News, good and bad

Yes, people, I’m still alive.

Although there have been times the past few days when that felt a bit dubious. The bad news is that I’m currently entertaining a host of bugs in my lungs, and my old friend legionella pneumophila is back. Yup, that old ‘walking pneumonia’ again. The cough is evil, I’m as tired as if I’ve run a marathon, and my lungs are, according to my doctor, making some pretty dire crackling noises. Antibiotics, rest, plenty of fluids. Yes, I know the drill.

The good news is much better. On Thursday afternoon the Husband and I are driving up to Townsville for a Very Important Appointment. At 9.30 on Friday morning, we’re being introduced to our new fur baby, to see if he likes us. He’s a retired racing greyhound, 3 years old, glossy and black and a little shy. We have passed our initial phone interview with the Greyhound Adoption Program of Queensland, and now we just have to be thoroughly sniffed and hound-assessed; for our potential generosity with treats, likelihood to let him sleep on the bed, ability to provide him with all the luxuries and comforts an extremely beautiful and graceful retired athlete could want, and willingness to provide endless strokies and pats. I’d say we were ready… We are disregarding his kennel and racing names, both of which don’t suit him at all, and His Magnificence will henceforth be known as Mouse (sleek, long pointy nose, beady eyes, etc). More photos will be available as of Friday.I’ve already made two dog beds, and a third will be needed (although possibly little used) for the bedroom. We have the bowls, lead and car clip, toys, treats, dental chews, kibble, wet food, and engraved name tag. We’ll need to get him fitted for a harness for walkies and for greater security in the car, he comes with his own ‘official’ Greenhound* registration collar, and I will of course be making him a variety of elegant coats for cooler weather, as his body fat is so low, and his skin and fur are very thin. That bit’s going to be fun – I feel something quilty coming on!

*Greenhounds are greyhounds which have passed a stringent assessment for socialisation, good behaviour around small animals and children, low prey drive (ie, they don’t chase small fluffy things), low aggression and territoriality, etc. They are awarded a numbered and registered green collar which they must wear at all times. Greyhounds must always be walked on the lead, since they can reach speeds of 65kph/40mph within three paces. Non-assessed greyhounds must wear a muzzle in public because they are trained to chase.

He’s going to be one spoiled puppy. I hope we can live up to his expectations!


Feel like death, but still alive…

Yes, it’s that time of year.

And yes, we both had the flu shot. And no, it didn’t stop either of us catching flu.

The usual line up of symptoms, but I’ll spare you the detail. We’re tottering around the house in flannel pyjamas, shakily assembling tea, toast and doses of various remedies to hold the worst of it at bay. At some stage we’ll need to venture out to replenish stocks, but for now it’s lowering our aching bodies gratefully into soft beds, tempering the worst of the fever with hot showers, and hitting the cough mixture bottles with perhaps a little too much enthusiasm…

See you on the other side.


A little bit of fun

I found the link for this in Anne Lawson’s newsletter.

I love a bit of a “What kind of xxxx are you?”, so of course I clicked on it and took the quiz. Turns out to be, well, right… Click on the picture to have a read. Anyone who knows me will recognise my way of working.

Are you a bit curious about what drives you to create, and who would work well with you?

Go on, give it a try.


Lest we forget…

The Australian Army Slouch Hat. On the turn-up is
the Australian Army Badge, or Rising Sun.
On the puggaree at front, it shows the badge of
51st Far North Queensland Regiment,
whose motto is
Ducit Amor Patriae*.

Today is ANZAC Day. All over Australia and New Zealand, in Gallipoli and northern France, at dawn today people stood – and will stand – in silence to remember and give thanks. Today, I stood with them. My great-grandfather fought in the Boer War. My grandfather fought in Flanders in the First World War. My father fought in the Second World War, landing on Sword Beach on D-Day II as a 21 year old 2nd Lieutenant. When their country asked, they stepped forward. My brother was a Reservist, as was the Husband. I come from a tradition of service, and I am proud of it. I am also fortunate, because none of those I love or who went before me were lost. So many others made the ultimate sacrifice.

To the men and women of our Armed Forces: thank you for the sacrifice you make, thank you for the freedom we take for granted, thank you for enduring the horror of war on our behalf. Thank you for showing us that mankind has its redeeming moments amidst ugliness and conflict.

To all the Diggers who have hung up their hats, we say thank you. Gone but never forgotten.

At the going down of the sun, and in the morning,
We will remember them.**

Screen shot 2014-04-25 at 8.03.33 AM

*The Slouch Hat shown above is the Husband’s, and I carried it for him this morning, as he couldn’t be there. The regimental motto translates as: The love of country leads me

** Not many people know the full text of this poem, and it’s worth reading. You can find it here.

Happy Easter

Or whatever seasonal festival you celebrate at this time of year.

For many, I guess it’s spring: lambs, chicks, bunnies and blossom on the trees. For me, Down Under and in the tropics, it’s autumn, and a welcome reprieve from heat and humidity. Chocolate can exist outside for longer than 30 seconds, flowers do not wither in a day.

Whatever your climate and circumstances bring you at this time of year, I wish you peace, prosperity and happiness.

Now, go and eat some chocolate.

Bee, Myself and I # 36

Just one more to go 🙂

This is Block 29. Another gorgeous fabric from Philip Jacobs for Westminster Fabrics. One of my most favourite fabric designers. I got this one done during my Melbourne trip and after – I took two with me but that was overly hopeful, I was having waaaay too much fun to get both done. I’ve got this done and scheduled well in advance because I know that right now I’ll be in the middle of demolishing things, making lists, deciding where power points should go, etc.

Anyway, to return to the subject…. Bee, Myself and I is a forum for ‘selfish sewing’; any stitchery which is purely for pleasure and not to a deadline or for anyone else. The original concept belongs to Carla of Granny Maud’s Girl. To find out more, you can click through on either her blog link, or using the button a fair way down in the left hand column of this blog.

Till next time.

ScrapHappy February

Welcome once again to ScrapHappy Day!

It’s the day my friend Gun in Sweden and I host ScrapHappy, a day for showing something made from scraps.

This month, I’ve got something to show you. I’m making hexie flowers for a memory quilt from the scraps generated by Days for Girls and this month I halted flower production and started sewing them together. It’s one of those jobs you can do mindlessly in the evenings when you haven’t the energy for anything more mentally demanding.

All but the two flowers at bottom right are sewn in. I still have a whole boxful of them to be added, so it’s not going to be finished any time soon! The quilt is called Days gone By, because all the scraps are from fabrics used by Days for Girls for their kits.

ScrapHappy is open to anyone using up scraps of anything – no new materials. It can be a quilt block, pincushion, bag or hat, socks or a sculpture. Anything made of scraps is eligible. If your scrap collection is out of control and you’d like to turn them into something beautiful or useful instead of leaving them to collect dust in the cupboard, why not join us on the 15th of each month? Either email me at the address on my Contact Me page, or leave a comment below. You can also contact Gun via her blog to join. We welcome new members. You don’t have to worry about making a long term commitment or even join in every month, just let either of us know a day or so in advance if you’re new and you’ll have something to show, so we can add your link. Regular contributors will receive an email reminder three days before the event.

Here are the links for everyone who joins ScrapHappy from time to time (they may not post every time, but their blogs are still worth looking at).

Kate (me!)Gun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, JanKaren,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean, Johanna,
Joanne, Jon, HayleyDawn, Gwen and Connie

See you again, same time next month!