Not rocket science – please read this!

Almost 3 weeks ago I got up to fix dinner and my legs went to jelly. I sat down for a few minutes, but when I got up, they still felt like jelly and my left arm had gone numb and tingly. All I could think of was ‘I’m having a stroke – how do you test if you’re having a stroke?’ So I held my left arm in the air and watched as it slumped to the chair by my side. Then I asked my 16 year old son to help me ring an ambulance.

I spent the next 24 hours in emergency at the local hospital. They gave me a CT scan and told me I had a giant aneurysm in one of the arteries in the right side of my brain. A few days later I was taken to a large hospital in Sydney, had a barrage of tests including MRI and angiogram. Then on the Friday night I was told that I would need to have open surgery on my brain to ‘clip’ the aneurysm, so it wouldn’t rupture. So I had the whole weekend to think about that. They proposed doing the surgery the following Monday. I was as ready for it as I could be, when one of the registrars came in and said they thought it could be fixed by a process called ‘coiling’, which is a much less invasive procedure where they perform surgery via a catheter inserted in the femoral artery and fed up into the brain.

So on Tuesday I went to have the coiling, but the machine had broken down. I’d already been sedated and they were trying to explain how they were going to block the artery and I could lose the peripheral vision on the left side of both my eyes, although it was highly likely that other blood vessels had taken over that function. I felt incredibly helpless because of the sedation.

On Wednesday, I went for the procedure. When I woke up I could see perfectly, but my left arm and the left side of my face were numb and tingly – I’d had a stroke during the procedure. I spent two and a half weeks in hospital. Now I’m home with my kids. They’ve been wonderful – keeping things going at home while I was away.  All I could think about was my kids – they lost their dad (my ex-husband) to cancer 3 years ago, and they’ve had a rough time.

I’m so thankful for all the good wishes, prayers and positive thoughts from family and friends. And for the answer to those prayers. It’s made such a difference!  I’m told it could take 18 months for my left arm to get back to normal, and have been prescribed lots of crafting to get the muscles and co-ordination happening. I’m still unbelievably tired and exhausted. 

So my friends, live every day!

Published in: on April 11, 2009 at 8:15 pm  Comments (15)  
Tags: , ,

On my Desk, and another Happy Birthday….


Welcome to On My Desk, hosted by Kootooyou. A change of desk for me today – the lounge is my desk, where I’m knitting whimsical teacosies.  So I’ve got a big stash of interesting wool, a copy of Wild Tea Cosies by Loani Prior that I won in a Blogtoberfest giveaway (thankyou Loani !!), my favourite dog, something good on the telly – now just grab a cup of Earl Grey and I’m set for some serious knitting!




Op shop chevron tea cosy for added inspiration.

my1st-tcosy4 my1st-tcosy1 

And here’s my first attempt. simple yet stylish polo-neck adorned with a single pom pom in Moda Vera ‘Confetto’ – quick, easy and fun!

Today my firstborn turns 18! Happy Birthday Glen! Many more happy years ahead!

Published in: on November 26, 2008 at 6:49 am  Comments (5)  
Tags: , , ,

Blogtoberfest day 26: Sunday at home…


Some of the things happening around home today: The roses are beginning to bloom…

Looks like there’ll be a good crop of limes in a few months…

The Aussie stingless bees are happily foraging for pollen…

A boy who didn’t fancy having his picture taken…


And some more button flower posies I whipped up during the week….

Visit  Big Cat’s Emporium  for more Blogtoberfest fun!

Published in: on October 26, 2008 at 10:37 am  Comments (3)  
Tags: , ,

Blogtoberfest day 25 and Pink Saturday…

Well its been a lovely spring day in the Blue mountains, and I’ve been outside in the garden doing some pruning and some weeding. The trees have their new flush of leaves, and many of our Aussie trees get this beautiful pink new growth. It’s lovely to look at but also serves a purpose, acting as a sunscreen to protect the new growth:


Todays buttons for Blogtoberfest are these cute kids buttons from the 1950s. I bought them (and about 4 kilos more!) from a lady whose mum and grandmother used to sew them onto shop cards to raise extra money for the family during the 1950s.



These sweet little flowers have a pearly lustre.


For more Blogtoberfest goodies visit Big Cat’s Emporium. For more Pink Saturday visit How Sweet the Sound!

Published in: on October 25, 2008 at 7:28 pm  Comments (13)  
Tags: , , ,

Blue Monday #1

 Thanks to Sally for hosting Blue Monday!

I’d like to share with you something that I think is better than fairies at the bottom of the garden – bowerbirds at the bottom of my garden (well just over the fence)! I live in the Blue Mountains of NSW, Australia, and our local bowerbird is called the satin bowerbird. Males are deep iridescent blue with lavender eyes. Females are olive with lavender eyes. Young males are apparently the same colour as females – they get their new plumage when they become mature. I was lucky enough to see one in the transition phase once.

They build a bower on the ground out of small twigs, and decorate it with blue objects. If you own blue plastic pegs, chances are they won’t last long in the peg basket. They also like pale gold, such as straw or pale yellow flowers. The bower is for courtship, not nesting.


This one built a bower under a big stand of feral lantana in the bush behind my place. The bower is built with the opening facing north / south, and usually in dappled shade where the sun can dance on the leaves.

Here’s some of his collection. Bowerbirds make the most wonderful sounds – whirring and clicking noises like a rickety old sewing machine. For the past 25 years I have had a bowerbirds bower on or near my property. It was a lovely treat to show my kids when they were growing up.

Addendum: D’oh! I named my blog and my website after these birds, as they surround themselves with things they’ve collected – and so do I!!

Happy Monday everyone!

Published in: on September 29, 2008 at 1:00 am  Comments (16)  
Tags: , , , ,

A blog about dogs… and insomnia…

There is a definite pecking order among my three dogs. The golden retriever knows I’m the alpha male (female), he thinks he’s next in line above the two teenage boys, though he’s getting the message there. But he definitely thinks he’s way above the two smaller dogs.

At 4 o’clock this morning, I couldn’t sleep, so I got up and made a cup of tea and went into my little cupboard of a study. Big dog followed me in, little dog dared to try and squeeze past big dog, and this resembles what ensued:

Teenage son eventually woke up and helped me as I tried to extract little dog’s head from big dog’s mouth. In the fracas, tea spilt all over bench, buttons, papers, laptop, floor, electrical cords……

There may have been some swearing.

Big dog is now limping around with a sore paw, looking so sad his face might drop off. Despite his size, he got knuckled by little dog.

Bob the dog by you. 

Little dog (aka cutest dog in the world).   Big dog, who looks fat but really its all just hair!

Published in: on September 6, 2008 at 12:19 pm  Comments (2)  
Tags: , , ,