Tag Archive | starson

St Valentine’s Day

We don’t normally bother, so no gifts exchanged but this year we’re camping wild in Tasmania so The Bloke used that as an excuse to book us a table at the Bayside Bistro pub in St Helens for lunch.

Before lunch we did some exploring on the other side of the bay where we were able to get out and walk along the breakwater wall.

It was crazy windy

We realised today that this is our 21st Valentine’s Day together but our first with no children involved. Just us, it was nice.

Pub for lunch l chose Roast Lamb because when we’ve been camping a while l miss the vegetables

Cheers to 21 years of St Valentine’s Days

When The Bloke and l first met online, we were both single parents and it turned out he worked not far from my house so one random day he called and said “I’m going past your street on my way to another company for a meeting can l stop in?” I nervously said “Yes” my cousin was over anyways so it was all good. He pulled up in his business shirt and tie with a box of mint slice chocolates and a chocolate mud muffin he had made. That first meeting was maybe 10 minutes and he was going away soon on Christmas holidays with his son. So l thought, that is that!

New Year’s Eve the phone rings and it’s him telling me he’s camping on a hill in Queensland and just wanted to say Happy New Year and maybe when he gets back to work we can go out for coffee. So l agreed.

Mid January 2001- comes and he calls saying “I’m working Saturday morning, how about l pick you up for coffee and home made mud muffins?” I agreed.

And that my friends is that… at first we were friends only and so different, like chalk and cheese! He’s a business man with a shirt and tie and a company car and he lives in the country. I mean l didn’t even know where Sunbury was!! And l was just me a single parent of three young children who’d want me?! I remember l told my cousin “Oh we’re just friends it won’t last six months”

But The Bloke- because underneath the business clothes and company car, he was “just a Bloke who likes rock n roll music and the Phantom and beer” he had a son and a black Labrador called Blue and he showed me new sides to life. I didn’t know there was this whole Rock n Roll/ Rockabilly life style going on in Melbourne not even far from where l lived. When he said “Rock n Roll” l said “Oh Elvis?!” But oh my girl there’s so much more..

Suddenly l was listening to HIS music, he grudgingly listened to my country and we met in the middle with Rockabilly. Soon he had taught me some dance moves and before long we were going to Rock n Roll dances and seeing bands and where had l been all my life?!

Then in April of 2001 l got really sick and ended up over the Easter weekend in hospital with gall stones and needing surgery, he rang me, he visited, and he went to that dance withOUT me! But as a consolation prize he brought me a signed poster into my hospital room!

It was soon after, that we realised “oops we were expecting” so not planned and not part of the “It’ll only last six months” deal.

We welcomed our “Rockabilly baby” on January 23 2002 born into the world to the Janis Martin song “Billy Boy” l sent Janis Martin an email just before she passed away and told her about our Star Son William John named “Billy” and her Grand daughter replied and said “My Grandmother was over the moon to hear from you” so l sent her back a photo of our Rockabilly Boy. The Grand daughter printed out the photo and took it into the hospital to give to Janis Martin.

When Star Son was Six months old, the Bloke decided that having five children wasn’t enough and that l needed something else to do, so he put MY hand up as Secretary and Treasurer of the local Rock n Roll Appreciation, but fair enough because he was named President. So our lives got busier!

Writing a monthly column each, mailing off magazines all over the world and generally having a blast, bands would send us CD’s in the mail and we’d do reviews and write articles. My favourite one l wrote was on Chuck Hughes and the Hillbilly Hellcats! This also meant that we went to a LOT of dances almost every week, we’d be there with the five children and dance the night away. Star Son almost got kidnapped by Texan Rockabilly singer Marti Brom who fell in love with him and wanted him as a souvenir!!

I remember one show we went to l was doing a review on this concert and so l was in this pack of “Grandmothers” all going crazy for this guy l’d never heard of, The Bloke had played me a few of his songs before hand but l’d still never heard of him, so lm innocently snapping away photos and this lady asks me “What are you doing?” I replied l was writing an article on Merv Benton and so l was taking photos she continued to watch me and every so often she would say “Oooh that’s a goodie!”

Finally she says “ Come with me!!” And she drags me to the front of the stage so now l’ve got a super clear view of not only Merv but also the screaming wild crowd of Grandmas! It turned out to be a great night and we got back stage passes and went back to meet Merv, he asked me “Did you get any good pics?” I nodded dumbly. I got the idea to do a “Then and Now” article we had an article of his last tour and so l contacted his agent and asked if l could speak to Merv in regards to the article. I must confess by now l too was smitten with Merv Benton! He was big in the 60’s in Australia and then he moved to America where he lives now in Arizona. Anyways long story short, he called me a week or so later and we talked for two hours and he came up to our radio program and did an on air interview. He still calls me occasionally!

Radio programs was another thing the Bloke convinced me we needed to do so once a month we went into the city to do a show called “Shake, Rattle and Roll” for the Rock n Roll club and then we decided to approach our local radio show and host one there, we called that one “Shake, Rattle and Roll” too but when we eventually gave up being involved with the rock n roll club and magazine we changed our radio show to “Rock Therapy”

When The Bloke turned 50 l made him have a party, that was one of the things l brought into this partnership Parties!! And convinced him it was time for him to start enjoying himself some more and so he brought himself a 1969 Triumph Trophy and l had to learn to love it or miss out! One particularly hairy ride we met one of his friends a huge bear of a man who took me aside and said in his deep booming voice “ Now listen here! It doesn’t matter how much he loves you he loves that bike more! So he’s not going to do anything to hurt the bike, if he leans, you lean, just hold on and relax” I nodded that made sense and then he added “Besides love! He doesn’t want to be stuck with five kids!” 🤪

And he we are twenty one St Valentine’s days later, it’s been a wild ride, ups, downs and a very bumpy ride, l’ve brought the “Business man” down a level and l’ve certainly climbed up about three levels to meet him in a comfy place.

At the end of this month we celebrate our 17th Wedding Anniversary, we have a 19 year old son over 6 foot tall. It’s The Blokes 65 birthday AND his first Anniversary of Retired life.

Yes Bloke it’s been a wild ride, but l wouldn’t do it with anyone else!

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 every.single.day!! 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!!

Family…. How do you live with out them?

Borrowed from wikipedia…

In the context of human society, a family (from Latin: familia) is a group of people related either by consanguinity (by recognized birth), affinity (by marriage or other relationship), or co-residence (as implied by the etymology of the English word “family”)[citation needed] or some combination of these.[citation needed] Members of the immediate family may include spouses, parents, brothers, sisters, sons, and daughters.[citation needed] Members of the extended family may include grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews, nieces, and siblings-in-law. Sometimes these are also considered members of the immediate family, depending on an individual’s specific relationship with them.

Families come in all shapes and sizes. By blood, by marriage, by soul ties, by chance.

These last three weeks have really defined for me MY family.

I gave birth to four children, and I inherited our eldest by marriage with my husband, we made a deal when we blended our families and added our Star Son, that we wouldn’t say “Step son or daughter” they are our children. We have Five Children, and those five children have so far, given us six Grandchildren. Then we add in the “in-laws” we have a son in law, and a Dutch Daughter in law, and a lovely girl we call “daughter” who is dating Star Son, they are 17, still young and time to add the “In Law” to her name, but in the mean time, she is my family, and the Grandchildren call her “Aunty”

Families are such touchy things, they can work and be brilliant or they can fail miserably. I grew up with “half sisters” it was always made known, I found out on my 25th birthday I had a full blooded Brother, who had been given up for adoption at birth, we share the same blood, we grew up for the first 25 years of my life as strangers, but when we met, there are resemblances that make us “Family” as well as DNA etc etc. For me personally family has been a failure. I decided very early in, I would be a different Mother, different from the one who raised me, and I have succeeded. I have gotten on better with my “In Laws” families more than my so called “Family”

So these three weeks have for me cemented the fact that I have done something right, when stuff goes bad, family step in.

Star Son tore his ACL, MCL and Meniscus in his knee the last Sunday in April. Then started all the Doctors appointments and tests and scans, and through it all his brothers and sisters have been beside him, calling him, checking in, driving him places, baking him food, visiting him to keep his spirits up. Our eldest son is travelling and so in another state but he keeps in touch via Facetime. And Star Son might not admit it, but he loves that they check in. This past week has been extra hard for him with infection invading his knee and then his blood system, resulting in him needing two more surgeries and so today is day 7 back in hospital.

Today he and we believed he would be coming home, and so his eldest Sister had made plans to come visit so his niece and nephews could see Big Unca! Today the drips came out, the drainage tube came out yesterday, today he says “Mum lets go for a walk” and so very slowly we did stopping to sit and rest as needed.

We made it to the hospital Cafe and found a seat when his phone buzzed, Facetime with number one sister and Faerygirl and Squishy, on the way to school, they wanted to say hello! He was wrapt! He chatted briefly and then hung up, we made our way back up to his ward, the phone buzzed again, it was big brother number two, he has just started working and was on his morning break, he wanted to check in, they chatted briefly and then said Goodbye. Again, he was wrapt! Just lately, he’s been feeling like he’s been dumped in hospital and forgotten.

He had surgery last Friday and as he came out of surgery, his girlfriend and her Mum were there waiting to see him, his other family, who treat him like he’s part of their family. His girl friend, her Grand Mother even chats to him on messenger checking up on him, FAMILY, they might not be his Blood but they are in his heart! His number one Sister and her family came to visit a little while later, looking back at the photos he was pretty out of it and the told me today “I can’t really remember them being here, I was too tired” and very very sick.

Family… they’re there when the chips are down. Later this afternoon number one son, sent him a funny little video saying “Kebabs before Abs” which his beer belly hanging out and Star Son laughed out loud, a sound we haven’t heard lately, and I thanked Jehovah for one silly Son making one sad one laugh! It was a lovely sound. It didn’t last long when the lovely Nurse Demi told him “Sorry dude you won’t be going home today!” He lost the sparkle in his eye and there were no more laughs.

Friends are great if you have the right ones, I am blessed to have one who has been with me for over 30 years, and on Saturday she trekked to the hospital to see me so she could hug me, she lets me off load all my woes, she gave Star Son a hug and she left, blew in and out like a fresh breath of air and she’s kept in touch via text every day, thats TRUE friendship, I once read a quote about how “Friends are the family you give yourself” and giving myself Lady Hawk was the best thing I ever did. But friendships these days are not made equal and its showing this past week, where very few if any of his friends have made any effort to check in and see how he is. My heart breaks for him. His girlfriend and her Mum visited Friday, they visited Saturday when they heard how low he had gotten and then on Sunday we brought her in for the day with us its a 45 minute drive each way, so we brought her with us and then gave them some time to be together. She’s clever this girl. She ordered Uber Eats- Subway and he actually ate! She’s a gem! She is our Family.

I watched a series on Television, I cant recall the name of it, but the theme song touched me Family by Mother Mother it really relates to MY Family.

This morning, we had a small person climb into bed with us, she snuggled up and went back to sleep, I opened an eye and there was this beautiful little face right in front of me. Yeah it was early and I really wanted to sleep a bit longer, but then as I lay there watching this face, this second generation of my Family, I thanked Jehovah for being right where I was. I’ve been focusing on how awful all the stuff with Star Son is, I had forgotten to look at my blessings, so I snuggled that little warm person, and smelt her hair and watched her little eyes crack open and smiled as she sleepily said “Hello Grandma!” And the song echoes through my head “They is my family!”

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.

BigLap WA 2015- Day One! Sunbury Victoria to Kingston on Murray South Australia

On the road again! The day started early for me I couldn’t sleep because my head was so stuffy I couldnt breathe so I was awake at 4:30am. Then I realised that the Science teacher had sent through work for Star Son to complete and so we had to print some sheets, so I had to set up the printer at 7:00 am and print pages.

So instead of leaving at 7:00am as planned it was 7:11am and we were off! I had to eat so I could take my “Horse pill” and so we went through the McDonalds drive through and got a McMuffin.

The day started off chilly but improved the further we got away from home, so we noted the rising tempratire and also the fact that we needed the air conditioner on!

After three hours driving we left the roads we knew and took “the roads less travelled” and we understand now why they are less travelled… Some were just horrible, but as we do a trip we follow our progress on the map with a black line and so we shrugged our shoulders and said “Its another black line” actually I think I will change colours for this trip, maybe Blue!!

By the time it was lunch time we had done the “less travelled roads” and come to a familiar place Ouyen, where we had a stretch of our legs, some lunch and a Loo stop as well as a fuel stop, then onto more “Less travelled roads”

One of the “Roads less travelled”lead us through “Murrayville” and look who we found… The Bloke’s Hero.. The Phantom

He had to stop for a photo op and it was on the wall of a PUB no less… his two fave things, Phantom and Beer!



At the Border

These roads finally brought us to the Border between Victoria and South Australia and into desert country. Almost immediately we saw an increase in wild life, in fact we saw 7 Blue tongue lizards, a very wriggly snake crossing the road, a rabbit and the one the most amazed me was in broad day light, like 2:00pm, we saw a fox just casually cross the highway, we were all stunned and amazed. On our last Big Lap in 2013 we had a list of “wild life” we wanted to see, we didnt see them all, like I didn’t see the dingo that Star Son and his new buddy saw, but we sure heard them. I also didn’t see the wild camel or the brumby except the dead one on the side of the road. I didn’t make a list this time but of course I would LOVE to see a dingo in the wild and the brumby and the camel, left overs from last trip and we never saw a snake although we saw plenty of lizards and Star Son had a very close encounter with a wild goanna and a wild emu! it was so funny I was filming at the time! This time we are adding Whales to our list of “to see” we kind of play spotto, and when I saw the snake I yelled so loud Star Son heard through his headphones and was so dispointed he missed it. And of course who could forget our most faqvourite wild life. The Wedgetailed Eagle. We saw a family unit just cruisng over the road low enough to see their pretty under wing pattern.


Wildflowers on the side of the road.

The Bloke estimated that we would arrived at 3:00pm and he was spot on, despite more than planned Loo stops (I tried to swallow my probiotic and it got stuck which is kind of ironic since the horse pill antibiotic goes down so nicely, I ended up drinking half a liter bottle of water to wash it down, needless to say I needed more Loo stops) we arrived here at 2:56pm and were checked in and looking at our site by 3:10pm. We opted for the no power wered sight so we could be water front and it’s so worth it, I am just loving the silence and the darkness there is only one other couple here.


Kingston on Murray

IMG_2723 IMG_2722

Our Bedroom in Tamara and Star Son’s bedroom in Tyler

Once we were partly set up, something we have NEVER done before we went to find the shops, we needed bread and also the Star Son wanted to get some bait to go fishing, at least while he was occupied fishing we were able to finish setting up camp, but I must confess it was not our usual set up and I dont think I’d do it that way again. He thought he had a snag and pulled in his rod to find as he said rather shocked “I’ve caught a rock!,” when we clamoured to see the rock he caught The Bloke realised it was a HUGE fresh water mussel.

IMG_2724 IMG_2725

Star Son caught a “rock” a huge Fresh Water Mussel.

Needless to say Star son was less than impressed. Another couple were fishing near us and they had caught a legal sized Yellow belly (leagal size in these parts is 33cms) other wise you have to throw them back in, so we asked if we could look at it so that we would know if we ever caught one, since all we have ever caught are carp And they are considered pests and have to be killed and not retured to the water, so we feed them to the Pelicans! Anyways as the other couple were packing up to return to their camp they gave Star Son their Yellow belly, which The Bloke has since butchered and will cook tomorrow. Yuck! Think I’m turning vegan!

So now it’s 8:25 pm, I’ve taken my meds and washed the dinner dishes and I am seriously thinking early night, today was beautiful and at 6:00pm it was still 29C and is currently a balmy 21c, I think I could get used to that!

Tomorrow we have a shopping expediation to Barmera because they have a supermarket and we need dish detergent and a new can opener, then it’ll be more fishing and Star Son thinks he’ll go in the pool I think I’ll watch him! Plus we have a date with the fishing couple his name was Ken, he follows our football team The Mighty Tigers and so we are meeting at the camp kitchen to watch the elimination final. What this really means is a lazy relaxing do nothing kind of day in the sun.

That my friends is Day one… Stay tuned for more adventures..

Super Sunday..

Funny, I don’t normally like Sundays… and that’s because it’s football season and it’s usually cold.. today however I had a change of heart.. the sun was shining and not only that it got up to 21 C which is beautiful, and meant that I didn’t need y jacket or my hat and I was comfortable. Sadly our “Star Son’s” football team lost, the first of five games, so it was bound to happen and now we know who our contenders are. The boys played their hearts out but on the day the other side was just a bit more polished… on the down side, he got injured when he got bowled over and then stomped on.. although the other team member did stop to see if he was alright.. and so that proves they had some sportsmanship… but what Mum wants to sit on the side line and see her child sprawled on the field and the runner and first aid running out to him… I tell ya it’s all I can do to sit still and know that they’ve got him covered.

So that game ended on a low, another kid got carried off the field also from our team, he got an elbow to the head and was taken off field. So no theme song this day, and as for Will he came home and soaked in a hot bath and got his leg bandaged and spent the rest of the afternoon on the couch, yes there are dents in his shin, where the opposition person stood on him.. ouch, it’s already bruising.

On the way to Football, (The Boys leave an hour earlier to check in and warm up) So today Us girls walked down later, we decided that we should let Scarlett walk some of the way, in the hope that she’d get tired and get into her pram and got to sleep. I suggested to Amber “She won’t even make it to the end of the path, so it’s all good” wrong Grandma, just wrong! Not only did she make it to the end of the park, up the next street, (I carried her across the busy roads) and down another street and then through the oval… we stopped her when she fell and face-planted the concrete path. We forced her in the nicest way we could.. with her kicking and screaming to get in her pram and 20 minutes later she was asleep..


Almost to the end of the park.. she’ll get tired soon…

IMG_1769Not a chance Grandma!

Which now begs the question.. what have I started? every time I want to go down to the shops am I going to have to let her walk part of the way? maybe I have unleashed a walking monster.

After Football, and once Star Son was cleaned up and resting we had to go visit my Mother-in-law at her Care facility. Wll opted not to go because his leg was too sore. We stopped on the way and brought her some small bottles of drink for her room fridge and some profiteroles, a little treat and off we went to visit her.

Once we’d sampled the profiteroles, Rob asked her “Do you want to go for a drive? it’s a lovely day” and of course she’d go anywhere with Rob, so we decided to take her to the neighborhood where she grew up.  Tanny was born and raised in “Altona” a little seaside suburb in Melbourne..

You can read more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altona_Beach or here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altona,_Victoria

So we went to where her house “used to be” and it’s been torn down and some housing units built there, they lived one street back from the beach, so we were able to find a parking spot right at the beach and get out and go for a walk.


Altona Pier. Mother and Son.

IMG_1773At the end of the Pier.

Tanny’s a bit wobbly on her feet lately so Rob likes to keep her close and safe, I thought it was kind of cute how when they are walking he walks with his arm around her and today she walked with her hand tucked into his back pocket… almost like a dating couple.


On the way back to the Car.


I love how Tanny tucked her hand into Rob’s back pocket!

I was joking with Rob when we got home, I should have stayed home, I felt like I was intruding as Rob would tell Tanny about how he remembers being a little boy and going to stay with his Grand Mother “Henny” and how they used to go to the park opposite the beach and climb the trees. And I especially loved how Tanny cannot remember what she had for breakfast but she was able to tell us in detail about how she was running on that pier and got a huge splinter in her foot.


Tanny and Rob with a Brass Seahorse Sculpture.

It made me kind of sad to think that one day that could very well be me.. Tanny is only 40 years older than me, and one day I might be in her place I wonder if my children will be as loving and gentle and supportive as my Bloke is towards his Mum.

Every time we go to visit she tells us how proud she is to walk down the hall with her family and she said “I would like to be able to shout, look these are MY people


Brass Quid Sculpture


Brass Seahorse Sculpture.

Little things like today that people take for granted, just walking in the autumnal sunshine, enjoying the last bit of warmth before Winter digs in, little things like hopping in the car and picking her up, little things that we take for granted mean so much to my Mother-in-law.. so I’m happy to share my “date days” with my Mother-in-law because it costs me nothing and means the world to her.


Brass Crab Sculpture.


Brass Shell Sculpture.


Brass coral eating fish sculpture


See! I was there.. just wandering behind taking the photos.


And on the way home we went to a supermarket and found this new chocolate.. it’s having a very mixed reaction on Facebook, in our house Will, Scarlett and I loved it, Rob’s not convinced and Amber hated it… no accounting for some people’s tastes!


And finally… here are some of the hand-made stencils I made last night, for the new course with Mindy Lacefield called “Sunday Mornings 2”

I hope you have a great Sunday!!

W is for…


This  fun challenge is brought to you by :http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/

and today by the letter “W


The letter “W” was the easiest one, and it’s a no brainer.. today you all get to meet he who was formally known as “Star son” I’m sure as my blog goes on I will continue to slip into calling hi “Star son” but at least now you’ll know who I mean.

Today I’d like you to meet the youngest member of our family.. well, I should say of the family I gave birth to or inherited.. he is also known as “the glue” the brought two broken families together and made us one raggle taggle bunch.

My Buddha Boy… William John Hine.


His Sister’s 21st birthday, Will got his first Suit!

William John Hine ( my brother (who wasn’t raised with me) is William, and my Dad was John, but even more amazing my husbands Great Grand father was John William, so it’s a REAL family name) Many Many years ago, before my walk with the Lord when I didn’t know better, I went to see a clairvoyant, and she took my hand and looked at ti and told me I’d have four children, I laughed because I’d just had daughter number two. So a few years later when Jarrah arrived and I got my much wanted son, I said “That’s it it’s all over” and sent my ex husband for the “snip” I laughed thinking I’d proved the clairvoyant wrong.. she got the last laugh when 8 years later while recovering from Gall Bladder surgery, I fell pregnant!! I say “fell” because he surely wasn’t planned and I stupidly didn’t even think that all that vomiting had messed with my cycle.. my Bestest best friend “Deanne” who you’ll meet tomorrow as “X-tra best friend” gently reminded me about what the Clairvoyant had said.. hmmm.. You can read a bit more of the back story here https://kimlhine.wordpress.com/2015/04/09/h-is-for-lots-of-pics-in-this-post/


Our wedding day he was two years old and one month!

So into the world early by force came “William John HIne” I had gestational diabetes with him, and he was big and so they decided to bring him out early.. two weeks early and just as well he was my biggest at 9 pound 4 ounces. The Dr’s said if he stayed till full term he would have been a 10 pounder.. thank goodness they took him then! he got stuck with shoulder distoscia and for a while they were talking “emergency c-section” I’ve never pushed so hard in my life!! But then he was a little stressed when he was dragged into the world and so he was straight off to special care nursery. for a while the Dr’s were concerned about the “bruising” from the forceps and wanted to keep an eye on him, it turned out that it was in fact a huge birth mark and not bruising. The technical term for his birth mark s “Cafe Au Lait” because it’s not the red, purple or dark brown, a light coffee colour.. which I found out much later after various DR’s appointments that it could indicate brain troubles. in his case however it did not and again I say “Someone was looking out for us all” 

His Rock ‘n’ Roll learning came early, his first Rock ‘n’ Roll dance was 5 weeks old and he started reading the magazine at 6 months! this photo actually ended up in the next months edition!

When William was younger, he was a short boy, he’s still shorter than most of his peers, but I know the growth spurt will happen any day now, it did for his brothers Kit and Jarrah at about 15-16 yrs old they shot up and are now both taller than Rob. But William was small so we called him “Billy” or “Billy Boy” or Bopster” or many other names, when it came time to start kindergarten we asked him “what do you want the kindy teachers to call you? Billy or William?” he was confused he didn’t know that “William” was his real name.. so he enrolled as “William” and because I had spent the year before his kinder year home schooling Jarrah and had Will doing the same work beside him, by the time he got to kinder he could cut, paste and write his name roughly. Then when it came time to start school again we asked him, “What name do you want everyone to call you?” and he said “I’m a big school kid now I’ll be “Will” and Will he’s been ever since, except when Mum forgets and calls him Billy..

His first Skate boarding moment..

I think the year of home schooling Jarrah really helped the boys because Will started school confidently and soon became popular, over the years he’s had lots of comments about his birth mark, some good and some downright nasty.. I’ll never-forget the day we were in the local shops and there was a small boy about 4 the same age as Will and he was with his Mum and he pointed at Will and said loudly “MUUUUUM look at that boys face, he’s got chocolate everywhere” the Mother quickly shhh’ed the boy and tried to steer him away, but he wandered over to us and I am silently praying for him to “just please go away!” when he walks up to Will and asks him about the “chocolate” on his face, will turned around to the boy and says “it’s not chocolate, it’s a birth mark, that;s where the Angels wing touched me when she brought me” he was calm and so grown up and inwardly I smiled, I sneaked a peek at the other Mother who had a little smile.. as her son went back to her he said “oh Mum that boy is so cool, an Angel touched him!”

His first Big bed and his first dog! Avalon and Will have grown up together,,

We had told Will many years previous when he was one or two when he started noticing he was different from everyone else in the family that he was so special an Angel brought him to us and her wing touched him, and that’s what caused his birth mark, and he remembered that story… that was one of the happier ones, many of them are not so nice and now he is 13 and playing football against bigger opponents they are down right mean! but he’s a compassionate boy and shrugs it off saying “Oh they just don’t know what they’re talking about and they hate it because I’m smaller and can play better!” bravo for my Boy!!

Touched by an Angel!

Each step of his schooling I’ve been nervous, Kindergarten was good, the teacher sat everyone down and explained about his birthmark let everyone ask questions and demystified it, so it became “William” and they were used to it.. then I dreaded him starting school, but the same thing, it was a part of “will” and they dealt with it, his kinder friends gathered around for moral support.. then last year the start of secondary school, he’s a teenager, peer pressure etc etc, but so far so good, we;ve had one small issue to deal with but he’s got those same group of Kindergarten/Primary-school friends around him for moral support,, he’s doing ok, a lot of the time people think he’s extra cool. Only once in his life has he asked for it to be taken off so we saw the plastic surgeon who also referred us to the Laser specialist, they both said because it covers his eye, the amount of work to remove it would leave worse scars, when he’s old enough and now lasers have evolved so much more, maybe he’ll want to do something about it but that’s his call.

Dad’s 50th Birthday “Hawaii 5-0” theme.

One time my Bloke decided to photo shop off the birthmark and I didn’t recognize my son, he looked like all the other 10 yr old boys and another time, the school photographer flipped the class photos and I was complaining “Where is Will” he told me the row and where he was and I eventually found him BUT it wasn’t MY SON, the birthmark had also been flipped to the other side, I don’t know how they did it but it surely wasn’t MY will!

He likes chocolate!!

He’s a happy, popular boy, he likes all kinds of sports, and he tries it once and can excell at it.. he doesn’t get that from me.. he’s smart too, of course it’s not cool to be good at school work, but he is but he hates being the school “Nerd” and so he plays dumb sometimes. He’s a good reader when we make him be, and he’s good at Math he also didn’t get that from me. He hates History which makes me sad, and when he tries he’s good at Art but again, it’s not cool…the first thing each teacher will say about Will at parent teacher interviews is “he talks alot” I guess he gets that from me!!

Which shoes go with this bag??

Right back when he was 8 yrs old he knew what he wanted.. and here is his “Vision Board”

Now my boy is 13 yrs old, he’s been such a joy so far, I always say he’s the last because we got the best! And occasionally he’s wanted a little brother or sister, but now he has nieces and a nephew so it’s kinda the same thing..


and now he’s “Uncle Big Will”


Will and Scarlett


He’s still his Mother’s Son! on his 13th Birthday!

Mother and Son selfies

Mother and Son selfies

Selfies with Mum on the way to Football training.

So that’s all of the family.. tune in tomorrow for X-tra best friend Deanne!

Sunday in my world…

Sundays are free from A-Z blogging, and Sundays are free in my Bible study group.. Actually we’ve had this whole week off Bible Study” gearing up for Monday (tomorrow) when we start the hardest book in the Bible so I am told..”The Book of Leviticus” I’ll let you know next Sunday when I’ve done a week.

I am kind of glad that Sundays are free because today was the first day of “Football season 2015” My Star Son has been playing Football… (Ok let me clarify, its AFL- Australian Football League see here: http://www.afl.com.au/) since he was 5 years old, he started “Auskick” as soon as he started school, he has only ever wanted to be a “Football player” he is now 13 years old and in Secondary school and is still wanting to be a Football Player.. It’s hard to watch him get crunched and smashed and today our first game back, he was hailed on and torrential rain and icy cold winds, he’s been sick the last two weeks with a heavy cold, and I begged him not to go, but he “didn’t wanna let the team down” his “other family” today as I stood there rugged up and shivering, I could have cried for these boys, sliding around in the mud, and for my Star Son who was so sick he could barely croak on Thursday and had Thursday and Friday off school home sick.


Here’s me.. Before the hail, the wind was cold but the sunshine was nice, 10 minutes later it was a very different story!!

Today I read a post here : https://janetisawesomerthanyou.wordpress.com/2015/04/17/life-choices-at-16/

Written by 18-year-old Janet from the UK, and I totally agree with her, it’s too hard to ask someone when they are 16 what do you want to be when you grow up? Really? They havent lived yet, give ’em a break!! None of my children except 13 yr old “Star Son” who had the idea and has run with it.. We’ve tried to lead him in other directions but no, it’s all about football. but we have asked him to think of a job “Just in case” the football scenario doesn’t work out, so he’s thinking sports medicine or physio or something to do with Football.. It’s all good, he’s young, for now we’ll go with the football..


Start of the game, first game of the season, it HAILED!!!


Five minutes later, gale force winds and sunshine. In Melbourne we have this saying “If you dont like the weather wait five minutes it’ll change” today it sure did!!

So that means Tuesday night and Thursday night 5:30-6:30pm we got to training, and stand around in the cold and watch him do his warm ups, cool downs and laps of the oval, handball practise, tackle practise, its cold out there! So my Bloke sick of my complaining, has started going to work earlier and finishing earlier on those days so he can come home and take “Star Son” to training, my Bloke is a gem!!

With the first four kids I missed out on the “Sports” and extra curricular, the children had friends and went out and did usual teenage things, so I was congratulating myself on avoiding the “Sports Mum” tag.. And then along came “Star Son” crazy sports kid, he can play any sport and excels at it.. In Primary School they did a golf section in Sports class, he blitzes it, left-handed and all, cricket, tennis, basketball, then he joined a soft ball team and did really well at that, Basketball, funny, he’s not tall, yet! It’ll happen, it did for his brothers, and all of those sports he played and loved but it’s always been football. This is the child that can watch American basketball on TV and tell you the player, his position and where he’s from and any other little piece of information. He’s like a walking spots encyclopaedia!

When he started playing football he was 9 yrs old, real football for a team I mean, he joined “Rupertswood” because its close to home and I have to take him to training and I don’t drive, so the closer the better, our colours are Navy Blue and Gold and our logo is a shark.. Weird that sunce we are NI where near the ocean, why we have a shark is beyond me.. But we are Rupo through and through. I do not tolerate winter well, so I whine, I try every year to convince myself to embrace winter, and every year I fail miserably. So my Bloke brought me a Rupertswood Jacket, which I wear very proudly. At the start of Will’s sporting career, people introduce themselves and say “Oh so which one is yours?” We proudly reply “Big Will” until you know our son, his nick name is so funny, he’s still one of the smallest ones on the team.

The Coach was trying to get to know the kids and thought that although Will was small he had a big heart so he nick named him “Big Will” and it stuck, the coach, the trainer, the runners and all the parents can be heard cheering “GO BIG WILL!!” On any given Sunday. I am the “quiet” parent, I don’t yell or offer suggestions, that’s why they have coaches, and anyways I don’t even like football that much, but I love my Son and I support him. So hardly anyone knows who I am other than “Big Will’s Mum” and I’ve been called that numerous times… Oh so you’re Big Will’s mum…” Yep that’s Me, so I decided if that’s who I was I’d get it on my Jacket! I got it embroidered on my lapel. Then when my Mother-in-law saw it and asked why the Bloke didn’t have the same, he said he had not brought himself a jacket, so she said to me “Kim go buy him a jacket and get Big Will’s Dad on it” so we did!


Today “Big Will’s Dad” was goal umpire so he wore a long white coat and waved flags every time they scored and he cheers the loudest when his Son kicks a goal. i told a little bit of this story today in reply to another blogger Judy’s post found here: http://edwinasepisodes.com/2015/04/18/episode-295-whats-in-a-name/

Judy was talking about nick names and I told her the Story of “Big Will” and I wanted to share the photo of our jacket with our nick names embroidered on it.. Everyone has nick names in our family,some of us wear them proudly.

So besides the football today, we have the weekly shop, I HATE shopping, my Star Son said to me as we were doing Christmas shopping and I groaned at him, “Gosh I HATE shopping, I just hate it!”  He looked up at me and said “Wow Mum, just wow” I asked him “Why wow?” He replied and he was 12 then!! “You are the only girl I have ever heard say that!” Such wisdom!! This shopping was just our weekly food shop, so we all make  a menu of the weeks meals, I think this week we have

Monday- chicken schnitzels with mixed vegetables on a bed of mashed potato

Tuesday- I am cooking corned beef in ginger ale, in the slow cooker, but shhhh, don’t tell Star Son he hates anything out of the slow cooker even though HE loves corned beef,

Wednesday- The bloke has opted to cook Pork chops

Thursday- Meatloaf, one meal that every single person in my house will eat!

Friday- Star Son has Youth group, so its Quick and easy night,  means left overs or something super quick, like pasta and a can of tuna, with a banana and a handful of nuts on top!

Weekends, I don’t usually plan for because we never know who’s home or what plans might pop up.

Once the menu is done we make the shopping list and once that is made we can work out where to go… milk and bread and canned things and loo paper is Aldi, sometimes we will get meat there as well, for the rest of the shopping list it’s either Coles or Woolworths, today we did both.

Then I decided that it’s so cold and wet and raining I would make a pit of the Mother’s Vegetable soup, I used to hate it when I was growing up, but then when I was a young Mother I asked her for the recipe and have been making it ever since. The whole house smells delish when I make that soup, and so as soon as Star Son and Amber heard about that they both vetoed the soup idea… So they could have whatever they wanted but they had to make it, ha ha!!


In the pot on the stove.. Yumminess this way comes!


Look at that ham hock!! Yum!

Dinner was very yummy, with fresh bread and real butter and oh the smell! Yummy!!! Sweetpea was very brave and sat up in her high chair and tried a bit of everything, unlike her Mother she is at least willing to try new things.


                                                  Started her off with some bread and ham


It turns out that she really loved the carrot and parsnip!! What a good girl!

So that was our Sunday… How was yours?

Ahhhh football is back!!

This post is brought to you by “Boredom Busters” I am sitting in the car is the warm autumn sunshine its warm in the car! Outside the wind is cold, its autumn we expect that.

Star son is at football training, they’ve just been put into their “forever for this season” team. He’s in the Middle level so not the bottom ( we all sighed a sigh of relief at that) he’s also got a few friends from last years winning team. This years coach was last years Assistant coach so we know him, this years Assistant coach was last years runner, so we know him these two ‘Dads’ have know this team for three years so they all know each other’s skills, strengths and where they need work. This years runner is my physio ‘Mr Magic Hands‘ aka Andrew.

So this morning is our last Sunday training, their first in their teams, the real training starts Tuesdays and now Thursdays as well which tell us that Under 14’s has stepped up the intensity, it also tells me to clear my life on Tuesdays and Thursdays because l magically become that “football Mum” we walk or jog down to the oval by 5:30pm and l sit and shiver until the Bloke arrives, he drives me home to cook dinner and then he comes back to collect the mud splattered Star Son by 6:30 which inevitably means they’ll be home by 7:00pm.

No school work gets done on training nights…. Oh no!! The Bloke says “straight after dinner on training nights will be homework time” I snorted because we both know that is going to end in a fight!! I’m going to start praying now, I hate the “sport v’s real life” arguments. They go like this… “Yes you DO still have to feed the animals even though you have football training

YES!! The dishes still DO need to be dried, l don’t care if you are tired!”

ARGHHHHH, that science thing was due yesterday get it done! I don’t care if it’s 8;30pm do it now!” I REALLY Look forward to those discussions, even the cats run for cover when those talks start!!

So I have become the one thing l always thought l had escaped!! I am the tragic “Football Mum” I am there at every training session, l am usually one of the first to arrive at game day, l am the one usually “husband less” because he is the tragic “Football Dad” that is off helping somewhere maybe he is the goal keeper this week or the time-keeper next week, possible he’s the water boy.

I am the loner Mum that stands huddle in my jacket trying not to cheer when “Star Son” kicks a goal or takes a mark or l am the “tragic mother” that bites her tongue holding her breath while he’s knocked down in the mud and trampled on, l hold my breath till he gets up because “It’s not cool ” to makes a fuss when kids half his height again trample him into the mud! I am on a “Silence” rule, because “It’s also not cool” to be the loudest Mother cheering and it’s really, absolutely, definitely NOT cool to be the Mother who is telling the team how to play, l think that’s what the coaches are for. It doesn’t mean l have to agree  I am just not allowed to make a fuss.

But for all the things I am NOT allowed to do, l am expected to witness every goal, mark, point and tackle, because come end of that game it’s for certain my very dirty Star Son is going to ask me “Mum did you see when l tackled number 7?? How awesome was that!” I need to have seen that! And even sometime l need to give him the thumbs up on the field so l need to watch every move he makes, just silently!!

Ahhhh the joys of Football season!!

School Homework Assignment- School Holidays

In Australia we are currently having spring school holidays and as any parent knows school holidays can be a tough time, some parents love holidays and some dread it

Love it or hate it it costs money! we usually go away to our holiday place and hang out at the beach or read or play TV games and just relax and unwind. Its good when there are other kids down there that Master 12 knows because he will go off playing happily for hours, climbing trees or riding bikes or playing TV games, but this holidays its different because I am now caring for my almost 10 month old Grandson while daughter #1 works. And she hates to be separated from him unless she has to work, so there’s not much chance of me escaping for a week with her son! So what to do with a 12 r old and a 10 month old..

Monday we spent the day with my cousin and her daughter and went shopping to a huge second hand shop its called “Savers” we had fun trying on clothes and brought a few goodies and some books and then had McDonald’s for a lunch treat.  “Phew” I said “One day down”

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Chase enjoyed his bottle in the sunshine

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Mum and Will, Spavin Drive Lake

Tuesday we hung around the house, except when we walked to the local duck pond and sat in the beautiful sunshine and just talked, I like those quiet times when he feels like he can open up and just chat. which brought up the subject of “homework” that had to be done over the holidays, for some reason I had missed that email but the Bloke had it. It was from Will’s cooking teacher, requesting that the children spend some of their holidays doing some homework!Oh the horror on his face! They had to design a pizza brief (immediately my mind jumped into action) but alas they had a list of approved ingredients they had to choose from.

This is his home work…

Learning Intention: To consolidate the understanding of the areas of a design brief.”

Success Criteria: To have addressed all sections of the Colourful Pizza Design brief”

You Must choose ONE topping from Groups 1, 4 and 5 and TWO ingredients from 2 and 3

Remember: when selecting topping ingredients ensure colourful combinations.

Group One- Choose One-

  • 2 slices of ham
  • 1 Rasher of bacon
  • 6 Slices hot salami
  • 6 Slices mild salami (Will Chose ones that are Italicized) 

Group Two- Choose Two-

  • 2 spring onions
  • 1/4 green capsicum
  • 1/4 red capsicum
  • 1/2 tomato

Group Three- Choose Two-

  • 2 Mushrooms
  • 1/4 Zucchini
  • 2 Tbs Olives
  • 1 Slice Pineapple

Group Four- Choose One-

  • 1 teaspoon Basil
  • 1 Teaspoon Oregano
  • 1 tablespoon BBQ sauce

Group Five- Choose One-

  • 50 grams Tasty cheese
  • 50 grams Mozzarella cheese
  • 50 grams Cheddar cheese

So with shopping list in hand I asked him “what about the base?”

Will: “what base?”

Mum: “the base that all these toppings will sit on?”

Will:” Umm I dunno”

So I read the rest of the section and discovered they have to MAKE the base too… suddenly I am thinking “Ekk.. hard hard, yeast and proving times blah blah” taking a deep breath I sat down and read the instructions and was surprised to realize that NO YEAST was involved.. Hmm I wondered how would that work?!

“Basic Pizza Dough Recipe”

Ingredients for dough-

  • 1 Cup of Self Raising Flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 5 Tablespoons plain yogurt

Too easy, off to Woolworths we go and I am telling the checkout lady about homework that involves making pizza and how weird that we had to use “yogurt” instead of yeast and she said “Oh I am gluten intolerant and we make it with yogurt all the time it’s really easy and yummy” I felt slightly better.

Will was not excited for this project at all, but I felt all excited almost like when I spent a year Homeschooling the boys, Jarrah was 11 yrs old and Will was three years old. Back then in Australia homeschooling was illegal and so I took a huge risk and I have to say it was the best year of my life. I regained my son and got Will ready for kindergarten and life in general and by the time he went to kindy the next year he could already write his name and use scissors. In that year I asked Jarrah “what do YOU want to learn about?” I told him we had to do Math, English, writing, and whatever else we wanted to do, I had no idea what I was doing, making it up as I went, we ended up doing a whole term on Australia, animals, history, culture, cooking!! we loved it, we made Anzac cookies and posters for the walls and did word searches and lots of art. We also did a huge amount of work on Space and astronomy because he asked me “How does the moon go from full to half and quarter?” Hmmm lets work on that! all three of us had a great year. I am a hands on Mum, I want to help with the projects and make posters and help research or at least point them in the direction and then ask them questions to help them look up the answers.

So this pizza brief sounded like fun..so much so that I couldn’t stop thinking of “Pizza design brief” Design- Design is the creation of a plan or convention for the construction of an object (wikipedia) Hmm so what Will was doing was just putting it together I wanted to design one.. so I went ahead and did that! but first let’s see Will’s Pizza..

So now we are all a few kilos heavier and Will’s first part of his homework is done, tomorrow he has to do the written part, what I have yet to work out is how the teacher is going to prove that the kids actually did the homework.. I am sure not everyone’s Mum has a blog or bothered to get involved to the point I would ask him to “stop while I take a photo for the blog!” The Bloke refused to try the “Strawberry Delight” he claimed it was “too sweet” Will was full after a bite or two but Jasmin and I enjoyed it. Next time we are going to make one with chopped up Mars Bar and make the base. ( I used store brought bases for my two pizzas)