saturday in suburbia

It is sunny and windy today which made me think immediately that I should do as much washing as possible. So I put a load on before making breakfast pancakes. I couldn't work out why the pancakes weren't holding together and then realised that I used all self raising flour. So despite the presence of two eggs, they were temperamental. We had them with lemon and sugar. Yum. I had to stop myself from guzzling glass after glass of orange juice. The juice was so delicious and due to my medication I am thirsty all the time at the moment (note to self, water is also delicious). Was still in the shower when one of Grace's little friends was dropped at the door. An arrangement made last week to give her mum a little time to herself. Nothing altruistic about this, we get back in spades. And besides, sometimes it's much easier having more than one kid around.
Not Everyone Can See A Unicorn, by K Chin

As I was hanging out the washing, enjoying the fresh air that wasn't cold, I noted that G was doing his pathway around the shed project and the kids were making a pretend meal out of grass and mud on the real but no longer working cook top. All sorts of play conversations were going on and they were totally oblivious to us. Beautiful.

Have managed to more or less finish the socks with the dodgy kitchener and they are in the wash. Really need to prepare my next knitting project because I have a knitting play date tomorrow afternoon and it would be a good example of magic loop knitting. I'm going to make some toe up stripey noro socks, noro seeming to be kind of a rite of passage as a knitter. Some of the other things I want to do are probably not going to happen, but oh well. Grace has just decided she doesn't want to play outside any more and the other child does. Grace is having a good old moan and groan, with tears. At least I haven't ruined her life forever but her dad did that yesterday. Sigh. Another kid will be coming later and we are going to make chocolate crackles (we got all the ingredients except the copha for a special occasion and now we have the copha, the rice bubbles are burning a hole in some little persons pocket so to speak) and yummy dough. By the end of the day, when they are of sick playing outside and making a mess, they will probably watch ABC for kids or a movie, or old school cartoons from our big collection. Scooby doo is hot at the moment but who knows what they will choose. Ok, of to get my containers sorted for the drygoods collective.

things I should be doing

There are so many things I should be doing. My goal for the weekend is to get the school council minutes finished, 2 items of clothing cut out and ready to sew, repair the dodgy kitchener on my socks and wash and block these, together with a beret I made for Grace last week. So far today I have got the girl dressed, eaten breakfast, starting cleaning my desk, tried to call the ato about how G should be managing his business (without success), spent ages finding the answer on the slow loading ato website, had a chat with some other parents about school council issues, thought some more about said issues, gone back to cleaning my desk, had some lunch and sat down at the computer only to be seduced by facebook and google reader and now blogger. So here I am.
sad parrot
The meeting was a week and half ago but although I feel fine, I do sound a bit husky and my voice drops out occasionally. And at the end of the day, I'm tired. And there have been some issues of the type that remind me that being a grown up is hard. They are mostly G's issues but as I pointed out, we are a unit so what affects him will touch me to some degree. Then we talked about moving and putting Grace in a different school, like maybe one with a library. That is not the issue that is causing all the angst, and which really will probably be OK, but it's a hot topic around here.  A friend said she couldn't possibly send her child to a school without a library. And I can't say I blame her, this issue has been a slow burner for me but it's more than just access to books, it's about the whole idea of a library. And in my mind a school, as a place of learning should have a library, no matter how humble. There actually is a library, but no staff for it and it has been sitting all full of books waiting to be emptied and turned into space for the teachers. The library is to be moved to an old class room and run with parent assistance. But at the moment there is no library and no teacher's space. Something tells me that this issue is about to blow. There are several other issues on the agenda and I suspect school council is going to occupy a fair bit of my brain space for the next two years.
holding bird

parrot side view
So I'm not quite getting done what I planned today, but I did also plan to blog because I wanted to show you the parrot. For a while I've been doing handmade presents for kids birthday parties. It's cheap, has heaps of cred with other parents, the kids mostly like them and it beats going to norfland to buy plastic. Anyway this kid actually approached me at swimming lessons, a good 3 months before her birthday and asked for a parrot please. Her mum was a bit shocked but I was pleased, a kid that wanted a soft toy and plenty of notice! But a parrot! At one point I thought I might make an owl but after some time drawing and searching on the internet (google image searches for parrots and soft toys were the most useful and lead me to this pattern on this website). It was really pretty easy to add some wings and other embellishments, reminding myself that it's visual clues you need in a toy, not exact reproduction. I used a soft cotton velvet and wool felt with some nylon feathers. Parrot is very nice to hold in the hand which seems to be very important for this age group. I'm looking forward to making some more and refining the pattern a bit. The parrot recipient was very happy with her gift and has taken it to show and tell and sleeps with it. Apparently.

it's been a while, always

It has been a while. Over 14 days. Need to do something about that. It's not as though there are things keeping me away from the computer. Oh no. I spend plenty of time in fromt of the computer. Indeed I think computer is the problem, in particular the party side. Ravelry, I'm looking at you. I'm starting to think a lot about yarn. Wasn't mad keen on the yarn in my last project. I mean, I liked the colour (and it was sock yarn and I wanted to knit socks and couldn't go to the shops and I had it in my stash thanks to Kate who sent me a big destash parcel right at the beginning of my knitting journey - it's been very useful) but the yarn was a bit splitty and nylon feeling. Mind you, the crappy kitchener graft isn't helping how I feel about that project and those socks are languishing in a bag until I fix them enough to wash which will probably fix everything. The beret I'm making Grace is out of some school colours wool I found in the opshop, well it's 8ply and also very splitty and tangly. But I'm starting to think that maybe I can actually knit and that it might be worth tracking down and shelling out occasionally for nice materials. And I'm pondering what sorts of yarns might suit me. Especially as I'm not a hand wash your woollens type. There's been a shift in how I see myself as a knitter.
with bulldozer
I guess there have been some other things keeping me away from the computer. I was sick after Easter with a mysterious lurgy that filled me with snot and rendering me as limp as a dish rag, took my voice. So badly that when I called in sick the team leader laughed at me. It's been about two weeks and I feel fine now, but my voice is still a bit croaky and doesn't like to be near wood smoke or cold or dust. Went back to work last week and they took pity on me and sent me to indoctrination training for two days. It was good not having to have "conversations" with customers but I'm finding the current pendulum swing a little alarming. No doubt it will become the new normal and I'll adapt. And I'm still limping with my achilles tendonitis. I've been to the physio and it got better and then when I was sick, it got worse again. Over it. I really want to walk with long fast strides again. So, so over it.
from elizabeth street
We had a birthday party for Grace. Right in the middle of when I was quite sick. But we were very organised and mum came and helped on the day, as did one of the dads. The food was well timed and the cake suitably bunny shaped. Given that it was a drop off party, we could have organised a few more games. It did get a little wild in patches. Apart from the pinata, their favourite game turned out to be making big stinky potions in a rain barrel. And they zoomed around a lot - especially loving the path around the shed G had tried to block off.
from elizabeth street
And the back ground noise to all this has been the sounds of demolition. A neighbourhood landmark is fast disappearing before our eyes. I took these photos last weekend and it's been reduced by half again since then. I took new pictures today but haven't downloaded them yet. It's a bit sad as I'm very fond of the old Kodak building. You can see it from our kitchen window. Although not for much longer.