Thursday, October 28, 2010

Busting Out Of Hospital...

Facebook didn't let me leave this long comment so will leave it here...

I should mention that although I am heading to Oncology in the morning I don't have any form of cancer. I have a kidney disease which causes potassium to be leached from my bloodstream. In March I spent some time in ICU as my levels were low enough to cause my heart to stop. Both too much or too little potassium has a devastating effect on the cardiac system (it's used on death row). It seems to come on after a period of vomiting/gastro as I cannot keep my meds down and my potassium bottoms right out. For some reason I am also very anaemic, (which explains constant tiredness of late) hence the iron infusion which has to be monitored closely which is why they do it in Oncology.

My doctors are investigating the causes of the intermittent vomiting I seem to get, looks like I will need an Endoscopy in the not to distant future. Thankfully this time my stay in hospital has been short as I had the foresight to phone my doctor early...(actually he was really cross I left it too late last time & I didn't want to incur the wrath of Dr. B. again). I am under the care of an excellent team and have great faith in their abilities.

Looking forward so much to being at home tonight with John, Matilda & Myles tonight, (and our Burmese moggies Leo & Flynn)...I get very stressed and anxious away from them. I am so blessed to have John to care for me...he just gets on with things and has the house, kids, their activities and full time work sorted...he is a remarkable man who I am very blessed to have beside me. Thanks so much to my dance/cheer friends Nancy & Shelly, who have offered help in any way they well as everyone who has left messages here, sent texts or phoned...your friendship means a great deal...xoxoxo

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A Small Rant...

A number of times recently I have heard various (mostly) women complain about being a "single" parent.

A fair thing you may think...

The thing is that none of the four women in this case, were single, all of them married/partnered, all of them living with their partners & father of their children. None of them have ever truly known, or do I ever hope they know, what it is like to be a single/sole parent. Three of them are mothers who work in the home and have partners who go out to work to bring in a high enough income so they don't have to, two of them also have house cleaners & nannies. Their husbands/partners were either absent due to work commitments, unwell or just plain unwilling.

Being a sole parent for eleven years I think I am quite well equipped to know & comment on exactly what it is like... be the only person in your child's life who has sole responsibility for the decision making,

...the only person who brings income into your household,

...the only person who is up in the middle of the night worried sick because your child's fever won't come down,

...the only person who has to decide whether to send your child to school the next day when they are probably ill enough to be at home but knowing that if you don't work then your income will be docked

...which in turn means deciding whether to eat or pay the bills so you have heating/electricity that week,

...that you hope your car can survive another month or two without being serviced

...that you need to lay-by birthday and Christmas gifts up to six months ahead because you wouldn't be able to afford them otherwise,

...that YOU go without new clothes and shoes so that your child/children can have theirs.

It means you can (almost) never have a night off without having to pay for the luxury of a babysitter, that you have to do all of the household, cleaning, shopping, yard work, picking up the bloody bath toys yet again...EVERY SINGLE NIGHT.

It means that when you are unwell and really need to rest that there is no back up, no-one else to cook for, love and entertain your child while you recover.

It means that you keep food in the lower cupboards so that if, God forbid, anything happens to you in the home and you are unconscious or dead that your child will be able to get something to eat AND that at a very young age your child knows how to call the emergency services and negotiate the deadlock on the doors for the same reason.

It means that you often work in menial jobs because they fit in well with having to be there to drop off and pick your child up after school OR arrive home from work & school at 6pm with dinner not even in sight.

...the list is endless...

Sole parents are my heroes. Most of them are not sole parents by choice, I certainly wasn't nor had I ever expected to be but I was and did a great job (I think so anyway) at it. I just wish that other parents would give some thought to what it is really like being a "single" parent before they complain about their lot.

Okay...climb down from soapbox now...

Sunday, September 26, 2010



 - adjective
1.  Satisfied with what one is or has; not wanting more or anything else.
2.  BritishAgreeing; assenting.
3.  Archaic. Willing
Again, despite my promises, both to myself and the two or so readers I have left here, I have been quiet on the blogging front. Facebook has a way of sneaking up and taking over if you are not careful. I signed up with FB quite some time ago, mainly to see what the fuss was about...I fought it despite numerous friend requests and was then contacted by people from my "past"...enough to pique my curiousity again. I do like the immediacy of it, it's different to blogging, which is for me a longer and more thoughtful process, but still complementary somehow.

I'm yet to do Twitter...I just don't get it and don't think I ever will.

Was looking for a previous post on my blog yesterday and happened across a post/award which asked me to list the things that make me happy. I thought I'd link it here and ask again...

What Makes You Happy...??

In recent times I have been feeling very content and full with life here...nothing has perceptibly changed so I'm not sure what has brought this on but if I really think about it the following works for me...
  • Life has been busy with kids sporting activities, school & friends...
  • John & I have spent more time alone of late, he also seems very content too...
  • Matilda & Myles are (for the most part) very easy teenagers...watching the adults that are emerging is an endless source of fascination to me...
  • I have applied to begin a Bachelor of Midwifery at UQ (University of Queensland)...
  • Our triplet grandchildren are 6 months old today and incredibly healthy and are their Mum, Dad & Brothers...
  • I'm 52 kilos (114lbs for my US friends) lighter than this time last year...
  • My kidney disease/function is resolving and my energy levels are improving...I haven't had a hospital visit in almost 4 months...
It's all good, it's better than good, much better.

If you get a chance please pay a visit to Kel's Blog Taurus Rising. She has a great giveaway happening at the moment. Her new business The Ethicurean sells beautiful soft mesh and gauze fabric bags to carry your market produce home and let it breathe in...a wonderful way to do away with plastic...they are very stylish too. I'm hoping to be one of the lucky ones but am intending to purchase in the near future too. There aren't many entries at this point in time so your chances are announced tomorrow.

Might be time for a coffee now...lazy Sundays are just divine.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

My Favourite Leunig...

Don't have much to write about of late...this is my favourite Leunig...

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Strange & Stranger...

A little background info first...

Seven weeks ago Matilda's flute was stolen from the music storeroom at school. The students store their instruments for safekeeping during the day until they are needed for class...the room is always kept locked. For some reason the store room was not locked this particular day and when she went to collect her flute it was missing, along with two school instruments.

After a great deal of back & forth email & phoning, the school accepted responsibility for the theft and agreed to reimburse us for a replacement. There was some degree of angst involved as Matilda's instrumental music teacher addressed her in class, accusing us of making up lies about her flute having been stolen and that we wanted to "profiteer" from the school so we could get her a new flute. She then went on to say that Matilda's flute was nowhere as expensive or as good a quality as I had claimed and that we were being difficult and "cantankerous". Let me add that at this point in proceedings there had been no claim made by me as to the quality and value of Matilda's instrument.

That conversation was downright wrong, not to mention highly inappropriate of her to speak to a student in front of the class in that manner. All we wished (apart from the flute not having been stolen) was for restitution. The matter of an apology and retraction is still ongoing.

Imagine my surprise when yesterday I received a phone call from the school Principal letting me know that Matilda's flute had been found by a teacher in a garden bed in the school grounds. It was found with a music book which was not Matilda's and it obviously had only very recently been placed in the garden bed as there were no signs of garden debris, dirt or rain damage to either the flute or the book...

...and we have had some quite heavy rain since it went missing...

My best guess is that it was stolen by someone who wasn't able to sell it to a Cash Converters type store. It's a small mercy that the thief had a fit of conscience and decided not to offload it in a dumpster.

Matilda is beside herself and incredulous when I told her...all she really wanted was to have her very own instrument back. She knows it so well, the silver keys have moulded to fit her fingertips and the lip plate fits curved against her bottom lip so perfectly.

She is one happy possum indeed.

Thank you for your kind comments about my Aunt. Her funeral is next Tuesday in Melbourne. Matilda and I will be heading down on Monday morning and will stay for a few days. It will be good to catch up with family we haven't seen since the last family wedding...around 6 years ago now.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

It's Been Too Long...

It's been forever since I last posted here, it seems that Facebook has taken over. While a great way to stay in touch it doesn't lend itself to longer, more thoughtful and thought provoking posts.

So, by popular request, well from two readers anyway and you know who you are...

I'm back and will try and post at least a couple of times a week.

Please keep my Aunt in your thoughts...she is critically ill and on life support. She has been unwell for a number of years and last week saw a sharp decline in her health. Decisions are being made about her prognosis in the next day or two.  She was/is my favourite Aunt, I was the flower girl at her wedding when I was four years old, (I'm on the left below), and spent a lot of time with her when I was young.

For those who believe in the power of prayer, she can use all the help she can get.

Update 10pm...

My Aunt died late this afternoon, life support was withdrawn.
Rest in peace Judy.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Here's the first photo of our three babies...Sienna, Grace & Harrison. Am so looking forward to my trip to Melbourne to see them next month. All is going well.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Did I Overreact...???

Matilda went out shopping with a friend yesterday. As far as I knew she was getting the train to her friend's home then her friend's Dad was driving them to the shopping centre.

When she got home she mentioned that her friend (who turned 16 on 29th March and sat for her Learner's Permit test the following day) had driven them to the shopping centre. This was only the second time she had been behind the wheel.

I'm afraid I reacted badly, I was quite horrified that her friend's father would consider taking Matilda in the car with his (brand new Learner )daughter driving. He may well have faith in her ability but I don' can a 16 year old learner driver with less than 2 hours driving experience possibly react well to situations other drivers put her in on the road...??? It's not like it is a quiet route either, it gets quite busy.

I have spoken to Matilda and after my initial reaction explained why I felt as I did and said that at no time was I happy with her being in a car with such an inexperienced driver and that it wasn't to happen again.

I have to take her to her friend's party this evening and am going to have to make my feelings felt to her parents, not really looking forward to that but they are very reasonable people so it should be okay.

Did I overreact..??

Thoughts please...

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Waiting Anxiously...

t's 4.00am and I am wide awake. Since being in hospital my sleeping pattern is all over the place. I find myself awake at 3.00am and not being able to get back to sleep until about 6ish. It's easier to get up and do something quiet than toss and turn and wake John.

Easter was quiet for us...we didn't go away but instead chose to spend time at home on a few projects around here...renovating the kids bathroom for one. At Easter my thoughts always turn to camping and Mount Beauty (Victoria)...we used to camp with extended family & friends every Easter, the "gang" got bigger each year and "drinks" at 5.00pm around the fire were the best place on earth to be. It's God's Own Country up there and
the most relaxing holiday I ever have.

But I digress...or maybe not...

In the year before I moved to Queensland I let a much valued friendship slip through the cracks. I wasn't the only party at fault, there were events that transpired in both our lives that led me unable to offer the support my friend L. needed as her marriage fell to pieces around her. As time has passed it has become harder and harder to make contact.

The situation has been bothering me for three years now and over Easter I decided that it was time to try and "fix" it. I wrote to L. on the weekend...not an excuse but more an explanation of how things crumbled and an apology for my part in letting our friendship slide. I'm hoping that it can be somehow rescued...hopeful for forgiveness and reconciliation and a chance to rebuild.

L. and her family camped with us at Mount Beauty...they still camp there every year and have contact with my family. I was asked to be "Fairy" Godmother to her youngest son, a role I took on with the commitment necessary to fulfil it well. I feel so badly that I have just slipped out of their lives.

I wrote, then sat on it for a few hours. A little later I went back, edited, printed and posted it immediately. Had I let it lay around I would have found an excuse not to post it.

I'm waiting anxiously now, knowing that L. would have received it by yesterday, wondering what she made of it and how she will respond. I'm travelling to Victoria next great wish is that L. will want me to visit, can find it in her heart to forgive and that we will be able to somehow put things right.

I have done my bit...the waiting is killing me. I am not, by nature, a very patient person.

Saturday, April 3, 2010


I have been sitting on a “good news story” that has happened within my family for a little while now and now need to get it out there.

I have a brother, Mitchell, who is three years younger and two sisters, Cate & Sally, six and eleven years younger. Many years ago (25 in fact), there was a family misunderstanding and my brother left home and went to work interstate. Time passed and it became apparent that he no longer wanted anything to do with my Mum & Stepfather and by default his sisters too.

This was agonising for my Mum…her son was out there in the world, 18 years old and on his own. We had a general idea where he was and what he was doing but really knew nothing of his life…this was how he wanted it. My guess is that as years passed, it became harder to resume contact with family…before we knew it, 20 years had passed. I don’t think I wondered about him quite every day but certainly several times a week he was on my mind.

Last year I had a bit of an estrangement with my family, nothing permanent, but I was definitely on the outer for some months. I constantly thought of Mitch, knowing how awfully lonely it was not being able to just pick up the phone and say hello, wondering if how I felt was how he had felt. There was also an inheritance due his way, a gift from our grandparents…I felt he should have what was his entitlement.


I decided to try and find him. I enlisted the help of a cousin, someone Mitchell had grown up with and very much admired. He agreed to be the go-between. I placed a couple of ads on internet billboards and could not believe my luck when I had a response on the very same night I posted. A woman answered my ad and said that he was last living in a small town in South Australia. Quite unbelievable.

My cousin Neale took over and did some amazing detective work. He contacted several people from the town, including the publican and general store/post office owner. His concern was taken very much as genuine and these people were very helpful in directing him where to look next. He was also able to make out that these people thought very well of Mitchell and cared for him a great deal.

His search led him to a trucking company in NSW…we had known that Mitch was an interstate truck driver, so this made sense. Neale was able to speak to a supervisor there who eventually let on that Mitchell would be there at 10pm if he wanted to call that night.

Neale called and they spoke for a short while…they then continued to communicate over the next few weeks via phone. Eventually the inevitable rose…”What did Mitchell think about having contact with his Mum..??”

He thought about it and in the interim Mum wrote to him.

A short time passed and then quite out of the blue I get a call from my sister, Sally. Did I know where Mum & John were..?? Mitchell had phoned her, he was in Melbourne taking care of the legal will stuff and he was going to drop in on them, but they were nowhere to be found.

There was little time; Mitchell and his partner were flying out in a few hours. Eventually we tracked them down and the sped off to the airport for the reunion. It was sweet, very sweet…I haven’t heard Mum as happy as she was that night. They have had lots of contact since then and recently Mitchell & his partner came down for the weekend and spent almost all of it with the family, including a night out with Neale & his family.

I spoke to him on the phone, it was good to talk…I hope to catch up in person soon.

Here are a few pics from that weekend…they are just snapshots but such happy ones, too happy not to share…

I’m hoping for a huge family gathering next Christmas… Blogger being a bitch for anyone else this morning...???

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


I had a birthday this last week, it went by very much unnoticed. I'm now 46 years old, goodness me, it's the wrong side of 45, all downhill to 50 from now on in.

Actually my birthday was crappy, really crappy. Since the 24th I have been in hospital, 4 days of which I spent in ICU. Last Sunday I started to feel a little unwell, sore muscles like I had worked them hard. By Tuesday afternoon I had no power whatsoever in my legs and arms and by Wednesday am. it was extending to my fingers & toes and also my lungs, my breathing was very compromised. John took me to my GP, she was flummoxed as to what it could be so sent me off to Emergency and told me to pack a bag.

After hours in the ER, they diagnosed me as having very low potassium levels, I needed significant transfusions of potassium and it had to be done under strict ICU supervision as it can cause cardiac arrhythmias. So there I stayed for the next 4 days, I had a central line inserted, not fun at all.  By Sunday I was able to go to the ward and today I have been discharged.

The Endocrinologist has discovered a small tumour on my adrenal gland which is causing the problem, it also plays havoc with my blood pressure, causing erratic readings. I am going to have it removed in 7 weeks, a very simple day surgery procedure.  It's so good to be home, John has taken the rest of the week off to stay with me, then Easter will be here so I should be okay after then.  Sorry I have been absent, will be around a bit more now.  Much love to you all...(((((((hugs)))))))

In the midst of sadness in losing dear Christa I have some happier news to share...

Our triplets arrived last Friday the 26th March at 1.23pm, 1.24pm & 1.26pm. Harrison, Grace & Sienna were born at 33w4d (phenomenal effort Briohny), and are all around 4.5lbs & breathing room air unassisted. One of the girls has a few apnoea & respiratory probs but maturity will sort that out. For those who pray, could you say one for her please.

Can't wait for photos, will post when I have them.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Death Of A Dear Friend...Christa Bowen

I heard this morning that my very dear friend, Christa, died in a motor accident on Monday.

I first met Christa Bowen on the MISS Foundation Forum Boards in 2004 and she quickly became a firm friend, as she did to many people. She was beautiful, so clever, brilliant at her work (an Embryologist) and had time and a quiet word for everyone. But what brought her the most joy and pride in life was being with her family...husband Andy and their six year old twin sons Tyler and Austin. In 2003 she lost twin daughters, Caitlynn and Alexandra, at 22 weeks gestation. She and Andy tried so hard to have their little family...the irony of her being an Embryologist and her needing IVF to have children wasn't lost on her either.

Monday evening was just an ordinary evening, nothing remarkable about it. I'm sure she was just running to the shops to pick up a few extras they needed, it was about 7pm. As she pulled out of the carpark she was hit by a vehicle driven by an 81 year old man, he (allegedly) ran a red light. The force of the collision propelled her car into three other cars. I ache to think of her in pain or being hope is that she was unaware of any of this.

"Blondie"...I am going to miss you so much, all at The MISS Foundation will miss your kind words and replies to their posts. I'll miss your quick wit, your feigned "blond dumbness" and your (wicked) sense of humour.

Farewell Honeybunch...our world is a much emptier place without you in it.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

I Have A Calling...and other bits & pieces...

Well, rather I have been called...

My number came up for Jury Duty this week. When the very official letter arrived a while ago my first thought was "bloody revenue raising speed cameras" but on closer inspection it wasn't a speeding fine, thankfully. I have never been called before and have no reason to get out of it so I filled my details in and returned the letter. I have made it through Round 1 and have to make myself available from 9-11am for two weeks at the end of March. It will be at the Supreme Court, Brisbane. I'm kind of looking forward to it, hoping that if I have to be there I at least get a chance to be part of a jury. Any suggestions or sage words of advice from anyone who has actually been selected..??

Last time I posted we were heading off for two relaxing weeks at the beach. We had a fantastic time, very laid back...mostly we just enjoyed being together and away from routine and regularity. We swam, fished, did a few day trips, snoozed, read, barbecued, lazed by the pool, ate & drank...everything one should do while on holiday. It seems a long time ago now we have settled back into the new school year.

Haven't been online or had our landline phone service connected for over two weeks now...the hard drive bit the dust, as did our wireless router and network key. Quickly followed by the cordless phone, useless anyway as the VOIP was cactus, but it didn't have to go out in sympathy. We have all the new bits and now have a working phone but are still having great difficulty with the PC. John has spent hours online and on the phone to our ISP (who have provided excellent service thankfully) and he whenever he thinks he may have nailed it, it just doesn't happen. It has been so frustrating, I hadn't quite realised how computer dependent I had become. Oh, my (brand new) mobile died as well and we are waiting to hear who is going to take responsibility for repair, will it be Gray's Online, where it was purchased, or Motorola, who manufactured it..??

We have some exciting news...

John's oldest son Brad and his DIL Briohny are going to be parents again...!!! To triplets...!!! I am looking forward so much to having babies in the family again. Briohny is 27 weeks now and doing incredibly well, showing no signs of any of the potential complications of higher multiple pregnancy. Her feet get quite puffy and swollen at the end of the day but settle overnight or if she puts them up for some time. Her doctors are hoping she will make it to 32 weeks. If she gets that far, they will let her continue to 34 weeks but not beyond. So, somewhere between 24th March and Easter these little ones will make an appearance. Briohny & Brad are quite realistic about the possibility of complications and understand that, even despite the very best of care, they may not bring three babies home.

Oh, we know there are two daughters and a son in there...they have two sons already, Blake & Dylan are 11 and 10 and very much wanted a sister. They are lovely boys and will be terrific big brothers.

Will keep you posted...

Not a lot else going on here, Matilda & Myles have settled back into school and are enjoying the challenges of a higher year level. Footy & Cheerleading are back in full swing too...I think we get to eat dinner together three nights in a week now. Part of me loves that they are busy and committed to a team sport, the other part finds it disruptive to family time and frustrating to have to plan meals that taste good reheated. Any recipe suggestions for easy meals...??

Better fly, have to get organised for the day...I have Matilda home sick today, not moving far from the sofa. She had a gastric type bug late yesterday and last night and seems okay today but doesn't want to be too far from a school that could be disastrous.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Heading Beachward...

Seems like I have only just signed back into the Blogosphere and I am now signing out for a couple of weeks.

Tomorrow we are heading down the coast to a sleepy little town, Cabarita Beach...located just south of the N.S.W. - Queensland border. The beaches are magnificent, wild at times but patrolled over Summer and we are a short drive from the Lamington National Park to the west and Byron Bay to the south. We spent a week there in September and enjoyed it so much that we signed up for two weeks this time. The apartment we stayed in has everything you need, only need to take clothing, toiletries and food. Last time there were a number of young teenage boys around...we didn't see Myles for the whole time we were in the apartment...he was in heaven.

Two weeks...two whole weeks of no real plans other than reading, sleeping and eating (we found the best fish & chip shop ever last time). John has 4 weeks off starting as of lunchtime tomorrow and we are all looking forward to spending time together away from the distractions of home. I purchased some books online with a gift card I received for Christmas and they arrived this morning...Julie & Julia by Julie Powell and Forbidden Fruit by Kerry Greenwood, just what I need for holiday devouring.

Will see how I go as far as internet access goes, I would prefer to leave the laptop at home and just check email every few days using the facilities there, we'll see.

Catch you in two weeks...hopefully rested & relaxed.

Monday, January 4, 2010

He's done it again...

Around 18 months ago I posted about a surprise delivery I received when home one afternoon.

Guess what, he's done it again...

This morning, (I hadn't long been up) we heard the parcel delivery man in the driveway. We are expecting a few deliveries, (new mobile phones, books I had ordered) so I expected it would be one of these.

But no, the delivery man is making his way to the door, utterly swamped by a rather large box, considerably larger than I had expected for what we had ordered. Upon investigation it appeared that the contents matched the photographs on the box and it contained this...
...a new espresso machine...I had no idea it was coming, not a clue...

Our last machine bit the dust a while back and we have been managing without one since then. It will be lovely to have a fully automated machine again with glorious, thick, black liquid at the press of a button.

I do love surprises...!!!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy 2010...

After a hiatus of sorts, I'm back.

There have been a number of reasons I took a break, which I won't go into here, some I can't even really put my finger on.

I have missed my corner of the Blog-O-Sphere and the friends I have made...I have been reading, sometimes commenting, so I am up with all of your news. Thanks to all of you who missed me and emailed to check I was okay. Your care and concern warms my heart.

Hope you all had as gentle and relaxed a Christmas as we did and that 2010 brings a little joy your way.