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January 2024

December 2023

Goodbye 2023

My mind has become mushy due to the drugs, so I am living in a kind of haze.  But as it is the end of the year I really should review my work this year.

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  1.  Teaching - as the year progressed I found I could no longer do this at all.  It was a very hard but necessary decision to finish.           
  2.  Judging - I did limit the number of jobs I took on.
  3.  Knitting & Crochet - well my right arm stopped working so this had been limited.
  4. Time to meet with friends -  I did achieve this until my health issues took over.
  5. Concerts - only a few.  Art Gallery - I went every month until I took ill.
  6. Stitching - Tast Challenge - Joined but didn't continue.
  7.    "         - book Cover- designed but stitching not finished. But I did make another from recycled Op shop embroidery.
  8.    "         - Kogin - made the pin cushions but not the bags.
  9.    "         - Completed both the Graffitti and Friendship quilts plus two others.
  10.   "          - Make the majority of my clothes   - No
  11. Go to the Bendigo Wool Festival                 - No
  12. Visit Toowoomba friends                              - Yes
  13. Maberly Retreat                                           - No
  14. Go to the Guild twice a month                      - Yes

I am really surprised to see that I did most of what I set out to achieve.  If it hadn't been for health issues I would have done better!

So now I have to turn my mind to 2024, but I think I will leave that for a while until I am finished with all the drugs.

So goodbye 2023 and looking forward to 2024.


Merry Xmas

I'm afraid I lost the plot for a couple of days.  I have another 10 days to go in that horrible machine and when the Doctor gave me the news it knocked me sideways but I now have 4 days off for Xmas.  This means my brain should recover a bit and I will cope.  I also got the news that the pain in my right arm is Neuropathy,  which I have in my legs and goes along with my autoimmune problems.   At least I have an answer now, but there is no cure so I will have to just deal with it.

All that aside,

it is Christmas.  So, Merry Xmas everyone.

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Just resting

I am on a count down for this section of my treatment.  Only 2 more days in that terrible machine and then I will have 4 days before I start on the next round of drugs, thank goodness.  This part has really been a bit trying, to say the least.  All I can do is get down to the barge, to the hospital, treatment, get home and collapse into bed.  Someone always stops and gives me a lift home from the barge.  ( I stagger a bit walking and my head is spinning by this stage.)

I have been watching "The last homely home garden" on You Tube, and am now right up to the current episode, No 9.  I have become quite taken with "Eileen the goose".

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Her personality shines through and this pond is for her.

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The other show I have been watching is "Vera" and it came to me that both of these shows are taking place in the same location.  (I told you that this treatment is really making my brain mushy.)

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I have added another job to my "to do List".  Learn how to use the video function on my camera.  You must meet Hayley's ducks.

(That list is getting soooo long.)


The last border has been sewn on the quilt.

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Usual problems.  Didn't measure correctly and came up a bit short.

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But I just added a piece on.  I will have to wait till after the holidays to take it to the long-arm quilter and because I messed around with the size of the boarders and blocks the wadding I bought is about 10cm short on one side. Luckily, I had some other wadding in the cupboard that will do the job.  I had better measure the backing fabric as I think I might have to add a bit onto that.

I have also put aside all the scraps to make a quilt bag.  I came upon this pattern on-line, it is called "Hens and Chicks".  Just what the doctor ordered.

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So now I have to draft a pattern.

Boxing up

Brain fog is real,  I am trying to deal with it.  But I can manage little felt mats for the bottom of the boxes that hold my Kogin wooden pin bowls.

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But, improvements are needed.  The mats should have a drop of glue to keep them in place.

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And perhaps I need to anchor the bowls as well?

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These are for Xmas gifts.

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At least I know that the cushions are quite secure and the pins will not fall out!

I added a little tag explaining what the stitching was for those who will not know.

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A rescue

The weather has been wild.  A cyclone up north has sent it into a spin.  We have had the strongest winds and wild rain.  Luckily we missed the hail but baby animals just aren't used to this kind of weather.

We have a nesting pair of kookaburras in our trees and junior got blown out of the nest.  He isn't quiet ready for flight yet so ended up in the bush.  It is really a task picking up a bird like this. Being on the ground makes him prey for cats, dogs, lizards and snakes.  What to do?  Ring the wildlife rescue.

They said to get a bucket, fill it with leaf litter and put him in there.  I did that but he was still vulnerable, so I hoisted the bucket up into the tree so his parents could get to him.  I worried about him all night. 

Next morning he had got out of the bucket and flown onto the front deck, where his parents were feeding him.

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By lunch time he was gone.  His tail feathers aren't long enough for flying just yet.  But what a lovely little fellow to come visiting at Xmas?

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Xmas Holidays

The island is starting to fill up with visitors.  Holiday home residents are returning for the Xmas break, including our neighbours.

Our next door neighbour is the inventor of cyrovacing and always brings us a ham for Xmas, including this one.  I have prepared the ham bag, as this usually lasts right up to and including the holidays.

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But it looks so delicious I had to make a sandwich straight away.

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And it looks so much nicer with a garnish.

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But from experience, I know we will be 'over' ham sandwiches by the time Xmas comes.


I have entered the "mushey brain" part of my treatment.  I am vague, tired, fatigued and not with it.

But, I only have to add the last borders, which are all pieced, to the quilt.  Heaven's knows when I will get to do this.  There is no way I can quilt it so I will have to wait till after the holidays and give it to the long arm quilter.

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My right hand and wrist are still giving me trouble so I thought I would take this time to learn how to knit,  continental style.  I have been knitting, English style, for over 70 years and I have a feeling that this has contributed to my wrist problems.  For the past week I have been practicing, or should I say pulling what I do undone.  But, I have finally mastered longtail caste on.  I need more practice but I think I have got the hang of it.

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And I also think I have got my head around continental style plain knit.  I will just keep knitting these samples till I am more confident.  (This is nearly 2 weeks work!!)

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Then I have to attempt purl knitting.  I might make a blanket will all the samples.  I could have made a blanket out of all the samples I have pulled undone.

Good Intentions

I entered my 'intense' phase of treatment which such good intentions but got wiped out from the side effects of the drugs.  Just getting from one day to the next has been a challenge.  Those side effects have been so intense they have put in a review of treatment this week.  Even the doctors are worried about how my immune system is handling the drugs. ( They knew I wouldn't be able to handle Chemo so that was ruled out. )   But, I have had a two days break  and the effects of the drugs has reduced.  This has given my a chance to organise myself for the next 2 weeks, washing ironing etc., then it is Xmas and I will get another break.

I decided that if I hadn't bought Xmas presents they wouldn't be bought.  I will have to miss all the parties, (such bad gastric and diarrhoea makes this impossible), but I did get two of the borders sewn on my quilt, one more to go. 

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I gave this away when I found myself ironing my arm!!    Heavens knows what it is doing to my brain!!

A favouite blog/web page/YouTube Channel

Knitsonic is right up there as one of my favourite sites.  I found it years ago through Kate Davies Needled.  And that was years before Kate had started her business and was still at University.  Both she and Felicity (Felix) were doctorate students at Oxford, nerds through and through.  But that level of academic insight is what set them apart.

Felicity took her Doctorate in "The Art of Sound".   I didn't know you could study sound until then and she loved knitting, so hence Knit-Sonic.  I am following her posts for colour, which is part of a series that she and Kate are posting.  This one is about the sound of colour and she has a great mix of music that mirrors this .

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Great to relax and stitch to.

(You will find a playlist at the bottom of her post)