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Just another day in the garden of remembering times present

Did Dad put down rat poison in the garden yesterday and leave the gate open so Max could eat it, or didn’t he?  That is the question.

I went for our usual walk yesterday morning with Max, up to Rock Street his new favourite route.  We arrived back happily enough and I gave him a shaker of milk made from milk powder, shaken and poured into his scraps bowl.  So far, so good….

Out of the blue Dad comes into the house and says he thinks he scattered some poison pellets in the garden and forgot to close the gate.  Suddenly they are gone!  Only Max could have taken them.  Mice are not active during the day and it usually takes a week for the pellets to disappear.

Mum looked miserable. She wants a Sillky Terrier like Truffles again.  Dad was in panic mode.  I was adamant.  We have to take him to the Vet.  Crisis talks intervened and off we went in the car with Max in the back seat.

The vets were lovely, and gave Max some drops to make him bring up his food.  By the time we had discovered the supposed incident, he had already had his lunch.   Any pellets would have left his stomach long ago.

Still, after seemingly ages, Max had not changed, nor had he shown us his stomach contents.  We had walked up and down the nature strip outside the vet’s and waited for a long time, to no avail.

He had three sets of medicines, but nothing happened except he quieted down a lot. Great! It was time for the explanation of terrible things that happen to animals who eat poison pellets.  The cure takes four weeks.

We checked Max out of the vet’s and I went next door to the chemist for activated charcoal.  Apparently dogs and children are treated much the same way for this and the charcoal helps to absorb anything poisonous.

Vitamin K was mentioned, and a blood test that can indicate how the treatment is going.  It was all part of the four week long treatment plan.

Back at home Mum rang another vet where we had once taken another of our dogs a few years ago.  They had some of the Vitamin K to hand and could give Max an injection.  That was a relief.  We bundled him up and he had a shot from that vet.  We were also given some tablets to continue with th vitamin K after the charcoal had taken effect.

At home, we gave him six charcoal tables every forty minutes with some meaty jelly that we had in the fridge from a couple of nights ago.

It was such a dramatic day.  Max started feeling better after a couple of hours and was his usual cheerful self.  Mum and Dad were going over everything that had happened that morning and decided that Dad might not have set the poison pellets, after all.  He thought that he had seen pigeons by the shed and gone off to shoo them away, leaving the box of pellets on a tall shelf in the garden.

I was tired out from arguing with them.  They thought the first vet had fixed Max and did not understand the concept of a four week treatment plan for an animal.  I went to bed.  We had given Max 52 of the 60 activated charcoal tablets.

The next morning Mum was happy to tell me that there was no way that Dad could have scattered the pellets.  He had chased the pigeons and left the box on a shelf.  Max would be fine.  Mmmmm…..

He rang the second vet to ask if we could return the unopened pack of vitamin K tablets.  The vet agreed to accept them back.

In the meantime, I will keep an eye on Max to see whether he is OK.  At present, he just looks tired out after all the fuss, like me.

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Skillset complete and polished up a little

Yesterday the phone rang at around 8:30am.  They wanted me to teach at a nearby school with minutes to pack and go.  I was wearing jeans with a long-sleeved shirt and light jumper and just had time to tidy up, pack some lunch and leave the house.

It was a great opportunity, as I was able to test my community mental heath skill set, just completed.  The children were very cooperative and I learned a lot about reward systems in the classroom because that is how the teacher had arranged the day.

In the morning when I checked my e-mail, there was a message from my lecturer in community mental health to say that I had passed all my assignments at a very high standard.  It is lovely when lecturers take the time to send an individual message to students.  That was another thing that cheered me up this morning for the day ahead.

In the afternoon there was a message on my telephone from a publisher asking when I was going to publish my manuscript.  Considering that my thesis rewrite is still underway, I will have to check with my supervisors about a publishing schedule.  The plan includes three papers, for which I have the abstracts ready.

Today is another day.  There are two days left before school holidays start.  I expect it will be a good time to write my thesis in the upcoming holidays.

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Learning by running

There are many things I have found out while starting a jogging program.

Mainly, I found that pounding the pavement seems to encourage the ligaments in my feet to stabilise my foot a lot.  Also, the circulation in my legs has improved as can be seen by their colour, a few shades more lively than palest white.

My knees seem to have adjusted to the various terrains, up hill, down dale, across the parks and along various nature strips, parking lots and pavements.  I can change direction better, and my feet and knees can adjust very quickly when I come to potholes and bumps in the paths.

Afer twelve weeks, it really is much more of a habit than an appointment to remember.  It is easier to lay out my shorts and top the night before and have my socks and other things nearby.  Drinking enough water seems to come automatically.  ! look forward to my very evolved oat slice recipe, which now includes frozed raspberries and ricotta, if we have some leftover in the fridge.

While planning to include some resistance training, I am experimenting with pleasant study breaks, such as taking notes in the sunshine, using my pedometer to catch up on my daily steps goals and listening to the new free tunes from the internet.  This morning I started a slightly odd combination of aerobic step with 2 x 2kg weights, a sand-filled ball and a small step while catching up on the new music.

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Writing, Running – check. Workouts – duh!!!

Over the last three months or so, I have managed to go jogging with Max most days and write on my blog most days.  The aim was to be able to write technical papers and the like by developing a writing habit, and adding some jogging to keep my circulation going.

That has been a great success.  I discovered a great basic recipe for an oat slice that can be varied with fruit, ricotta and other delicious things.  I have increase my daily drinks of water and added an extra coffee in the mornings – making two coffees a day.

There is the online training in nutrition which I have yet to start, but it is on the back burner, so to speak.  My technical and further education (TAFE) course is an elective for the Diploma in Fitness.  That’s the working in community mental health settings, for the case management and counselling side of things.

So now, I will really have to add some workouts which target legs, upper body and core, in different sessions.  My oaty slice can take protein powder and eggs if I need to adjust that.  My chicken soup recipe can take frozen spinach, tinned mushrooms and tinned tomatoes, if required.  I have some green, seaweed powder in the cupboard…..yum!

So the next thing after the BIG writing project for May/early June is definitely workouts.  I have to start planning NOW!

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Study group at Liz’s

I arrived a bit early at my class this Friday but found only six students and a transcription Aider person there.  Ann Marie did not arrive at all, so I had to e-mail my assignment and put it in the post when I got home.

We decided to go to Liz’s unit for a study group to tackle the Job Description assignment which is due in less than three weeks.  Mandy, Kay, Liz and I all discussed the questions and read through the Community Support Worker and Case Worker job profiles in detail with lots of stories and questions.  We worked through lunch and finished at 2pm.  So it was a good day’s study.

I felt inspired to complete the assignment early, which I hope to do either Saturday (today) or early next week.  There are a couple of other papers and reports to write, though, so I will be busy.

Mandy has lived in South Africa and Kay’s family is from there, too.  I have visited my Uncle in Johannesburg, so we had a few things to share. 

When I arrived home, I made an electronic copy of my assignment, saved it to Dropbox and sent the links by e-mail to Ann-Marie.  I also posted the hardcopy, which fitted in an envelope, so it was easy to do.

Then I went to the chemist to look for eye drops, as I have a vein that is showing in the white of my eye.  However, she said it would clear up on its own and not to worry too much.  I have had it once before without any problems.

Oh well, it is Mother’s Day tomorrow week.  I have a card and gave my Mum a trial set of A-F33, the new Avon wrinkle cream which has been on the television in current affairs and morning shows.  Hopefully, we will take a before and after photograph to see if there is any effect on extreme wrinkles. 

In the meantime, I will ask her to stop by the garden shop on the way to pick up our Pizza oven today.  I might find some nice flowers growing in a small pot that she would like.

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Study Group

This morning I met with Julie, Toni and Sandra for my study group in Psychology.  They were full of interesting stories about their backgrounds and Julie was very kind to allow us to use her place for the meeting.

Now I am motivated to research my original topic for the literature review in Counselling.  Although I had hoped to start it today, I expect it is better to have a more interesting topic that is relevant to general child development, rather that a specialised area.

So now, I am looking at social cognition related to system justification and social equality.  The broader picture in this focus is
more the way that children copy what they see without thinking of whether it is kind or fair.

This approach seems to lend itself to less retelling of government agendas and more exploration of how children learn
to manage their own behaviours with help from teachers and counsellors.

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Teaching Rehearsal Underway

Yesterday morning I was talking to my Mum about a project I am doing.  It involves teaching a session to at least three people and having them fill in a feed-back form.  This might seem like a simple task, but not at first attempt.

Social media is hopeless for recruiting people as most people I know are only on the internet every second or third week.  Neighbours have their family events, like new born babies suddenly arriving.  Friends have “life” events like the sudden passing away of grandparents and others.

Surprisingly, by the afternoon there was a solution.  Kit had called to say that Jim was in an accident.  They had been driving home from a lunch with friends when he fell asleep and drove into a telegraph pole.  Mum took Kit to the hospital to see him, as she could not drive there.  While she was talking to Kit, Mum told her about my project.  Strangely enough, Kit and her granddaughter are waiting around for news of Jim’s operation on his ankles and would like to fill in some forms and take their minds off the accident.

Mum called me when I was on the bus, coming back from an appointment in the CBD.  I was stunned at how quickly things had fallen into place and shocked that Jim had to suffer so much just for falling asleep.

Jim needs plates in his ankles.  Another candidate for rehabilitation!!! I can see this being an opportunity born out of calamity!  He is a very social person, past president of the local Irish Club and active in the local Parish church.  He has also tirelessly certified the photocopies of my documents for job applications over the years.

25 January 2013

The rehearsal went well and I finally have my three feedback sheets and even some worksheets from the mini-lesson.  It was fun to do and I met Jacqui, Kit’s granddaughter.  Mum and I dropped Jacqui off at a local college and took Kit to her physiotherapy appointment afterwards.  They don’t have a car at the moment due to the accident and Kit doesn’t drive.  Jacqui did not renew her licence as she has been teaching overseas.

Yesterday evening I sent off my assignment papers by e-mail and this morning received acknowledgement from Romy.  I was so thankful to have finished that one!  I also sent off some other papers that I had been working ahead with, so this course is allmost finished.  Finishing the last paper is really something to which I look forward with great anticipation.