by helentastic67

ID not ABI

I.D. is not ABI

Apples and Oranges, it is often that people will assume all people with Brain Injuries are idiots or in some way Intellectually Disabled.

(I.D.) to be fair, it depends if that person was an idiot before they got their ABI or how long they were in a coma (if that is relevant) No idiots ‘here’ I promise!

One of the people in my ABI network had a rant the other day about an organisation I’ve only heard of recently.

There was no background for why I needed to hear the rant, but one of my fearless leaders in her need to rant explained said organisation was originally based around providing services for people or carers of people with I.D. In recent times, they have expanded their services to be more inclusive (don’t we ‘love’ that word?) to cater to other disabilities.

Ranting

All of this is relevant as my mother now months passed did some ‘training’ with said organisation where there were only 11 other ‘carers’. The training was for how to do the application for the funding for NDIS. The training was 2 days a week over 6 weeks and mum travels (unfunded) 3 ½ hours each way to do these things. She generally stays an extra day and by the 6th week she was here a whole week.

Training

By the last week, we had really had enough, to be fair, mum has a foot in both worlds. When she’s home, she doing “her stuff”, but I’m sure it plays on her mind what I need help with. When she’s here with me, she’s mindful of being home to work and make some money.

Like a Rockstar, my mum might arrive at midnight and she leaves so late a few days later, she cranks me when she gets home and it’s 3am. If she doesn’t ‘crank-me’ I worry. I’m generally still awake anyway.

Rockstar

When Mum’s down, she is always very tired, she has her head in a book or culling emails as until recently, she has had 3rd world internet access where she lives.

Internet

No, really when my younger sister and mum are rarely visiting, they have their heads in their laptops and they are like two teenagers (67 and 28-year-old teenagers) and while I’m on it, now my mum has the NBN now, so I’ve lost one excuse not to go home at Christmas.

Anyway, I digress.

The training my mum participated in was with eleven others. I didn’t understand why I wasn’t allowed to attend also. I do manage all my own “day to day”, all my own accounts and dealings. But it became more obvious when mum explained to the other eleven people were carers for ‘kids’ with ID. Varying ages, from Primary school age to my age. But severe ID with complicated and multiple issues, including ‘PIKA’ – type issues.

No eyebrows, eyelashes, no whiskers on the cat – poor cat. Bad! Bad! Bad! Complex issues. Did I mention I live by myself?

ID

While mum was down, she would constantly point out to me that I had to ‘act’ more responsibly in public, because the Disability sector and people with disabilities are being disrespected and I therefore had to carry myself in a way that was beyond reproach.

Training 1

If we were out shopping together, I might do a little grumpy ‘pout’ about something (I’m not beyond a little grumpy pout on occasion) but mum would growl at me and scold me.

“Remember what we talked about? Well, stop it!”

Yeah, that shit!

So, my point if you stayed with me is, when I found out the organisation in question was from an ID background it explains why mum was treating me less like someone who manages everything for myself.

Of course, I really now feel more for those with ID and how they get treated.

Ironically, when I’m out and about with my Carers, we chat all the way around the supermarket or wherever I have to go. Whatever topic we are discussing, we will put a ‘Pin-in-it’ when we have to stop and focus on a purchase or product or whatever else.

Shopping

And then we walk to the next shop or location and the previous discussion continues.

If I’m telling my Carer about a topic that is a bit less – public consumption. I abbreviate to make a point and at times I turn my head toward them to deliver the punch line, so only they hear it.

They often burst out laughing and I can’t help but smile and this is often what people see of me when I’m out and about.

This is one of the huge differences between family and my carers. My carers are only concentrating on the moment. I know they get paid to be there with me, but we are engaged and however their day started, going out with me cheers them up. Whatever stress or drama they had going on earlier, I manage (without intending to) to take their minds off it.

I think this is my gift to those people who allow themselves to be immersed in spending time with me. Of course, I attempted to explain the difference, I found in my mum dealing with me when she’s attending this training and scolding me.

“How dare you…….. on how I choose to help you!”

That hurt.

Truly, this is why I blog!

I hope you can tell my mum and I love each other, however we often do better apart…

Mum and me

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