Saturday, April 19, 2014

carpe diem on blurb...

 remember when I said I'd made a little book?

(a little blurb book)

gosh it seems such a looooooong time ago

it was just a few days before everything turned upside down here at the creek

so after that unexpected delay

here 'tis on the blurb site for ya'll to peruse etc.

'carpe diem'

a year of book/art gestures

ps - shortly I will have another blurby offering

but more about that in the fullness of time


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

signed, sealed, delivered...


ps I'm currently making a little something-something 
to share bits of my MFA thesis with interested folk

stay tuned, please be patient


Sunday, April 6, 2014

coping mechanisms and the new normal...

Let me start out this post by confessing

I'm weary
really really really weary

 this weary is a tiredness that sinks into the bones and sits there like a heavy rock

I have very little time and even less head (or heart) space
to do anything much beyond getting through each day...

my studio remains abandoned
my garden is a weedy patch
all my friends have been neglected

When I first became a mother (almost 12 years ago - oh myyyyyy where has that time gone?????) I thought I was reasonably prepared for the forthcoming changes that parenthood may bring: lack of sleep, financial struggles, stress in the relationship, feelings of inadequacy, the shift of priorities... Ready or not I was willing. I jumped into parenthood with eyes and heart wide open....

Despite all those things coming absolutely true (and then some!!! oooo the cranky-making views of society on motherhood - it stirs my feminist ire to GRRRRRR level --- while simultaneously I am brought to my knees by pangs of mother-guilt when I've had to leave my babies to go to work or study.... ooo the bitter dichotomy) - motherhood is the biggest, baddest, kick-arse, all-consuming best thing that I have ever done (or hope to do).




I must say

the last few weeks have been quite a 'challenge'

I don't know that there is any way to really prepare for when life takes a side street
 - you just have to go down that road gripping the steering wheel tightly

(and it's been a white knuckle ride at times these past few weeks let me tell you... )

damn you darstedly diabetes

 (these are a couple of applique/quilt/banner/cloth 'things' abandoned over a decade ago...
how apt they now appear to these weary eyes)

Ahhhh gads! Enough already of my whiny tone! (I'm not usually one to complain about life... the way I see it - there are always people having a far nastier time of things - I am totally aware that we live a privileged life - and if I temporarily forget - wellllllll I only need step outside and breathe deeply the good country air and pat one of the many good country hounds...)

 look at my 'mini' hounds now!
Sigma (tiggy tiggy) and Gamma - they are growing up so fast


When our kidlets were itty-bitty I had to shift the way I worked to accommodate their itty-bitty people needs - so instead of my (then) usual fine arts/calligraphic practice (which demanded a certain amount of uninterrupted time and attention to detail) I turned to things that could be picked up and put down without the need for cleaning up or getting icky-gunk all over my person --- Yup - I picked up yarn and cloth and thread and beads (you might remember me sharing this a while ago?) and it shouldn't come as a surprise that this is where my hands and heart are heading again. Not to Big Important Artyness.... instead I'm only interested in little utilitarian projects.... 

mending/altering a pair of overalls

thinking about knitting farmer phil a warm woolly jumper

and finishing that quilt I put away about a (gulp) decade ago

(and contemplating that little book/cloth project also put away a long time ago -
but its just too much to sink my teeth into again right now...)

Next school term I head back to a few casual days teaching each fortnight


I know I need to keep my hands moving to keep my insides still

(you know what I mean?)


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

say hello to Tyger...

eight weeks old

super cute

and all the things that a small girl child has waited for in a kitty-cat of her very own

furry, fluffy, funny, fearless

we welcome Tyger to our sams creek home

(yes EJ is completely smitten with her kitten)


Monday, March 17, 2014

the shape of days...

here we are

5 weeks after the finger prick that changed all our lives

and our days are adopted a familiar shape


10 (or there abouts) finger prick BGL tests per day
(including 3 tests during the school day and ever popular 3am finger prick... )

4 insulin injections per day
(including one at school)

learning to be constantly aware of what food is to be/has been eaten
and when and what it means

learning to be constantly aware of how the body feels
and adjusting food/insulin to accommodate past, present and future activity

it's stressful
(for a mumma bear)

and tiring
(for both a mumma bear and her cubs)

but in and around finger pricks and counting carbs and insulin injections

and (sugar) highs and (sugar) lows

life goes on...


sass has been remarkably resilient
('aren't all kids' is the oft heard refrain...)
even though he's part choffed, part embarrassed
by all the attention that his determination and resilience has attracted...

(he's somewhat mortified by the 'rising star' bit....
he just likes to swim and has absolutely no olympic dreams
unless of course  'throwing-ball-for-dog-to-fetch' becomes an olympic sport...

“Tell me the story..
About how the sun loved the moon so much..
That she died every night..
Just to let him breathe...”

― Hanako Ishii


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

and then our world turned upside down...

Tuesday 11 February 2014

at 10.10am in the small doctor's room in Cobargo

our sassy boyo was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes

just like that

finger prick

blood glucose level 28.9

paediatrics at Canberra Hospital was notified we were on our way

 and after 3 and a half hours of tense driving,
my sassy boy and I arrived  at the emergency department

and our journey into the world of diabetes mellitus had begun

now 'diabetes' is a pretty familiar word - most folk have heard of it
some folk have a few ideas about what it means

sometimes folk know that there are 2 main types of diabetes
Type 1 and Type 2

now I don't want to bore folk with info overload

so here it is in a nutshell

Diabetes occurs when the body cannot produce enough insulin (or when the insulin that the body makes doesn't work properly). Most of the time when the word 'diabetes' is thrown around, it's Type 2 that is being described - and that's because 85-90% of folk who have the condition, have Type 2 diabetes. Only about 10% of folk diagnosed with diabetes have Type 1 diabetes (which used to be called 'juvenile diabetes' because this more savage form of the condition generally started in children under 15 years of age).

Type 1 diabetes is a life long condition

It cannot be prevented or cured

Without daily injections of insulin,
a person with Type 1 diabetes will die.

full stop.

welcome to our brave new world

After the initial shock and awe of diagnosis and admission to hospital, our steep (STEEEEEEEEP) learning curve commenced - and accelerated with alarming speed. When a young person is diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes (which in the medical world I'm learning is often abbreviated to DM1) here in Australia a whole team of folk mobilise... before we had even reached the emergency doors the troops had been assembled...  there's the paediatric endocronolgoist, the paeds registrars, paeds diabetes educators, the dieticians, the social worker... then of course once you're in the zone there are the paeds nurses, captain starlight and company to cheer up the small people, and the body-and-soul-restoring Ronald McDonald House volunteers (can't stand maccas food, but don't let me hear anyone diss the RMcD Houses.... without them I know I would have turned into a puddle of jelly)

(here's rufus bear - one of the smallest members of the diabetes team
 every child diagnosed with DM1 gets a bear that also has diabetes to keep them company)

We were lucky that our stay in hospital was brief - that's because our sassy boy was diagnosed before he developed the especially lovely condition diabetic ketoacidosis (or DKA - and no I hadn't heard of this before either...). It's unusual that a young person has Type 1 diagnosed before they develop DKA so of course waves of medicos came to quiz me about 'how did you know something was wrong?'

ahhhhhh well you see - my Farmer Phil has Type 1 diabetes... and 3 of his siblings had/have Type 1....  and one uncle, one great aunt, 2 nieces (this goes on for a bit...) had/have Type 1 diabetes

      so when our young lad seemed a bit lethargic and not quite himself

                 and started to drink a LOT of water

                                       and pee a LOT

                                                 and wake through the night (to pee a LOT more)

I thought a trip to the local GP might be in order... just to rule things out.... to have the doctor tell me 'ahhhhh the terrible teens are just a hormone or two away, this is all perfectly normal'...

       so here we are one week later

                      one week into the rest of his life

                                one week into multiple daily insulin injections and counting carbohydrates and blood glucose tests before meals, after meals, and all through the night, and weird new gadgets and a new language that includes things like 'carb exchange' and 'glucometer' and 'cartridge lancets' and 'hypoglycemia' or 'lows' and 'hyperglycemia' or 'highs' and 'ketones' and 'the honeymoon period' (no, not as romantic as it sounds) ....

 its all a bit of a head spin

and talking of turning heads....


just over two days after being released from hospital,
less than a week after dignosis and the commencement of a whole new way of being
there is our boyo back in the pool swim training like a champion

this friday he is off to represent his school
at the school zone swimming championships
yep just 10 days after diagnosis and a stretch in hospital
he's going to try to defend his title as zone age champion

even getting there will be pretty damn special don't you think?
(his stunned, yet supportive paediatric endocronologist seems to think its pretty amazing)

there may be more wet faces out of the pool than there are in it!

my hero

my boyo