Finishing Things

With money being a major cause for concern in our household due to the scarcity of relief work I’ve had to think a lot of the little “extras” in life and to that end I’m going to declare 2010 a “stash free year”.  I’ve got two drawers bulging with un-started projects as well as several projects that are “works in progress” or WIPs as us crafty types like to call them.  I’m really going to focus on finishing some of the WIPs especially as they are mostly destined for people who are good friends of mine.  So tonight I’ve had a good solid session of cross stitching and for a your viewing pleasure I havea WIP photo as well asa scan of that the finished work should look like.  I’m also going to be really up front and list all the WIPs I can think of.

Cross Stitch

  • at least three ornaments that are stitched but need finishing
  • Tropical Vacation Window – for Fiona
  • Train Birth Record – for Megan
  • Domestically Challenged Piece for me
  • English Rose book mark that needs finishing


  • Crocheted cushion cover


  • Patchwork Noro Top – still to be assembled completely
  • Jo Sharp Bath bag – needs assembling – and it is for me
  • Jo Sharp hand towel and face cloth for Fiona in the colours that match her stained glass
  • Lion Jumper for Eric

All of the above is quite enough to keep me out of mischief for quite some time.  The only exceptions to my no stash rule are going to be if I participate in the 2010 Cross Stitch Christmas Ornament challenge (and even then I’ll try very hard to at least use fabric from my stash) and if I finish all the knitting I’m going to start a jumper for Daniel.  I’m going to ask for gift vouchers to my favourite yarn supplier for Christmas, Mother’s Day and my birthday and put those towards Daniel’s jumper.  The craft shows will most likely be off the agenda as it would be too tempting and I’ve got too much stuff sitting in drawers from previous craft shows that I’ve never even touched.  One beautiful piece is a an Angel of Dreaming on beautiful hand dyed fabric with a pattern that includes beading.  That is really a project that I will enjoy sinking my teeth into so to speak.

But for now, please enjoy the pictures of tonight’s progress and I’ll share some more when I can.


Just add water

It has been a hot few days in Brisbane.  It even takes a while to cool down at night.  So the “Learn To Swim” Christmas party at our neighbourhood pool was just what we needed this afternoon.  A wasn’t playing Bowls so I got to go an do a knitting lesson at lunch time – Eric may have a new jumper for winter but I’m not sure of which winter. And then we basically soaked ourselves in the pool for as long as possible.  Admission was free today and included a sausage sizzle, ice blocks, balloon animals (and swords in our case) as well as a visit from Santa.  Eric took on the very large inflatable and came off second best but I’m so proud of him for going back to try it again.  I think I would have chickened out at his age.  I’ve knitted more tonight (in the air conditioning) as I’m hoping to get a good start on this project before we go away.

Better Not Bitter

Those words resonated for me from a post I read at the In-Courage website earlier this week.  Today I’ve had to face a very great disappointment.  I’m still reeling from it.  That’s all I can say about it except that it is going to change the course of my life for the next year or more.  But the woman discussed in the post above had a far greater disappointment (she lost the use of her legs) and she really did use it to make herself better rather than bitter.  I’m not kidding myself. I’m going to have some bitter moments but I have to see this as part of God’s plan for me and try to use it to change my life for the better.  I’ve still got my husband and family and reasonably good health.  We still have our house.  In a week’s time we’re going on a two week holiday to the beach that was already paid for thank goodness.

To make myself better I’m going to:

  • really work hard on improving my health and fitness
  • get a real handle on the housework so everything runs really smoothly
  • make a better contribution to the life of my family
  • cast my net wider for different opportunities in life.

But for right now the tears will flow for a little while.  I’ve got some time to feel sorry for myself because the boys have gone to a friend’s house before Little Athletics.  But I’m not going to wallow – because I’m going to be better than that.

Your Will Be Done

I was asked today about where I was on my faith journey.  I’ll confess that I didn’t answer the question very well at the time and as a result have had it ticking away at the back of my mind ever since. When I was a youngster I believed what I was told to believe and prayed or tried to pray in the way that I was told.  Somehow or other I was always too busy and active to linger in bed and say a morning offering.  As a young adult I questioned a lot of things about my faith but I continued to practice as a catholic.  My faith was one thing in my life I could depend upon.  It was around this time that I started to pray for things to happen.  I wanted a job. I wanted a job in another place. I wanted a husband. And oh how I wanted babies!  The whole Conception/Pregnancy saga was the greatest test of my faith so far and I daresay it was the same for my husband although he doesn’t talk about it.  Once Eric, then Daniel were here I would pray for God to make me a good mother and a good teacher, to help me do the best I could in all my jobs.

However life doesn’t go to plan and really the events surrounding the birth of Eric and then Daniel were just the start of life not going to plan.  I didn’t plan on having a premie baby, not being able to breastfeed, having post natal depression or returning to work in term 4 to teach Year 7!  I didn’t plan on a baby with severe reflux and even more post natal depression.  I wasn’t intending on continuing to suffer from anxiety and depression in varying degrees until the present day.  I certainly wasn’t going to have burnout in 2007 or decide to give up my job in 2009.

But all of those things were in God’s plan for me.  They have made me the person I am today and I wouldn’t change any of them.  What I would change and have changed to a certain extent is my acceptance of these things.  I start to pray and start asking God for things and then I stop and wonder what God’s plan for me is in all of this.  Then I start to pray again and this time it is simply for the strength to handle whatever life will throw at me.  I trust that God will only send me things that I can handle or learn to handle and this trust has given me great peace.  The phrase “Your will be done” as spoken by Jesus in the garden at Gethsemane constantly springs to mind.  God is going to continue to challenge me with events in my life but I can handle anything because if my faith in Him.  I don’t need to endlessly petition him for what I want.  He will give me what I need.

Living with Uncertainty

It is highly unusual for me to be coming to this part of the year without having a clear vision of what is store for me in the new year to come.  However since my decision to resign in July, uncertainty has been my constant companion and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  It has made me think deeply about my vocation of teaching and I truly believe it is a vocation. I have also had to think about balancing the different roles I have in my life and all of that is productive.  I remember a saying “let go and let God” and that is what I have been doing for the last six months.  That isn’t easy when I’m used to having all my ducks in a row and knowing exactly what the next step will be.

As of this moment I know these things:

  • My true passion is teaching.  I will teach in any primary year level.  I used to think that Prep would be too hard. Now I think it would be great fun.
  • I am open to new and different experiences in teaching.  They will all be part of life’s rich tapestry.
  • While I can be a competent homemaker, I’m not cut out to make it my full time occupation.
  • When I am feeling contented and on top of things that feeling spreads to the rest of my family.

I’ve been doing an number of things to deal with the uncertainty around next year.  These include sticking to a regular daily and weekly routine, slowly getting the house more organised so that a return to work is made easier and training my boys in taking on more household responsibilities instead of being “waited on”.  I’ve made sure that I have regular social contact through my knitting groups and book club. I’m also being open to suggestions about what I might do.  I’ve applied for a number of positions in a range of different schools and in many different year levels for anything from six months to 12 months.  I’m willing to try new things but I feel that I need more than casual relief work to truly utilize my talents and to make a viable financial contribution to my family.  Four days out of 10 weeks is certainly not enough for us to live on!

I’m also looking after my health.  Weight Watchers and Contours are a big part of my life.  Our menu planning at home is improving and we are cooking more regularly.  I stay in touch with my doctors on a regular basis and follow their advice.  I’m still not the best sleeper but I think part of that is natural when I’m faced with not knowing what the new year will bring.

Not Astro Boy…



But unfortunately I’ve had “Gastro Boy” with me today.  He stayed home this morning and even though he complained of a sore tummy I really thought he was having a mental health day.  That was until we were driving to the drs and suddenly he was throwing up all over the front seat of my car.  So he got examined at the drs as well and most likely has one of the gastro viruses lurking around.  He was full of beans in the drs office but then started throwing up in the car on the way.

So what has worked for us today?

  • still carrying baby wipes even thought Dan is 6. I could whip his shirt off and clean him up before we got to drs
  • staying calm while driving along a bust main road with the passenger vomiting copiously beside me
  • Wii, Foxtel and TV to keep a boy amused
  • Air conditioning – seriously hot here today
  • Weak green cordial
  • a helpful elderly neighbour who minded the patient while I went to get Eric

So we’ve made it through the day and I’ve even managed to sit down tonight, after a late night last night doing the same thing, and I was able to finish the Little Athletics achievement cards – around 230 of them.  Whew! I’m glad to have them out of my life until after Christmas.  I’ve also filled out piles of paperwork for income protection insurance that we can claim as well as going on-line and printing out several payslips.  This afternoon I worked with Eric on his list of jobs for the Handipoints site and we negotiated screen time from points already accumulated.

So, in theory, everyone should be fairly happy tonight!

Simple Food Done Well

After another big afternoon at Little Athletics we decided to go to one of our all time favourites The Ritzy Fish at Graceville.  We’ve been going there since we were going out – quite often with a nice bottle of white on a Friday night, then with baby Eric sleeping in his pram and then we had to havea Ritzy Fish hiatus because it just wasn’t doable with two active small people who wanted to run up and down right beside Honour Aveue in the dark.  However, in recent months we’ve been going back.  The two boys are quite happy now with the butcher papered tables and crayons which sometime spurn a noughts and crosses frenzy or as they did tonight -leaf rubbings and there isn’t a long wait for the food.  The latter is still a requirement of wherever we eat because when Daniel is hungry he is hungry and waiting is not his strong suit.

We always order the same thing – a seafood platter for two with two extra pieces of fish and a large side salad – and we always enjoy every bite.  As well as the four pieces of fish we have calamari which is never ever rubbery, prawn cutlets and a couple of thai fishcakes all with a generous amount of chips.  It is always, always excellent – beautiful fresh fish cooked to perfection.  There is not a wide choice on the menu but what they do is done very well.  On a Friday night you need to get there very early to snag a table and as you eat there are people hovering in the shadows waiting for tables to become vacant.  That in itself is a sign of how good it is.  I thoroughly recommend it for anyone who finds themselves in the western suburbs of Brisbane and waiting some good fish and chips.