Friday, 29 November 2019

Santa's out of the sack.... and other things

That moment I've been dreading for years finally came around this week and wasn't as traumatic as I thought it would be.  So yes, Santa is out of the sack in our house now (I'm sure you all know what I mean), and that's all I'm going to say on that so there are no spoilers.  

I have to admit that I am relieved.

On the crafting front, I've finally finished the shopping bags I've been sewing for the teacher's gifts.  I've even got a few extras to add to my gift stash and am loving the way these have turned out.

They really are the perfect gift as they fold up quite small and are something a little different and unique to all the other generic shopping bags you buy.  

I love all the different ones of mine that I've made over the years and use them all the time.

They're also easy care as they get thrown in the washing machine regularly and are good to go again.  In fact one of the ones I'm still using I made about 8 years ago.

The crochet has been trundling along very, very slowly.  It's been way too hot to work with anything wool, even with the air conditioners on but I've decided that I really want to finish this wrap by the end of the weekend if I can.

Things have also been very hectic around here too which is why things on the craft front have been slow.  There have been NDIS meetings, a couple of paediatric appointments, psychologists and equine therapists for the kids and plenty of school visits.

As the end of the school year draws closer and the final weeks of Master M's time at primary school comes to a close, things have been pretty stressful.  In fact the past 6 months or so have been very stressful for him because he's freaking out about going to high school.

He really doesn't cope with change well and the thought of high school has been daunting for him so I'm often getting phone calls from the school and have to drop everything and run to pick him up.  I can only make appointments and plans for myself when hubby is home from work so I know there will at least be one of us here for him if needed.

Both schools (primary and high school) have been incredible and so supportive with him.  He's already had a number of transition days where he goes to the high school for a small period and is getting used to the sensory room they have there.  

We go in every Wednesday morning when we drop Miss R off at school and he spends some time in there before we head off to his school.  He's slowly getting used to it and we'll have more chance of actually getting him through the gate next year.

He also has a specialised program where he will only attend school for one hour a day to begin with and we'll build on it from there so in effect, I'll be home schooling for a good part of the first half of next year.  I'm not sure how I'm going to cope with that!

We've already got his uniform for next year.  They didn't have everything in stock as they don't get the next shipment until a couple of weeks before the next school year begins but I wanted to be able to try the sizes out when he was on his own so he wouldn't freak out.  So he'll start the year with his new uniform and I'll pick the rest of it up once he's started and he doesn't have to be there for that.

All I can say is that if anyone has a child that is having difficulty with transitioning or any other problem, just talk to whoever you need to at the school and they are usually really receptive to helping you.  The key is to ask and to work together because the child is the one that needs the support of both school and home.

I hope you're all having a wonderful week.

xx Susan

Monday, 11 November 2019

A date lunch and other things

I feel like we're hurtling towards the end of the school year at an alarming rate.  

I start to think that things are slowing down and I can catch a breath but next thing I know our calendars are full again.  I'm learning quickly to manage things when they crop up as well as to take the spur of the moment opportunites to relax and do something with those I love.

Last week was the perfect case in point.  I feel like I'm up to my ears in paperwork of some kind lately and in the middle of what ended up being a really busy week, hubby and I were able to spend some time together.

While out and about up the coast we were able to squeeze in a wonderful lunch at The Bridge Seafoods at Mooloolaba

We ended up sharing the seafood platter which was very, very tasty and full of prawns, oysters, sand crab, moreton bay bugs, chips and calamari.  It's been ages since we've done something like this and was just the tonic in an otherwise busy week.

My Dad is also home from hospital.  There were a few issues and delays with his recovery as he had to have a few blood transfusions and there was a problem with his wound not draining properly but the surgeon was really happy with how the hip replacement operation itself went.

He ended up in hospital for 9 days but is home now and recovering as well as can be expected.  He's sore of course and the heat we are experiencing right now probably isn't helping.

It's been pretty terrible with temperatures in the mid to high 30's Celsius most days.  Some days are dropping to just below 30 (today is forecast for 29 Celsius) but it's still really muggy and humid.  The rest of the week they're forecasting it to be back in the mid to high 30's and it's not even summer yet!

Anyone that has been reading my blog for awhile knows that I don't like the heat and don't cope with it very well which is a bit ridiculous when I live in such a warm climate.

At the moment though it's even worse because there are so many devastating fires about.  Outside is a constant haze of smoke from fires up near Noosa, and Central Queensland and northern New South Wales are especially experiencing some horrendous fire storms.

Everything is incredibly dry and there's no rain in sight to help give some relief to the exhausted fire fighters who are doing an incredible job.

So for now, we're just continuing on as best we can and dealing with what's in front of us.  We're also very aware of how fortunate we are that we're not in the pathway of any fires, but you can't be too careful as mother nature is so unpredictable and everything is so dry.

As a result of everything else going on, I haven't been getting much crochet done.  I can say that I'm about to start on the purple section of my latest make which is the last colour change.

Since I'm making it with a wool mix I'm only working on it when I have the air conditioners on of course!

I hope everyone is safe where you are and are able to enjoy your week.

xx Susan

Wednesday, 30 October 2019

Checking in

My girl is 14!  I can't believe another year as whizzed around already and my little one is now as tall as me (well almost... says I as I stand up tall to try and stretch out my 5'3" height).  She's becoming such a lovely young lady.

I also can't believe that her birthday was 10 days ago and am wondering where on earth that time went.

It's been a bit mad around here lately with constant appointments and so many things happening.  I've been looking forward to the end of this week where I had intended to just have some quiet time to recharge.  Unfortunately both kids are sick this week so they're having miserable time cosied up on the lounge or in bed and I'm enjoying the quiet moments in between Mum duties.

My Dad also had his hip replacement yesterday.  He did lose a bit more blood than expected so it took a little longer for him to get back to the ward but he seems to be okay.  We'll find out more today but I won't be visiting him with two sick kids in the house.  I really don't want to pass on anything when he can least afford it.

Hope you are all having a fantastic week.  I'm off to do a little house scrubbing then reward myself with some crochet time.

xx Susan

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

Keeping busy

In the midst of the holidays, rope swinging and seemingly countless appointments I have been doing plenty of crochet.

Some of my projects have been more successful than others and I've found that when I get a bit stressed or snowed under with everything going on around me, I work on some tried and true patterns that I love.

So I can happily report that I finished one shawl during the last school holidays and that was an olive green version of my Venetian Shawl.  It's made out of an alpaca/silk mix and drapes beautifully.

I've also been working on something based on a doily my Grandmother made for me over 20 years ago.  I'm not having a lot of success with it and have pulled it apart about 5 times now.  Funnily enough, I have the edge section worked out in a sample I made, I just have to get the main part of the project working out how I can see it in my mind.

I've put it aside for now and am working on something else but will get back to it soon as I think I may have solved my problem.  Fingers crossed. 

My current project is a version of my Tea Time Wrap.  The last one I made using a whirl and the colours gently change as the wrap grew.

I really wanted to make a brighter one though and I've chosen four colours to make it in four sections.  I'm having lots of fun with this one and can't wait until it's finished to see how it all comes together.

So that's where I'm at on the craft front right now.  I've got one thing finished, one frustrating me and one I'm happily working away on.  

Oh and the sewing has sort of come to a stop too so I'd better get cracking and start pinning and sewing the bags together soon otherwise it will be the end of the school year before I know it and I'll be rushing madly to get things done.

xx Susan

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Adventure Day Camp

On the school holidays Miss R got the chance to take part in an Adventure Day Camp, an event organised by the Autism Treehouse.  It's the first time we've attended any of their events and her paediatrician recommended them. 

 As soon as I read about this Day camp I KNEW my girl would want to go.  She loves this kind of thing, especially doing ropes courses and we were lucky there were still places left. 

Master M spent the day with a relative as this isn't something he would enjoy and he wouldn't have coped with a full day out watching his sister.  So he had a special day with my Uncle which meant Miss R and I could fully enjoy our day.

First up our group went to the archery range.

I know Miss R loved archery when she tried it on a school camp so she was pretty excited about doing it again.  

I had never tried it before and when they said that the parents and carers could have a go I jumped at the chance.  I can't believe how much I enjoyed it.  In fact I enjoyed it so much I'm looking into local archery ranges so I can have another go.

The next thing our group did was the Possum Launch or something along those lines.  It involved one child being hooked up and 10 children (huskies) being hooked up to the other end of the rope.  The faster the 10 kids ran up the track, the quicker and higher the child at the other end was launched into the air.

I'm glad I was on the ground but Miss R loved it.

The thing she loved most, by far, and what she waited until the end of the day for was the ropes course.  She LOVES doing these and has no fear of heights.

The ropes course starts off about ladder height and works it way between trees and platforms getting higher and higher as you continue on.

Eventually you reach the last platform where you get hooked onto a zipline and hurtle back to solid ground.  The next photo is probably my favourite photo of the whole day by far and not because it's spectacular or anything as it's not really.

I love the way my girl is standing.  She always stands in the 'stork' pose, especially when she's comfortable and here she is, high up in a tree on a tiny platform waiting for her turn on the zipline.   

She's standing casual in her stork pose and not even holding onto a rope while chatting to one of the crew helping the kids out for the day.  LOVE IT!

It really was a fantastic day and we weren't even at the car before she was asking when we could do it again so it looks like I'll be researching ropes courses around the area as well.

Have a great week everyone.

xx Susan

Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Back to school

The last mid-term holidays are over for the year and we now have one school term to get through before the summer holidays and Master M's start to high school.

Back to school means that I also get my computer back.  I don't get much of a chance to use it when the kids are home as there always seems to be one of them on it.  So school is back and I am back!

We had a few plans for these last holidays but in the end they didn't eventuate.  Hubby had to work quite a bit so the kids and I pottered about and perfected the art of slothing and doing not much.

Other plans for when hubby was home got postponed when my Dad went to hospital.  That's okay, we can easily do them another weekend or even the next school holidays.  

At least Dad is okay now and is on the right medication for his heart to work better than what it was.  Fingers crossed that all will be well and he can still get his hip replacement in a few weeks as planned.

Patch and I have been happy now that we're walking a little more.  During the school holidays it's not always easy to get a good walk in 

You can see why we always keep Patch's tick treatments up to date and check him regularly as there's plenty of long grass at the edges of the track.  He's usually in the grass or up in the bush under the trees more than he is on the track.

Patch also had a hair cut on the holidays.  He moped about for days afterwards and I don't think I've seen a sadder looking dog.  

He even stood in front of the mirror in my room a few times and just looked sadly at himself which was hilarious although I was a good Mum and didn't laugh at him.  I just told him he's still our beautiful boy, he'll be much cooler now that the weather's warming up and his hair will grow back.  

Not sure if he believed me though.

He also seems so much smaller now that his hair's been cut off.

I've got plenty more to show and tell as I've been busy with the crochet hook and Miss R had an awesome day at an Adventure Day Camp over the holidays where she got to do archery and swing from ropes high in trees (no fear of heights that one).

I'll tell you about those another day soon once I get myself organised and in a back to school routine myself.

Have a fantastic week everyone and I'll slowly get round to catching up on all of your lovely blogs over the next few days.

xx Susan

Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Careful what you wish for

You may remember in my last post that I mentioned a storm was building up and I didn't think we were going to get much out of it.

The below photo was taken about 10 minutes before I headed to my Mum's for my nephews birthday where we were going to enjoy cake for afternoon tea.  She doesn't live very far from me and 99% of the time when a storm is south of us, like in the picture, we're lucky if we get a few spots of rain.

Just as I was walking inside at Mum's the first drops of rain started.

Not long later, we were all inside (6 pre-teens and teens and 6 adults - very noisy), when we heard the distinctive plink..plink on the tin roof.  Everyone stopped for a second then rushed to the windows to see a few pieces of hail landing on the lawn.

Moments later it was coming down like snow!

It lasted for a good 10 minutes, maybe more and I have to admit it was pretty exciting.  The only thing I was worried about was my car as well as my sister's and Uncle's cars which were sitting out in the street bearing the brunt of the hail.

Miraculously there were no broken windscreens and only a few small dints in the cars which we can't believe but are grateful for none the less.

I'll leave you with about a 15 second video that I took so you can hear the hail on the roof and see it falling.  I hope it works okay as I've never posted a video before.

I also stopped filming early because I didn't think you would hear much of the hail on the roof.  At the time there were 6 kids and 3 or 4 adults on the verandah watching it and everyone was yelling and squealing and exclaiming so loudly and all at once. 

 I didn't think you would hear the hail over the noise of everyone but I needn't have bothered as when you listen you can hardly hear the people, that's how loud the hail was.


Have a wonderful week everyone.

xx Susan