Monday, 27 February 2012

Button-ey love

A little while ago I posted about a set of square nesting frames I got for Christmas that are in need of filling.  I thought this would be the perfect chance to use up some of my lovingly hoarded buttons.

I laid them all out in the frame, the easy part.  But then the transferring them to fabric was a little bit tricky.  I didn't want to freehand it because that was just a headline for disaster so I outlined a square to keep the heart in and then laid out the outline of the buttons and ever so very carefully stitched them on, trying not to shift their arrangement.  Then I filled in the inside.  There was a bit of reshuffling because it wasn't quite the same but I'm relatively happy with the (slightly wonky) results.  To frame it I just trimmed it and folded the linen over the glass of the frame and the back of the frame was enough to hold it in place.  Lovely! I like easy solutions!  Two more frames to fill and two prints to buy frames for and then they can go up on the wall!

Linking in with Make : Grow : Thrift this week for something different!  Head over to The Haby Goddess for more home/hand-made/grown loveliness!

Friday, 24 February 2012

I Am Home!

Oh, the relief!

MR flew in at 10.20, got a taxi home and then jumped in the car to come pick me up.  Taxi fares are not what our budget needs at the moment but it couldn't be helped.

Now if only the Meow would come out from wherever she's hiding at Dad's house so she can come home.  MR and I looked and called twice! Once before doing food shopping and once after. 

Silly camouflauge meows.

She was not hiding here, we checked.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

I am NOT going home today.

All my optimism came to nothing.

Stupid doctors.  Apparently my kidney function is up now, which they would have seen if they had have looked at my blood tests this morning when they came back.  The only one they have to wait til 4 for is the anti-rejection levels.  And why are my kidney functions up?  And how high are they? Who knows, because they didn't bother coming and telling me themselves, they just passed a message through the nurse and ran off home so they didn't have to answer their pagers for them to come and actually explain the problem to me.

I am really fucking pissed off.

As far as I'm aware, contrast dye for CT scans and MRIs is processed through the kidneys.  I've had three doses of contrast dye this week and today when I had the scan I mentioned it and the radiologist asked if I had been put on fluids to flush it out, which I hadn't.  I mentioned it to my doctor today and he said just drink lots of water.  My blood test this morning was before the CT scan. So tomorrow it's only going to be higher if that's what's causing it.  And if that's what's causing it I am going to be well and truly ropable.

Soooooooooooooooo SOOOOOOO tempted to just discharge myself.

I'm going home today!

I may still be waiting here and it's 5pm but I am going home today.  I've packed my bags and everything!

My doctor is not keen on sending me home until my anti-rejection meds level stabilises after it was pushed up by the antifungals.  Today my levels came down to 12, from 15 so I think they are pretty close to stable.  They should be around 11.  Luckily, they decided I didn't need to be on intravenous antifungals for another week, I got to start the tablet form last night.  

They got me up early for a CT scan of the head, just to make sure there are no mushrooms growing in there. (Looks all clear.)  Since then I have been waiting, waiting for this morning's blood test results to come back, they take a while to process so they don't come through til 4ish.  And then since 4 I have been waiting waiting waiting waiting for the Professor to get out of clinic, hear my results and approve my going home.

Because I am going.



Knitting knots

On the back of my small piece crafty success I decided to have another go at knitting.  I brought some needles and wool into hospital thinking that maybe I could spend lots of time learning hows it done properly, so I don't forget again this time.

After you tubing videos on how to cast on, I remembered how to knit, and then watched another video on how to purl and I was off.  Except unfortunately I cast on too tightly to get the needle through so I had to start again.

So I recast on, looser this time (or so I thought) only to find that it wasn't really looser at all.  I persevered, until I dropped a stitch, couldn't work out how to pick it back up and unravelled again.

Third time I thought surely by now I will have cast on nice and loosely.  No such luck. Still tight as ever.  What am I doing wrong?  This time I just soldiered on through, forcing my needle into teeny weeny spaces.  I managed a few rows but I missed a stitch or something somewhere because it wasn't looking how it should.

By this time, I was feeling very disenchanted by the whole thing.  I had one more try, equally as unsuccessful as the first three.  Maybe I'm using the wrong needles or the wrong wool or maybe I am just not cut out for knitting.  I think I'll stick to crochet for a while longer.

Many, more successful, crafty endeavours at Our Creative Spaces.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

I finished something!

But I can't show you.  I really want to but it is a surprise for Christie of Describe Happy.  We are doing a private swap, my first!  So I am quite excited by this finished thing, so much so that I think I might just make one for myself as well.  Small projects are the way to go.  No more big projects for a while I think.  I like finishing success!

Instead, tonight I thought I might leave you with a list of thoughts that have been popping into my mind that really don't ever get thought except when you are in hospital.

- Nurses are amazing people, imagine having to deal with all those disgusting bodily fluids from every possible orifice.

- How do they remove people who died from their rooms without everyone seeing?

- How many people died here today? (It's a hospital, thoughts are bound to get morbid.)

- How can the catering team still have their jobs when the food is so bad and everyone complains about it?

- How is it possible to stuff up bread??? (my bread for breakfast came toasted on one side and soggy on the other)

- When can I go home?

- Why do I have to stay here when here is where I caught all these germs (5 so far) in the first place?

- Is there a Mexican Wave of toilet flushes throughout the night as one person goes then another hears the toilet flush and decides they need to go too?

- How big is the hot water system that they never run out of hot water for showers?

- Why aren't the beds longer? (they are too short for me and I am not even 6 foot)

- Why is there a door into the room next door to mine with a window on it that doesn't have a curtain? (We have taped pillow cases over it)

- What do nurses do on really quiet night shifts? Are they allowed to read a book? (I asked, and apparently, yes!)

- How do all the people who are too sick or injured to move get downstairs in a fire evacuation?

- Why can I not have a salad but I can have a salad sandwich?

Have you had any all consuming random ponderings of late?


Friday, 17 February 2012

post its + list = bliss

As soon as I get home from hospital I am so whipping up one of these.

Total awesomeness.  And a good use for the overabundance of post it notes I have.

Imagine the pleasure of tearing one off once you're finished and screwing it up into a teeny tiny little ball!

And very convenient that once a post it has been there for a while, it might just fall off and get forgotten about you can change the goals so easily and add new ones as you finish one and not have a really huge list that you look at and give up before you've even started it's that long.


Band wagons

I have spoken before about my belated band wagon jumping so you may remember that I just don't really go for any old trend, just to be trend-y.  Trendy is a ridiculous word anyhow.

So the latest band wagon I've decided to climb aboard is Pinterest.  Mainly because I am sitting here in hospital twiddling my thumbs and refreshing the blogger dashboard waiting for new posts to come up to read.  How sad.  Yes, I could read a book but I'm not in the mood at the moment.  And with the canula in my inner elbow of my right arm there's only so long I can crochet for without it getting sore from bending it too much.

However, when I just tried to jump on the Pinterest bandwagon, they sent me an email telling me I was on the waiting list.  WTF?!  How snobby do they think they are? Is it some prestigious elite private boarding school? No.  How rude.  I feel a bit indignant.  When I want to join and start something I want to do it straight away!

Now I don't know if I want to join it afterall. (But I probably still will if they hurry up and send me an 'invite to join' sometime soon)

Have you ever been in a similar situation?  Are you on Pinterest and if so, did you have to wait and how long?

Edit: got my 'invitation' from pinterest at 1.30am.  Not too long a wait, luckily!


Back to the drawing board

Don't hospital blankets make a great background.

 This morning I have been hooking away.  Back to a pattern rather than unsuccessfully attempting to branch out on my own.  Differently though, this particular pattern is in German, which I don't speak, so I was a bit at loss as to how to follow it.  It is in pdf so I couldn't do the translator button which seems to have disappeared from my firefox anyhow.  I scrolled a bit further and saw that the pattern was also drawn out, similar to the photo below, so I thought I'd have a go at following it that way.  It was a fairly easy pattern and there was success.  Yay!  Now I need to get to work with the natural coloured wool to bring it all together.

On being prepared

I am not a naturally organised person.  In fact, I would say I'm a highly disorganised, fly by the seat of my pants, wing it sorta gal.  Sometimes I have little forays into being organised.  They usually involve my sister helping me, but sometimes they are solo.  They generally don't last long but I always feel so proud of myself for the short amount of time it lasts.

When the doctor told me I needed to go into hospital the next day I had a mini moment of preparedness.  I packed all the stuff I needed into my case and there was even enough room for my pillow to fit.  Apart from that I only took my laptop bag and a bag of essential nibbles to get me through the truly shitty hospital food.  My sister gave me the ferrero rochers for Valentine's Day to cheer me up about hospital stays and bronchoscopies.  I also bought a bag of stone fruit.  Can't go without my fruit!

I even managed to fit a little bag of crafty stuff into my case.  However, not much has been happening on that front.  I thought that maybe I would be skilled enough now to just make a bit of a laceyish scarf myself without any pattern needed.  After three attempts I gave up that idea.  Back to patterns and copying stuff other people have designed for those not so talented.

Hospital wise, I'm here for another few days at least.  They've found some bugs in my lungs and started treating them but still haven't worked out what's going on with my liver.  I had a CT scan of it today and tomorrow I am off for an MRI.  I'm hoping they will let me have day release on Sunday to go to Brown Owls.  Apparently it shouldn't be a problem so long as I'm feeling ok.  Fingers crossed!



Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

You'll never guess what I got for V Day...

A bronchoscopy and a hospital stay.  Oh yay! Aren't I just so lucky!!!!!


I was totally dreading the bronchoscopy (tube stuck down your throat and into your lungs to have a look and take a sample of lung gunk and a biopsy if needed) but the twilight woozy drugs they gave me worked so well that I don't remember anything past putting in a mouthguard thing to keep my mouth open while they tubed me.  Next thing I remember (vaguely) is getting off one bed and onto another in my room.  THANK GOD. Of all the procedures I have had since my liver went caput that one was the one that  I was most anxious about in the lead up to it. 

So I'm stuck in hospital for a few days while we wait to see why I only have about half of the lung effectivity as I should do.  My liver has also been playing up a bit, the ALT (one of the things they test in the liver function blood test) has been rising for a week or two and has reached 280 when it is supposed to be below 35.  They don't want to increase my immunosuppressants because that will make the probable infection (I say probable because they have no idea what's the problem, even after an x-ray and a ct scan) in my lungs worse.  So here I sit. 

In other much more exciting, but rather trivial, news, I had my first 'green smoothie' yesterday.  I started off a bit wussily and only had one vegetable but that's beside the point.  It's apple, mango, spinach and lime.  It was quite yummy.  All I could taste was the apple, which is good because I really hate spinach.  I got it at some health food shop.  When I get my tax back (after I have put it in heh heh oops) I am going to buy myself a juicer or maybe one of that fancy really expensive vita mix or whatever they are called machines.  And take up a bit of a juice diet.  Not as in, only drink juice because that would be totally boring.  But as in, have at least one green veggie filled smoothie a day.  We'll start and one and if they taste nice maybe I might increase it to two.  We'll see.  Maybe I can just put apple in all of them.  Apples are green!

Are you a juicer?  Fruit or veggies?  What are your favourite green veggie smoothie combos?


Saturday, 11 February 2012

My Place and Yours: On the Wall

A little while ago I posted about a display of bits and pieces I was getting ready to put on the wall in my craft room.  It still isn't on the wall because I haven't filled all the frames or found frames for the things without them.  But I have had some fun since then deciding on what to put in a couple of the nesting aqua frames.

Lots of buttons and some stickers from kikki k.

One sweet little tiny frame filled with lovely tiny things.
I am well known for enjoying little things!

I'm going to stitch these buttons onto some fabric and then pop them in the frame.

I'm looking forward to getting my little display up on the wall.  MR and I are having a very belated housewarming party in March.  8 days shy of our one year moving-into-our-first-home-aversary.  10 days shy of my one year since being diagnosed with CML.  I'm sure you can understand why we hadn't got around to our housewarming yet.  By the time I adjusted enough to the meds and the new me and it got warm enough to have a party outside, my liver went caput.  It's been a crazy year of shitty health!  So I'm hoping to have my craft room all finished and tidy and perfect and my cluster of frames up on the wall with my pieces of art in them.  Nothing like a firm deadline for getting some motivation to do stuff!

And now, onto the stuff that is actually already on my wall, seeing as that is the theme for My Place and Yours this week.  There's not a lot to show yet.  We are still working on purchasing/creating art works for most of the walls.

This is the first thing you see when you walk in our front door.  It is a photo printed on canvas of Circular Falls in Karijini National Park in WA.  MR has been there, it is near where he works.  We have a (much smaller) old camera phone (pre iphone days!) photo of him sitting under the falls.  I got this for him as a combined birthday and Christmas present a couple of years ago.  It was Very Expensive!

A pretty frame bought on a holiday and photos from that holiday (Dunsborough, WA) inside.

MR bought me this for my birthday a couple of years ago.  It is my first piece of OOAK original art work.  It is a tissue paper, paint and charcoal collage and I love it.  It is only small, about 25 cm square.

As I said, not too much yet.  But half the fun of getting art on the walls is finding or creating just the right pieces!

Head over to Punky and Me for more on the wall stuff!

Friday, 10 February 2012

Message to your teenage self project

Today I was over catching up on Maxabella loves and I came across this post about a project that Claire from Scissors Paper Rock is compiling.  You can read about it here.  Basically, Claire is putting together a you tube video of images that you send in that contain a message to our teenage selves.  Something inspiring.  I did think of making one that said "suck it up princess", just to give the kids a laugh, but I decided that wasn't presenting quite the level of seriousness that surrounds teenage depression and suicide.  My teenage years were filled with many dark and twisty moments,  (hell, my adult years still are too) and "suck it up" would not have really helped the situation.  So I became more inspirational and cliche-y.  Hopefully it helps someone.

The image below is by Claire, explaining the project.  But it's really better to go to the post.  The two images below that are my contribution.  You don't have to use photos (I just had some nice ones I took on holidays that were suitable).  You can paint it, sew it, write it on a wall, whatever you like! 

What would you tell your teenage self?

Thursday, 9 February 2012

On Finance and Other Associated Depressing Things

I have never been very good with money.  This hasn't proven too big a deal in the past.  Yes, it meant I couldn't afford to go on overseas holidays because my wardrobe was bulging at the seams and because my kitchen was overflowing with yummy expensive gourmet produce.  And yes, I have been paying credit card interest every month since the age of 19, bar the few months here and there where I swap credit cards to take advantage of the 6 month interest free deals in an attempt to pay off some debt. 

Slowly, over the last couple of years I have been getting better at managing my money, reducing my credit card debt from 11 grand to 6.  I paid off my car loan (only to get another small loan for buying new furniture for our new place) and I managed to save up a bit of money.  But then I got sick.  And now I am not working and not earning any money.  Thankfully and very luckily, my superannuation company provides income protection so I will be getting about $500 a week.  This is definitely not to be sniffed at however it is about half of what I made when I was working so there have been some Major Budget Adjustments. 

Every week or so I go into my budget and anxiously pour through it looking for ways I can cut out some spending and not get into any more debt.  I ponder on how I am going to pay certain upcoming large bills and when I am doing the food shopping I try not to buy cherries at $19.99/kg or strawberries for $4.99 a punnet.  Fruit is my downfall.  I am too much in love with it and willing to pay ridiculous amounts for it.  I try to menu plan a bit more than before so there isn't too much food wastage.  I consider giving up my cleaner but then scrap that as a bad idea because some days it is a struggle to make dinner, let alone wash the dishes afterwards so vacuuming and mopping a rather large house is definitely out of the question.

I look at vouchers and discounts you get as a member of places like RAC and the teacher's union.  I avoid shopping centres like the plague.  Even though I Really Want To Go Shopping.  I also try to avoid online shopping which is way harder to avoid when I am on my computer for at least a couple of hours each day.  Reading has become my friend (even more so) because it does not attempt to trick you into buying stuff.  Thank goodness I'm not a magazine reader!

I have never been in such a situation where I am needing to ask someone else to pay a bill for me.  It really is not fun and is quite demoralising.  I already feel burdensome in regards to 'doing stuff' because I don't have the energy.  Now I am burdensome financially as well.  Poor MR.  The other night I had to ask him if it might be okay for him to pay the next electricity bill in March.  (I like to give at least a bit of warning.)  Our deal is that I pay for most food and amenities and he pays the mortgage.  Of course, the wonderful man that he is, he was fine with it.  But I still hate asking.

I think about what I could do to make a bit of extra money.  Something that I can work around the limits of my lack of energy and numerous doctor appointments.  Perhaps I can take in ironing?  Or sign up for one of those Do Typing From Home and Make $4000 a Week ads you see in your sidebar on facebook or google.  Which I'm sure can only be a scam anyhow. 

So I'm putting it out to you now.  What are your cost cutting tips?  What do you do to make a bit of extra cash? How do you manage on a tight budget?  and How on earth am I going to cope when I have no money to go clothes shopping with???

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

My Place and Yours: Outside

I thought I might play along with My Place and Yours this week.  It is held over at Punky and Me.  Aren't meme's so handy for when you have had an(other) uneventful week?

This week's theme is Outside.  We don't have a very interesting outside yet.  MR and I have recently discussed the lack of personality our outside has.  We want some old metal wagon wheels to prop against the fence for our two passionfruit vines to grow up.  Locating some and having them in our price range is proving a challenge.  I've found a couple on gumtree, one for $150 and the other for $500.  Slight variation there! 

on the table

lots of washing today

toys in MR's shed

goosberry bush

front garden bed edging

What's outside at your place?  Do you have something special that gives your garden personality?

Homemade Jam

I am not a fan of jam, unless it is homemade.  Preferably with homegrown fruit.  Unfortunately, I didn't have homegrown fruit to use so I just went with the tastiest cheapest fruit I could find at the markets.  I have a tight budget now that I haven't been working since September last year.  Goodness, that's already 4 months off.  If only it were under better circumstances. 

I made pretty labels on Picnik
I made this jam a while ago.  The Apricot and Vanilla and Summer Berries batches were whipped up before Christmas.  Perfect Christmas presents for unplanned-for visitors or to give when visiting.  Much cheaper than a box of chocolates and in my opinion, much nicer!

Yummy homemade goodness

The Plum and Cinnamon was made after Christmas.  I was waiting on the blood plums to come out.  They are so much nicer for jamming than yellow flesh ones.

Once I get rid of this dreadful lurgy I am thinking of getting a box of tomatoes and making up a tomato relish.  I haven't made that before.  Anyone have a good recipe they can recommend?

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Help! (the things we forget)

Once upon a time, back when I was a teenager, I had my own website.  Goodness knows what nonsense I put on my website.  I vaguely remember random waffle (my, how much has changed), photos of various events friends and I went to, snippets of songs and poems I liked and so on.  But that is beside the point because I wrote/designed the website myself with only minimal assistance from online.  I taught myself to HTML. 

Fast forward to current day and there is No Way I could design my own blog without some sort of blog/website design program, such as Artisteer, which is what I use.  I have only the vaguest recollections of little bits and pieces of HTML.  And Clearly Not Enough to fix my bloody stupid annoying poohead of a header. For goodness sake!!!!

I am in dire need of some assistance.  Why on earth can I not get my blog sheet to be 1000 pixels wide and have the header be the same without doing the weird shifting thing it is doing up there? I don't want a narrow blog. I want a big wiiiiiiiide photo friendly one.  HELP!

What have you recently discovered you have somehow unlearnt over the years?


I've been incredibly slack on the Good Things front.  I blame not leaving the house apart from for doctors appointments. Actually, I've been incredibly slack on all fronts.  There has not been a lot of anything going on in my house apart from reading.  But I haven't been at my house much this week and at hospital there have been numerous things going on.

This week I have/had: (including tomorrow)

3 blood tests
(which took about) 16 vials of blood
1 chest xray
1 CT scan of lungs
2 liver check ups
5 days of a red welted rash covering my legs
1 dermatologist appointment
1 referal for drug allergy testing 
1 haemotology appointment
2 counselling sessions
1 kinaesiology appointment
1 Chi Gong meditation class
$13.20 parking fees plus,
$8.80 of free parking because the paying machine was broken
$69.40 worth of prescriptions


0 liver gym classes
because I don't want to infect the other immunosuppressed liver patients with my chest infection/whatever bug it is and also because I barely have enough breath for a long sentence, let alone lifting weights or pedalling a bike for 5 minutes.

However, the news is not entirely dire on the Good Things front.

The day before yesterday I signed up to do the HBF Run for a Reason.  It's on here in Perth on the 27th May.  I signed up to do the 4km leg.  14km is a bit extreme and seeing as I still cannot run without feeling like my liver is painfully bouncing around inside of me like a bag of oranges being double bounced on a trampoline, I am going to walk.  Maybe I'll aim to do the 4km at a run next year?  Who knows.  We'll see!

My reason for Running Walking is because I want my life to return to a bit of normality and by getting fit and re-building up my stomach muscle strength I will be able to not feel sore and have more energy, two things that are hindering me at the moment.  So once I get over this annoying lurgy, I will be endeavouring to go walking Regularly.  At least twice a week.  And seeing as I am recovering from a liver transplant, I decided that my charity of choice would be Transplant Australia.  I am aiming to raise $1000.  I am 1/10 of the way there already!! Just 18 more $50 donations or 45 more $20 donations and I will be there!  I'd love it if you could help me! You don't have to do a big one like $50 or even $20, $5 is just as lovely!

You can go and read more about my reasons and about Transplant Australia on my Everyday Heroes website.  Please feel free to share the link around blogosphere and beyond, I'd love to reach and maybe even pass my target!

A Year of Good Things
::30/366::  For Transplant Australia and myself
I signed up to do the HBF Run for Reason, raising money for Transplant Australia and getting fit and healthy in the process!