Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thinking about diabetes

I've been doing a lot of thinking about diabetes lately. I've been reading some interesting blogs by others living with a child or children with diabetes. It is part of our daily life and I am determined it won't rule our lives and yet it does. It is so frustrating to be told be the pediatrician that her averages are to high. Everytime I make a change to the rates on Kitkat's pump it all goes wrong.

Hit home today at liam's IEP. The intermediate were there as that's where he is off to next year. Being a big pre teen and all. We discussed his behavior a lot. It's not great at the moment. The teachers from the intermediate commented on how great it has been having Kitkat at the school. But then gave be puzzled looks when I commented that Liam was my easy child. He is difficult at the best of times but autism is so straightford compared to diabetes where everything Kitkat does affects everything!

I think I need to take a few deep breaths and get over diabetes and on with life.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Spring is here

Spring has finally arrived.  It rained every day in September except one right at the end.  But October has started with the promise of a Summer coming.  It has been fine for five whole days.  I have managed to put in a total of seven small gardens now and do some other tiding up jobs outside.

It makes me smile every time I walk (or drive as most of the gardens are alongside my long driveway) past them.  Lots of seeds still to come up but I've got growing:
Cherry Tomatoes
and Guavas

Doesn't look like much in the gardens, they are still mostly weeds but it feels great to look at a list like that.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Rainy Day Gardening

Guess what!  It rained today.  How unusual, it started with heavy rain and by mid afternoon it was spitty rain.  I am think I might have to start making up more words to describe the rain as I've seen all types all of the time over the last month.

As I have to work all day tomorrow, I decided I'd better do a little gardening today. 

It's my dad's birthday tomorrow and my mum's on Wednesday so I started the day off with a visit to wish them well.  Morning tea turned into lunch and I had an enjoyable catch up with them.  We left about mid afternoon and made a quick stop at the warehouse for some seedlings and seeds.

I have decided to plant a lot of my vegetables from seedlings and not grow my own this year.  But I have to confess I baulk at buying carrots and corn in punnets.  To me these are definitely best grown directly in the garden.  I bought radish, beetroot and spring onion seeds, marigold, mini cauliflower, capsicum (even though it's a bit early), two lots of lettuce and red onions in seedling form.

I have been a bit overwhelmed looking at my neglected and weedy garden.  I have decided that there is only one way to eat this elephant and that is going to be one metre at a time.  While looking for a book for my fathers birthday yesterday I came across One Magic Square.

I have often looked at the one square foot gardening books and thought they'd be good for a read, but when I saw this I just had to have it.  I haven't read it all the way through yet but I am liking what I am reading.  I think it might be just the ticket to get my garden cleaned up one small patch at a time.  So with the principals of this book in mind I planted out the small garden square at the start of my deck and the first section of the garden alongside my driveway.  If the sun ever shines I'll take some photos.

One of the best things about this book is it doesn't advocate growing vegetables in straight rows or big mono crop plots.  This is not my style either.  It also is against killing pests - also my style although I am into total annihilation of slugs and snails (a pet hate of mine).

I'm off to draw up some plans for the next little plot and will try to get it planted over the next week.

It only rained for five minutes today

The rain continues to be a big issue in my garden.  We haven't had more than two or three days without rain since the start of August.  Nevertheless as it wasn't raining I decided an hour in the garden would probably go o.k.

I checked on my pea patch and to my delight my peas were all poking through the soil.  Most of the very late garlic I put in was growing well.  No sign of the carrots yet.  I dug over the patch by the passionfruit were I am planting my potatoes.  I even got them planted - it's very wet though and I hope they don't rot.  I weeded the little garden by the front of the deck, yuck just pure mud.

But at least I achieved some gardening.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Camera Shy Kathryn

Aims Games

Kathryn has been competing in the Aims Games all week.  It has been very busy, but today is the last day.  It started on Sunday with the opening ceremony.  The guest speaker was Danion Loader.  Very appropriate for Kathryn as he is New Zealands only Olympic gold medalist in swimming.  The Aims games is the biggest schools sporting event in Australasia.  This year 3800 odd 11 to 14 year old competed in 14 sports. 

Monday had two games of waterpolo for the Te Puke Intermediate team.  We won the first and lost the second.  I had managed to get out of work in time to watch the second.  Kathryn has never played waterpolo before and I think she is a bit to mild mannered for the game.  Then came the swimming.  As Kathryn has been sick for the last six weeks we weren't expecting great times.  We were wrong, she got seven personal bests out of her eight races.  Very well done Kathryn.  Tuesday had another two games of waterpolo, both were lost by the team.  Wednesday had another three games of waterpolo, two wins and a loss.  Thursday had another two games (and I managed to get out of work to watch them both), both were losses giving the team an overall place of eighth.

Well done to Te Puke Intermediate Aims Games Waterpolo Team.  Closing ceremony today.
Kathryn is number eight blue

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


 I don't really eat a lot of bread anymore and I've largely given up making my own as the chickens get most of it.  So I decided to have a go at making wraps.

Wasn't hard and they were edible.  Will give it another go, maybe with some wholemeal flour.

Monday, August 30, 2010


The raspberries are breaking into leaf. Is spring here?
Last year as soon as the plum started to blossom the wind came and blew them all off so we still after two years have not had any plums off the tree
There has been 241% more rain this August than the average
It's rained every day in August.  When will it stop?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Four Seasons in One Day

The title of this post really fit the weather this Sunday.  I woke to the pouring rain and the disappointment that once again I'd be unable to garden.  It's official that this August is the wettest since records began.  By the time I'd managed to get out of bed and down some breakfast the sun had come out and it was warm enough to lose the sweatshirt.  I decided to go get wet.  I really wanted to build a raise bed to grow my carrots and peas in.  So I set to with my unhandy skills.

I think our household is missing a vital gene.  In fact if I didn't know better I'd say we were foreigners.  The great kiwi ability to DIY is definitely missing.  But I do own a rusty hammer and an equally rusty saw.  That was enough to knock together the required bed.  I then barrowed compost from the bottom of the chicken coop up the slope.  Lots and lots of barrow loads.  I was sweating buckets by the time I'd finished cleaning the chicken coop and filling the new bed.

I was covered in mud as I finished but boy was I happy I'd finally achieved something in the garden.  I collected the seeds to plant.  Garlic up the back amongst the black currants (yes I know it late for garlic but I'm going to give it a go), sugarsnap and climbing peas, carrots and a few strawberry plants.  Then the heavens opened at it started to hail.  I ignored the weather and got those seeds in.

After I finished the lightning and thunder started.  Then the rain, then the sun, then the rain, then the thunder and lightning, then the sun - actually I think you are getting the picture.  Four seasons in one day.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Eggs for all

I love my chickens.  They have such big personalities.  They provide me with hours of entertainment for very little care.  They are friendly and fun.  Best of all they produce eggs.

I'm a strange person to be getting excited over eggs.  I've always been allergic to eggs and can't stand the smell of them  cooking.  What these eggs represent for me is community.  My nine chickens keep four families in eggs nearly every week year round.  We probably use about eight eggs a week, Kathryn loves them.  One dozen goes every week to Irenee, Liam's amazingly wonderful teacher aide.  One dozen goes to either my or Craig's parents.  The remaining 1/2 dozen to dozen goes to either my grandparents or one of our neighbours.

Home grown eggs are very convented around here and appreciated by the recipients.  With the needed backlash against battery farmed chickens, people are always on the look out for free range eggs.  And ours are free to others.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Rain, rain go away

 I am so sick of the rain.  It feels like it has rained for a month.  Actually there have only been about five days without rain over the last month.  The chicken run is boggy and I can't get the washing dry.

Dryer use is something in this house we could be more restrictive about.  I use the dryer about every second or third day.  I have a mobile drying rack, an extendable drying rack in the laundry and a rack suspended out over our stairwell.  It takes about two days for clothing to dry on the indoor racks.  I worry about the extra moisture the drying washing causes in my somewhat damp house.  I have been doing a bit of research on this and the amount of moisture drying washing indoors adds is a bit alarming.

I'm not sure of the alternative at this time of the year.  I don't have a hot water cupboard and if I hang it outdoors (weather permitted) then it is damp again by the time I get home for work. 

It something I'm still pondering.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


Finally the rain stopped for half a day and I went outside to transplant the raspberry canes to the garden I had prepared several weeks ago with a heaping helping of chicken poo compost.

Look what I found hiding from autumn when these gardens were the pumpkin patch.



Those scrawny stick provided so many berries last year from their former position.  I hope they do well here.  They will be a lot easier to harvest in this position.  I just hope my helpers don't get them all first.

Never give up

Never give up seems to be Kathryn's internal mantra. 

This weekend is being taken up with the Bay of Plenty Swimming Championships.  Not much fun for the taxi drivers parents, but something she has trained hard to compete in.  Only over the last month it has all gone wrong for her and she is very dissappointed with her results.

A month ago she swam in a meet in Rotorua.  She had been complaining of a headache for about two days at this point.  She had a great meet, all her hard work at training was paying off (she swims about 10kms per week).  She not only got all personal bests, qualifing times for the Bay Champs, a first, second, third, fourth, fifth and six place in her heats, but she came second overall in her age group.  The very first time she has ever had an age group placing.

During the meet her blood sugars were out of control, super high one minute and crashing to lows the next.  By the following afternoon she was in a vicious cycle of highs and lows and feeling miserable.  I tried without sucess to contact the diabetes team at the hospital and by mid afternoon she rang me at work saying she couldn't move because of the pain in her head and stomach.  Off to the hospital we went.  And four hours later and two epidosdes of hypoglycemia in the hospital waiting room we were finally seen.  As none of the doctors or nurses at the hospital we were dealing with have every seen and insulin pump before all they wanted to talk about was the hypoglycemia.  We went home the next morning with nothing being resolved.  I was most unhappy with Kathryn's treatment and have put in a formal complaint.

We struggled through the week, swimming club, netball training, waterpolo training, school and a netball game.  She kept going despite pleas from her mother to stay home and take it easy.  We did get back better control of the diabetes but the headaches and stomach aches worsened.  After her netball match where she shot twenty two goals, she lay on the floor crying.  I'd had enough and took her back to emergancy.  They still weren't concerned at all and suggested we go home and increase the amount of panadol she was having.  I stayed put and insisted they do more tests - blood test normal (mostly), urine test - low level of infection, flu swab (later negative).  Go home they said.  No I said do more, there is something wrong with my daughter.  Luckily they listened and took more blood and a chest xray.  Oh they said she has once of the worst cases of pnumonia we have seen this winter.  I can't hear anything (she wasn't even coughing) but look at those xrays.  Another night in hospital and two weeks on antibiotics for you and shock horror no excersise for a week.  Kathryn was not impressed. 

As we left the hospital the next morning a nurse came running after us.  A specialist doctor needed to see us.  Guess what - the kid in the bed next to us was positive for H1N1.  Fabulous!
One day after the antibiotic finished - guess what - Kathryn got the flu.  But would she stay in bed - NO.

She completed a week of intensive sport education, waterpolo, netball and a very, very limited amount of swimming.  So we get to this weekend.  She's still sick, no getting around it, not doing well but turning up everyday (there are three) and trying her best.  One more swim tomorrow morning, waterpolo tomorrow evening and then away for five days on a sports camp.

She never gives up and never slows down.

Friday, August 20, 2010

It's been such a long time

It's been a very, very long time since I last posted.  Wow, how life has changed during that time.

My garden grows nothing of use to me.  It's a scrappy mess of weeds.  I feel like it reflects my heart.

I no longer have my beautiful dog and I miss him very much.

My mum will receive no more treatment for her cancer, she is now on palliative care only.

Kathryn has her pump.

Craig started a new job this week a year after he was made redundant.

Liam continues to grow and be himself despite anyone else's intentions.

I work full time and have lost sight of what makes me tick.

I have decided to start blogging again to help me reflect on the journey to find myself.  Much more is to follow.