Restricted to bed – doctors orders.

Reading, writing and blogging slumps means no fun for this girl. I hate getting sick.

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I’m not beating myself up in taking an occasional break to routine. Recharge my batteries. Having a mini adventure.

And that’s what I’ve been doing. Indulging in a family visit and having marathon Canasta games over a glass of champagne. Exploring local markets and shopping up a storm. Late night chats over a hot cuppa. It may sound a little boring and simple, but living on top of a mountain in isolation writing means human contact of any kind is like a packed underground dance party. It really does leave you happily satiated and ready to hit the keyboard again.

Except immediately after I got food poisoning, and then fell ill with the flu that has been sweeping across the Sunshine Coast. So what was meant to me a 5-day reprieve, turned into just over a month, most of it spent moaning and wondering ‘why me?’ I agonised for three days hugging porcelain, praying for my stomach to stop spasming. My little puppy was quite alarmed at my retching noises, and my constant nursemaid.

I have to admit, I have not gotten ill in quite a long time. Not since I have gotten over the aftermath of cancer and acclimating to fulltime work and the stresses it took out on a recovering body. In the last four years I may of had one day here or there feeling poorly, maybe with a headache or hayfever. Nothing a day of rest or a Panadol didn’t fix. But a bout of food poisoning and the flu brought back all the worst sense-memories of cancer treatment.

Mainly the nausea and unending praying while in embrace of the toilet bowl. Feeling weak and shaky, overtaken in a hot and cold sweats. Not the funniest way to spend three days… I couldn’t even indulge in reading quietly in bed. Light sensitivity had the lamps off and blinds down. I would’ve love to watch a movie, read a blog or even catch up on my email… but no, I lay there wafting in and out of sleep waiting for the rolling of my stomach to cease. Hoping I hadn’t stripped away all the lining from my throat. The flu continued most of these symptoms along with dizziness and a wheezy cough. Many, many slime filled tissues later… It feels glorious to finally be coming out the other end of this seasonal illness.

I embodied all those caricature sickies on television – hair like a birds nest built in a drug haze, baggy sweats, and a blotchy face from tissue abrasions. If anyone can stick around after seeing me like this – they’re a keeper!

About once or twice a year I find myself in a period where life happens with such intensity that I have no time left for writing, reading, or blogging. And this is coming from someone who religiously makes time for her craft every day. When I was finally able to sit down, clear headed and write, I was simply too exhausted. Even when I started to read, I’d manage maybe a page or two before nodding off.

In hindsight, I always boggle at the amount of work I could’ve completed in that time frame. I very much live to write… but it’s important to live to share, love, and experience too. There’s a balance in there somewhere, and I falter from one extreme to the other in hopes of living a full, happy life. Following passion and sharing happiness.

Does anyone else suffer from writers or readers guilt? Tell me I’m not alone.

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© Casey Carlisle 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

What you doin’ there Buster?

I’ve been distracted from social media fun, posting, and writing in the last couple of weeks due to this face….

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Buster. The newest addition to my little family. And being a puppy, I have to keep my eyes on him 24/7 and develop octopus arms. Pull him away from chewing power cords, eating strange insects, going to the toilet in the wrong place. Having the fun of the first few nights at home where he wakes you up crying, scared of an unfamiliar place away from his litter. Waking you up at 3 am because he wants to play.

He’s the over-energetic silly-pants all puppies are. With super sharp teeth wanting to chew everything, running and pouncing with unco-ordination. Using my plait as a vine as he plays Tarzan swinging from my hair… or clothes… or anything else he can reach. At 10 weeks old, everything is a new exciting adventure.

Buster 11 Aug 2017.jpgWhen he is asleep he is adorable. And he loves his cuddles once he stops trying to masticate your fingers. A number of times I’ve found him asleep, curled up next to my sneakers or slippers, head buried in the open top like he’s trying to find a missing bone deep within my footwear. But he’s fast asleep, high on the fumes of toe jam.

Buster’s big sparkly eyes stare at you with fascination, and he’s just so little and fragile. I’ve been wanting to add a new canine family member to our troop since last year. We lost our two Maltese X dogs early last year to old age, leaving Baillie (the lovable pooch I inherited from my Mother when she passed away) alone and bored. He’s used to having playmates and was becoming anxious and destructive, especially at times when I had to leave him home alone. Hence the Cavoodle cutie Buster coming into our midst.

He’s definitely playful. Adorable. And just the right fit for our mountain-top family.

Now that Buster has settled in and I’ve puppy-proofed the house, I’ll be able to dedicate my time back to writing without having to search for him every few minutes to find out what trouble he may be getting into next… and I’m sure there will be many a funny tales he creates that I can share to any dog lovers out there on occasion.

These little furbabies enrich my life so much, love unconditionally, and fill an empty house with colour and excitement that makes it feel like a home.

Now if Buster can sit still long enough for me to get a decent photo, he’ll become an Instagram star for sure 😉

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Muttly Mania by Casey Carlisle

 

© Casey Carlisle 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

My Life is a Mess!

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I mean literally – the movers came and delivered a household worth of belongings, so I have boxes and furniture everywhere… no space to write! Oi Vey!

Yesterday for a panicked moment I thought I’d lost my dog, but he was merely weaving his way around the stacked crates, exploring like a kid in a fort, before I heard the jingle of his collar and found him happily wagging his tail, delighted with the new landscape to climb and sniff.

Most likely for anyone else my house looks fine – just a few piles of boxes here and there – but for me, one who likes a clean, clear home and workspace, it’s a nightmare. I just have to get the place back in order before I can work.

On the positive side, it’s like my birthday (which was in the week all the furniture got redelivered) and Christmas rolled into one! Things have been in storage for two and a half years, so I am rediscovering all sorts of things. When did I accumulate so much jewellery? Oh My God Look At All These Shoes! I’m never going to fit into these shorts again… it’s a relative rollercoaster of delight and despair.

I’m loving having all my “comfort things” around me again. All the lovely memories attached to each one. Photos of family. Gifts my mother gave me before she died. It’s all back. This birthday has been an emotional one.

So, until I have found a place for all the treasures I’m unboxing, posts have been scarce… well non-existent.

But I’m having fun. Playing hide and seek with my dog. Unwrapping forgotten items from the past. Re-inventing the ambience of my home. It’s just like reading an old favourite, discovering new meaning in the prose, and a new reason to love the cracked spine. Which reminds me – I’ve also doubled my book collection with more boxes of favourite novels now out of storage. Whee!

Closely on the heels of birthday celebrations and playing Tetris with moving boxes, was tropical cyclone Debbie and her aftermath. Flooding, road closures, brown-outs. I sat there in 120% humidity and stared out the window into white nothingness. Immersed in the swirling cloudbank it was quite an experience to hear the heavens open, but not be able to see any possible damage that was happening. I kept on washing and ironing as I unpacked another box of clothing or linen.

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Once the weather fined up Easter was just around the corner, and with the holidays brought many visitors. So, I got on my hostess hat and my cooks apron. Easter egg hunts and colourful decorations… the last three weeks have gone by in a mess and a blur. And I was amazed at how much time had snuck by and I hadn’t read a book or written a single thing. I’m determined to get back into the swing of things now that the house is back in order, but there is still a collection of boxes waiting to be unpacked hidden out of sight in the shed – but I’m in no rush to get submerged in yet another fun mess anytime soon.

First things first – the keyboard beckons…

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© Casey Carlisle 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

A Week Away (which means no NaNoWriMo for me)

Old high school friends visiting that I’ve known for years, an underwater walk with sharks, and venturing across the tundra at Australia Zoo.

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I was thinking about scheduling some posts for my week away from the keyboard, but it turned out I was too busy getting the guest house ready for visitors – my place was like an episode of ‘The Block.’ I was running around buying styling items, painting, assembling furniture, covered in all manner of dirt, dust and hues of paint. And I never knew my body odour could get so bad… peeeyouuu!

But the space looks fantastic and I’m very proud of the effort.

So instead of creating prose at the computer this week I’ve been staying up late with a glass of champagne reminiscing over high school days, giggling at our antics, and catching up with each other’s lives until late into the night. The days have been filled with wildlife. Sea Life Mooloolabah is a huge favourite of mine – my Marine Biology roots express themselves and my friends and family get a personalised tour through the exhibitions, regaled by my stories of encounters in the wild. I may or may not embellish for artistic and humorous purposes… that’s just the way I roll. Australia Zoo (Steve Irwin’s brainchild) was fun, and attending in the off season, means no lines, plenty of time to stand gazing at the wonderful animals without getting jostled for a prime viewing spot from pushy tourists. Its open plan, ornate gardens and massive statues give a great ambience to the zoo experience. There are no cramped cages and unhappy animals here. Most are rescued or unable to be released into the wild due to being bred in captivity – not that I’m a stout activist, but it is reassuring that the animals are benefiting from care here rather than being abducted from the wild for our amusement.

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Today we just got back from a rainforest walk to the local waterfalls, which was great to spot all the kaleidoscope hued tropical parrots and parakeets and a chance at glimpsing some platypus in the wild (lil’ buggar was too fast for me to snap a quick pic). The only down fall – my hayfever and being covered in sweat from a muggy day – I so wanted to “accidentally” fall into the water at the falls, but forgot to bring a towel and wasn’t about to treat other bushwalkers to this winter padded body.

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After life in the city, moving up into the mountains dotting the coastline has left me with a renewed appreciation for flora and fauna and is always a peaceful and inspiring backdrop for writing.

So if you were wondering where my regular posts were this week – I’ve been renovating, and then got lost in nature. I’ll be back to regular posting in the next day or two, refreshed, revitalised and feeling greatful.

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© Casey Carlisle 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

The Year of the Furbaby!

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Wishing everyone the very best for 2016!

Normally over the Christmas – New Year break, I’d be visiting family, lapsing into food comas, tidying up on a sugar high, or cackling the night away over conversation and champagne. But things have been a little different this year: I’ve had three sick puppies to mind, and spent just over a week sitting in waiting rooms of Pet ER’s

This is also part of the reason I’ve been absent from my blog for a few weeks.

I posted a few months ago about Ben, and his big heart. Now in the later stages of failure. So it wasn’t a surprise that he needed professional attention a number of times, but still it’s heart-wrenching. He has been giving me big puppy dog eyes and cuddles every day for just over 11 years. Ben still has that slightly awkward puppy gait that makes him seem more bunny rabbit than canine. It’s only going to be days to weeks before we have to say goodbye.

The other visit to emergency that just about floored me was Baillie, the lively pooch I inherited from Mum when she passed away 2 years ago. He hurt his eye, and though it didn’t look serious I rushed him to Pet ER not liking to see him in pain, and it being the holidays – all the regular Vet Clinics are closed. By that night he’d lost an eye from a fast developing ulcer.

Devastated.

Please take warning – eye injuries with dogs degrade so quickly. If you notice a hint of something wrong, seek medical attention immediately. Even though that is what I did, it could have been much worse.

Picking up Baillie after surgery was alarming – they’d shaved half his head, and with an eye stitched closed, head lolling to one side and tongue hanging out – it’s a sight no owner is prepared for.

He’s much better now, barging into things with his medical collar, not letting the ocular loss impede him in any way. He’s still my little adorable munchkin, but now have some new nicknames for him like Pirate, Cyclops or Winky.

Nonetheless, it has been wonderful to spend Christmas and bring in the New Year with my entire furbaby family. They have been loyal and loved unconditionally. I’ve made sure they’ve felt it back in return and given them all the doggy things!

So in honor of my fluffy little family, I’m declaring 2016 the Year of the Furbaby!

 

P.S. all that time in waiting rooms was well spent reading, so I have a large list of book reviews waiting to be uploaded, so keep an eye out for more biblio-fun coming your way soon 🙂

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Resting up with their Christmas toys after hospital visits

 

 Muttly Mania by Casey Carlisle

© Casey Carlisle 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Interlude

I’ve been stuck in a time vortex, lost in some forgotten place for a millennia, but have finally made the journey home!

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Sunrise over the Sunshine Coast, snapped by my wonderful neighbours.

 

Okay, slight over-dramatisation… the past six weeks I’ve had to travel interstate to deal with matters around my Mother’s Estate. It has definitely been a difficult journey. The first time I have been back to the house since she passed, surrounded by all her things. I could still smell her perfume. There were moments I’d expected Mum to walk through the door and head to the kitchen, put on the kettle for a cup of tea and a chat. But I felt strangely happy and calm, with her presence almost tangible.

 

My hiatus from the city into the mountain-top tropical rainforest and jaw-dropping views of the Eastern Coast provided a different perspective, and in the time I was up there,  re-focused on ways to achieve my goals.

 

I missed my writing terribly; both blogging, and works in progress. There was very little time for any of my usual activities, reading maybe an hour every other day. As the sun kissed the horizon my body was sore and exhausted from packing, moving furniture, maintaining the 3.5 acre garden, or putting my hand to many handy-woman jobs. While I was there I created a Writer’s Cottage for visits, to get away from distractions and finish off the latest novel I’m working on. There is a tarriance on the cards very soon!

 

So the posts will start dribbling in again. There is a backlog of books to review, and many a tale to tell of my experiences. But having such a long time (for me) away from my manuscripts, I’ll be ensuring to get a good number of pages out in the following weeks. I’m hoping that, and the planned renovations of my home, and packing up of most of the belongings here, won’t impact too heavily on my usual outflow of articles.

 

I’m really looking forward to getting back up to the sunshine at the Writers Cottage though – the coast is fifteen minutes away, and a natural spring at the foot of the property that the Marine Biologist in me is eager to study and observe. It’s been ages since I’ve had any good aquatic adventures. Plus the beautiful surrounds and lush greenery stimulate the senses and is the ideal place for making headway on other writing projects.

 

So with the brief interlude of the strangest mix of emotions I’ve ever gone through, it’s back to the keyboard with a head full of new amazing things to write about.

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© Casey Carlisle 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.