Day 4- Life..

April 2019- my 17 year old son was playing football and hurt his knee. Hurt is an understatement he did the trinity of Knee damages, his ACL, his MCL and his Meniscus it couldn’t be much worse. That simple fall in the first 20 minutes of the first game of Football for the season. Seemingly innocent and yet.. here we are almost two years later dealing with that bloody knee!

The first time (yep l said “First time” it’s getting worse!) there a blog on my page somewhere about the horror, l still feel sick when l think of it and all the emotions of those six months come back easily. He ended up having three different surgeries and then got Golden Staph blood poisoning. Horrific!

He had a pic line in his arm to deliver drugs straight into his system, he had weeks in the hospital and then six more weeks at home with “Hospital at home” nurses in!! As a result he missed time off school and was unable to finish his final school year, another crushing blow.

April till August we dealt with his #bloodyknee as we all fondly called it. MRI’s, surgeons, Dr’s, blood tests, X-rays, heart scans, my poor boy had them all and l was with him every step of the way. My husband would drop me off at 7.00am and he’d go to work and then get back at about 6.00pm we’d supervise his dinner (or go buy him something to tempt him to eat!) and then leave at around 8.00pm and drive 45 minutes home. We were all wrecked!

Finally he was off the crutches and almost walking normally, he’d gotten a temporary job with The Bloke’s company to make himself some money and decide what his next steps should be. He decided he’d like to be a Builder and so we found him a man who was willing to give him a trial and he started working. We wondered how his knee would hold out and the answer was.. it didn’t!

In April 2020 his knee collapsed on him and he came hobbling home, it swelled up it was hot and l was more vocal this time! The first time l let my husband and my son and the football coach make decisions l didn’t agree with THIS time l did not! I called the physio and got him in l told him “l think he’s done it again” all three of them tsk tsk’ed me and said “it’s probably nothing!” Until the Physio started working on it and l saw his face fall and l knew!! He was in X-ray pretty soon after. He saw the Surgeon the next day!

This time he had torn the ACL because the Surgeon suggested that the graft had been weakened by the infection. So immediately blood works were done to make sure there was no Golden Staph present and he was booked in for surgery in March.

And then Covid came! Star Son gave up his dream job because his knee buckled as they were carrying a window and he almost dropped it! Surgeries were cancelled and then he was downgraded to “Elective” and he ended up having to wait until October 2020. And due to very strict covid conditions we had to leave him at the door to hobble into the hospital and be admitted for surgery, all by himself!! That was the hardest day of my life waiting to hear how it went. The surgeon called us to say all had gone better than expected and he would be gone in two days. My husband was his nominated visitor so he went in and sat with him for only an hour and we face timed so l could see and speak to him. I was in the car in the car park!

So from October until today he’s been back and forth for appointments and physio. He started his dream job he’s doing an apprenticeship with my Son in law as a builder and because his boss (our son in law) has followed the drama every step of the way he understands about the appointments and physio and everything needed for Star Son to heal. Today he had an appointment with physio who said he’s doing really good and a bit above where he should be. Then he saw the surgeon this afternoon he is also happy with his progress and so for now we can breath a little easier.

We went out for lunch to celebrate we had to kill a few hours between appointments.

Lunch here!
Lentil Burger and Wedges
Labyrinth at the hospital, with the constellation “the Southern Cross”
Every time we come here l walk the labyrinth and pray for good results!

As parents do we ever stop worrying about them? I think the older they get the more worried l am. Then of course you become a Grandparent and the level of worry goes up a notch!!

Day Four… never ending story..

So this new hospital doesn’t invite parents to stay with their children well maybe in the peds ward but no where else, it’s just the difference one of many, between the two hospitals. Maybe it’s just me being precious and a helicopter parent. Either way I’m not needed. And it hurts to be honest. I have always been his first responder, it’s always been “Muuuuuum” the more drawn out the word the more needed l was.

I guess some might argue “Oh he’s seventeen he’s practically an adult” but is he? At the other hospital l would help him with bathroom visits and physio and non medical things, just to give the nursing staff time to spend with more needy patients and they were happy for me to be involved. Here not so much, and yet here, it’s much busier.

Being a Mother.. to me means standing guard being his soft place to fall, catching him before he hits the ground, although last week his girlfriend and her Mum did that job for me, and l am thankful.

I am his Mum, his protector of boogeyman and night monsters and spiders and scary stuff, and l am banished from him and neither of us are enjoying it.

So he’s seventeen, but, when he’s told that he has to go for an Echocardiogram to check is the infection has reached his heart, well, he panics and all he hears is “blah blah blah heart, oh I’m dying” so when l come back into the room and he starts telling me this and then breaks down and asks me “Am l going to die?” Well that just breaks my heart!

And I’m his protector so l wrap him in a hug and tell him of course he is not, they are being cautious, and all the time my heart is breaking for my Star Son, who one day hurt his knee playing his favourite sport and suddenly two weeks later he’s attached to drips and thinking he going to die.

I want to hurt someone. Tell me this crap and let me break this scary big news in a more careful loving way.

I want to hurt someone because they have terrified my son.

I want to hurt someone because l spent the rest of the afternoon mopping up tears and reminding him to deep breathe.

I want to hurt some one because my big tough husband has cried more in the last two days than in 15 years of marriage.

I want to hurt someone because he is there all alone thinking he’s dying and l am here at home crying.

I really want to hurt someone.

Saturday at St. Leonard’s

Star son has a school friend down with him, Nutty, and so they’ve been out exploring, having chips out of the paper wrapping for lunch, walking to the bakery for breakfast, iced coffee and chocolate eclairs, normally l would make them eat breakfast before they left but l figure it’s holidays “let them be kids!”
The weather has no been very summer like, heavy rain and overcast skies but they insisted jumping off the boat ramp again today so that l could film them in ‘slow mo’ l didn’t even know l had that technology!!!
Trust my sons to teach me something new!

We left them jump once, twice, three times and then the wind started messing with my ears so we stopped them and they are now in warm showers heating up! So here are some visions of our Saturday at St. Leonards.
** first post done on my phone**








Lessons from my sons- Cartoons with Will.

Yesterday Master 9 came home from school with some books, yep it was library day and since he is doing the “Premiers Reading Challenge” for the second year we encourage him to borrow books from the list. We also have a deal he and I that if he reads from the PRC list I will read the book after him, it helps to keep him motivated last year I read all the Roald Dahl books and then Morris Glietzmen and Andy Griffith. But yesterday he surprised me by bringing home a Cartooning book, I’m almost positive it’s NOT on the PRC list but what the hey, if he does Art I’m happy.

He has some weird little idea that “boys are not good at art” which I simply had to get out of his head before that Monster ate him alive, I pointed out that some of the world most famous artists are indeed Men and were once little boys.. so we went through the books, Van gogh, Rembrandt and  VerMeer were all great artists and MEN, but apprently at his school “it’s not cool to be a boy and like art” so I pointed out “You’re not at school you’re at home and here it’s cool to be whatever you want to be and if you want to do Art come and play in my studio with me.” He has on a few occasions and we made a Zentangle one day and he loved doing that, he also made a “Butterfly of Love” for my good friend Creative gypsy. Sadly I cannot find a copy of the “Butterfly of Love” picture, here is Suzana’s website address you can see it here:

Will's Zentangle

He was gome sick from school one day and was watching me do my first Zentangle and he asked “what do you have to do here Mum?” So I explained and asked him “Would you like me to help you draw the edges?” and then I left him alone to do his thing, and here is his first attempt at a Zentangle.

My first zentagle

He was quite happy to show off his work to his Dad but nothing much else came of it, until yesterday. He unpacked his bag to show me this book he’d borrowed on “Cartooning” and  then he went away and read it and was looking for pencil and paper and rubber and so I handed him his art journal and he invited me to come and join him. So began two hours of artistic interaction with Will, here’s what we created!

The book we worked from

Will setting up our lesson

Work inprogress

Finished results

And here is our finished pages although I still feel that I would like to go over mine with a black sharpie pen and still might, but we both got a carytoon out of it. Notice the use of background colour on the pages he and I had been exploring water coloured back grounds a few months ago. I love that for those two hours we chatted about different art techniques, whether you put the pencil on the side for shading, or if you rubbed that bit off you could make a different facial expression. Plus the excitement he had at showing off his work to Dad when he got home and telling him “Mum did some too but hers arent as good as mine she needs to practise more” hmmmm…

Lesson from my son…. Dream catcher

After the felting was done and we realised we had more time than we thought we decided to get a start on the next lesson which was to be making a dream catcher.

I got one for Christmas from Kit and so did Rob and so did Billy.

Billy’s dreamcatcher-Christmas present from Kit
Rob’s dream catcher gift from Kit
My christmas present from Kit

These are the dreamcatchers Kit made us for Christmas, and it was then I asked him to teach me to make them.

preparing to make my dream catcher

I picked up these pieces of willow on the way home from a shopping trip, I won’t take things off living trees but when they’re on the ground then I’ll take them.

I picked these up mid 2010 and wound them into the form waiting for something to use them for.

Almost finished

The first one I did I was no happy with so I cut the strings off and started again, this was my second attempt. I’m pleased with how it turned out, I threaded some tinsel through the wood and I am yet to add the beads and feathers to this one.

Finished middle section

I’m picturing this section in future dream catchers with beads or holey stones. The ideas are endless.

Lessons from my son…… Felting

My eldest son Kit is practising to be a “hippie” his words not mine. So as he goes through the world he learns all these new and wonderful skills. Then he comes home for a while and has decided that he should teach me, so yesterday was our first lesson and he taught me two things first how to felt.

He came over with a huge box of fleece, alpaca and sheep, and says “today I’m going to teach you to felt and then you can make things like wallets and purses and hand bags and book covers and when you get really good you can make hats and shoes” Ok, so I’m up for a challenge, if Kit can do it surely I can do it and so we started.

Collecting the materials to start felting

Now I’m not going to go through this project step by step, because I’m sure I’d forget half of it, but I di remember that we collected the makings.

*hot soapy water which he tells me helps to bind the fleece together and helps to create the “felt”

*bubble wrap to lay the felt on, the friction of the bubble wrap against the fleece and the fabric creates the felt.

* Fleece we used sheep which had been spun and dyed with vegetable dye and we also used a little bit of alpaca but in its natural state it’s hard to fleece so we only used a little bit it’s not yet been spun.

* Flower fabric went on the other side of the fleece  I’ll explain as I go…….

Alpaca fleece unspun

Laying out the first layer of fleece


So first steps first.

Pull off small pieces of the fleece and lay out on the bubble wrap to the size you require.

Rolling up the fleece

 then you need to wet the fleece, it’s a fine line between wet enough and too wet. Wrap it up tightly to form a roll and I put elastic bands in three places to keep the roll nice and tight, and then you roll, and roll, and roll,  you’re supposed to roll 100 times one way, then un roll it check it and then roll it the opposite way 100 times and so on and so forth. maybe if you google fleecing you’ll find a better description.

here is Kit preparing his Alpaca fleeceKit started doing Alpaca fleece but soon gave it up as hard work and tutored me instead.Second layer is Alpaca

After rolling it the first time it’s time to open it and check it and add a second layer, I did a thin layer of alpaca just to try it
Then repeat the first steps with water and rolling.

adding water to my laters

The bubble in the soap helps with the felting process and also it’s not too drenching wet.

Ambrosia was site manager for the day supervising the whole show.

I think next time I get Ambrosia clipped I’ll get some of her fur to add to my felting process.

Adding colour and fibres and more soap

In the final layer I decided to get funky and add some glitter, and tinsel and coloured pieces, so I attempted a pattern.
I was quite happy with how it turned out I’m not sure what I’ll do with it yet but I am excited to try to make some more things and cut and sew it into things.
This one I think I’ll add a border to and make it into a wall hanging, as my first ever felted article. I also wanted to explore with adding different things to the felting process.
Lucky he’s coming back next week for more “art date days” maybe I’ll add a section “Lessons from my sons”