Friday, June 28, 2013

Chrysanthemums & Candlelight

Another dark, damp, winter morning.

Time for candles

and flowers

and reflections.

These chrysanthemums were part of a bouquet

that Mum gave me last week

to thank me for all the preparations 

for her birthday party.

Now they shine in little bunches in silver.

Last day of a difficult term.

Today I am ...

once again home with a sick child;

not feeling 100% myself;

filling my living room with drying laundry;

grateful for flowers, family, and friends;


wishing Jacqui a very Happy 40th Birthday!


We've had a cold and rainy week,

with all of us a bit sick here and there.

So I've really been appreciating cosy times

... with the heater on

lamps glowing

soft comfy furniture

and the surroundings of home,

and some Doris Day.

This was on Sunday afternoon,

Steve was out, and we three girls

watched By the Light of the Silvery Moon

as the sun went down,

very cosy.

Thursday, June 20, 2013


As I mentioned in my last post,

Laura has been suffering from migraines,

visual problems, tiredness and nausea 

increasingly in the last 6 months or so.

The photo above was taken months ago

before things got really bad.

On Tuesday we had our much-awaited

visit to the doctor, 

hoping for some answers.

And we got some!

Laura is gluten-intolerant.

In fact, her RAST result for gluten

was the highest the (very experienced) doctor has ever seen!

The doctor hopes that by going gluten-free

Laura can see an end to daily headaches,

visual snow, trouble reading

and nausea.

She's also getting some vitamin compounds 

made up to deal with a zinc/B6 deficiency,

which should in time mean that

life is much calmer for Laura (and us!),

and Vitamin D drops have been prescribed 

to deal with a Vitamin D deficiency.

If this all goes to plan Laura might one day

be bursting with energy, instead of

being tired every, single, morning.

* * *

I'm trying not to get too excited

at the possibility of "fixing"

every problem I've noticed over the years,

but things do look hopeful!

The last few years have been hard

with some unwelcome behaviours

causing problems.

I always felt there was something 

behind it all, and now we have some answers,

or at least some clear theories and direction.

Laura has been off gluten for two days now,

we're not sure when we might see improvements,

but the doctor did say it would be 6 months before 

her body really settles down.

I'm thankful that I already know

all about gluten-free eating

 ... now it's just a waiting game ...

I'm proud that Laura is taking on these changes

maturely and without complaint 

(so far ;-)

Love you, Laura!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Lately ...

A month has gone by since I last posted.

Life has been busy, and few photos taken.

But  ... ready? 

Here I go - one month in one post:

The term is drawing to a close,

and once again I am feeling that I haven't

achieved anything.

Instead, we've been taking each day as it comes.

Laura has been suffering from daily migraines,

sometimes with nausea and overheating,

and ongoing vision problems

(which may or may not be related to the migraines).

She has missed a lot of school.

They are not bad migraines, 

often just a mild headache,

but she rarely has a pain-free day,

and when nausea hits 

she just needs to be home.

The two of us have spent a lot of days together this term.

She is too tired or sick or sore to go to school,

and there's not much she can do but 

watch TV.  

Reading is not possible, 

and she can't ever get back to sleep.

The traditional advice is to take aspirin 

and "sleep it off", but this has no effect.

But hopefully the end is in sight,

tomorrow we have a long-awaited appointment

with a doctor who has ordered

all sorts of interesting bloodtests

to find triggers,

and we have also been seeing a physio who specialises

in the Barral treatment, which might help over time.

 The girls and I have also been together a lot on the weekends.

Steve has been involved in various music performances lately,

playing in a musical, and a chamber music concert 

most recently.

On Mothers Day he had to be at an all-day rehearsal.

However he and the girls gave me all sorts of lovely presents

and we girls enjoyed a walk in the sunshine,

when most of these photos were taken, 

with my phone.

A neighbour's pumpkin growing on the sunny side of the fence.

I've been doing some casual teaching, 

when not at home with Laura,

and the weekly round of piano teaching

and the girls' activities has continued,

all not leaving me a bit time-poor.

The weather has cooled down,

keeping me close to the heater

a little too often.

Mum had her 70th Birthday party last weekend.

It was a lot of preparation for Dad and I;

we organised games and I made

invitations, nametags and placecards.

The party was a great success in the end

and lots of fun,  Mum loved it,

the stress of getting ready for it was all forgotten.


When I look back on the last weeks

since our Tasmania holiday

and wonder where the time has gone,

I see that I have "achieved" some things.

I cared for my sick daughter,

researched and went to appointments;

I helped Dad with Mum's party;

I provided food for family,

and sometimes even clean laundry.

I led bible study,

ran a Stampin' Up! party,

earned income by teaching,

and a few more things besides.

Really, when I list it out like that

I don't know why I feel frustrated.

But I do.

I guess the term just didn't turn out

like I planned it to.

Saturday night's sunset as we gathered around the campfire.

This last weekend the girls and I went to

our church's annual weekend away.

The speaker commented on our 

achievement-driven culture and 

our quest for freedom.

People around us want to be 'free

to do what they want, in the way that they want',

and that "freedom" normally boils 

down to trying to achieve one's desires.


The Bible doesn't call us to achieve anything,

but to love God, to obey and trust,

and to love and care for and encourage other people.

Yes, I have responsibilities

- dinners still need to be cooked,

the house cleaned, money earned - 

I am not supposed to be a loving syrupy fairy

with a head full of fluff -

but achievements are not to be my main focus.

This is a hard call for me.

"Coincidentally" I've come across 

a few great blog posts this morning that made me think

along the same lines, here and here, both worth reading.


I wonder what would happen,

if I stopped focusing on my lists and my plans,

and listened to what God wants me to be?

Perhaps it's that kind of freedom

that I'm craving, 

rather than a ticked-off list of my projects.


So these are my thoughts today,

as I sit at home, 

with Laura home from school again.


What are you thinking about?