Monday, February 26, 2007

Coins, keys, consciousness...and a summer song

Sorry that I could not maintain my alliteration.

Coins and Keys:
Yesterday I went to the aeroport to pick up my parents who had been to Sydney for a week. I went upstairs to wait for the plane which meant that I had to go through the security point. I removed my bangles and my shoes and put my bag on the x-ray belt then went through the metal detector. GOOD. When I got to the other side my bag was being held. I was told that I had a lot of keys and coins in my bag. I had to remove my keys..."That is a lot of keys!" I was told. I had to show my open my purse and show my coins..."That is a lot of coins!"

I consider myself an intelligent person, but I have no propensity to be an evil genius. Try as I may I cannot understand how keys and coins might pose a danger or why they were remarkable enough to make my bag worthy of inspection. How very paranoid we have become!

On Friday I took my son to have a blood test. Nothing of concern. He last had one done when he was seven and threw a bit of a panic tantrum about it. I reassured him that he would not do that at the age of 12, he would just sit still. He was very nervous about the blood test, but he did stay very still and allow the nurse to do her job.

He didn't watch the test being done...he looked away.

He offered this commentary, "That kind of hurt, but I can hardly feel it now.

I am kind of aware of it.

It is a little uncomfortable.

I am passing out now."

I looked up to see all the colour drain from his face, sweat break out on his brow, then he slumped into the chair. He has a complexion like mine, so pale that he is almost iridescent

but he got a whole lot paler than this! Poor darling had to lay down for half an hour before he could stand up and walk from the room. He was very quiet for the rest of the day and it took the longest time for his fingers to warm, they were like icicles.
As we were leaving the nurse informed us that she hadn't managed to get enough blood and we would have to come back again on Monday!!! Today he laid down right from the start and stayed conscious for the entire time. I took him to school but they rang me to say they were concerned because he was pale. He looks OK now and will certainly be going to school tomorrow!
A Summer Song:
I have become such a nerd that I have taken to going to youtube to find film clips for songs that I like. (I only just discovered that you can do this) I might just include a link to a song that I like from time to time. This one is Ben Kweller Sundress. Just beautiful. Hope you enjoy it.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Still no header

It seems that I have the best and brightest working with me here to add a header. Brenda, Blue Moon Girl and Stomper Girl have each offered me the benefits of their wisdom, but blogger is still winning! I think that BMG was on the right track by working in that top area of HTML, but .... Maybe I should just begin each post with an image of my header and you can all pretend that it is at the top of the page. It must be possible, so I will perservere. (That means bug people who know more stuff than I do.) I might invite my suitably nerdy brother-in-law over on the weekend to see if he can resolve it for me.

This week I shared an afternoon tea and a quilting show and tell with Kirsty. I always feel inspired when I see the work of another quilter and Kirsty's work is just lovely. It reminds me why I love creating. It is amazing that no matter how often people create they can always come up with something new and beautiful. There are so many combinations of colours and elements, shapes and lines, form and function that we never seem to repeat ourselves. There is no finite point when all the art that is possible has been created. When I finish one piece I am already considering how I would do it differently and hatching ideas for my next piece. I love the richness that it brings to my life.

On another note today I saw this word written ideation. Apparently at school we are supposed to ideate our units of work. It means write down our ideas. Is that real? Or are they just making it up to make us feel dumber than we already feel when jargon is bandied about?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Why Blogger Is...

frustrating and amazing.

Part one: Frustrating

Look above here. Do you see a header? NO! I spent an hour last night following Brenda's tutorial for adding a banner. I found the URL, I removed the HTML and replaced it with the URL, but when I previewed instead of seeing my beautiful image, I saw a box with the URL typed into it.

Now, I specifically bred my children to be smarter than I am so that I could become one of those adults who can't do 'stuff'. Then they could do 'stuff' for me. In this endeavour, however, they both proved to be useless! What good are complex maths equations and scientific knowledge when you can't help your mum to improve her blog!?

Please if any of you are cleverer than I am, offer me your wisdom.

Part two: Amazing - you may need a tissue now

I wrote recently about my sister's friend who lost her three year old daughter, Ava. My sister's friend Sheye is a blogger. Her blog and photography touched many people and linked her with like-minded people around the world.

As a tribute to Ava my sister released pink balloons in a local park with a group of friends and family.

On the same day pink balloons were released all over the world by people who had never met Ava, but were deeply touched by her story. You can see photos of this amazing event here. What a beautiful network blogging creates.

Monday, February 19, 2007

This will be my new header.

My tantrum has subsided now. Upgrading blogger may be a great thing eventually, but because I didn't choose it I reserve the right to be petty and sulky about changing for some time yet.

My sister has finished making this fantastic header for me. I am a little plump fairy with blanket stitched newspaper wings. I just love it. I am now going to attempt to use my magic wand to place my header at the top of my blog. Wish me luck!

Sunday, February 18, 2007


Welcome to my new **** blog. (Please insert any curse word that you deem appropriate or inappropriate.)

I have been trying to post for days, but every time I log in blogger insists that I upgrade. WELL...I don't want to!!! I have stamped, pouted, ranted, whinged, sworn and ignored, but blogger has won. I have upgraded. Let it be known, however, that this was done under duress!

If you are still using old blogger, watch out! Maybe your days are numbered too.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Thanks for your support in my issue with my son's teacher. I rang the school today and spoke to her. She says that it was only a 5 minute detention. I said that did not make the humiliation any less...then I got teary...and said that he was quite anxious beginning high school. He was a very well bahaved boy and he needed a supportive environment and not a punitive one. She was very understanding. She said she will look out for him in class and make sure that he felt secure in her class.

I really didn't mean to get teary. I meant to be steady and determined, but when it comes to my kids...I can't hold it together sometimes. It means that she will at least know who my son is, that she has connected him to some one who cares, that she knows that he is anxious. I guess every child in her class may feel the same...but I have drawn attention to mine.

On the weekend Flo and I dyed some more fabrics. Check out this rainbow of results...

I just love the whole hand dying process. I could do it happily every day! We were trying to achieve lots of brights this time. We are hoping to make some baby quilts to sell at a market in July. We want to get started now, so that we will have plenty of stock by then.

AND>>> today I placed an order for a gammill optimum plus quilting machine!!! I am very excited about this. Those of you who are quilters will appreciate my thrill. The only downside is that it takes 8-10 weeks to ship from the US. I'm not good at waiting...I want

Friday, February 09, 2007

I can see clearly now

Look at that magnificent sight. Blue sky and sunshine, for the first time in weeks. It warms me to my core and permeates my being. It makes me happy and positive.

It also means that I can catch up on the big pile of washing that I didn't do while it was raining!

Our cyclone watch came and went, as these things are wont to do. We were glad for the rain and glad when it stopped.

A new motor is being shipped from the US for my sewing machine. I have also resolved that I will buy another, bigger sewing machine. I'm excited about it.

My mum has had her first laser surgery and the procedure was more minor than she initially thought, her second will be done in three weeks. Three weeks after that she should be able to travel.

Our family appears to be restored to health and my car air conditioner should be repaired on Tuesday.

I still have no explanation for the death of a beautiful little girl, but each day the family will grow stronger. Thanks for your kind words for the family. Tomorrow my sister will release pink helium balloons in the local park in a small ceremony.

On another note...
My son started high school last week. He is a beautiful boy. He is quiet in a crowd, he will walk away from people who are being silly and he has never had a bad behaviour report in his whole school life. I have never seen him be nasty or vindictive. Today a teacher gave him a detention. WHY? Because during a keyboard skills lesson he went back and made a correction to his typing.

He has very good keyboarding skills. A lot of the children in his class do not. He said the teacher was going slowly and he had finished, so he went back and corrected a mistake that he could see. He was told to report to her at lunch time to explain his actions. Is that reasonable? What will happen if some one does something really serious? It sounds like something from a Charles Dickens novel.

I think that some teachers are very tough on kids in the first weeks just to make a statement. This appears especially true for boys in the early years of high school. I hate that philosophy. It is asking them to respect through fear. Needless to say My Pete and I are going to the school on Monday to make ourselves known. I don't know that it will make any difference but I will feel better for it.

Our son is a very clever boy, but he doesn't always 'fit' school. That is OK, I know that he will do well in life because he is genuine and personable and passionate. I don't believe that school defines you as a person. I know that the person I was at school does not represent me now, so I know that our son has lots of time to grow. I don't expect him to be perfect, but I do expect teachers to be reasonable in their dealings with him!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

How quickly it all turns

to crap.

Yesterday I had to pick my son up from school sick.
Yesterday the air conditioning in my car stopped working.
Yesterday my sewing machine stopped working and will likely need a new motor.
Yesterday a cyclone watch was declared.
Yesterday my mother was told that she needs surgery to relieve the pressure in her eyes. She has had to cancel her caravanning trip which has been months in planning.

Yesterday the three year old daughter of my sister's friend died as a result of an accident. An accident for which no one is to blame, but which will cause everyone to blame themselves. It is too horrible to comprehend.

Today I have a deep need to clean - reorganise, discard, scrub, dust and vacuum - to try to regain some control and find some order in a world that is spiralling.

Resilience - detail 1

Resilience - detail 2

Monday, February 05, 2007

Water, for lots of reasons

Thanks for your comments, I am feeling much better now. I'm still a bit croaky, but that's all.

Our area of the world has made the national news due to the amount of rain that we have had. Over the past week we must have had 600mm (24 inches). It has rained for days without stopping. I know that a lot of places are desperate for rain and we shouldn't be ungrateful, but...that's enough now.

I recently showed you pictures of the walking path that we use around the river. Yesterday I went to take some photos from the same area:

Our peaceful blue river with just a trickle over the spillway has become an angry brown torrent of water. It was so loud as the water crashed across the weir that we could hear it as soon as we got out of the car.

Areas that are actually the treed banks now look like this:

And the pathway just disappears:

That guy is actually fishing from the walking path. Water generally drains away very quickly in Townsville, so at no point did we flood, but this area of the river is below the weir and usually has little more than a puddle in it. I think that the fishing guys are a little ambitious. Surely a fish would have a safe place to hide when the water like this. Barramundi season opened this month and people have been known to catch them in this area. Maybe they took something delicious home for tea.

Continuing with a water theme...yesterday my nephew was baptised. Today is his first birthday. My sister adopted this little fellow from Taiwan last year. He is just lovely. He fits into our family so well. He was very quick to bond with my sister and his older sister adores him. He wasn't terribly impressed with the ceremony, as you can probably see. It was all over quickly and he gave the minister foul looks for the rest of the morning.

He did enjoy his birthday cake though.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Miserable, the day of pyjama

Today I have worn my pyjamas all day. Well two pairs, actually. I had a shower and found more pyjamas. I have a lousy virus...a scratchy throat and a croaky voice. I knew I was going to lay down all day, so why get dressed! My sister called in and I told her it was a pyjama party.

My very clever sister is making me a fantastic header for my blogger. It is only a draft, and it is missing some essential components (my head), but it's so exciting that I am giving you a preview.

Isn't that cool!! She is very clever with photoshop. She uses brushes and cut outs that she downloads from digital scrapbooking sites. She calls this look pink princess grunge. That sounds just like me. Hopefully I will be able to work out how to add it to my site and you will see it in a few days.

She also made me the picture that I am using for the cover of my Block of the Month pattern. Today I finished typing it up. I am really proud of it. It has fabulous styling, lots of diagrams to go with all of the instructions and a cutting and packaging guide for the stores. It is called Sails by the Sea and is suitably masculine - not many quilts out there for our boys.

Now I'm going back to bed. It is still raining and I'm dressed to spend my time reading...perfect.