Monday, 24 February 2014

Away for awhile

The blog I wrote last week on how tough it can be to raise children seems so profound this week.   Many of  you are aware through my blog, that my eldest son has cancer.     This time last year Darren  had surgery to remove a grade four Glioblastoma tumor from his brain, this is an aggressive tumor so, following the removal of this tumor he then endured six weeks of radiation therapy followed by chemotherapy.     While receiving chemotherapy all year,  there were also MRI scans every three months,  all of which were clear until this last one, which has shown  the tumor has re grown to almost the original size.    He will be having another surgery Monday of next week,   I  have decided to take some leave from my blog, I will be away, and I'm not sure how long.    I hope you will join me again when I am able to return.      Being a parent can be so hard, but I wouldn't have it any other way, as I have said,   I have five amazing children, as a whole we are an amazing family who will stick together through whatever life has to throw at us.   We will all be together to help him during this fight, one that my amazing, talented, caring and loving son, husband and father of two small boys now has to endure.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

The toughest job

I think the toughest job on this earth is raising children, anyone can be a parent but to raise healthy, caring,  respectful and loving children you have to put in the hard yards.  I have five adult children who I raised almost single handed, it has been hard work.  On many occasions I have doubted the decisions I have made, as a matter of  fact if I could go back in time, there are certainly a few that I would change, but overall I am sure I have raised wonderful adults.  Being a mother is hard work physically and emotionally and I wish there was a way for young girls to know this before they decided they wanted to become a mum.    While I have watched each one of my kids have difficult times in their lives, on the most part I have stood back to let them work through their problem,  while also telling each of them I am here if you need me.  I have been the shoulder to cry on many times, the ear to listen to their problems and the arms to hug each of them when needed.     On the other hand,  I have received flowers and notes of gratitude and thanks from each of them after these occasions.  When unwell recently my youngest made some chicken soup for me with the comment that I always make soup for her when she is sick.     I received a postcard in the mail this week which had me in tears, my eldest daughter has had a traumatic time over the past two years. Her relationship with Deacon's father broke down and they parted ways, it has been hard for her, working through all this while working full time outside the house and raising Deacon.  We always want the best for our children and it has made me sad to see her go through this, I have supported her when I can, but have not interfered with any decisions she has made.  This is why this little postcard has made me cry.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Quilts for guys

I am always on the look out for patterns of quilts that I can make for the guys in my family.    A couple of months ago I came across this book on Martingale and realised it was perfect for what I wanted.    I ordered the book,  but,  the wait for this to arrive seemed endless, everything from overseas seems to take forever, but, of course it adds to the excitement when it does finally arrive.    I am really pleased with this book, out of the twelve quilts in the book it gives me at least five patterns that I can use for the guys in my life.     The name of the book "Knockout Neutrals" by Pat Wys.    I have seen the quilt on the cover, "Road Trip" made up, and this looks amazing,  the one I have fallen in love is called Mist, this quilt consists of mainly blacks, greys and white neutrals and I love it.     I'm sure my guys will as well, they are Collingwood AFL football supporters and this quilt and another named "Day and Night" will suit all of them.
I have just been  to my local quilt shop to spend the voucher I received  from the challenge before Christmas, they have cotton batting on sale, which is great because I have only spent fifteen dollars over what the voucher was worth.    Happy days.....I love it when I can save some money.     I will be collecting black and white fabrics this year and hope to make a start  on this later in the year.   How much quilting have I done over the last week, well, not much at all.      The motivation bug has left the building, I wish it would come back, I am blaming this very hot summer we are having, that is my excuse and I am sticking to it.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Mmm, Seafood Marinara pasta

Today while out shopping with the son who does everything,  we both decided to have seafood for dinner tonight.    He has made garlic calamari and prawns on rice for his family and I decided on seafood marinara mix with a tomatoe sauce on wholemeal pasta.    Mmmm, this is so yummy, although I could have halved the amount of garlic in this recipe I  really enjoyed  it.       The marinara mix has a bit of everything, prawns, mussels, calamari, white fish and salmon,   I made enough for two meals, lets hope I can leave it for tomorrow.
I've done very little quilting or embroidery since my last post, it has been far too hot here. Saturday and Sunday were horror days, wild hot North winds, I'm always nervous on these days because, of course, this usually means bush fires.     Our emergency crews, Country Fire Authority and State Emergency Services deserve medals for what they were faced with over the weekend.     The conditions were as bad as those on Black Saturday, although thanks to their work no lives have been lost this time.

Marina Sauce for two:
200-250 gms mixed seafood
1/2 brown onion finely chopped
2 cloves garlic,
Can of crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup of dry white wine  ( if you don't have wine use fish or chicken stock)
1 cup of stock (If using chicken stock add 1tbl fish sauce)
1 tbl lemon rind finely grated, plus 1 tbl of juice
1tbl parsley
1tbl basil  (optional)
1tbl tomato paste
Lightly fry onion and garlic, add white wine and cook till evaporating.(if you are using wine) Then add tomatoes,  stock, fish sauce, lemon rind, juice,  parsley,  basil and tomato paste.   Simmer for 5 minutes till it thickens a little,  then add the seafood being careful not to overcook,  simmer for a few minutes.    Ladle over pasta, in my case wholemeal pasta, top with parsley.  Yummy

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Wrapping some gifts

I am well and truly over this summer, the heat seems never ending, another really hot weekend coming up with forty plus forcaste again.     The son who does everything believes it is because they do not have air-conditioning in this new house, something they will not be able to install until later this year, needless to say     there are some grumpy people at their house this summer.      I have found a wonderful cafe in the new shopping centre that does amazing breakfasts, I asked my eldest daughter to meet me there for breakfast this morning after she dropped Deacon at Kindergarten.   I ordered poached egg and mushrooms with sour dough toast and coffee, it was yummy and was a great way to start the day.    My daughter then left to collect Deacon from Kinder, because it is his first week he is only there for a couple of hours at a time,  he has been so excited to start and has told my daughter he has made a new friend.        I have come home to wrap some gifts for my quilt group,  every year we have a fabric club for birthdays, either a fat quarter or a twenty five centimetre piece of fabric, usually a colour of their choosing.   I decided to buy the fabric for everyone on my list, wrap them and have them ready when I need to take one.  Seems I am so organised, at least with this anyway.  I am going to sit and watch Miss Marple and do some sewing in the cool of the air-conditioner, heaven knows what my power bill is going to be when it comes in..