Tag Archive | Blogging

10 weeks ago…

We left home for a three week pre surgery trip. We went to New South Wales.

Along the way Covid happened and our state got locked down and my husband’s surgery got cancelled and so the nurse called and asked “Are you in a new caravan park?!” We we’re in Batemans Bay by then on our way home. We told her “Yes it’s quite nice” she said “Well stay there your surgery has been cancelled” my husband quickly said “No thanks we’ll go north to the warm”

Our initial goal was Gladstone to meet my penpal and her family it’s been 10 years between visits, but the higher we got the more we enjoyed the warm weather and so by the time we got to Cairns my husband made the call.. “We’re going to the Tip!”

Cape York Peninsula or “The Tip” as it is commonly called is the most northern Point in mainland Australia and we are 459 kilometres from there. We’re slowly wending our way North to have that iconic photo.

Yesterday we made it to Weipa 3,600 plus kilometres from home and it was lush and tropical and hot! 32c while back at home they’re struggling for 11c and it really occurred to me as we ate an enormous hamburger washed down with icy cold beers and watched the most awesome sunset, that this right here! Is where my life has been leading.

We’ve done the jobs and the scrimping and saving and brought houses and cars and campers and STUFF, we’ve raised five children into well functioning adults who have beautiful children of their own, except the youngest one so far! And now I’m a modern day gypsy, an end goal but each day comes as it will. We get up we think about what we might do we have no hard or fast plans. For three days we sat by the Coen river and fed the little fish cheese because they liked it and we didn’t need to be anywhere or do anything!

We watch the sun set and very occasionally we might see it rise, but if sleep has us in her grips we stay there. One thing is certain in this life… there WILL be another sunrise and sunset!

Right now we are in Weipa by the Gulf of Carpentaria in Far North Queensland. Our first sunset here was amazing it went on forever and frankly l can’t wait for tonight’s!

And so as l look forward to the next half of my life (I’m not middle aged yet!) l’ve decided that this right here… this gypsy life of not knowing and no plans works just well for me and l will NEVER DO WINTER AGAIN!!

We’re on the way!
Waterfalls have been a big part of this trip
An eel came for a share of the cheese
Free camping in the wild the thing we do best!
Hello moon!
Crossing creeks!
Magical sunset in Weipa Cape York Queensland
Dinner dates done right!
This Bloke said 10 years ago “Let’s go camping!” I wonder if he realised what a monster he had created!

Dubbo Zoo

And “Goat Selfies” l’ll explain..

I love ❤️ goats!

So for as long as l can remember l’ve loved goats. I don’t even know how that started but my husband hears it every time we drive past a paddock with a flock of goats l’ll squeal “Ohhh l love goats!!” usually he will say “Hey Sheila there are some goats for you!” If l happen to miss them. I do the same thing with cows! I love cows too, once we were camping by a paddock full of youngish bulls, maybe they were growing up to become steak or hamburgers but right then l could gaze lovingly at them to the point l would go to the fence every so often and call them over for a photo or a chat, yeah that’s me the crazy lady who talks to animals. I took so many photos of the “Bully boys” as l called them l was sad to go home and leave them!

So today we are in Dubbo in New South Wales, it’s day three here and the Bloke had booked us tickets for the “Taronga Plains Zoo” if you haven’t been go now! Last night it was cold minus 2.4c so when we were ready to leave at 9.00 am it was only 7c l might not have been feeling too great about it l don’t like the cold! But we wanted to go in the morning because we wanted to start packing up this afternoon.

So this sculpture and the above sign greet me lm already happy! Art!

We got to the Zoo in time to hear the keepers talk on Rhinos and how they are poached for their horn l knew this of course read any Wilbur Smith book and you’ll learn about it but knowing that, that useless horn to anyone but the Rhino is not so useless and very VERY expensive like more than the price of gold or heroin (not that I’d personally know but the keeper told us!)

I won’t waste your reading time telling you about every animal but it was a great day!

Even the Zoo signs are pretty works of art!
What’s he looking at??
Oh a giraffe! Through the telescope
And a Rhino through the telescope
White Rhinos are bigger and more aggressive and eat grass!
Selfies with white Rhinos
My Grand daughter has a book called “Edwina the Emu” so l had to take a photo of Edwina!
African Village
Sculpture= Art

So we wandered our way through the zoo and got to the African Lion Village. And you go through double gates into what is, l supposed, a replica of an African village with huts and GOATS!! I didn’t get much further. I just wanted to stop and watch them so l approached one whom we named “Ginger Dreadlocks” maybe she was an angora breed she had lovely red locks! And she let us pat her and while we were interacting with her along came a second goat nudging “Scratch my head, yeah right there between the horns” so l did because yes you guessed it… l love goats! So lm telling these gals “Oh you are so pretty look at your lovely eyes” are you aware goats pupils are horizontal in their eyes?! They’re nudging themselves closer so l wondered “Do you want a selfie with me?!” And yes they did!!

Ginger dreadlocks and Black Betty peeping over my shoulder
The Bloke tries to distract!
Black Betty is getting closer..
Perfect spot now smile 😊
Hold up! Where are you going??!
At this point my husband says “Hey Darl that goat really loves you!”

My whole day has been made from a five minute interaction with a couple of goats! I swear she was watching herself in the camera and pushed Ginger Dreadlocks outta the way to take front spot!

Tongue out!
Ginger Dreadlocks

Of course the Zoo should be about the exotic animals and yes l saw them but interacting with these goats was definitely my highlight of the day!

These Siamang were so loud and funny!

Today we spent three and a half hours walking around this vast Zoo. This is what we do in each state or Country, Bali Zoo l hand fed an elephant OH MY GOSH l love ELEPHANTS!! We go to the Zoo we interact if we can and we always learn something new. Today we walked 11.26 kilometres around this zoo yeah lm pretty tired tonight l think l’ll sleep well!

Tomorrow we are off to Fingal Bay heading North slowly, we’re meeting friends who are heading South! I’ll be back!!

It’s been a week!!

Monday we brought home our precious bundle! and her Aunty and cousins came over for a visit. Then later on another Aunty came to visit.

On the way home from Hospital first car ride

Tuesday we managed a nice quiet day at home, walking the dog was that days greatest effort

On Wednesday l spent the morning watching Aria and Harvey, at the same time my husband had his pre op assessment for his hip replacement in June, and later on Wednesday the midwife Ash, who delivered her came for her first at home check up and she had gained 80 grams back from the 100 grans she’d lost at birth. So that was exciting news.

First midwife appointment
Violet with her Sister as a doll! They’re both beautiful dolls!

Thursday my Bloke took me on a date day into Melbourne we caught the train and a tram, he spoilt me with a walk through the laneways full of Art! And then took me to an exhibition called “She oaks and sunlight” Australian impressionist at the National Gallery of Victoria, l hadn’t been there yet so that was a lovely surprise! After the gallery we walked along South Bank and ended up at Crown Casino for Chinese lunch. Then some more art down alleyways. With a stop at Young and Jackson’s Pub, famous in Melbourne. Had a beer and a cider in the roof top bar, checked out the famous art the nude- Chloe on display in the lounge! We ended up walking 17 kms during the day! My poor feet!

Breakfast in bed with a side cuddle of Miss Violet!

Friday- Violet is one week old, sheesh, where did that week go??!

I love the thumbs up symbolism in this photo. “One week old” or “It’s all good”

Today we went to Castlemaine to visit our eldest son Kit and grandom Rafiki who is not feeling very well, but he was happy to see us! The best bit about Autumn is the coloured leaves and so we enjoyed those around Castlemaine. I got a few blog posts done this week and maintained my weeks worth of art for #bloomingmarvellousmay it’s been a week and frankly lm tired!

I had one job!

Today l had one job, to watch Aria and Harvey while my daughter Jasmin went to school to help on Chase’s schools Mother’s Day Stall. The Bloke had a pre op appointment before he gets his hip replacement in June so he dropped me at Jasmin’s house at 8:00am.

I had one job to watch these small people while Jasmin went to school with Chase for a few hours. Put Harvey down for his nap at 11:00am and that was all- easy really.

So we did our usual cuddles and watching their shows, each had a favourite show for me to watch and then we decided to do silly photos!

Grandma and Aria rocking a bouffant
Harvey’s bouffant
Cheese says Aria!!

So Harvey wanted to get into the spirit because we were laughing he wanted to play the clown and so up onto the coffee table and he was dancing.

My Clown boy!

Before l even had time to tell him to get down he fell! Straight into the window, l’ve never run so fast or scaled a coffee table so quickly as l did today. Telling him “Stay still Harvey!” He was so good he just stayed still till l could make sure he wasn’t injured and oh my gosh hugged his little being till l almost crushed him!

All he was worried about was his Mummy would be mad! But l reassured him “Mummy will only be mad at Grandma not Harvey!” l checked him over so thoroughly and made sure he was all in one piece, then l issued Aria orders.. “Where does Mummy keep the vacuum cleaner? Watch the kitten doesn’t go bear the glass, stay over there right away” She was so good showing me where the vacuum was and then showing me how to work it 🤷🏼‍♀️ in the meantime she’s reassuring Harvey “It’s ok Harvey you’re not in trouble” turned my back for a second the kittens trying to get through the hole, luckily Dookie the dog was on the other side keeping her in. For about 10 minutes it was bedlam! And Jasmin had been gone less than an hour!!

Oops broken window
My Soul Sister was on duty today as Guardian angel.

My “Clown boy” suddenly became Grandma’s cuddle bunny. Aria was keeping watch on the clock to make sure Harvey was on time for his nap, she had a vested interest she could have her iPad time when he went to bed.

As he snuggled down he asked for his Mummy l said “When you wake up Mummy will be home” he nodded and said “Mummy mad!” No l told him not with my Harvey boy, kissed him and told him “I love you” he grins “Luff you too

As l made coffee and lunch for Aria it hit me just how badly that might have ended and l told myself “You had just one job!” And l’d messed it up! I also thanked my Soul Sister in spirit for catching him and not letting him be damaged. Luckily my Bloke got home and patched the hole with some MDF panels until we can get a glazier in but then l had to break the news to Jasmin, and pray she wouldn’t yell too loudly!

As soon as Jasmin got home l explained and thankfully none of us got into trouble but l will pay for the glass because they’ve only been in their new home two months and l’ve already let a window get broken!! “You had one job Grandma!”

On other subjects… Baby Violet had her home visit from the midwifery team today and it was Ash who delivered her. When Vi was released from hospital she’d lost 100 grams that was Monday, today is Wednesday and she’s up 80 grams! Yay Violet!! She’s a good baby so far!

My renewed creativity is going well and this months art prompt is “blooming marvellous May,” each day of the month you do a floral piece. I did Violet first so l decided to do each of my seven grandchildren, Chase wasn’t a flower so l did his name and added some Climbing Jasmine to his letter C! Today ironically was Harvey’s day, no flowers or plants called Harvey, so l wrote his name and gave him a floral hibiscus border!!

Harvey and hibiscus!!

I wonder if l’ll be invited back to baby sit again!

A new week begins…

For some of us it’s a sad week because we lost a loved one, my Soul Sister is on the other side with her spirit guide a blue heron! And l cried a lot that day, just all of a sudden a tear would fall, then that night at 7:46pm loads of tears fell and l thanked my Soul Sister for helping Violet enter the world safely. I haven’t cried at any other birth but l kept thinking about what was told to me when my Dad died “One soul leaves the world one soul enters” and back then l didn’t appreciate it but l’ve read ALOT since then and so l start off this new week minus my friend but with this precious little girl.

I’ve been busy documenting her life, photos with her Mum, photos with her Dad, amazing beautiful photos of her with her big sister, with Grandpa and Uncle Will, with Aunty Jasmin and Aunty Bree, with all her Sunbury Cousins. None with Grandma. But Grandma kept a detailed journal listing about everything because Grandma is the keeper of our stories.

Welcoming a new life means decluttering and cleaning and making things perfect. So this morning the Bloke and l re arranged the living room added a cradle, made half Scarlett’s “Home school desk” a change table and added subdued light. Swept away cobwebs and floors and mopped, scrubbed and cleaned and organised until Amber rang and said “We can come home!”

I brought a box of chocolates and a cream cake for the midwifery team l told them “Afternoon tea is on us!” and wrote them a card thanking them for their care of not only Amber and Violet but of me too! I know it’s their job but I imagine it’s not always pleasant. I wanted them to know we appreciated their care and support. Violet was my fifth Grandchild born there, l couldn’t imagine now going to a different hospital.

At home Grandpa gave her the first feed, he’s always been hands on with the Grandchildren. We walked to school to pick up Scarlett who almost burst out of her skin to see her Mum and Baby Sister there! She showed Violet off to all the children and her teacher!

After school Jasmin came with Chase, Aria and Harvey who all had a cuddle of her. Then “Big Unca” Will, came home and immediately took charge and he fed her the next bottle. I managed to get some of her bath done! And the bottles washed! Next feed went to Aunty Bree who came to meet Violet and so more photos and still none with Grandma!

This week is going to be hectic. I just need to go camping!

I’m going to try…

I say that so many times for so many reasons. I’m going to try and restart that exercise program (after hurting my back in Jan!) I’m going to try and incorporate more vegetarian/vegan meals in to the menu (apparently the rest of the family’s opinions matter more than mine!) in April I said “I’m going to try and do a monthly Blogging challenge (tick) and a monthly art challenge where you do some form of art for a given prompt. (BIG ✅) not only did l do both the blog and art, I realised how much l’ve missed both of them!

So this month I’m going to try and do both again! So I’ve decided to try #kickinthecreative’s monthly challenge for May it’s called #bloomingmarvellousMay and each day of May you can produce a piece of art, any size, any medium anything goes and you post it and add the hash tag so that the gals Sandra and Tara from Kick in the Creatives can find your work. Some people take photos, some use real flowers in their submissions, some even write poetry on Blooms really anything is open. Does any one want to join me?

My first submission was called “Violet Avonia” these names as previously discussed are family names but l only found out yesterday that apart from Violet being a flower Avonia is a flowering succulent and her surname Campion is a flower as well! We have a bouquet of beautifulness!! So I thought in honor on Violets birth “I’m going to try and paint a Violet” despite only getting three hours sleep and being a bit like a zombie l think this turned out ok!

1st of May submission “Violet Avonia”

Then l wondered about the names of the other grandchildren and how l can make them into works of art for this challenge I’ve got some great plans.. follow along if you like! Today I’ll be creating for Violet‘s big sister Scarlett, then I’ll work my way through the rest of the Grandchildren that gives me a weeks worth of inspiration then l’ll be looking for suggestions so if you have a favourite flower yell out and l’m going to try and do a whole months worth! I’m not saying they’ll all be good! I’m not promising they’ll all be on paper or in water colour or paint, I’m going to try and mix things up!

I’m going to try and get back into regular writing and creating of art because part of me felt lost last year when it all went away! I’m going to try to find my way back!

Remembering My Soul Sister…

Today my heart was shattered.

Today heaven gained a new angel with beautiful shining wings but us left behind are crying for her loss.

In 2012- I signed up for an art class called “Painting the Goddess within” and how lucky was l to meet my own Goddess! We met by commenting on art things and realised we thought similarly and then we were partnered in an art swap! We each had to do a piece of art and send it to each other and so l had to add her as a Facebook friend so that we could exchange addresses.

We became Facebook friends on 5th Feb 2013

Carrol was a very loving, caring and sharing lady. So when she told me that she was going on a cruise and it was leaving from Australia l jumped at the chance to have her in the same country and spoke to the Bloke about having a few days off work so we could fly to where ever they were going to be in hopes of meeting my Soul Sister in real life! Unbeknownst to me her beautiful husband Willie took an extra step and planned for them to come to Victoria my own state so we could meet in person! Carrol and l chatted often counting down the days, she was overjoyed when we welcomed Grandchild number four into the world and her favourite sign off was “I can’t wait to hug that baby girl!”

So finally the day came and we went to the airport bright an early to be sure we didn’t miss them! I worried “What if l don’t recognise her!” My Bloke said “You’ll know her!” And sure enough l knew her! We wrapped each other in a big hug and then wrapped Willie in one too. I apologised “Sorry Willie but lm a hugger!” We spent the morning at our home and then took Carrol and Willie around the corner to meet our daughter Jasmin, son in law Brett and grandchildren Chase and baby Aria. Carrol got her wish to hug “that baby girl”

Carrol and”That baby girl” Aria!

Carrol got on the floor and laid down beside Aria on the rug and just touched her hand and spent time chatting to her. We eventually dragged her away and went for lunch. Soon it was time for Carrol and Willie to check into their accommodation and so we delivered them safely into the City. I had to work on the Monday doing exams but we held a “Welcome to Melbourne” party on the Tuesday as it was a public holiday for Melbourne Cup, the horse race that stops a Nation. I invited all the family and my real life Bestie because she’s my first Soul Sister and she needed to meet our new “Sister”

My Besties!! Deanne and Carrol, all my best parties are in the kitchen and these two proved that point!

We had a great day getting to know Carrol and Willie and for them to get to know all the people we love, people we had so often spoken about. I made Carrol and Willie adoptive Grandparents to our baby girl Aria!

Aria has American Adopted Grandparents!!

Although we spoke some more during their stay in Australia that was the last visit l had as l had unfortunately had to work the rest of that week.

Carrol and l spoke regularly on Facebook messenger and l called a few times. Sadly not often enough.

In 2019 when Carrol’s health started deteriorating and she was feeling miserable we cried together. It was then l made the plan! I’m going to America to see Carrol, maybe an impending visit would cheer her up and l’ll time it so that l can be there for her birthday. So l asked my Bestie Deanne if she would like to come. And then l included a visit with two other soul sisters one also in North Carolina and one in Indiana! All these women had strong friendships with me all had the love of art in common as well as many other things, so l thought maybe l can get them all together. I introduced them all to each other in a group chat along with my Texan Soul Sister who was then living in the UK. These strong women all got on wonderfully and so we started arranging how we could all meet. In the end it was decided we, Deanne and I, would fly to NC and visit with Carrol, then drive over and collect Dea and then us four would drive to the Smoky Mountains and JoEllen would drive to there from Indiana they worked out it was about half way. We’d spend a four day “Soul Sisters retreat” and then Dea and Carrol would drive home and we’d continue on with JoEllen and fly out of Indiana.

So Deanne and l booked our flights, got our visas and made plans, all paid up, JoEllen’s husband booked our cabin in the Smoky Mountains and l had even prepared a song play list on Spotify, we were all set to go and then…


Lockdowns started our flights were cancelled, we were not allowed to leave our suburb a 5 kms radius, much less our State, or Country. And just like a puff of smoke there went that dream!

And now the whole reason for going to America is gone. The world is a greyer place today without my Soul Sister Carrol.

Willie, Carrol, me and Rob. Tuesday 1st November 2016
Carrol gained her angel wings today!

Carrol l’ll never ever forget you. But at last you are pain free! Sleep well my Soul Sister till we meet again!

It’s Sunday NO #AtoZ let’s talk about… ANZAC day!

Today is Sunday 25th April. In Australia it’s ANZAC day, where we pay our respect to those fallen in defence of our country. I use that day to remember all the loved ones that have passed. I don’t need a day to remember my Dad l do that every day, by remembering something silly or a book quote or a look on one of my Sons faces that reminds me of Dad, the way both my sons and one Grandson carry his name as their middle names. ANZAC day is not necessarily a day l remember my Dad until… the last post! It always makes me cry. They played that at my Dads funeral the worst day to date of my life.

ANZAC‘ stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. On the 25th of April 1915, Australian and New Zealand soldiers formed part of the allied expedition that set out to capture the Gallipoli peninsula. These became known as Anzacs and the pride they took in that name continues to this day. https://www.army.gov.au › traditions

This is my Dad he was a proud Aussie Soldier.

He was only young when we signed up to go to war, his older brother and his Dad went so he lied about his age. In the end his parents signed the paperwork rather than risk him sneaking off.

Dad never spoke much about the war l guess who can blame him, from all accounts in books and movies l’ve read and seen it wasn’t a nice time in his life. So lm extra thankful he came home when so many young Aussie diggers did not!

In military tradition, the Last Post is the bugle call that signifies the end of the day’s activities. It is also sounded at military funerals to indicate that the soldier has gone to his final rest and at commemorative services such as Anzac Day and Remembrance Day. https://www.army.gov.au › traditions

The Last Post- https://youtu.be/B1Blw_hbp1o

Lee Kernaghan- https://youtu.be/rj1M0-6NeH8

This day is almost over and this challenge is coming to its end to, the remaining letters are going to prove tricky to tie in with my “Family” theme but l’ve so enjoyed April this year! Have a great Sunday wherever you are!

#AtoZchallenge “J”

J is where a couple became a family

My theme for this challenge is family. So having said that my “Family” began with J. By the time l got to “J” l was starting to realise that the “family” l was born into we’re not always pleasant. Which is why when l say “Family” it’s usually the ones l have given birth to, Married, inherited and the ones- the very few- l have included in my life.

In 1989 much to my horror l discovered l was pregnant. All those years l had sworn and declared “I am never having children EVER!” All changed in a heartbeat when the Doctor announced “You’re expecting!” It took me a while to shake off the fogginess, stunned! I thought he was going to tell me l had another urinary tract infection! He had told me a few months earlier that often these things right themselves after women have a baby! I had said “Well l’ll take the antibiotics thanks!”

Immediately l went out and brought a journal. I started writing everything down! I remember once asking The Mother some facet of my own childhood only to be told “How would l bloody remember that it was all so long ago!” recalling that conversation l never asked her anything again and decided if my children came to me l would tell them whatever they asked! So l wrote down every.little.thing!

July 6th 1990- July is another J! We had names picked, back then at that hospital they were not in the habit of revealing the baby’s gender so she was a total surprise. We had picked Jessica as her name. So when the Dr asked we proudly told them “Jessica” she said “Ahh Jessica is popular this year l delivered six in June!” I glanced at my husband “We cannot have Jessica!” So we thought about our second choice “Jade” but no middle name.. suddenly she was there.

I had been terrified of giving birth having been raised with older sisters who loved to recall the horrors of child birth, l was convinced l was going to die, my J was born on her due date and back then only 8% of Australian women did that. She was laying on my back bone and gosh the back ache was terrible, this lovely Dr said “Get in the shower” then she told my husband “Get in and do this massage” all three of us in the shower she showed him exactly how to work the pain out of my back and then all of a sudden our “J” did a huge flip and the back ache left l could have kissed that Dr who was slightly surprised at how well it had worked and quickly got ready to deliver this baby!

One look at this precious little bundle her name appeared “Jasmin” after my favourite perfumed flower, one l have never ever been able to grow! Except now l had a living “Jasmin” but no middle name yet.

Once the Dr gave Jasmin to me she told me “we’ll call the baby Dr to look at her” l didn’t pick up on that, first baby, shocked that l hadn’t died l asked the Dr “Is that all?” She was confused and asked “Why, did you want something else?” I told her the horror stories as she sat and held my hand and l told her “I didn’t die” she patted my hand and said “not only did you NOT die you did it all with no pain relief, no screaming, no hysteria, you’re a champion and you must have a high pain threshold.” She was still there when my Dad also “J” John, arrived her shook her hand and thanked her for her job and then he escorted my newborn to the special care nursery. He said “I’m going with her!” They tried to argue and he said to me “I won’t let anything happen to my little Boo” and just like that off they went to special care.

Jasmin had been born with Group B strep and so she spent all her time in the special care nursery and l would go there and feed and interact with her. They were making up her name card for the humidity crib and asked “What is her name?” We told them “Jasmin” the nurse asked “Any middle name?” I asked “What is Dr McKenzies first name?” She said “Oh Elizabeth!” I said “Yes! Her name is Jasmin Elizabeth”

The third day l went to nursery and had a really old bitchy nurse, she was rough with both Jasmin and I and l left in tears after she rudely told me “Well if she survives today she should be ok, these babies usually die by the third day!” What??! Huh?! Die?! I stumbled back to my room and called my husband in tears, he came straight over and as he arrived so too did my Dr who wanted to know about the tears. I explained and she was really angry and went marching down there, my husband followed and said she ripped shreds off that nurse! The Dr used to do her ward rounds with her student midwives and would always proudly tell them “This one is named after me!” The special care nurse had told her the reasoning behind Jasmin’s name. Jasmin’s daughter Aria is also an Elizabeth!

Jasmin was the start of my family and as a baby she was my easiest. Slept through the night at three weeks, did everything she was supposed to do, walked at nine months. I guess Jehovah gave me an easy one to start with!

Amber was the opposite, didn’t walk until 22 months! And then came our third instalment another “J” and a very much anticipated BOY! Finally we were getting our boy. Dream pregnancy no morning sickness, small weight gain all was going well until week 37 apparently the waters surrounding him were leaking and so quickly within a few days l was admitted to hospital and he was induced two weeks early.

August 24th 1994.

Jasmin had been exactly 8 pounds. Amber 9 pound 1 oz and then l had “Jarrah John” 7 pound 7oz. Very different. He was long and gangly and his Grandmother said “Ohh he looks like a skinned rabbit!” She never learnt her own rule “If you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all”

Finally our family was complete. Two beautiful girls and now a boy. But there’s that saying “Be careful what you wish for” because almost from the start things went wrong. First he had an un- decended teste, requiring surgery, then at seven weeks on my birthday! He was diagnosed with pneumonia. Rushed into the children’s hospital and kept for a week! The Dr’s wouldn’t let me stay with him because l had two other children who needed me BUT those other children had a Father and Grandparents who could have watched them but l was not given any choice!

While Jarrah was in hospital they also discovered he had “clicky hips” and so was fitted with a harness he had to wear for months except for bathing! So much for my “perfect son”

For a while things went smoothly and yes after all his scares l did treat him with kid gloves and l did spend more time babying him l felt like l had to make up for that time l’d missed with him. Comments started being voiced about “spoiling him” and him being “Mummy’s boy” but l justified all of that and went on rocking him.

Time for Jarrah to start kindergarten. I just “assumed” l soon learnt not to do that! That he would take to Kindy like his sisters had, Jasmin and Amber were both in school by then. Happily settled! Not so with Jarrah from day one he would not seperate from me. At first l stayed with him but that made it worse. Then l’d go home in tears listening to his retreating screams only to be phoned to say “come get him!”

Primary school was even worse! He never settled, l often spent days in his classroom encouraging him to do the work. Going to school excursions to mostly keep Jarrah in check. My husband and l stopped talking about it. Until we got called to the Principals office and then he blamed me for “babying” him. Long story short, she suggested he get screened for anything. Lots of tests and counselling, and Jarrah had a diagnosis and l had a broken marriage.

ADHD ODD to start with- medication and therapy and gosh it’s been a long haul for my much wanted son. Jarrah has not had an easy life, so many different medications, then none at all he decided he didn’t want them. Life has been up and down and there have been long periods of time when Jarrah and l have taken a time out from each other. Because no matter how much you love someone sometimes you’re toxic together.

The final “J” for today is my Father in Law Jock. Actually he was christened Jack lm not sure where Jock came from but it’s how l knew him. Jock’s birthday was 30th July, one day before my own Father John. Do you sometimes wonder if you attract that which you miss the most? My Dad died April 1992 and l met Jock in 2001. But as soon as l met Jock l thought he’s so much like my Dad! And l loved him immediately especially because Jock took the time to interact with a seven year old Jarrah who was in the middle of some horrific stuff. And rather than ignoring him he took the time to get to know Jarrah and Jarrah thrived on that too.

When my Star Son, final child (you’ll meet him at letter W) was little Jock was hands on with the boys. But then he got sick with liver cancer we all had to watch him fade away. One time we were visiting and as we put the children into the car a plane flew overhead and Jock and l both looked up. He asked me “Do you like flying Kim?” I replied l did l love the feeling of strapping into a seat and knowing when l get out adventures await! I told Jock l couldn’t wait until the children were older so l could travel more. Jock looked over at where l stood and asked “Will you do me a favour?” I said of course if l could he went on “Go to Egypt and see the pyramids, they were my favourite place ever!” It was easy to make that promise it was already on my “must see” list because l have a photo of my Dad on a camel in front of the pyramids, he’d been there during WW2 and l had always wanted to go there!

Last year April 19th when my MIL left this world to meet her Jock my husband said “We need to go to Egypt” and so the planning began! My MIL had once told me her favourite place was Morocco and so l asked The Bloke could we add Morocco to our itinerary for Tanny! But then of course Covid has stopped all travel plans so l don’t know when or even if we’ll ever get to Egypt but the planning is still happening.

#AtoZchallenge “E”

E is for Esther.

I first heard the name Esther from the movie “A Star is born” back in the 70’s the one with Barbra Streisand which l loved and l loved the name. Then when l started studying the Bible of course Esther popped up again.

Then one day our eldest son comes home for a visit with his friend Esther! I was so excited to have an Esther!

Esther is from the Netherlands 🇳🇱 and Kit had met her as she was over here on holiday l think through mutual friends. They were living away from us so we didn’t see them too often and of course traveling around living their hippie lifestyle.

The first time l got to spend a good amount of time with Esther was Christmas of 2016. Kit and Esther were staying in New South Wales with Kit’s sister Jacquie and we had mentioned we were going to Lightening Ridge in New South Wales an opal mining town for Christmas.

Why would we choose to go to an outback desert town in the middle of summer? Because no one else was there! All the sane people stay away so we went!

So Kit and Esther decided to join us and brought along Jacq and her partner Wes. We met there a few days before Christmas and spent time relaxing and prepping for Christmas. So l had time to chat to Esther and get to know her a little bit. We took over the camp kitchen and pool area for Christmas Day and l was so happy that Kit, Esther, Wes and Jaq took the time to include a much younger Star Son in their outings and pool games.

Eventually Kit and Esther moved back to Victoria and so we got to do the family gatherings for afternoon tea, bbqs and birthdays etc.

Then it was Christmas 2017 and l hosted the Lunch, Kit called and said he and Esther weren’t well do they didn’t come but they came a few days later so we put on lunch. Esther said she still wasn’t feeling well.

We exchanged gifts and Kit and Esther had gotten me a beautiful hand crafted wooden bowl to use while crocheting to keep the yarn from tangling, l wasn’t paying very much attention because l was prepping lunch, so l thanked them both and went on making lunch. The Bloke got a cigar.. weird?! He doesn’t smoke, l hadn’t even picked up on the two balls of yarn that were inside my bowl, one pink and one baby blue. So Kit casually asks me “What are you going to crochet with that yarn Kimmy?” l said “Oh l don’t know l’m sure l’ll think of something” he shook his head and said “With Pink and Blue yarn?” Then it suddenly hit me! I spun around to Esther who was looking a little green “Oh my Gosh!! Are you pregnant?!” Kit groaned “It took you long enough!”

Poor Esther was so sick, all she could drink was water she couldn’t eat lunch she was so sick for the whole pregnancy. I told The Bloke l feel so helpless not being able to help her and we’re about an hours drive away. So the Bloke and l would go every two weeks or so and see what we could do to help or tempt Esther to eat anything. One day we took them shopping to try and find something Esther could keep down but mid way through the supermarket all the colour drained from Esther and l told the Blokes “We’ll meet you outside you finish the shopping” and l took Esther out to the shady tree out front.

I must have sounded like a broken record to poor Esther. “do you want to try this?” “Do you think you could eat that?” “What about a drink?” I really was helpless to help her. We managed to get her to have a few bites of a sausage roll and some of the Blokes home made pavlova and it stayed down.

Then Esther told us her parents were coming from the Netherlands to be there for the birth and so we decided to throw Kit and Esther a baby shower l think again, l over stepped and overwhelmed poor Esther although, of course that wasn’t my intention. My daughters and l made sure that she would have whatever babies needed. Plus we could meet her Mum and Dad at the same time so Anne and Wim could feel part of it all.

In July of 2019 Esther and Kit welcomed a beautiful baby boy into the world and we became Grand parents again, three girls and now two boys! You’ll meet Grand child number 5 at letter “R” when you’ll also meet his very proud Grandpa “The Bloke”

Kit and Esther chose his middle name after The Blokes own Father and it’s one of a few times l’ve ever seen my Bloke cry, another time was at letter “H” who carries the Blokes own name as his middle name. The Bloke has taken to Grand parenthood very well he’s a big softy.

We are very lucky with our daughter in law Esther, we get on well with her and tomorrow she’s coming for morning tea with my daughters and the Bloke and l so the cousins can all have a play date!