Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Back with my Mac

I feel like that needs a 'yo' on the end of the post title.  And some cool handsign.

I got my new macbook today, very exciting, except I am still learning how to drive it.  I have booked my sister (the it nerd of the family) to come and help me get the things I don't know how to do set up.  It's so nice being back online.  I have only just been coping with my iphone for the last few days and the withdrawal symptoms were creeping in!!

Of course, when you get pretty new toys you want to get pretty new accessories to go with them.  So I've just ordered my mac a pretty decal.  But mine will be white.  I have always wanted a tree swing.  Not going to happen at this house anytime soon as the biggest tree in our yard is the apricot tree which is currently only about 7 foot, rather spindly (as it is only a year old) and certainly not going to hold my weight.

from dinaamon

I'm looking forward to getting all my files, photos and music set up on here and then things can get back to normal around here with way too much time spent online and not doing other more productive things around the house.  Although, hopefully I may improve a bit of the procrastination side of things? 


Monday, 28 May 2012


is definitely my very most favourite of seasons. The colours, the crunchy leaves, the rain, the sunny-but-not-hot days, the crisp evenings. I must admit I'm not a fan of the freezing mornings but we can't have it all I suppose!

Recently on Mondays I've had to come into the hospital for blood tests in the morning and then back in the arvo for appointments. It's a 35 minute round trip to the hospital so I don't like to go home and come back. Sometimes I go and borrow my sister's house which is only 10 minutes from Charlie's. Last week I went to my old stomping grounds, Garden City. I used to live south of the river and they were my local shops. I miss them, so I headed that way for a wander and a massage while I waited.

Today I headed to spotty to take advantage of their 30% off yarn and then found a nice park near the hospital and armed with a ham and cheese croissant, a banana smoothie and some crochet, I made myself comfty for some outdoor peace. Dappled sunshine warm on my back and crunchy leaves beneath my feet. What better way to spend a few hours?

Sunday, 27 May 2012

I did it!

4 kms in just 50 minutes and 10 seconds. I say just because that is good for me! I did exercise for 3 times a week for the whole month of April and only managed to go 3kms in 45 minutes so that just shows my lungs are getting even better! (the large amount of steroids I'm on may just be helping that somewhat, bonus!)

Thank you to everyone who supported me with encouraging comments and/or donations, it was very kind of you :). I ended up raising $1715 for Transplant Australia.

Here's me at the end...

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Draining away

I swear I am going to run out of blood any day now. Today marks blood test day #12 in a row and even though its a Sunday and I'm busy doing Run for a Reason tomorrow morning, I still have to go in afterwards for tests. I try to make it all better by thinking it is better than being stuck in hospital the whole time and also by indulging a bit today and last Saturday with brekkie in Subi out in the sunshine. After all, if I have to go to the hospital on the weekend, why not stop at the fruit and veggie markets and a cafe?

You can help make me feel even better with a last minute donation to my fundraising page for the run tomorrow. The run that I am walking. 4kms and all the money I've raised is going to Transplant Australia. About $1300, or more if you can help? I'd put up links but I'm on my iPhone because I am still laptopless and MR has gone back to work with his. Luckily there is a little button just over there to the right in the sidebar which will take you straight there!!

I didn't end up making it down south unfortunately, had to go in and have an ultrasound and a liver biopsy on the day we were planning on leaving instead, joy of all joys. Hopefully next month. My medications are having a little gang war against each other and not doing quite what they were expected to and it's all just loads of fun and games in my body at the mo! It is improving though, just not quite at the point where I can have a day off blood tests yet.





Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Big hopes

Do you have big hopes for something? Something big? Or even big hopes for something little?

At the moment, my big hopes revolve around a trip down south this weekend with MR.  We haven't been away anywhere since January last year (not that long I know) before I got ill.  But a Whole Lot Of Shit has happened since then so it really feels like For-Eeeeeeeee-Ver.  And a weekend away is really just what we need.

Unfortunately, my liver is being a Super Poohead.  It seriously has some whinging issues.  Noooo, I don't want those drugs, I'm going to sulk seems to be its fairly constant cry.  They had to take me off the antifungal drugs a few months early because my liver just wasn't coping.  And now I've started on my leukaemia drugs and it is having quite a similar whinge.  Now, I know I really shouldn't complain because my liver is doing enough for both of us this liver saved my life.  I know.  I am Really Truly Grateful.  Even though I do sound a bit ungrateful, I'm not.  Just venting.  But I would just like a bit of a break from elevated liver function tests and blood tests.  In the past 4 weeks I have had 16 blood tests.  Two weeks of Mon-Fri tests and two weeks of three times a week tests.  I am tired of blood tests.  My veins are Very Tired of blood tests.  I managed to convince the doctors that this week I only needed tests three times rather than five, even though my ALT (which for those of you not in the know yet is part of the liver function tests and should be below 35) doubled over the weekend from 71 to 141.  Doubling is not good.  I am nervous about tomorrow's blood test results.

The lack of stability and forward planning options are starting to get to me.  I want to book our favourite bed and breakfast place in Dunsborough, Newberry Manor, but on the weekend I thought, no I should just wait and see what the doctors say on Monday at my appointments and see what the blood test results are.  And then after talking to them on Monday, now I have to wait and see what Wednesday's results are before booking.  And then depending on what they say then I will have to wait until Friday's and we want to go down south on Friday straight after my morning blood test.


In good news however, because life is not all woe is me, my income protection money finally kicked in, only 7 months after I stopped working (but we won't go there), and I got a big lump sum back pay.  Lovely.  I also got told I could finish up on two of my medications so now I am down to 8 tablets in the morning and 7 at night, seems like so few - oh how times change!  I got free tickets to the West Australia Ballet for tomorrow through the Leukaemia Foundation, although it is a lunchtime show so I am going solo as I couldn't find anyone interested and free at that time.  And in particularly good news, my new leukaemia meds haven't caused any nausea (touch wood) and while I have been waking up with a headache every morning and puffy eyes, those side effects are manageable and the fatigue side of things hasn't been too bad either.  I've also started doing a bit of babysitting/tutoring once a week for a few hours with a 3 year old boy who has some speech delays.  Right up my alley! So it has been nice hanging with kids again and planning some ideas and using my brain in a workish sort of way.  Providing everything is stable I'll be heading back to work next term, just one day a week to start off with and then if I feel up to it I'll put my name down for relief.  

So fingers crossed for tomorrow's blood test results.  Big hopes there too.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Thread Painting progress

A while ago, I posted about how I have commissioned Monika of My Sweet Prairie to create a thread painting for me from a photo I took on a holiday down south with MR at the beginning of last year.

And a few days ago she put up a post about the progress she's made on it!  So exciting, it was my first glimpse of how it is looking.  I'm already trying to work out framing options and where to hang it in my house.

Pop over and check it out!

image copyright Monika of My Sweet Prairie

PS.  I am still computerless, although luckily MR has come home and I have been stealing his laptop to fill my addiction of blogging and silly facebook games.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

I'm toodling off..

... for (hopefully only) a few days.  The lease has come up on my laptop and I have to return it and being the typical organised souls that they are in the education department, they have not yet got the new ones ready and waiting for us.  So I'm being positive and hoping that it will only take them a few days but seeing as they haven't actually informed us of when they are coming, let alone the fact that they are running late, really it could be anyone's guess.

Apart from the upcoming withdrawal sytems (thank goodness for my iphone!), I'm quite excited because I'm getting rid of the clunky, slow, piece of poo acer and getting myself an apple.  Converting, much to my sister's delight (she made the conversion at the beginning of last year when her school gave -yes, gave - her an apple notebook (not laptops apparently))

So hopefully I'll be back sooner rather than later, and with a super fast new device (so I can catch up on all your blogs) that doesn't weigh a ton or have a battery life shorter than the alleged memory span of a goldfish.  Seriously, it lasts about a minute.  Ridiculous. 

See you on the other side!

Monday, 7 May 2012

One for the Mums of Perth

Today MR's Mum told me about this website, A Coffee in the Park, which lists good parks for kids to play in around Perth that also have good sources of caffeine (and cakes) nearby.  Highly irrelevant to me as I neither have kids or drink coffee but hey, thought I would share the link for those of you that do.

The site lists the features of the park, what play structures it has, whether it has softfall etc and then lists the nearby cafes.  Great idea I reckon.  Maybe I might treat myself to a hot chocolate and a bit of a swing sometime this week... you're never too old for a swing in my opinion!

Source: via Megan on Pinterest


Sunday, 6 May 2012


I love having a productive man around the house.  Even though he is only home every two weeks, when he is home, after a bit of a rest, he is a weapon of 'doing stuff'.  The lawns get mowed, he washes his ute (I'm still working on him washing my car *hint hint*)*, he chops down ugly palm trees and digs out stumps, other gardening stuff gets done, he makes me breakfast in bed, cooks me dinner a few nights and also any odd jobs get done too.  Like putting a hook in the wall so I could hang up my framed poppies drawing in the guest room.

I'm really happy with how it looks on the wall, all framed up and pretty.  I got the frame from Ikea but the matting was too small so I attacked it with a stanley knife and thankfully it doesn't look too uneven.  Why do they not make standard paper sized frames and/or matting???? I'm sure it is some sort of ploy to try and get us to get things framed professionally. 

I've had a bit of an obsession with poppies lately, I keep pinning them on pinterest and favouriting them on etsy.  There were some beautiful poppy fabric patterns in the recent fabric8 contest on spoonflower as well.

I made another couple of ATCs recently to send off to a couple of people and of course, one of them had to be poppies.  These were done with watercolours, on my carpet.  I also seem to have a thing about sitting on the carpetted floor and painting.  Painting at a table just doesn't work for me for some reason.  This can only lead to bad things, although thankfully it has not yet...

I've decided these little mini art works are quite fun, although I really have no idea what to do with them.  Putting them in plastic pouches in a folder just seems a bit of a waste really...

* MR has taken to occasionally reading my blog on a quiet night shift at work (hi honey x)

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Quick food #1 - Apple Pikelets

Lately I've been a bit slack in the eating department.  My appetite has changed a fair bit since surgery (diminished) and whether it's because of the drugs, my tummy shrinking while I was in hospital or because I'm not doing so much and don't need to consume so much, I'm just considering it a bit of a good thing because I used to be Major Piggy.  Not a major piggie but the Major Piggy.  I've noticed that whilst MR is away I lose a kilo or two because I am having light and easy meals like fish fingers and salad or eggs on toast for dinner.  And then he gets home and we have big meals like pasta from our favourite local Italian restaurant or a huge slab of steak with potato gems and salad and I put the kilo or two back on.  Work alright for me!

However, it's still important to eat while he is away and with me starting back on my leukaemia meds tomorrow (eek), it's time for a bit of a plan on quick food.  Not necessarily dinner foods, but something I can nibble on for lunch or afternoon tea that really don't take a lot of preparing.  Something that isn't a couple of handfuls of burger rings in a bowl.  You know, something with some sort of nutritional value to it.  That is where I fall down in the eating.  I have breakfast (usually a couple of pieces of toast and a piece of fruit) and then nothing (healthy) until dinner time.    If my new meds are anything like my old ones, I'm going to get a good dose of fatigue so I need something that takes less than ten minutes to prepare.  It can take a while in the oven because that doesn't involve much, but if I have to watch/tend to it, it needs to take less than ten minutes to do that too.  Twenty minutes isn't long, I can handle that.  

So, for the first one, really - who can go past the good old pikelet.  I do love pikelets, and not just because the batter is really yummy, which it totally is but I shouldn't be thinking of that because immunosuppressed people are not supposed to be eating raw eggs and therefore licking the bowl should be banned.  (woops)  I like to add a bit more nutritional value by adding fruit to my pikelets...

Apple Pikelets
On the left are apple and raspberry and on the right are apple - Yum!

1 cup self raising flour
1/4 cup low GI cane sugar
1/4 teaspoon bicarb soda
3/4 cup milk
1 egg
about a teaspoon of butter, melted

1 green apple, peeled and grated
frozen raspberries

Chuck the first six ingredients in a blender or in a bowl and beat.  

Go sit down and put your feet up for 20 minutes or so (batter is better if rested)

Peel and grate apple, eat peel and stir grated apple into the batter.

Heat some butter in a fry pan on low - medium heat and spoon in the mixture.  

Turn once lots of bubbles appear.

If you feel like it, add some frozen raspberry pieces to some of the pikelet mix for even more juiciness and nutritional value.

Slather with butter and enjoy!


I'd love to hear your quick snack recipes.  Doesn't have to involve cooking, it could be something as simple as cheese and tomato on crackers.  If you post about it, send me a link in the comments!

Pretty stuff in the mail

Recently I was lucky enough to be partnered up with Sandra of Made in Hem on a Swap-bot swap.  The theme was 'sew something nice' and boy did she excel in that department!!  Not only did I get this very awesome mini quilt, but we also checked out each other's blogs and had a chance to get to know each other a bit, and it's always nice to add a new blog friend from the other side of the world!

Isn't it beautiful?! You can just see my big toe down the bottom to get an idea of what size it is. 
I probably also should have ironed it before taking photos but I was too excited!

All my favourite things - trees, leaves, woodland creatures, clouds, rain - I love it!

San has sewn over woolen fibres to create the trunk and the grass, I would never have thought of doing that and how she did it so straight and neat is beyond me!

The quilt is partially machine sewn with the details being hand embroidered

I am really lucky to have scored Sandra for a swap partner for this one, I'd like to say I made my partner something just as fantastic but I would most definitely be lying.  

This was what my partner got

And the big question, what to do with my mini quilt?  Well, I'm thinking a big cushion.  It'll need a nice thick fabric so I'm thinking a black denim, to complement the black piping around the edges.  Now I just need to plan a trip to the shops to get some more fabric (oh, what a pity).

If you want to check out how San put together my quilt, check out her blog post about it here.


Friday, 4 May 2012

Flight time

Recently, my sister and I took my Dad to see a Birds of Prey show as a surprise for Mother's Day (he gets both Mother's and Father's days because he did both roles after our parents split up)

A kestral in flight, just above our heads

It was at Whiteman Park (for those of you in WA) and was run by the WA Birds of Prey Centre which was started in 2005 by Yvonne Sitko.  Yvonne is a great presenter, even in the middle of a downpour (which happened halfway through the show) and it is well worth a visit to one of the shows.  The birds that she has in the shows are unable to be released into the wild due to things like blindness and imprinting on humans.  The centre mainly focuses on rehabilitating injured birds and getting them back into the wild. 

A kite in flight just before the other two came in.

The birds we saw were allowed to roam free around the area, flying around wherever they liked.  At one point, while a male kite was flying around, a wild female kite flew into the area followed closely by another wild male.  The kite from the show flew off to join them but came back after a few minutes. 

Lots of rain! Poor Oska the Barking Owl is hiding under the umbrella

The show was fairly interactive as well, with the kids (and any adults who wanted to) getting to go up and throw some food for one of the birds to catch in their talons and then transfer to their mouths to eat whilst flying.  We also got to hold a kestral or a kite (I can't remember which one now) and a wedge tail eagle. 

If you look closely you can see this owl is blind in one eye

It wasn't cheap, but we had vouchers that brought it down to about half price.  We just kept in mind that the $45 per person we spent was going back to the Birds of Prey Centre to help them in rehabilitating more birds.  Definitely a good cause!

My dad and sister teased me a bit because in all the photos I am leaning away from the birds. 
This one is Micro the Wedge Tail Eagle, Micro because he is a small specimum at only 2kg.