all over the place

 

I’m very unsettled at the moment.  You may have noticed.

Each day, I bounce from room to room, from project to project.  I hit upon something that takes my fancy for several hours – throw myself into it – it’s delightful – I’m delighted – I’m going to do marvellous things with it.  Then, the next morning, I’m back to bouncing.

Feverishly filling in a giant crossword book I found.  Spending waaaaaaay to long playing mahjong on the computer.

The one upside to this state, is that slowly, bit by bit, each room is getting a good shaking out and organising.  This only seems to happen by creating an unholy mess first.  And sometimes, the crosswords overtake me and the mess lurks about for a few days.

little boy teatowles

The reason for this chaos.  I am at a completely loose end.  You see, it’s a funny thing this nursing business.  You know how there’s this perception that there are never enough nurses.  Well that’s only sort of true.  The degree we undertake these days, to gain our registration, is so very very university based – with so little clinical practice – that no one wants to employ a newly graduated nurse.  She needs way to much training to be safe and useful.  No one except nursing homes.

They’re usually desperate and will cheerfully snatch up a new graduate and put her in charge of 40 – 80 residents.  She will be the only registered nurse on duty and will be expected to provide medication to frail and vulnerable people she’s never laid eyes on before and accept complete responsibility for their wellbeing.  It’s a recipe for disaster – the examples of which hit the coroner’s court.  Mention working in a nursing home and newly graduated nurses shudder with fear.

And so we have the graduate year.  I think almost all of the hospitals have them.  The big public hospitals have big intakes, the little private hospitals have little intakes.  And they all have hundreds and hundreds of new graduates applying.  And guess what – there are nowhere near enough graduate places for those who are graduating – at least a third of graduates will miss out.  Makes you wonder where they wind up.

Do they just grit their teeth and head to the nursing homes, fingers crossed that they don’t kill a poor old soul?  Do they go rural (another whole can of worms)?  Do they do agency work – as terrifying as nursing home work – imagine a ward in a hospital where you know nobody, don’t know how they do things, have never walked those corridors, navigated that drug room, met those patients, and you have almost no clinical experience – nice! Do they go bank (casual work for a particular hospital – not quite as bad as agency – at least you stick with the one hospital)?  Or do they wind up in all sorts of random places where they will never develop the skills they’ve studied for – like doctors’ surgeries and schools and occupational health and safety things.  All of these alternatives to the real thing send chills down my spine.

crocheted flowers fabric on piano

Where does this all leave me?  Well – I achieved a good GPA.  I have great clinical reports and glowing references from really good placements.  I put in my four applications for a grad year – you are only allowed four – and you can only apply one year (theoretically you can apply every year, but you will always be considered last after your first go – so given there’s a shortage of places … )  I received three interviews at 3 big public hospitals – all of which I had been to as a student and had great references from.

The fourth application – a private hospital where I’d also had a great placement and really clicked with the senior nursing staff – I missed out on an interview – they emailed me one hour after applications closed to advise me.  I was HORRIFIED to have been dismissed so quickly so queried their decision.  Turns out they didn’t like my clinical reports – I used my last two reports which were from the Royal Children’s Hospital and The Alfred ICU – two of the most sought after placements – this private hospital wanted general medical or surgical.  Really?  Bugger them.

owls crochet

I had my interviews.  The first two were up quick.  The third was a few weeks back.  I think they went well.  Hard to know.  And now – I have no clue as to what 2015 will hold for me because we don’t find out until October 14th!!!!!!!  Can you believe we have to wait that long.  My first interview – at The Alfred – was on August 5th.  That’s 2 1/2 months wait.  Aaaaaaaaargh!!!!!  And get this – the final joyful bit of the whole torturous process – we only get one offer.  That’s right.  Even if all the hospitals who interviewed you want to offer you a grad year, you will only hear from the one you listed first, so you better make sure you ordered that list just right.  AAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRGHHHH!

For this marvellous process, we say thank you to the State Government of Victoria and their canny little program ComputerMatch.

So, until October 14th, I am bouncing around, fretting hourly about whether I will get an offer.  Rehashing those interviews and thinking up 20 ways I could have answered each question better.  Filling out yet another crossword.  Wasting more time on mahjong.  Not finishing my quilts.  Not writing up my crochet pattern.  Not working on my needlepoints and cross stitches.  Not finishing off that yoke on Abby’s sweater or Mum’s stripey sweater or Julian’s Argyle.  Not upholstering the footstool.  Not painting the front porch chairs.  Jeeez I’m slack.

Instead, I’m hating that here I am – with months of blissful home time – and I am not using it wisely.  I am flitting about chaotically – perpetually lonely and seemingly unable to finish even one thing.  Wanting the day to pass quickly so that Abby and Julian are home.  Incredulous that another week has disappeared.  Sad that the weekend vanished in the blink of an eye.  Longing for the year to just jolly well slow down.  Wishing I could hack into ComputerMatch and get an offer now so that I can stop THINKING about it all of the time and just settle down to being lucky Lily at home.

Man, I am all over the place.

crumpled quilt

dates and needlepoint and interviews

wool

This morning was another cold, dreary, grey, flattening sort of morning.  Melbourne specialises in these.  I have to exert a lot of energy to rise above it.  But the last few weeks, as I’ve been waiting for application acceptances and grad year interviews, I’ve been a little bit wobbly on the rise.  Checking emails every 5 minutes.  Fretting over imagined, terrible outcomes.  Wondering how I’ll ever make it to October 14th without having wasted 2 months ripping off all my cuticles.

Oy!  So, instead of working on the Spring House which continues to cover the kitchen table, I tipped my needlepoint wool onto the library table and curled up under the lamp to work on my Norwegian Queen.  Did you know the Norwegian word for Queen is “Dronning”.  I must say, to my English speaking mind, this doesn’t conjure up the most regal notions – instead, it makes me think of a right bore of a queen, “dronning” on and on and on in a pompous and repetitive manner to her ladies in waiting about all the things the King (Konge) does that annoy her.

Yesterday, when I was thinking of all the things I could do with this wee needlepoint, I looked up lots and lots of ways to say Queen.  The similarities were mostly expected – except for the enchanting Hindi word.   You want to know some?  Course you do – in French they say “Reine”, in Spanish it’s “Reina” and in Italian it’s “Regina”.  Yup – just as expected.  But in Hindu it’s “Rani”!  How cool is that!!  That Sanskrit and European languages share the same root is so fabulous!  Just tonight I heard that lovely Canadian astronaut, Chris Hadfield, say that the thing he really began to feel when he was floating above our improbable jewel like world was the collectiveness of it all.  Such a beautiful thought – and precisely why they say Rani in India and Reine in France.

You want to know some more – all right!  In Russian they say “Koroleva”, in Czech they say “Kralovna”, and in Turkish they say “Kralice.  Must be a connection there.  In Malaysian they say “Ratu” and in Arabic they say “Malikah”.  In Japanese I think they say “Joo” and in Vietnamese they say “Nu Hoang”.  The one that made me laugh was the Maori – “Kuini”!  Isn’t that gorgeous!  I wish my Norwegian queen was a “Kuini” but I suppose I’d best make peace with the fact she’s a “Dronning”.

Anyways – etymological diversions aside – the needlepoint.  I was at a bit of an impasse.  I had – improbably – chosen gingernut brown for the background and spent last eve furiously filling and filling and filling.  Then realised this morning that I couldn’t possibly fill in around all those little red flowers – they would VANISH into the gingernut.  As I sat there, calculating how many hours it would take to pull out all that gingernut, I looked up and realised what was clearly inspiring me when I first settled on warm brown – this here print on the library wall!

background

I’m afraid I cannot remember the name or artist, but it is from the early American colonial period – one of my favourite periods of art.  I just love the wonky perspective and proportions – grapes hanging from huge trees ready to torpedo the small farm houses and the garden that looks ripe for sliding down the steep hill – of gingernut brown!  I’ve always looked at this painting and thought how the artist must have painted and painted the brown hill and then got to that beautiful weeping willow and thought “bugger, I can’t possibly paint in between all those delicate leaves, I know, I’ll paint around it.” And at the moment I was GLAD I’d chosen gingernut brown and knew just how to deal with those red flowers :-)

Then, I practised that ancient sport of “well, before I start a new piece of brown, I’ll just check the emails again.”  Do you know that game?  It goes like this – “before I wash the dishes, I’ll just check the emails again”, “I’ll hang out the washing and then I can check the emails again”,  ”I won’t check the emails again until I’ve added three more rows of bricks”,  ”goodness, I’ve been out of the house for 45 minutes, it’s time to quickly check the emails again.” Course you do.  But this time – oh thank my lucky stars – there was the email I’ve been waiting for.  A grad interview at the Royal Children’s Hospital for next Friday.  Yes! Phew!  Now I can get on with life.

favourite cookbook

Folks, I waltzed into the kitchen.  I cleaned up with a spring in my step.  I laughed with delight at the thought of baking for lunch :-)  And so I pulled out a real favourite – Hugh’s soda bread from his lovely “Family Cookbook”.  It’s such a good, solid recipe that allows for all manner of interpretations – today it was dates and oats. I just followed the basic recipe – eliminated the sugar (I always do that) and substituted 50g of oats for 50g of flour.  Yum!

dates prebake

Popped it into the oven and did some more washing up.  I must admit – I do like washing up in winter.  I love filling the sink with straight hot water – no cold – and then plunging my hands in.  This year I’ve either developed asbestos hands or the plumber turned the water heater temperature down when he last visited.  Either way, it’s bliss.  Fogs up my spectacles.  The steam rises around me and floats away from the dishes as I stack them on the drainer.  Oh yes, washing up, one of winter’s pleasures.

washing up

Then, whilst the soda bread baked, I got to playing with the beet tops from last night’s supper.  Chopped off the leaves for the rabbits.  And then, was so entranced by the ruby red liquid that dripped from the stems, that I chopped them up too and boiled them up in a bit of water.  I have plans.  Next time you pop into blockaday I shall either be showing you something marvellous.  Or you’ll be laughing until you cry over what happened to those beet stems.  We’ll just have to wait and see which it will be.

beetroot stems

In 25 minutes, out came the soda bread – all bursting with scrumptious, piping hot dates.  I hacked off some thick slabs, carefully layered them with thin slices of cold salty butter and gobbled them up at the kitchen bench. Yum!

post bake wrapped

Washed the butter from my hands, wrapped the leftovers for tomorrow morning’s breakfast – Hugh’s soda bread is marvellous toasted – and returned to my Kuini-Dronning.  Spirits lifted.  Belly full.  New ideas for birds and borders and purposes in my mind.

on the table little grains of rice

Take that you dreary, winter Melbourne morning!

 

on monday morning before I leave for a late

crumpled sofas

:: the sofas are crumpled with quilts … speaking of the cold but cosy nights we are having as we move past the winter solstice and once more towards the sun

crochet basket

new version

:: so many corners filled with so many projects … a little dabbling in last summer’s crocheted cotton throw, and turning a doily pattern, written for fine mercerised cotton, into something so much chunkier and more colourful – plans for something silly and wonderful!

blue sky

:: the back door opens to the first blue sky in days … look at our funny winter trees – the oak still dressed in its autumn leaves, the flower buds already colouring and tentatively venturing out on the magnolia

umbrella

:: first morning in ages that I haven’t had to take the umbrella with me on my morning visit to the chicken and rabbits

unknown berries

magnolia

:: more signs of our strangely bothered climate (look around you Prime Minister Abbott and Environment Minister Hunt – you woefully ignorant, head-in-the-coal, intellectual and moral pygmies!) – the birds never touch these berries so nor shall we.  As for the magnolia – best flowers it’s ever produced – even if they are several months early

srtichokes
tea and crumpets

:: wintery mornings call for tea and honeyed crumpets, then more tea, and more tea and more tea and more tea … as for those artichokes – they’re just so pretty but I’ve never cooked with them – hmmmm ….

vintage stools

:: smiling at our newly thrifted kitchen stools.  They absolutely don’t fit in our kitchen, but we’re tolerating them there at the moment.  Red re-upholstering would be just the ticket – yes?

a very cosy nook pins

:: making the most of the few hours I have at home before heading into the hospital for a late – making time for my home’s ordinary everyday needs as well as sneaking in a bit of creativity every day is essential for maintaining a cheerful perspective during these long and intense weeks of placement!  When I don’t do this – and focus manically on the here and now – the long hours, the constant learning, the stress of new and tricksy things, the relentless insomnia – I forget that what I am living right now, is not what the forever more is going to be!  Pinning out a quilt, chatting to the chicken, tidying the corners of Bootville is a good reminder that nursing will be an extra string to my fiddle, not the entire orchestra.

stuck pins

:: how DO these pins get so entwined!  More baffling then coat hangers.

ready for christmas bunting

:: two left over strips of festive vintage blanket – perfect for a Christmas banner – and perfect time to start thinking about this as we turn the corner of the year!  Oh how I love Christmas :-)

bloody eye

:: and finally, as I pull my hair back and clean my teeth, I am reminded that viciously rubbing one’s eye when it’s itchy is NOT a good idea.  Oy!  I look as if I’ve been in a pub brawl!  My poor eye!

So – any moment now, one of my fellow nursing students will be pulling up outside my home and we shall choof on in to the hospital together for another afternoon in the ICU.  It’s full on my friends, full on.  I’m seeing things I never knew existed – and lots of things that are not usually visible.  I’m caring for needs I had never before imagined.  But when, for the first moment, it feels a bit overwhelming and a sense of horror begins to creep into my thoughts, I look into my patient’s face and all I feel is love and empathy.  It goes a long way.

 

all that has happened

Oh my goodness … 2014, what a year you are shaping up to be!  Almost four months past and I’ve barely caught my breath.  Now tonight, here I sit in my layers of wool and sheepskin slippers.  The bed is laden with blankets and quilts.  The rain patters outside.  Summer has well and truly finished.  Autumn never really arrived … or if you caught glimpses, I must have been deep inside the emergency room of the children’s hospital and missed them completely … and now it’s almost gone.  And I’ve not popped my head in here for ages!

In fact, this is the third night I’ve sat down to write, but then I’ve thought … well, what on earth have I got to say?  I’ve been lurching from one chaotic period to another.  Nothing much has progressed on the crafty front.  No show and tells ready and prettily photographed  :sigh:

Then I decided to empty the camera card and what did I find?  Empty camera card? Evidence of chaos?  A visual reminder of what happens when you are frantically writing up one university assignment after another, whilst working full time in a completely new and unusual environment with a massive team of nurses and doctors that seem to completely change with each shift, accompanied by a husband who’s overseas working for a month, a wonderful Mummy who steps into the breach and keeps Bootville running, followed by a dear old grandad who suffers a terrible stroke and needs us by his side quickly and a darling old grandmother who doesn’t know what their life holds for them next?  Is that what’s on the camera card?

No, not really.  Instead, there are glimpses – here and there – some more weeks than others – of a life that is still being lived with good cheer.  There’s been lots of keeping close to the ones I love, birthdays celebrated, an endless appreciation for the old, battered and quirky, a never before experienced explosion of autumnal knitting, a coming together of quilts – old and new, a treasured opportunity to hold my Grandad’s hand whilst he rests in hospital, beautiful hours sitting with my Nanny whilst we knit together and ponder what may come next, a very special opportunity to rekindle a close relationship with a dear aunty, a much appreciated trip to a favourite beach, tablecloths turned into skirts, an adored friend visiting for Easter, wee dolls being needlefelted, moments of sunshine in the garden …

Yes … it would seem that whilst I have been away from here for a very long time – the longest ever I think! – and spent many, many hours at the early and late ends of the day caring for little people and their families; the spirit of Bootville lives on, and the goodness that makes up our crazy, busy, love-filled, creative lives gets squeezed into the corners no matter how fast the time flies.

table cloth borders sewn borders attached birthday quilts sewn quilting cocktails sipped newly thrifted shelves fabrics were played with dirty lamp fizzy clean lamp pea soup cardie dishcloths were knitted cardigans multiplied dirty sideboard clean sideboard mum visited ready for home nanny's knitting bag family rainbow dollls made friends came husbands relished autumn welcomed even more knitting

And that’s so good.  See you tomorrow – yes?

full days indeed

advent rose

Goodness, life has been exceedingly full over the last ten days.  It all began with a washing basket that only had 2 towels and a half load of washing in it.

That was two Sundays ago – the day before I began my two week placement in an Oncology ward at a large public hospital.  As I picked up that wretched basket, I felt a sharp and painful twinge in my lower back.  No, no, no, no … this could not possibly happen at the start of placement.  But despite spending the rest of the day resting my back, taking pain relief, and performing the gentle stretches my physio gave me the last time I hurt my back – over ten years ago – I arrived at the hospital, bright and early on the Monday morning, with an excruciatingly sore back.

There was nothing I could do about it.  If I couldn’t meet my placement obligations, I would have to repeat the semester.  So, I staggered on – literally.  My doctor prescribed pain relief for the days and a muscle relaxant for the nights.  Julian massaged my back every evening when I collapsed onto the bed.  And he and Abby kept the house running.  Every ounce of energy and concentration I had was poured into my patients.  I confess, there were several moments when I simply lay there and cried.

And yet, what an incredibly humbling experience.  Because, as I have walked – as straight and briskly as possible – around the ward each day, I have been caring for people who are terribly unwell.  Most people receiving treatment for cancer are seen as day patients.  Only those who suffer severe side effects from their treatments that cannot be managed at home, or those for whom the treatments are no longer working and their poor bodies are simply breaking down, make their way onto the ward.

I have held the hand of a patient who received very sad news on her birthday.  I have cared for a patient (and his family) who died too soon.  I have prepared the body of another patient for the morgue.  I have cleaned up all manner of bodily fluids whilst reassuring the patient beside me that it is no bother at all.  I have managed to find 10 minutes here and there to sit with patients and listen to their stories who have no family to visit them.  I have given countless antibiotics, anti-virals, anti-fungals, platelet infusions, potassium, magnesium, and ever so gently washed and patted dry frail, frail bodies …. my goodness, chemotherapy is so very harsh on the body.

And that back pain of mine – well, it’s as if it has been given to me to keep my feet firmly planted in reality.  To remind me that what seems awful to me can always be put into a much bigger picture.  One in which life is so very treasured and fragile.

Today – thank goodness – I think that spasm in my back is finally breaking up.  Now, it’s just tired, not screeching in pain.  And this morning for the first time since “the washing basket moment” the fog of discomfort has lifted and I am able to look around me with clear and refreshed eyes.

The rain is pouring down.  The sunflowers smothering my bedroom window are delighted.  I stitched Abby’s Christmas pillowcase and crocheted a wee Christmas rose for a dear, dear patient.  We turned the fairy lights on early. My uniform is ironed.  My supper is packed.

It’s time to head off.

sunflowers fairy lights

an almost nurse’s bag

My book satchel is finally finished – man, did its construction give me some grief! – and for the last few days has nicely filled the role of nurse’s bag.  So useful, so roomy, so cheerful on dark cold winter mornings.

ready for use

I know I’d previously suggested it was a bag Katherine would from Brother of the More Famous Jack would surely use.  But now, as I keep stuffing more things in, it reminds me so much more of Hermione’s bag in the last Harry Potter novel.  Yes, this is certainly my Bag of Requirement.

me close up of needlepoint

So what does make it bulge so.  What new essentials do I keep in my bag?

inside

Let me show you …

the contents

My thrifted lambswool argyle cardie – not uniform issued (we are not allowed to wear anything below our elbows on the ward, so this cardie is only for travelling to and fro) but oh it does look so nice with my pleated navy skirt, crisp white blouse and black buckle ups and is especially soft and cosy.  Definitely a comfort cardie.  Once my uniform is on, I feel like something out of another era.  I just need a little cap for my head and a red cape and I’d be set!

My pickpocket bag that is worn round the hips – with calculator for drug calcs, perpetually useful scissors and tape, steri-swabs, endless notes, and a pen.

My iPad for journal reading – everyday I come across something new so hit the academic databases to peruse the latest research.  My phone – very useful for looking up drugs on my MIMs App.  My stethoscope – pink so that it will always stand out as mine :-)  (Julian was very bemused when he saw the colour).

Notes and guidelines on clinical pathways for hospital induced delirium – a real passion of mine – something that affects mostly elderly patients but can also affect patients who are very ill, have undergone huge operations, or are in the ICU for a long time.  It can be terribly distressing and debilitating for the patient, upsetting for the family, carries nasty long term consequences for the sufferers and is often overlooked by health care workers or written off as “Oh Room 325 is really cranky / completely crackers / totally non-compliant this morning.”  Or even better – “She’s just old.”  I had a wee meeting with one of the clinical care coordinators today about the future of caring for patients with delirium and we discussed an informal case study of one of my current patients – very inspiring – perhaps a future speciality!

My lunchtime knitting – working on Cousin Clara’s baby’s cardigan – so sweet.

My purse (a hand me down from my mum – such a lovely colour!) – chocolate money, carpark money, petrol money – in that order of importance.

Ah the ventolin – Lily’ security blanket – almost never take the stuff, my asthma is so well managed, but simply cannot leave the house without it.

And my glasses – otherwise none of the rest would be of any use at all!

the needlepoint

sidetracked

tin of tools little squares

Beginning of the week, a 2pm start.  I finished the chores that simply had to be done and left those that I could live with.  Then, with winter sunlight pouring in through the windows, I settled at the craft table to do a wee bit of stitching.  Oh yes, I so needed a bit of stitching.  How I do miss it.

I cut out little squares and bigger squares.  Drew soft pencil lines.  Arranged pieces.  And then I spied the tin.  Evidence of the naughty weekend treat I shared with Abby.  A tin of condensed milk, boiled up for several hours on the stove, then devoured, still hot, exceptionally sweet and sticky, with spoons.  Back and forth between us until there was none left.

Now the tin was holding the screw on tips of my circular needles.  Looking very dull.  Before I could stop myself, I dug out a half ball of yarn, found a hook and started making neat rows of trebles.  Talk about sidetracked.

crochet hook growing done colourful needles

Twenty minutes later – a very pretty and useful finish.  Two hours later – a few of those wee squares sewed onto the larger squares, but not as many as I’d imagined :-)

And then it was time to make my way back to the hospital.  To the lovely patients, very helpful nurses, and endless drug names.  Such is what these good and busy days are made of.

portrait

the starting of a book bag

the needlepoint

Another op shop treasure … there were several to choose from, lined up in a neat row on skirt hangers.  All finished.  Hours and hours and hours of stitching.  None framed.  What an absolute treat to bring one home and put to lovely use a kindred spirit’s wonderful talent.

I shall use this needlepoint as the flap on a brown corduroy book bag.  Lined with the owls below.  With a gusset of red corduroy.  Bound with a rich orange print.  The whole thing will be very 70s.  If I added macramed tassles, I could just imagine Rhoda from the Mary Tyler Moore show carrying it – I thought she was so pretty when I was little.  And wanted to dress just like her when I grew up :-)

Not that I shall be adding tassles … the bag in my mind also reminds me so of one of my favourite all time novels – Brother of the More Famous Jack by Barbara Trapido - her first and very very best.  I first read this way back when I was a very impressionable teenager just starting out at university.  Oh how I wanted to be Katherine, how much I adored the Goldman family and their fabulously eccentric house, how in love I was with the Goldman boys, how disappointed I was not to find any Goldmans at the University of Queensland …

I can just picture Katherine carrying this book-bag-to -be on the train, on her way to visit the Goldman’s, stuffed full of papers and novels and knitting.  Jonathon would like it.  Roger would pretend not to notice.  Jane would think it gorgeous and they would talk about making.

the owls the book

You should definitely read it – you’ll love it.  In fact, I think I shall take it to bed with me right now.

Because that is where I am going.  It’s 10.40.  I’ve just arrived home from a late shift – I’m on placement in an orthopaedic ward.  There’s lots of analgesia, antibiotics, antiemetics, neurovascular obs, TED stockings, drains and the finest wee needles of anticoagulants.  Sweet patients.  Patient nurses.  Good stuff.

Think of me when 4.45am rolls round.  I’ll be crawling back out of bed to toddle off for an early shift and do it all again.

And maybe tomorrow afternoon there’ll be a bit more book bag making.  That would be good.

 

 

a little staggering

pin cushion strips

Ah, the weeks have surely flown!  Excruciating exams are over.  Monumental essays are submitted.  I have the barest week to catch my breath before my acute care placement starts at an inner city hospital.  Oy!

Frankly, I am a bit over it at the moment.  I regularly wonder what on earth possessed me to take up studying again at this time in my life.  Everyday I hear myself, Pinocchio style, whining “I want to be a real adult … with a part time job and some money in my pocket who never has to memorise the pharmacokinetics of anticoagulant medication or spend her evenings answering practice quizzes.”

And I’m cursing the clinical office for giving me the very last placement of the semester that coincides perfectly with Abby’s school holidays – so no much needed winter together time for us – and finishes the day before the new semester starts …… and I’ve just deleted 8 more lines of ranting about all the other things that are making me tear the skin off my cuticles at the moment.

This too will pass and remember that we are not supposed to be blue skies and cheery happy all the time – I’m so glad I read that in the newspaper the other day.  A modern misconception that is.  And one that only sets us up for feeling as if we’re failing.  Deep breath!


ironed

with fruit

So this week …. I’m hoping, so hoping, that I’ll find a sweet rhythm that allows me to enjoy the prettiness that is laying about our home.  And let me make the most of long afternoons with my dear girl (that will be easy).  And relish cosy evenings with nothing to do but be.  There’ll be stitching and knitting and collage and scrubbing and polishing and building and maybe even a little bit of painting.  I want to be busy-productive-creative-satisfied.  I don’t want much do I.

There was a bit of most of this today.  But my head is still all cluttered and my nerves all frazzled so there was a decided lack of sticking-to-it and motivation.  And quite a bit of licorice eating.  And tetris playing.  And there might have even been a bit of weeping into my tea.

However, lingering over the colours below is providing quite a balm to the spirit.  See silly Lily – there is value in stopping to check the contents of the camera and throw some words onto the computer, because, despite all the dreary busyness that has been the last few weeks, there were moments of loveliness.  Such as the moments below when I declared that before I could listen to another dreadful lecturer read straight off the powerpoint, there was a need for a little slicing and stitching and laying out.

Wee clotheslines, poison greens, cheddar yellows, and rich reds that climb up and down and up and down again.  Yes …

my first rows richness favourite red clotheslines looking up the mountain must keep going

… yes!  Oh the colours!  They are so beautiful.  I do love me some reproductions – and think poison green and cheddar yellow and rich red are the loveliest of them all.  With Heather Ross’s clotheslines for some added quirkiness :-)

And thank you to the dear readers who checked in to see if we were still all well and good here in Bootville.  Your sweet concern was a lovely spirit lifter.  I needed it.

 

thankyou

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Thank you, lovely readers!  Your words, experience, wisdom, suggestions and empathy were so encouraging.  I read and re-read every lovely comment and will respond to each of you as soon as I can.

Right now, I’ve just submitted my last case study for the semester – respiratory complications in the postoperative patient – presented my research on the psychosocial impacts of metastasised cancer on a 45 year old man and how best to care for him this afternoon, and tomorrow, will set pen to paper on my second last essay of the semester – caring for a 72 year old, widowed mum with advanced Parkinson’s Disease in the home.  Full on.

But so engrossing – I really love the research component of my course – the body of nursing knowledge out there is so alive and stimulating and thoughtful.  And I feel so connected to my “patients”.  This morning, as I was putting the finishing touches on my presentation, talking about things such as the value of compassionate touch and providing care that focuses on a good life rather than a failed cure, my eyes welled up with tears thinking about poor Geoff – leaving his family when still so young with so much to look forward to.  I shall have to cultivate much steelier eyes before I meet a real Geoff.  Goodness!

Anyways … I shall probably be a bit quiet for the next few days as I finish up this current round of work.  But never fear!  There’s plenty coming up … hot water bottle covers, a finished Moomin quilt, appliques, crocheted chairs just for spinning, knitted shawls …

And you … enjoy your days, dear folk :-)  Thank you for all that you contribute to mine.

 

 

~ loveliness found ~ 13/52

 if you would like to share your ~loveliness found~ moments from this week
… & I would so love it if you did …
please leave them in the comments or share a link to your place!

getting there

with patchwork

~ and still I stitch, one little red figure after another,
first band finished, second started, feeling rather impatient,
but oh, they look such jolly folk ~

making monkey bread

monkey bread

~ monkey bread … an easter treat
for the little girls …
they were amazed they had lived ten years without it ~

naptime

frozen dinner

~ after sleepless nights and endless writing,
I stole an hour between classes and babysitting for reading on the bed,
& made the most of those frozen dinners ~

calculator and christmas pudding

~ panicked hunting for the dinky calculator,
essential for the next day’s drugs calc exam,
led me to both calculator & a forgotten darrell lea christmas pudding!
perfect for soothing pre-exam nerves & a sure sign that I would pass ~

rediscovering favourite books

~ this is why I will never throw away a single picture book,
no matter how old we grow ~

the  back

~ sometimes the back is just as enchanting as the front, don’t you find ~

hot cross buns

easter

~ four days of hot cross buns – oh yum ~

~ loveliness found 12/52 ~

embroidery

 ~ very simple, very sweet and oh so very soothing ~

new friends made

 ~ new friendships were cherished,
endings that arrived so quickly were lamented
& promises were made ~

cafe au lait

~ an early morning prac was rewarded
with a steamy, creamy bowl of coffee in the sun ~

knitting

~ knit, knit, knit, knit, knit … & so with tiny stitches
the jumper surely grows ~

warm bread and butter 

a little bit of essay a little bit of politics

~ the torture of essay writing was relieved
with cups of tea, warm bread & butter,
& frequent checkups on the state of the nation ~

fiddling with fabric

~ just one hour was granted to the cutting of a pattern & fabric
… just one hour, I promise ~

a new pumpkin girl

~ a little girlie wanted her own pumpkin doll …
& so I earned my money needle felting with a small girl at my side …
it’s a hard life ~

saturday morning breakfast

~ ahhhh … saturday morning breakfast … long and slow
… with the essential ingredients ~

asking for a play

~ she gathered her toys, bringing them to my desk one at a time,
hopeful I’d notice … I did,
surely one walk won’t an essay make late ~

favourite books~ a pile of favourites … rescued from the shed … so many waiting to be re-read
once this current rush of assessment has passed … but where to start
… bilgewater? my utmost, utmost favourite of all ~