29 February 2012

surgery success, husband home, weekend away & bull ants

Greetings all,
What a whirlwind fortnight.
  Thank you for the beautiful comments & kind messages wishing me the best for my bilateral endoscopic carpal tunnel decompression surgery. 
 Well guess what, handsome soldier came home for his Rest Out Of Country Leave.  Remember last mid-war-leave . . . we met in Italy, travelled to Germany, Croatia & Greece, ahhh . . . this time he came home & i went to hospital.  Hmmm . . . rest, recreation & romance??  Oh to finally kiss those lips after 5 months was deliriously butterflies-in-the-tummy good for my soul.  Scoring a surgery date during the 10 days he was home was pure luck.  Ladies, when I say my husband is awesome, I'm talking . . . while I was convalescing, I left him without a single note, instruction or list to keep 4 children in school, sports & sane.  All homework was completed, cooking class containers remembered, happy children in the correct uniforms at the right schools on time (dress & bearings is his speciality).  He even had 7.30a.m. high school fitness classes & a brunch with the ladies to deal with – yes, he could totally replace me as a housewife. 
  A great way to recoup post-surgery is to escape for a weekend away.  My husband’s best mate perfectly timed his wife to deliver twins during war leave too, so we headed to Wagga Wagga to meet our new baby girls.  I organise with lists in my head, so being put in the passenger seat & trusting handsome soldier to pack everything for a family road trip . . . I just went with it & typical, he didn’t forget a thing.  Note: this included towels, bedding, wound dressings & rubber gloves so I could shower.  I actually drove the last 200km home, to prove I would be capable on my own, so handsome soldier could return to war.  I found 5th gear a bit tricky (twist & jerk of my numb left thumb) but now I’m fine, albeit exhausted & he’s back in Afghanistan, damn my independence!!    
  So I’m nursing wrists with light dressings, sleeping with my hands above my head & will see the hand specialist next week for the final Ok.  I don’t feel strong but my husband challenged me to some arm wrestles & assures me I do have strength in my wrists.  I’ll just do light duties around the house, basic cooking, slowly regain a gym & dog walking routine, sliding back to reality & blogging.  Still enjoying being a princess & pointing at chores which need to be done.
My view of Black Mountain from the Equinox Centre (no, not for horses) at dawn.
Naturally there were, um, experiences - like strangers looking at me like i've tried to slash my wrists; falling alseep before the general anaesthetic started; & . . . if you’re going to have both hands operated on, someone has to shower, dry & dress you afterwards - you have to be very comfortable with your body.  I was triumphant in the wiping-my-own-bottom department immediately after surgery, much to everyone’s relief!!  Putting a bra on is still my biggest challenge, twist, lift, hook, with my arms behind my back . . . too complicated, so I am wearing Lorna Jane crop tops, with a bulky scarf to disguise any excess jiggle.  Round door knobs & opening bottles are my nemesis, but in hospital I mastered twisting the top off a bottle of orange juice with my teeth – bottle jammed down my cleavage.  I really wanted the juice Ok & didn't want to annoy the nurses after dropping the television controls 3 times already that evening!! 
I’ve not required any pain relief at all (even though I had to suffer days of Prime Minister leadership spill on television, what a BORING time to be bed bound & awake!!)  Then, because dumb things happen to me too . . . I was bitten on the foot by a bull ant, JESUS that hurt.  I hopped around like a crazy person until the children applied ice to my throbbing, swollen foot, the pain was excruciating & still itchy days later. 
I know the operation has been a huge success already, I’m thrilled & yay, only 3 months until my husband is back in Australia.  Thanks again for the love, here’s to good hand health & HAPPY 29th of February folks, love Posie

21 February 2012

going under the knife, crafty surgery 101

Greetings all,
When it rains, it pours in life, right??  We've accepted an offer on our Darwin apartment, exciting news, but our 2 favourite farms (both on the market for ages) just sold - all in a matter of days - i'm a big believer on patience, time & place, it just wasn't meant to be.  Then this book arrives in the mail (to be reviewed next week with a giveaway) . . . 
 well these are my hands: mother, designer, crafter, patchwork quilter for 13 years & suffering carpal tunnel syndrome for the past 8 years . . . swollen, achey & about to be sliced up & fixed.  Feel so silly i left it so long.  Such a typical craft related injury!!  We need to look after ourselves better people!!
 My hands drop things, are numb & can't grasp, + i've managed to give myself Tennis Elbow.
 So it took all my strength to lift & purchase this stone pear today (a birthday gift with money from my parents).  But when i picked up a sheet set at Sheridan, the weight almost broke my arm.  I frightened the sales assistant as she innocently passed the sheets to me & they went thump on the floor, straight through my hands. 
Other exciting purchases today included cotton knickers for theatre & rubber gloves for showering.  Did you know silk underpants can create an electrostatic charge in a surgical theatre??  I did, but wasn't planning on making the effort of dressing up down there, for a hand surgeon.  Moving right along, who knew i loved biscuits?? 
  Jan-Maree of Cherry Red Quilter blog & amazing leader of the Aussie Hero Quilts must have baked all weekend to overnight express an amazing variety of fresh cookies 'to help out with my children's recess'. What a lovely surprise, how gorgeous!!  Thank you Jan-Maree, you are so thoughtful.  Can you believe she got her girlfriends together & organised to make laundry bags, patchwork quilts & endless treats parcelled up for all of my husband's soldiers in Afghanistan??  Of course you can, she's an unstoppable force of love, care & generocity.  More on Aussie Hero Quilts later!!
 I've sampled some crumbs, they are delicious & Caramello koalas - tonnes of them.  Mmmm, thank you Jan-Maree.
 Finally, a treat for my hair, i've let it grow, so i'll need to pin back my fringe post surgery, what better way to do it, than with a giant diamonte heart??!!  The other clips will be shared with my girls - including my middle daughter who scored Vice House Captain (she's only in year 5) for red house at school.  The Seed red bow clips will be adorable for the up coming Swimming Carnival. 
So folks, i've dropped off my admissions paperwork & now just have to wait for the surgery.  The hospital is amazing, like a fancy office style hotel, the kind of place Hollywood folks would go for 'proceedures', very glamorous.  I'm going to take a little break in blog transmission as my hands are truly numb, clumsy, with shooting pains up my wrists & i'd rather be a princess, rest them on ice . . . than take drugs to power on.  I'm exhausted!!  Have gorgeous weeks everyone, don't ever take your precious hands for granted, love Posie

19 February 2012

welcome 700 followers - check out my 'mad skills'

Greetings all,
How lovely to see my sweet followers tick over the 700 mark, even when my blog has drifted from it's original intent - craft filled design - to more general posts about family & whatever catches my eye, as i sit here waiting for hand surgery.  Thank you & welcome new folks!!  I promise this blog will make a comeback of beautiful craft & pretty design projects with new hands soon (my mind has been plotting amazing ideas!!)
Each '100 followers' i've done a 'get to know me more' post, so here goes - a list of my mad skills - as my teen daughter would say (you never know what or when a teenager will converse . . . today she called me 'such a stereotypical mother' & i thought, i'll show generic my girl!!)
First up, it's my birthday season, yahoo, gimme a big 3 to the 7!!  A single day is not enough, we're all spread out over the year in this family, so we each have a season of hearty birthday celebrations.
My Mad Skills:

I can change the tyre on a truck
I can strip, assemble & operate an M60 Machine Gun
I love public speaking
I can revive a bunny rabbit who has overdosed, with a naloxone injection
I can bake an awesome pavlova
I have the heart rate & blood pressure of an elite athlete (not the body)
I kept a gold fish alive for over a year, without a filtered tank
I can peel & devein up to 8 prawns a minute
I got full marks for art (painting) in my Higher School Certificate
I can swing a hammer, operate a circular saw & lay cement
I can navigate the old fashioned way on land & at sea
I can type 90 wpm with 99% accuracy
I can jump start a car
I can see maths, literally, algorithms in the air & i love calculus

I acquired these skills as a little sister, as a wide eyed daughter with very patient parents, as a keen student with lots of interesting part time jobs, & as a wife left on her own way too often!!  They counteract the fact I am a slow reader, unadventurous cook & it took me 3 goes to get my driver’s license, with the help of 6 immediate family members, but . . . I’ve never crashed or lost a point.  I can assure you, it took a village to raise me.  My life long message . . . children (& bunnies) say no to drugs!!
What are your mad skills??  Love Posie
Special mention to this lovely family
who lost a bunny named Max yesterday, a fat & happy rabbit, enjoying life with his mate Mango.  A young lady named Ella is heartbroken.

18 February 2012

fun & functional furniture finds

Greetings all,
Our local 2nd hand furniture place (at the tip) has changed hands & extended.  It is busier than ever & you can't hesitate on a fabulous bargain.  I found this small drawer/ cupboard set for my studio, i'll fill it with cottons & sewing machine supplies.  It was cheap/ DIY brand new & in great condition, $10 please.  I think it would look pretty painted or papered in colours or patterns, but it's that awful plastic coated particle board stuff, i'll leave it white as the cheap furniture Gods intended.
A glamorous girlfriend of mine told me she picked up a vintage typewriter in there . . . asked how much, the guy said "oh $20" & she squealed "seriously $20" with joy & delight which he interpreted as 'outrageous & pricey' & said "ok, $10 then" & she has been in a giddy haze ever since!!  It even WORKS!!  So jealous, but i know where she lives, mwah haha.
I got lost driving around the light industrial area that is Fyshwick (home of fireworks & porn) driving down every dead end . . . & stumbled across an Antique Centre with this beauty out the front.  I can totally see it filled with fire wood on the farm.
It's in terrible condition & would be expensive to restore, but what a beautiful addition to a home.  We'll keep it outside.  Right now it's in the garage filled with cushion inserts & hobby fill.  I wish i knew this trunk's history!!
There were some amazing country kitchen tables at this Antique place, i'd love to take another look, if i can find my way back there.  Happy opportunity shopping & furniture repurposing this weekend folks.  Anyone else LOVE the show American Pickers??  My husband put me onto it, dangerous!!  The things Mike & Frank find people have in their garden shed . . . or warehouses filled with antiques, is nothing short of incredible.  Dying for them to do a dedicated show on sewing machines & crafty supplies.  Imagine!!??  They could start with my mother's 1890 Industrial Singer with wrought iron pedal & original table.  Love Posie

16 February 2012

our creative space . . . 'generational knitting'

Greetings all,
My hand surgery is coming up & boy do my hands know it, a last hurrah of carpal tunnel agony before they get chopped up & fixed, yay!!  So i haven't be playing along with Our Creative Space lately as the most creative thing i've been doing is pressing buttons on various kitchen appliances & baking!!
Last night i found my 3rd daughter, freshly bathed & pyjama'd, enjoying the balmy evening outdoors.
 This girl comes from a long line of knitters: her twin sister is especially good, her mother not so great (i knit too tight, i crochet too lose) & her grandmother, possibly the Queen of knitting, who was taught by the best - her mother - who was a house maid (totally Downton Abbey style) in Northamptonshire England & her mother-in-law - who was a seamstress & made the finest dresses for high society in Sydney Australia.
 I grew up in a family where the boys matched our father's fashionable outfits & we girls matched our mother's colourful ensembles!!  It could be safari suits & mumus, or matchy matchy knitted jumpers, beautifully made, but surely we looked like a cult or Von Trapp family gone wrong.  The worst part was truly the hair cuts!! 
 Back to this little lamb - her dream is to spin her own wool off our sheepy fleece when we have a farm.  I can totally see her doing it too.  Only she wants to knit straight off the lamb, so she has a foot rest for comfort & a lamb for company!!
 Before i took these images i did spy on her first, she chatters away to herself & moves her mouth to the rhythmn of her knitting.  I do that when i cut fabric!!
 What a delightful evening in her own little world of craft.
I love that my children have been given the gift of handmade craft from my grandmothers down to my children.  Even my brothers can ice cakes & sew, knit & paint - often better than their wives!!  Generational craft, not only do you learn the skills but it's often the most memorable time you spend with family.  Love Posie

15 February 2012

did you know it was the National Year of Reading??

Greetings all,
This post is dedicated to beautiful Felicity from Gifts of Serendipity blog who is not only a teacher & raising 3 wonderful children, but she nurtures her followers to
Vive Le Livre too.
 I was invited by author Tania McCartney to the National Year of Reading launch, at The National Library of Australia.  We arrived early to eyeball the Handwritten Exhibition from Berlin.  WOW.  To view the handwriting of Michelangelo, Galileo, Dante, Einstein, & to read the wit of Napolean first hand + handwritten music of Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms (& dozens more) . . . huge treat.  There were manuscripts dating back 1000 years, i want to find 'monk font' as their penmanship was perfection!!   
 I suggested we sit behind the VIP seating & da dah - the Prime Minister sat in front of us.  I could never be a celebrity, the flashing lights were migraine inducing!!  Ditto for yet another white/ cream/ off white jacket for our PM.
 I didn't watch the news but guessing i was in the background of some footage.  I had a very sparkly sequined Alannah Hill cardigan on - right back at you bright lights!!  The PM, Arts Minister & Education Minister all gave inspired speeches on reading.  I married an avid reader, most military men are, like my papa, it's their escape.  My children all devour books, not so much my 3rd girl, she'd rather be crafting, like her mama.   
 Dishy William McInnes is the NYR patron, here with Children's Laureate Boori Monty Pryor who had those school children thoroughly engaged with his stories & imagination.  The lights kept dimming, to total darkness (during all speeches, including the PM) it was completely bizarre & after the 10th time, really funny.  I learnt afterwards, the media folks were leaning on the light switches & over riding the main NLA remote controls!!   
 Now for my How To Have Your Photo Taken With A Celebrity master class - it's easy, just be polite, friendly & camera ready.  I called out "William, would you have a photo with my friend please" & he obliged.  Totally made Tania's Valentine's Day!!
Ditto with Jennifer Byrne . . . "may i take your photo please Jennifer" & look at her, beaming, such a delightful lady.  You might know her from her First Tuesday Book Club or The Project, she was a fantastic host of this "3 Minister Supported Event".
 NYR local Ambassador Tania - enthusiastically tackles colleagues.  I love being available for these events, housewife one day . . . high profile events the next!! 
I headed off to school with the contents of the event goodie bag for our principal, who was thrilled about getting her hands on the not-yet-released merchandise.  It's who you know people!!  Now get reading & spread the word, it's Australia wide, check out the Love2Read events at your local library/ city/ state or territory all year, love Posie

14 February 2012

have a lover-ly day

Greetings all,
Never one to anticipate Valentine's Day with roses, chocolates or gifts - i'm just thrilled if my husband is around (he's not, i'm not thrilled) but i can make it a fun day of love hearts for the children.  My darling husband is romantic in non roses-chocolates-gifts style, our first Valentine's Day he made a card (on folded ruled paper) drew a rose & wrote a tiny poem, so beautiful & i still have it!!     
Kikki-K of course has super sweet stationery, i bought the range in last month.
 We made a big batch of Vanilla Snap Biscuits for friends . . .
 the heart shaped trio cutters are from Gidgi on line (hi Rachael), i dusted the edges with flour for cutting, worked a treat.  I could have iced the finished biscuits or dusted with confectioner's sugar, but they'd end up a sticky mess by recess, so kept it simple. 
 The children decorated CD window envelopes for their teachers & friends, my high schooler made hers funny with "OMG, you give me butterflies" & my son wrote "Mrs Awesome Todd" complete with love hearts for his favourite teacher.  I know she'll adore it, she constantly threatens to kidnap my boy, it's his dimples, just like his papa.  
 I have found some new desserts to try out, so i wrote a comprehensive shopping list & promptly left it on the kitchen counter, so wandered Coles hoping i could remember everything.  Amazingly i remembered all the chocolate i needed, hmmm??
 I see lots of this happening to burn off said chocolate, with my constant companion Khan.  How glorious is dog walking in beautiful weather??    
 Happy Valentine's Day lover-ly folks & a friendly welcome to my new followers, thanks so much for joining my bloggie caper, love Posie

12 February 2012

i'm grateful for . . . 'food presentation & home made goodness'

Greetings all,
Poof, what a week, back to school & we all know what that means - enthusiastic school lunches & feeding hungry bellies at night to refuel them for another action packed day of street smarts, sports & socialising.
By Friday night i really felt like a juicey tastey burger, my children aren't big on burgers but i wanted one, i'm the mum/ cook/ dictator, so . . . we had homemade burgers.
 With what little strength i have with my hands (thanks for the carpal tunnel surgery congratulatory comments in the last post, can't believe by month's end i'll have 2 new hands!!) i lovingly sliced salad & cheese, added snag jam & olives, delicous.  Fed the family for $8 - the price of one Milk Bar style proper burger.  Oh i just realised i didn't add beetroot, what is wrong with me??  I only used 4 meat patties for 5 burgers, they are too big otherwise, so i have 4 left, for another round of burgers, this time WITH beetroot please.
 What do you get a dear friend in her very early 40s for her birthday?? 
 So easy, she loves retro, picnics & 70's lollies!!  I found this amazing stacking picnic trio of melamine containers at Myer in Brisbane & filled them with fun.  I've seen Jamie Oliver use metal ones years ago, i've coveted them ever since.  OMG when was the last time you ate TV Mix or Lolly Bananas??  
 I'm trying to perfect the size of my jam drops, i've been baking them with the children - who are trying to perfect the amount of jam they add.  They are so delicious & i make plain biscuits for the non jam lovers, freaks i know!!
 HOW good are the grapes at the moment??  Don't they look even more inviting presented in a Donna Hay Royal Doulton colander??
 While i was away in Brisbane at the bachelor pad, where my husband has inherited all my Tupperware plain white picnic plates & plain blue cutlery (read: plain boring) . . . i wanted to brighten things up a little.
 So the lovely Rachael from Gidgi & A Room For Everyone blog answered my prayers with these amazing cutlery sets.  Choose from mixed & polka dots, i love both & as a thank-you-for-what-your-husband-does-for-our-country, darling Rachael asked if she could send a complimentary set (before i even had a chance to order!!)  Now i have 3 sets & i want more, greedy i know but they are soooo pretty.  Thank you Rachael!!     
 Cannot wait to grow my own fruit like my country brother, herbs sure, but fruit, glorious!! 
 Just couldn't resist adding this last image into a post link about . . . I'm Grateful for 'food', my parents country cottage oven.  I've seen one with a kookaburra on the door at a museum, but this is REAL & in my family.  Mum can't cook like she used to, i wonder if she realises (Alzheimer's) but she was better than Bree Van Der Kamp in perfect execution, dinner parties for 12 - back in the day when you entertained your husband's boss for a promotion & they were judged on how their wives cooked (maybe not so much for Naval officers).  Thank goodness my husband doesn't rely on that - burgers anyone?? 
Now who has a rumbly tummy??  Love Posie

11 February 2012

things i'm loving . . . 'fashion & fun'

Greetings all,
Anyone else's blog, email & internet messing up??  Me too!!  So i'll make this a quick trip around my week of Things I'm Loving with PaisleyJade . . .
my middle girl brushed her brother's longest ever hair into a Lego man look for back to school silliness.  We scored fantastic teachers, very happy & my son has gained a more intelligent expression on his face after weeks in the pool.  Next stop: a hair cut, the boy has sideburns!!
 Pleasant surprise in the letterbox, a comprehensive David Jones catalogue, with this delicious trench coat . . . the Perri Cutten staff have been clients of mine, tee hee.
 Now this Flannel dress is so beautiful, it just cascades (Flannel is the label, not the material!!)
 So fashion repeats itself - comes around every 20 years or so??  I truly thought snake skin jeans & skin tight animal print were dead & gone forever, buried, torched, entombed.  So few can wear these off the cat walk, i'm a bit scared.
 Found a little perch for this tea pot which makes me smile.  Trying to keep up my new interest in iced tea (hot tea still tastes awful) but the cool weather is messing with Summer flavours.
 My Christmas gifted Pandas have been played with at length, thanks Tania!!
 So on top of school fees & a high school lap top programme, my eldest still needed A4 spiral books & stationery (??) so while i was in Big W, i realised The Help had just been released (i was sorry i missed it at the cinema & no, i didn't read the book).  Great movie.  I loathe it when people say "it's only human nature to be unkind" - there is no excuse, these white ladies are downright bitchy, in one maid's words "mean like it's a sport".  Milly was my favourite maid, strong, hilarious & so clever!!  Great movie to watch with your children, Social Psychology 101 - bullying, bystander & mob mentality all wrapped up into one brilliant story, where courage wins against the odds.  What goes around people, watch out!!   

No idea how the weekend will pan out, athletics is off at the first hint of rain.  My hands are very sore but great news, surgery on the horizon, i should to 'things i'm loving' . . . my orthopaedic hand surgeon (& the yacht i must be funding him) more on my hands later, i'm SO happy, love Posie