Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Today ...

I am nursing a bad tooth or an angry sinus.  I don't know which.  The two seem to be amazingly connected in the worst possible way today.

These are my symptoms:
1) A really really sore tooth but it isn't 'cavity sore'.  It was root canalled 17 years ago and now it feels like all the internal scaffolding is jabbing into my jaw, sending pain straight into my left sinus, left eye and above, across to my ear and then back down again into my lower jaw, directly under the offending tooth.

2) A horribly painful sinus which may be caused by the tooth or my sinus may be the culprit!

3) Inflamed gums around the pain

4) Super-duper cranky pants at every body.

I awoke a few days ago, in the early hours with a dry mouth and aching teeth.  It was arctically cold and my blocked nose caused me to mouth-breath all night.  Can you get a 'chill' in your mouth like you can in your back if left sitting in a draught?  I am momentarily relieved by hot drinks much like a heat pack would for a twinged muscle.

Everyday I think that it is going to get better so I don't call in the professionals.  But today I couldn't bear it any longer.

I rang the dentist - no appointments, and he will be going away for 3 weeks.  The dental nurse patiently listened to my list of symptoms (well, she did ask!) and suggested it could be my sinus and to go to the GP

I rang the doctor - booked out, perhaps tomorrow? (car is in service tomorrow)

I rang the chiropractor - tomorrow at 2.30, which made me laugh because that is exactly what I am feeling 'tooth-hurty'!  I figure the chiro can crack and adjust something in my neck, ears, face (!) to relieve the sinus pressure.  And by 2, the car should be ready or Rick may be home.

I can't do/think of much else right now.  My little business venture has come to a grinding halt.  As it turns out I am not very good at being a nurse and housewife while starting up a business.  That's ok, slow and steady etc.

But I had a little time to myself and used knitting to divert my attentions elsewhere.

In my newly converted ways, I have knitted up two more dishcloths.  But these are not for me.  I am actually going to give them to an expectant mother for baby wash cloths.  They are quite small due to the small yarn and needle I used, and better as wash cloths than for dishes.  Here is the flower pattern and here is the rain drop pattern.  You need to register to their website- its free

And I knitted up this little newborn sized beanie.  It will be cold when the little fella is due to make his entrance, so a woolly cap may be handy.

A few notes on the pattern.  There are errors in the pattern which I found out after I knitted it up originally (no photo).  This is the first time I have made it since I found the errata on Amanda's website.  I think there are errors in her corrections too.  I can't tell you what they are as in the end I just went with my instincts. Now, that is dangerous considering the amount of blinding pain I am in!

Then I couldn't decide on a pom-pom or not.  I wouldn't normally go with a pom-pom but my free-styling toward the end may have caused the slight pointy-cone look to the top of the cap.  I guess I can attach it and tell my friend to cut it off if she doesn't like it.

Knitting is so therapeutic.  I often rustle up beanies when the distraction is needed. These I did a few weeks ago for a friend's pigeon pair.

What do you do to distract from pain or stress (other than painkillers!)?


Monday, June 25, 2012

A dishcloth convert

Well, I figured you were all making dishcloths, so I would give it a go too.  Initially, I thought it would be an exercise in practising pattern stitching.  I didn't think I would actually use it.  

But I am using it. 
I love it.
It wipes better than any sponge or chux wipe I have ever used.  (I am using it for wiping down surfaces, not actually for my dishes as I prefer the little hand mop or brush thing)
I will pop it in the wash when it needs it.
I am knitting up more.

The pattern for this one is here
I am also knitting up this one
I used Alpine Spritz 60% cotton 40% acrylic as that was the only cotton I had in my stash- hope it still works as well as pure cotton.  I also adapted the pattern by adding some more stitches and rows.
And you can find some more patterns here. 

What's your favourite pattern?  I'd be really stoked if you could leave me a link in the comments.

And yes, I was so proud of my new dishcloth, I took a stack of photos of it.  Sad.


Thursday, June 21, 2012

From Anticipation to Nonchalance

I was so excited over this.  It was to be my first self-designed slightly complicated quilt.

I selected the fabrics from a FQ bundle and stashed scraps.

I looked for inspiration in Elizabeth's book.

And I even drew a plan, with dimensions and coloured shading in a dedicated notebook.

But upon sorting my embarrassingly small stash today, I stumbled across my little neat bundle of fabrics and notebook, looked at it momentarily and grunted a "hummph!" and tossed it aside. I was not thrilled by it anymore.

I didn't give it another thought and then put the fabrics in a new order, reassigning their position in the stash, tidied up the cupboard and closed the door.  But then I felt a little sad because only 3 months ago, I was really excited about it.  I remember designing it in my head as I was falling asleep and glad to have remembered it in the morning so that I could jot it all down, make measurements and select the fabric.  I enjoyed photographing it and putting it into its position on my mental priority list.  I even had the photos stored in a little file to add to as the quilt was to progress so that I could show you here.

Why didn't I start it?  I really don't know but I am glad I didn't because I don't think it was going to work.  Perhaps I knew that somewhere in the back recesses of my mind.  Or just lost my verve for it.  On the bright side this frees up some fabric for more ideas, now that I am a little wiser (oh yeah, such a great sage of quilting now that I have completed four quilts hahahaha).

How organised are you in the planning of your crafty ventures?  Or are you a craft by the seat of your stash kinda gal?  Do you make plans or even start projects then simply lose interest?  What do you do then?

I suspect that there are quite a few of you who may have WIP buckets full of projects that may never see the light of day again.  Some of you may be able to push through for the sake of completion.  I'm not sure where I sit in the crafty scheme of things but know that it doesn't matter.  Sewing, quilt making, knitting, crocheting, baking, drawing and singing are all things I like to do.  I like to work at doing well at them but I won't let it dictate to me either.  So what if it isn't done, or I used the wrong sized needles?  Move on I say (to myself and then sometimes I tell myself to shut up on get off the soap box)

I think my biggest craft mojo killer is actually Pinterest.  I know! Shock horror! There is so much inspiration and eye candy there.  And I am indulging in it to the point of not doing any myself.  So I think from this moment I will self impose a ban (yeah good luck with that Fi!)


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Thrifted dilemma

Remember the phone table?

We had a similar one growing up except, if memory serves, it had metal legs and a dark olive green lino upholstered cushion.  Ahh, the good ol phone table.  

Ours was positioned right outside the bathroom so lengthy phone calls were at the peril of regular toilet visits by other members of the household (Dad was the worst offender! Pee yeew!).  And the olden days meant no cordless phone to wonder off to have secret pubescent girl conversations ("Oh no way! Donnie is the best, Joey is such a little boy" NKOTB fans would know what I am talking about, but you probably liked Jordan!).  Back before texting, facebook and email!  Two of my friends had fax machines because of their parents' businesses and would fax eachother- I felt so out of the loop . . . but I digress.

I have been feeling very poorly of late, battling yet another day care germ special.  Pah.  But using my onion trick, and night time cough remedy we seem to be getting through it without chest infections and antibiotics.

So feeling like I did this morning, I didn't really feel like checking out Vinnies or Salvos like I usually do after Wednesday kindy drop off. . .  but I did.  And this is what I found.  I thought it would be good for the boys for when I am trying to shod them before they head out the door.  Good height as Dean can't move once perched on it.  And I am sure the draw will become a treasure trove of crap boy's treasure dirt.

Do you think I should paint it?  To match their activity table?  (Which happens to also be the colours of the floor rug)

Or should I leave it as it is in its retro gloriousness?


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Monstera Deliciosa

Have you ever eaten one of these?

Growing up we had this plant in the jungle that was our backyard.  I never noticed any fruit on it though.  But when I was dating Rick, he saw a monstera (monsterio) and asked if I had ever tried the fruit. Ahh nuh! Que?

We have a large one growing in our backyard here.

Rick came home from work today early and upon seeing this his eyes lit up!  "Ooo yeah, it is ready!" followed by muffled "yums" as he scoffed it down with precision as to avoid getting 'spiked'.  Good grief, why eat something that can sting you?  He was going a little crazy over it so I wondered if it had some kind of drug in it.  That is not why I tasted it though!  Rick was kind of insistent.  But I am glad I did.  Wow!

I decided to do a little research on it.  And it is apparently poisonous.  I wonder if Rick knows.  I can't ask him as he is currently having a siesta (he's half spanish and therefore claims that the urge to siesta is in his DNA!) . . . I better check to see if he is breathing . . . he's ok.

Anyway this is what I found out.  It originates in the rainforests of southern Mexico to southern Columbia which is why it grows so well in tropic conditions.  The unripe fruit contains potassium oxalate which can cause throat irritation and rash.  You can't eat it until the green hexagonal scales start coming away and the pungent tropical fruit aroma is strong.  And the flesh is kinda like a drier and smaller version of pineapple.

It takes like pineapple and banana and mango and pear which is probably why it is also known as the fruit salad plant.  Some even know it as the Swiss Cheese plant for goodness knows why, there is nothing cheesey about it.

Apparently, to ripen it, you can cut it off the vine and then wrap it in paper.  This one was primarily vine ripened and we just plonked it in a large jar to as it seems to be ripening from the bottom up.

I'm glad I tried it.  I have a massive fruit phobia so this was a biggy for me.

Have you ever eaten monstera deliciosa? 
What is the strangest fruit you've tasted?


Monday, June 18, 2012

Stuff and Cold lurgy remedies

What a weekend!

Boys were sick - no surprise there as they returned to kindy last week.  Sheesh.

We couldn't go to church on Saturday as they were just too snotty and that isn't the kind of love that I want them to share with our friends.

But Sunday was a glorious almost spring-like day.  We couldn't do what we originally planned due to the lurgies but we did spring clean the house and yard.  Do I sound excited by this?  Well I was excited!  I actually did the weeding that I previously said I probably wouldn't.  We threw out some rubbish for the kerbside collection which is just about gone already due to neighbourhood scroungers.  We wiped down windows, hung out washing and gave the house a good airing.  This lifted my spirits.

I made my men Tania's crumpets.  This recipe makes about a gazillion so I am still chomping on them this morning.  I am going to work on a gluten free/wheat free version so that Liam can eat them too.

My boys are currently hoeing into their usual breakfast: porridge oats, lecithin, chia, raspberries and coconut oil.

I have been doing some research and found a great site Earth Clinic.  Here people share their successful testimonies in using alternative medicines for a number of ailments.  I looked up seizures and found some really useful tips.

So I am including in Liam's diet:

Lecithin - this little granule helps keep your myelin sheath dandy.  Great for the brain
Chia - omega 3 plus! Great for brain.  My kids love them and affectionately call them 'sprinkles'
Raspberries - antioxidant and red
coconut oil - is awesome for your brain and body in general.  See this awesome site for what cold press extra virgin coconut oil can do for your health.

I'm also looking into how to include bicarb soda, potassium, magnesium and B vitamins.  Eliminating wheat has been a good thing and now to rid him of sugar.  I'm taking baby steps as this could potentially overwhelm me.  And I am slowly reforming my diet too.  I won't take Liam off his medicine - Epilim - but I have discussed scaling back his dosage with the paediatrician.  I'm praying this works as I believe in working through nature's medicine cabinet too.

As for my lurgy management, my husband's niece has two little girls and gave me her night time cough remedy last winter.  Boyoboy, it does work and I would recommend it to anyone wanting to get their little ones sleeping through the night instead of coughing.

This is an external application so don't panic at the use of metho!

Dean's eyes are so bright this morning after getting a good night's rest

Night time cough remedy

1 part methylated spirits
2 parts apple cider vinegar
3 parts warm water
2 hankies

I use a soup spoon for measurement and pour all ingredients into a shallow bowl.  Fold one hankie in half diagonally and then keep folding to create a neck tie.  Dip this into the mixture and fully saturate then wring out and tie around your child's throat.  Grab the second hankie and fold into a neck tie.  Place this dry hankie over the wet one around the neck.  Kiss your baby good night and see a sunshiney, fully slept child in the morning.  

I also cut a fresh onion into quarters and place in a dish in their room on a daily basis.  Onions absorb lurgies, so throw out after they go dry, do not use to eat.

The boys have finished their breakky.  I'll plonk them in front of channel 22  while I grab a cuppa and crumpet before we start our morning craft and lesson time.  I'm in the mood for music!

Have a happy monday


Friday, June 15, 2012

After the craziness I went a thrifting . . .

But first, here is an example of my boys out in public

This was at Maccas in Hervey Bay last week.  They can be such angels (such as the photos I usually share - here are the out takes!) but they can turn into little monsters.  Oh mums and dads, I know you know what I am talking about.

Here they are fighting over the chips.  Liam finished his but Dean likes to savour his food so he still had a few to go.  Well . . . Liam lives by the rule that food is fair game and went for Dean's.  And Dean does not like to be forced into sharing.  There was waling and crying and telling off from both boys and parents.  Fortunately, Rick was with me that day and the two of us are a force to be reckoned with!

However yesterday, the boys saw their opportunity to attack while I was out and about sole parenting.  And the worst place ever, the doctor's surgery.  They were loud, naughty, arguing, destructive while I am asking questions to the doctor about whether or not I should keep Liam on his current dose of seizure prevention medication and are the lumps in his sinuses and neck somehow connected to his seizures?  Can I have a referral to an ENT?  Should I take him to the chiro? Should I get him allergy tested?  Talking about Liam's medical needs is hard enough without the challenge of the little octopuses (octopie?!).  Good grief.  I was glad to get out of there but I walked out with the wrong prescription which I found out later at the pharmacy. And at least a dozen unanswered questions.  And the ones he did answer I couldn't hear! Pah!

When I went to the counter to sign my medicare slip, the receptionist said, "don't worry, we are all mothers, we understand".  So, they could all hear.  I could feel the heat rise up my face in embarrassment.  They probably heard my "Quiet boys!" that I yelped in desperation in the doctor's office.

I rang Rick in tears.  Yes, my boys reduced me to tears which I shed like a busted dam in the car while driving home.  What a morning.

My gorgeous hubby decided that he would be more useful at home.  Even though I told him not to as I was feeling much better, he did come home.  And it didn't take me long to seize the opportunity to run the rest of my errands without the squabbling duo!

So what do most stressed out mother's do when given the chance?  A little retail therapy.  I was a good girl, I went to op shops.

Here's my bounty

1. Some golden books and other children's stories and one for me.
2. How beautiful are these plates?  They are called "Midwinter".  And boy was I feeling midwinter.
3. And finally, another gawdy vintage sheet.  I'm getting quite a collection.  I better get busy as I come closer to the big reveal!

Tell me dear ones, how do you discipline your children in public?  


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Home again home again jiggity jig

I think Hervey Bay Queensland will always hold a piece of my heart.  It isn't so much the landscape, as I am partial to green rolling hills rather than the often-arid flat lands, and it isn't for the quality of lifestyle as the unemployment is still sky-high.  It holds my heart because some of the best people on earth live there.  

My husband's family.  They have taken me in as one of their own and I am learning by example how a functional family works.  How despite inevitable differences, love and respect abounds.  If you knew the family I grew up with, you would understand why I am drawn to the dynamics of a functioning family rather than the dysfunctional one I came from.  

We also made some great friends during our 11 weeks living there last year.  And visiting them last week we found that life was picked up just where we left it.  The only obvious change was in our kids.  You can't stop them from growing!  I missed seeing three of my friends but I will see you next time!

We enjoyed lots of laughs and food.  I'm definitely fatter.  Doesn't worry me though as I am not going to let it.  

After a marathon drive home leaving Hervey Bay at 6pm Monday and driving through the night, we arrived home at 6.30am Tuesday morning.  We jet-lagged ourselves though.  The boys were fine, having slept most of the way and therefore were not very good at letting us sleep yesterday.  But this morning, we are all sunshiny peachy, even if outside isn't.

Today I am hot washing my op-shop finds and blasting them in the dryer.  I figure that way I can heat the house without using the heater. 

I have a list of jobs to do that go for about two pages.  What else could I do?  I was in the passenger seat, staying awake to keep an eye on my driving hubby while the boys slept in the back.  Rick plugged his ears into his ipod as not to wake the kids and I sat in the silence apart from the sound of the tyres rolling madly over the wet road.  I used a little torch and flicked it on every few minutes as the to-do's came to mind.  

Here's an example of what flew into my head at 1.30 am:
  • Make appointments with GP, chiropractor, biochemist, plastic surgeon and naturopath
  • research benefits of bicarb in seizure management
  • order essential oils
  • wash, iron and cut fabric
  • photograph stock for shop
  • order stock tags and cards
  • back up laptops
  • update MYOB
  • check bedrooms for mould
  • plant a winter crop
  • buy a shower caddy
  • book boys into gymnastics
  • move Dean into Liam's room to share
There was  much more listed in the same random order, things that I don't think I will rush to do like weed the garden, plant a christmas bush and buy an Ab Circle Pro off ebay.  And not one thing listed about the blog.  Hmm . . . I guess I don't need reminding!

Well, I'm off now to catch up on you.  797 in my Google Reader (oh dear).  And to finish Liam's vest.


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