A moment of stellar parenting

Tonight, we had a parenting situation that needed a sensitive touch.

Small boy has grown accustomed to a cafe visit, with cake, as a reward for reading milestones. Not so much the reading every night, but the writing in the home reading journal. It was a deal we made at the beginning of the year with his teacher. She thought it was important, we had her back and enforced it.

Today, he hit 175 days of reading. But he hadn’t filled in the journal. I said no cake. There were tears.
Thank goodness I rock this parenting gig. I found a clip of The Beastie Boys singing “No Sleep Till Brooklyn”, and sang “No Cake Till Tuesday”.

Kid became hysterical for a different reason, and the evening was saved.

Now looking for a reason to introduce him to Nick Cave. Or Snakefinger. Perhaps some Violent Femmes.

It’s not cancer

For a few years now, I’ve had a lump on the back of my neck, and thought nothing of it. It was painful when it first appeared, but not since, so I ignored it.

In April, just before festival, it got bigger. And painful. And a secondary lump appeared. Then I started getting facial nerve pain across the right side of my face. The intensity varies, but it’s been pretty much constant for a few months.

So I went to the GP, who sent me off to have needles poked into it for a biopsy.

It’s a “reactive” lymph node. Now, reacting is what a lymph node is supposed to do. But then, after it is done reacting, it is supposed to calm down and have a rest. This one is going off like a frog in a sock, and hasn’t got the memo to calm down yet.

And it might be what is causing the facial pain, and probably is what is causing the pain in my neck.

The solution is surgery. Ugh.

But at least it’s not cancer, right?

My First Ravelry Pattern!

Please do download it, add it to your ravelry queue, cast on, and post project pics when you are done. It won’t take more than an hour or two to make, and you can customise it and make it your own. This isn’t anything tricky or clever, it was designed to be worked on in a class I was teaching about knitting in the round.

May 2016

I just turned 46. It’s not so bad. I’m full of gratitude for the life I am able to live right now. Still terribly fond of Mark, so blessed to be mama to the best kid in the world, and doing fulfilling work, both in my volunteer role, and in in actual paid employment.

Yesterday, I taught a knitting class and had great feedback.

Inigo learning to knit while daddy played tennis

This morning, I finally taught Inigo how to knit (he learned to spin at the end of last month).
And this afternoon I published my first ever pattern on Ravelry – it’s nothing complicated, but great fun, and a good beginning project for a learner.

Next weekend we have Woolfest – the third annual pop up fibre market in Auckland, and the second one since I tok over as area delegate. Festival went off with nary a hitch, and for the first time eve, Inigo seems to not only be enjoying school, he has great friends, and he seems to be heading for some positive academic results for the first time.

I hope all is well with you too.

Nothing to see here

Thanks to Jenny who notified me of the blog being hacked, Mark was able to gain back control pretty easily. So I thought I should post something after a long silence.

Life is ticking along well in Auckland. Squid has a really great teacher this year, and is actually enjoying school most of the time, I am really busy in the lead up to the Creative Fibre annual festival that we are organising in Auckland this year, and Mark is doing ok. He’s not enjoying life in Auckland as much as Squid and I, but he’s OK.

Inigo has been really enjoying indoor climbing ,and is showing a real talent for it. Last weekend he fell out of a tree and injured himself so badly we had to go to the emergency room, but he is healing well, and still keen on climbing!


Today, 5 year olds all over Australia started school today.
 I’ve dreaded today for years. It sucks.
 I’m coping.
 I miss my babies.

Choosing a celebrant

Over the holidays I was discussing with family and friends what makes a good celebrant. When I was married in 2004, our celebrant was very “hands off”, and I practically had to beg him to do a rehearsal with us. At the time, I felt like I needed a little more guidance and hand holding than he gave us. Don’t get me wrong, he was very professional, and performed the ceremony beautifully. But I was left feeling a little lost through the process.

What I needed, was a celebrant that was willing to patiently walk us through all the documentation, and help us to make choices about our ceremony. As it was, we wrote our entire ceremony ourselves! Back then, we didn’t have the moitum in the ceremony, and our vows were said in rhyming couplets in the style of Dr Seuss. It worked, we are still happily married, and though it felt a bit rough and ready at the time, it worked.

I mentioned my feelings about the celebrant, and my brother in law said that he thought that style of celebrant was brilliant! “You don’t need all that hand holding, just do the paperwork and say your words” seem to sum up how he felt.

There are hundreds of blog posts giving advice about how to choose your celebrant, but this “personal style” or “service level” can be very difficult to establish over the phone.

What is important to you in a celebrant? Below are some attributes you might like to consider before you pick up the phone.

- personal style and flair
- level of service (how many weddings per weekend?)
- connection (do you feel comfortable with them)
- availability for rehearsals etc
- will they work with you to write the prefect ceremony, or do it for you?

If you don’t need extra support, tell your celebrant. And if you do, make sure you choose a celebrant that will take the time to make sure that your wedding goes smoothly, right down to every detail.

Happy families

Adam and Andrea are friends that I have known for years – since before Inigo was born and we used to go to a pub in Newtown for a knitting group.
 They bought a house, and renovated. They planned to start a family, and planned a more extensive renovation. But first, a wedding.
 Harbour Wedding
 Very soon afterwards, they found out they were expecting. Twins!
 Yesterday, we had a visit from them, Owen and Olivia are now two and a half, clever, chatty and adorable.
 A simple reminder of the wonderful work I am lucky enough to do.
 - from my iPhone

The blog is back!

After a few days of thinking it might be gone for good, and then a few weeks of worrying how much could be recovered (which coincided with Mark having some hell weeks at work), we now have a working blog back.

The theme needs reinstalling (or updating), but the content is here. Thanks Mark!

How was your day?

So the cold from hell seems to be over. The fourth round of antibiotics seems to have done the trick, and I am now back to “normal” amounts of lung medication to keep me from brain death. After a week of regularly getting above 95% when I tested my oxygen perfusion, I decided it was finally time to go back to the sports medicine specialist to get the results of my MRI.

My iphone (4s) decided to refuse to turn on this morning, so after a comedy of errors I finally arrived 15 minutes late, and then had to wait a further half hour. Turns out, there are reasons for delayed appointments that aren’t to do with doctors being lazy.

So my MRI shows that I have another ruptured disk, the very bottom one in my spine. Because this disk bears all the weight of the spine, healing will take some time (it’s already been 10 months!), but it should come good with some physio and more rest.

But the MRI showed something else. A lipoma, a little collection of cells that in itself isn’t a problem, but the specialist wants me to see a neurologist to rule out “tethered spine syndrome”, which is a possible cause of my pain.

Hopefully my phone will restart, and the backup a week ago was recent enough that I haven’t lost much of importance (except the photos of our fab holiday in Russell with Richard and Miriam this weekend :( ).

My heart has joined the thousand, for my friend stopped running today

Steph let me know that Carrot Vizzini Tiberius Rex Nettle-Da Silva didn’t wake from his sleep this morning.

We adopted him knowing that he was “older” and we were lucky to have had so many years with him. We were also lucky that his final year was spent very much dictating his own terms, as lord high ruler of the lounge room at Steph’s place since we moved to New Zealand.

Goodbye to the world’s most handsome bunny. We will always love you.

The first day we met

My bunny and my bunny boy

The most luxuriant tail in the world.