Wednesday, 9 August 2017

A New Chapter Begins

Well, here I am again after what seems like ages. Life has been pretty busy and there have been a lot of changes, some good & some not so good, but I'm still here.

Mum's house was finally sold and the estate was finalised last month, so now it's time to start a new chapter and cherish the memories that were created in her home. I just hope that the new owners love it as much as she did.

With my share of the inheritance, I have decided that I wanted to use it for something to honour my mother. She was a great cook and was always busy in the kitchen. A lot of wonderful memories were created as I grew up and I feel that a new kitchen is something that I can benefit from and also to allow me to continue doing the things my mother taught me. It will be a place for family to gather and for more memories to be made.

We've already purchased a new huge stove and just have to decide on a design and colours for everything else. We're hoping to make a start on it as soon as the warmer weather arrives. It's going to be messy and a lot of work, but in the end it will all be worth it.

We've also had a new addition to our family, a gorgeous border collie, named Roxy. She was being given away and we put our hand up for her and we were lucky enough to be blessed with her. Our Labrador Lexi (the rotating wonder dog) was feeling very lonely and we had decided a while back that it would be a good idea to get her a buddy. Luckily her and Roxy get along really well and have a ball running around and playing in our back paddock. Hopefully it will also help Lexi to be more active and happy.

My health seems to have settled to a somewhat manageable level, the medication has most of my issues under control and I am now on even more medication to also treat depression. I felt like the bottom fell out of my world a long time ago and have been struggling with things for a long time, it was at the point where it felt normal for me, but it was far from it. When mum's house was getting organised to go up for sale, I fell in a heap and was referred to a counsellor, who diagnosed me with depression and started me on a course of anti-depressants. Within weeks I felt like a completely different person, things seemed to be less stressful, I was happier and the world was a brighter place, it still is. I've had a couple of hiccups and was put on a higher dose, but my counsellor feels I need to be dropped back on the dosage because the side effects are a real kicker. I'm constantly dizzy, have headaches and feel fuzzy headed all the time, so I'm going to get that sorted as soon as possible so that I can move forward with my life and know that I am in a better place than I have been for a long time.

There's a few other things in the works, we've taken up making rustic garden art, hubby welds and I design. I don't have any photo's to show at the moment but I will organise to sit and do a post about that at some stage. It's been a lot of fun.

Well, now I feel like I'm going to just start rambling, so I think it's time for me to shut up and think about being more regular with my posting and sharing some more of my crafting adventures.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Still Alive & Still Kicking....

It seems like forever since I have been here, I really have neglected a lot of things in my life over the past couple of years.

I'm still living with health issues, but they are mostly under control with medication. I haven't had any visits to the Emergency Department in quite a few months and I am happy for it to remain that way.

It turns out that I didn't have a heart attack after all, I have now been diagnosed with Prinzmetal Angina and the medication is keeping it under control. I have been through the Cardiac Rehab program and am now discharged from the Cardiologist. I still have to keep an eye on things, if I have a Prinzmetal attack, I have been given guidelines to go by and if they don't work, then it's off to Emergency, because there is a chance that the attack could turn into something more sinister - a heart attack. I have learned to read the signs quite well and know when I am going to have a bad day and need to take it easy. Since then I have also been diagnosed with Neurocardiogenic Syncope, Vertigo, Gastritis and just recently Depression.

There have been many struggles going on that I have been trying my best to deal with, it hasn't been easy for the most part.

I no longer am working as a teacher, I lost my job because of my health, but in a way, I'm glad that I did, working for your ex-husband's new wife is not the ideal situation to be in. Trying to keep personal and work lives separated is a hard task and it just wasn't working. There were too many things going on to warrant it being a happy workplace for either of us. So in a way, my health decline was a blessing in disguise, it not only gave me a wake up call, but also got me out of a very uncomfortable situation.

Needless to say, money is definitely a lot tighter these days.

Our little terrier, Missy, has recently been diagnosed with health problems of her own. After years of being told that her gag reflex was failing and watching her struggle to drink and keep it down and have energy to anything, we finally found a vet that did the proper testing and it was found that she actually has Congestive Heart Failure. If it was treated earlier, the symptoms wouldn't have become as bad as they were. We were at the point that we actually thought that we were going to lose her.
Since her diagnosis and being put on the right medication, she is like a new dog. She's full of energy and just about back to her old self. Apart from the fact that she is 11 years old, is blind in one eye and almost deaf, she's doing really well. It's such a relief for us to see her happy again.
The medication is expensive, but are making ends meet and making sure that she has what she needs, her health is more important than our finances.


My son and daughter-in-law have moved out of mum's house. Their new home is finally finished and they moved 4 weeks ago, so we (or I should say, mostly hubby) has been working flat out to get the garden cleaned up and the painting, etc done. We're just waiting on the kids to come in and finish removing the last of their things and clean the house and then it's up for sale.

Mum's House

We had a visit with an agent on Tuesday afternoon and he seems to think it will sell really well. I'm hoping so, considering all the turmoil that has been caused by my brothers over the whole thing. But that's a story for another day, if I choose to tell it.

With a bit of luck the house will be up on the market next week and fingers crossed, it sells quickly.
It's a very bittersweet feeling to have to let it go. Mum adored her "little house" and was so happy there, she always told me it was the best decision she ever made. So many happy memories were made there.

Once the house has sold, I have decided that I am going to get myself a new kitchen out of my share of the estate. Mum was a great cook, it was the one thing she loved to do the most and her cooking was known by everyone. Every birthday she would bake a cake, at Christmas there would be Christmas cakes being made for friends and family. She was the Christmas Pudding queen. I remember most of my childhood years spent around Christmas time, dodging plum puddings hanging to dry in the laundry. I have her faithful pudding bowl and spoon here, they are well worn and definitely past their use-by dates, but they hold so many memories, so they will be on display in my new kitchen. The kitchen will be my place that I can feel close to mum, a place where I can re-create all her favourite recipes from her worn exercise book and use her utensils that I inherited and hopefully make new memories with future generations of our family.

Nothing will ever taste as good as my mother's sponge cake! 

It's been a tough time for me, finally getting around to cleaning out the house properly and knowing that in the future, the house will no longer have the connection it does now and a new family will be living in it, making new memories.

I haven't even picked up my crochet hook for the past couple of weeks. I have projects started but nothing done with them. I just haven't had the incentive to do any of it. I'm hoping that my cro-jo hasn't disappeared completely, because I really do love working with yarn and creating beautiful things. Maybe once things settle down, I will be more settled within myself and be able to get back to it.

Through all of this, there has been one constant in my life, my husband. He has been there beside me every step of the way. There's been some really rough spots for him and I'm so glad that he decided to just try and brush them off and get me back on track. He has been my rock and I feel so lucky to have him in my life. Without him, I have no idea how I would have coped in recent times, if he wasn't around. I don't think he realises just how much I truly do love and appreciate him.

I'll try and keep things updated more regularly here from now on, I can't make any promises other than, I'll try....let's see how that goes.....

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Life Is Beautiful....

Just recently I was faced with a life threatening health issue which has really put things into perspective for me.
I have been feeling unwell for quite some time, since around the time that mum passed away last year, I have had quite a few trips to the Emergency Department at the local hospitals with nothing being found and me being sent home, with a diagnosis of "anxiety".
Just last week , on the 23rd September, it all came to a head. I seriously thought that I was going to die!!

It all started with me waking and feeling unwell, slowly throughout the day, it built in symptoms - dizziness, breathlessness when moving short distances, a dull ache between my shoulder blades and a pressure on my chest that slowly built in intensity until it felt like I had a small child sitting on my chest.

Hubby was off at work and I decided I would try to ring him and see where he was and if he could take me to the hospital. After many attempts to call him and no answer - (he was on his rideon mower and couldn't hear the phone), I decided to call an ambulance.

The paramedics arrived and took one look at me and started going through the motions of treating me for a Heart Attack!!!! Here I was at 47 years of age, fearing for my life and thinking that I was going to die without seeing my husband and children ever again.

Off to hospital we went, where they put me straight on to monitors and took bloods for testing. The weirdest part was, everything looked normal. There was nothing showing on the ECG, blood tests came back clear on the first run, oxygen levels were good. They had no idea what was going on.

They told me that they would send off a second set of bloods, 6 hours after the initial episode, because that is when they would be able to tell if anything had actually happened to my heart.
The second set of bloods came back positive, showing risen levels of troponin and cardiac enzymes, that show there is possible damage to the heart. So I was admitted.....

Testing started, with me being put on a Holter Monitor for 48 hours, regular blood tests and bed rest. The cardiac specialist came to see me and told me that he thought it would be beneficial for me to have an angiogram done as well, just to see what damage had been done and work out the next course of action for me. I had an echo-cardiogram done and I was told that the results looked fantastic. Blood flow was normal, there appeared to be no blockage or damage done that they could see. But the angiogram would be the most accurate of all tests to see exactly what was going on.

I was scheduled to have that done on the 28th September, which meant being in hospital over the coming week, while we waited for a spot to become available for me.
On the 28th of September, I woke early in the morning and found my husband sitting beside my bed, waiting patiently for me to wake. They were hoping to get me in early in the morning, so we began the waiting game,

Finally at 12.30pm, I was collected and taken to the Cardiac Lab where the angio would be performed. Terry was waiting outside in the room for the procedure to be done. We had been told that it would be a short amount of time to do the test, 30 - 40 minutes, unless they had to insert stents or do any ballooning.
Little did he know, the doctor had been called away to the theatre to help with a pacemaker procedure and the nursing staff had been sent on a much needed lunch break, so the 30 - 40 minutes, ended up being 2 1/2 hours!

Terry had no idea what was happening, that I hadn't even been taken in for the test yet, so he was starting to get very anxious, as you could imagine. Luckily, one of the nurses from the ward I was in, came in to make some notes in my file, so I asked her to please let him know that I was ok and still waiting.

Eventually, I was taken in for the test, which took the routine time of 30 - 40 minutes and the results showed that there was no damage at all. My heart was perfect!

We still have no idea if what I experienced was an actual minor heart attack or something else. I have been sent home with a whole new range of medication - blood pressure medication, cholesterol medication (even though my levels are normal, this will supposedly help to keep the arteries from building up any plaque, etc) and aspirin, which I will most likely be on for life. I've also been signed up for Cardiac Rehab which will run for 12 weeks and during that time, I will not be able to return to work.

Through this whole experience, we have learned a very valuable lesson. Never take anything for granted, appreciate what you have and make the most of each day!

The bittersweet part, but probably also a bit of a godsend was, I was in hospital for the anniversary of my mother's passing away, so I didn't have time to dwell on it. Terry bought flowers and placed them on her grave and I went to visit her when I was released from hospital. Those 12 months have gone way too quickly! I still miss her, but it doesn't feel as raw as it did before.

Just remember, when you wake each morning to a brand new day....

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Still Breathing....

It seems like forever since I have had a chance to stop by and sit for long enough to write anything substantial. This has been a whirlwind of a year for me, some good and some bad, but I'm still alive and breathing, and that's what counts!

My health has been my main problem in the past few months, I have been diagnosed with Hypertension, finally! after months of not knowing what was going on with me. It all started with anxiety attacks, which resulted in me being admitted to the Emergency Department at the closest hospital, 50 kilometres away from us.
The anxiety attacks aren't as bad now that I have been diagnosed and am on medication to treat the hypertension, but they still rear their ugly head from time to time, mostly when I am stressed out about something. Along with that, I have the joy (NOT!) of paying a visit to my GP every week for an injection to treat a Vitamin B12 deficiency. Don't believe it when they tell you that you will just feel a little sting, those suckers HURT!!! lol

Aside from all that has been going on with me, our daughter has been struggling with her mental health and some days are a lot worse than others. She has been diagnosed as Bi-Polar, with a few other things going on and her mental health is not the best at present. But she's still with us and fighting to get through each day, and as long as that keeps happening, I feel some sense of relief. I am so proud of her and how she managed to survive like she has, with all this being dumped on her plate of life. She is a trooper and she is a lot stronger than she likes to think she is! I couldn't imagine my life without her in it, through all the good and bad days and everything in between, I'm so glad she's a part of it.

Love you, to the moon & back, Naggy! ♥

Our son and his wife are settling in to married life well, they have their ups and downs as all couples do, but they are still together, still in love and happy. We don't see them as much these day, now that they are "all grown up" (lol), but when we do, we make the most of it. Josh, just left for Melbourne this morning, he will be gone for 3 weeks, working down there. His area manager put him forward for the job and he is the only one from country Victoria that is travelling down for it. It's going to be strange not having him around for those 3 weeks, it's probably going to be even stranger for Amanda, they haven't really been apart all that much since the wedding, and never for this amount of time. I think this will be a real test for them. Maybe it is a lead up for bigger and better things for Josh, he may be getting groomed to move up the ranks at work, which would be a great thing for him. He works his butt off and deserves the recognition. I'm so proud of him!

The Lovebirds! :) 

My husband has been my rock through it all and has been beside me every step of the way. I'm lucky he has some pretty broad shoulders to carry all the weight of the problems all the girls in his life seem to be having this year!

My Rock!

As well as having to deal with me and my health issues and our daughter with her mental health issues, my mother-in-law has also been going through a tough time. A month ago, her partner passed away and she has become very reliant on my husband for everything. She has never been alone before, she left home to move straight into her married home with my father-in-law, then when they divorced, she moved in with her partner and they had been together for 19 years. So it's a real wake up call to her, to find herself alone and having to do everything, after always having someone there.
This has lead to my husband getting numerous phone calls and visits with her, because she has no idea of how to do anything on her own and he has had to assist her with just about everything. It's a real strain for him, and it shows, he is trying to run his own business, make sure I'm ok, deal with our daughter's issues and also deal with his mother, it can't be easy for him at all. But he is the type of person that is always there when you need him, and for that, I am extremely thankful and find myself very blessed to have him in my life.

Next Tuesday (29/6) will be the 1st anniversary of mum's passing. I can't belive that a whole year is gone already. The days are easier to get through now, but I still have my moments where I miss her like crazy and I think I always will. She was my whole world and I have found it so hard learning to live without her, but I'm getting there.

I miss you...

Well I think that will do for now, there only so much I can write and if I don't stop now, I don't think I ever will.

'Til next time....

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Spring Into Summer

Mother Nature has definitely been playing a strange game this past year.
We have just moved into Autumn (Fall) here in Australia, after a Summer that wasn't as "Summery" as expected. It was more Spring like.

Flowers were blooming when they shouldn't have been, new growth was sprouting on trees and babies were being born!

We were lucky enough to have a new family created in a Bottlebrush tree in our front yard and I was lucky enough to have a decent camera to document it all.

My husband called out to me one afternoon and asked me to bring the camera. What greeted me, once I got out there, was a nest with 3 eggs sitting in it, tucked neatly into the tree.

The adult birds were never far from the nest and kept watch from a distance whenever we were outside, but it seemed they trusted us, and we never touched them.

Investigation showed that the birds were Noisy Minahs - they definitely live up their names too!
For more information and to listen to how loud they can be, there is a great wikipedia article. 

We watched the nest every day. The older birds would come and play tag at sitting on the nest. About a week later, we were greeted with these:

Sadly, one of the babies didn't survive. We had a major thunderstorm and I think it was just too much for it. One of the eggs took longer to hatch than the others, and we're guessing that the one that passed away, was the "runt" of the litter.

As the days wore on, they got larger, and noisier!

Finally, about 3 weeks after they first hatched, they started to resemble the birds that they would become, full-feathered and ready to venture away from the nest

Finally, they decided it was time to move on and they left the nest. The empty nest is still sitting in the tree, waiting to see if we have another family move in, sometime in the near future.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Big Changes Ahead!

Things are definitely on the move with my life, and I'm glad to say, for the better :)
I'm in the process of finalising mum's affairs and getting her life belongings sorted out, the wedding has been and gone and was wonderful! Work is about to wind up for the year, and my 1st official pattern has finished the testing phase and I'm going to release it here today!

But the biggest, life changing event for me is - after 33 years, I have finally given up smoking! It has been 7 days since my last cigarette and the cravings haven't been anywhere near as bad as I thought they would be. I woke up last Thursday (19th Nov) and just decided that I was no longer going to smoke. So far, so good and I plan on doing whatever I can to remain smoke free! Time to get healthy!! :)

I still miss mum like crazy, I don't think that feeling will ever go away. It was such a bittersweet time at the wedding, knowing that she was there with us in spirit helped, but it would have been wonderful if she had of actually been able to share the day with us and experience it in all its glory.

The wedding was the most beautiful occassion I have had the pleasure to be a part of, and I'm not just saying that, because it was my son marrying the love of his life. It was a well organised, laid back event with people that mattered being there to enjoy the whole day.
The bridal party looked stunning and the groomsmen were nothing but perfect gentlemen!

The bridesmaids - 2nd from left, is my daughter, Ebony.

I love this photo! It captures such a sense of fun!

This would have to be my #1 favourite of all the photo's I have seen so far. These 2 are made for each other ♥

The garter was worn with pride on the day and was tossed at the end of the evening. The bride didn't want to let it go, but I promised her that I would make her a replacement for her keepsake box, and she was happy with that, so it got tossed :)

And now that the testing has been completed and I am happy with the way it has been written. Here's the link to the free pattern :)

(Please let me know if you have any issues getting the download for this)


Sunday, 9 November 2014

My First Official Creation!

Since my last post about the passing of my mother, life has done a complete backflip on me and now we are in the process of planning a happy occassion.
On Saturday 15th November at 3:00pm, my first born and only son, is getting married!!!

It's an exciting time for all of us, but also a sad one, knowing that mum won't be able to be there and witness her grandson taking this huge step in his life.

I have been busy helping them out to put things together for the wedding. They decided they wanted to create their own invitations from scratch, so we went on the hunt for materials to make them.
They wanted a rustic theme, so we managed to find something that was suitable and this is what we came up with....

The front of the invitation - it's amazing what you can do with paper doilies, twine and hessian sheets.

The inside, with a pocket made from a paper doily for the RSVP card.

They also wanted to make their own place cards, so I designed some using Publisher that fit in with the invitations. Just some simple tent fold cards with a name tag placed on the front (sorry, no pic of those).

As well as that, the bride didn't have her "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue" arranged. 
So I set to putting something together for her: 
  • The something old & borrowed is going to be an antique marcasite watch that my mother was given by my father on their wedding day in 1965, which she passed on to me on my 30th birthday and I wore on my own wedding day.
  • The something new & blue is a pattern of my own design, a garter
I hunted in all the usual places - Ravelry, Pinterest, blogs, Google search, and could come up with nothing that looked "right" for the day, so I got out my hook and some crochet thread that I had in my stash and set to work designing one.

I had to play around with it until I got it looking how I wanted. It's just a simple little pattern, but I love how it turned out and have actually decided that I am going to publish it and offer it on Ravelry :) 

I'm calling it - Dainty Little Garter.

This is the actual garter that I made for the bride (and she loves!)...
I'm in the process of adding a store front to my Ravelry and once it's done, this will be my first official pattern release!

Once it's set up and finalised, I will be including the pattern link on this blog, so stay tuned! 

Wish us luck for a smooth day with wonderful weather :)