Saturday, 27 February 2010

Bullrout Sting

Yesterday Littletree was stung by a Bullrout. Ouch! And before everyone asks:

It was horrible. I’ve never seen anyone in so much pain. Ever. The poor little thing. Honestly, I can’t even begin to explain how much pain she was in; it was excruciating just to look at.

The local home school kids were playing down by the creek in the village, Purple was there, and a few other parents, and I had just gone home for a nap, as I had a headache, when the phone rang – it was Purple calling to say Littletree had stepped on something, maybe a piece of glass, and could I come down with the car and bring the first aid kit.

So I grabbed the kit and dashed into the car. I arrived to find a huge crowd of kids surrounding Littletree, who was on Purple’s lap, screaming like I’ve never heard before. She was screaming that the pain was getting worse, going right up her leg, and I could see her foot was swelling.

Apparently no one knew exactly what had gotten her – might have been a snake, or maybe a “bullrush”. I scooped her up in my arms and got her into the car, with Purple close behind, and we rushed to the hospital.

We got to the ER and were brought right in (it’s a small hospital; only 5 beds in the ER). And lucky for us, all the doctors and nurses on duty at that time just happened to be foreigners, so none of them could diagnose that it was, indeed, a Bullrout sting (note the tell-tale 2mm long slit, which is duplicated about a centimetre away. note the excruciating pain).

49 bullrout sting

Littletree was absolutely beside herself with pain, and they all thought “snake bite” and so started doing a snakebite tox screen. Which meant taking bloods from her every 2 hours, and an overnight stay. Naturally, all the bloods came back negative for snakebite.

At some point, an orderly ambled by with a mop and said (with a thick local accent), “ow, that’s a Bullrout sting! Put ‘er in ‘ot water; she’ll be roight!”

50 bullrout sting

The doctor gave her a shot of morphine, which was, for me, terrible to see, and she calmed right down. duh. Then they listened to the orderly and put her foot in hot water, which (of course) helped a lot. But they still had to finish the snakebite protocol, because once it’s started, they’re in the system.

51 in hospital

So Littletree was admitted for the night, and we went up to the paediatric ward to wait out the snakebite bloods. I sent Purple home to get us some overnight things – in my hurry I’d gone out without my handbag or even shoes. And I got to enjoy a comfortable, pleasant night on a little fold-out bed next to Littletree.

Waking after about 4 hours of broken sleep, and feeling entirely refreshed and rested, I sat with Littletree, keeping her occupied till they came to discharge her.

Littletree was amazed to discover a Gideon’s Bible in the bedside drawer, which she read happily over her breakfast, which was “awesome, just like on the aeroplane!”

52 in hospital

At least the nurses in Paeds were really nice, and in the morning the ER doctor who had been on duty came up to check in on us. Finally, we were set free to go about our merry way, though poor Littletree’s foot is still swollen and painful to walk on; she’s just fine :)

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Poetry Jam

This week’s home school group was Poetry Jam; we all got together in the airconditioned comfort of the library and the kids shared poems they’d written, or read out ones they liked.

Apparently the librarians were so impressed with the group for being quiet and respectful; more so than comparable groups of school kids anyways.

Littletree had a couple of poems ready to recite – she’s been so interested in Alliteration ever since she discovered alphabetisation in the dictionary, so we started making up little poems for each letter of the alphabet. But when it came down to reciting them for the group, she changed her mind and made up some poems on the spot.

Sad I didn’t think to film her or write them down – she came up with some nice verses about faeries and magic and forests and stuff.

The most amazing thing is, of course, that this group of children, ranging from about 5 – 13, were all avidly engaged in random acts of poetry, and no one was forcing or coercing or threatening or bribing them to do it. I’m pretty sure I read somewhere that defies the laws of physicks or something…

45 HS poetry jam

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Cavity-Free and Full of Ice Cream!

I went to the dentist today. Yeah, you all probably cringed a little just reading that, but don’t worry; I ate a whole bowl of ice cream before I went!

Forgive me Dentist, for I have sinned. It’s been over a year and a half since the last time I went to the dentist, when I was told I have eight teeth that are decaying and need filling. At the time, I decided not to get the work done, but to start following the Weston A Price traditional diet recommendations.

I bought the book Nourishing Traditions, and started making bone broths and chicken stock and eating organ meats and raw, organic, grass-fed dairy; I started taking good quality Cod Liver Oil and High-Vitamin Butter Oil. It was quite a diet-shift! But I didn’t give up sugar or acid foods. I still eat loads of cake, as always, and my awesome ice cream, which I believe is actually good for teeth, as well as sinfully delicious.

So today, I went to the local dentist for a cleaning, and he looked at my last-seen-ridden-with-eight-cavities teeth, and declared:

Your teeth are in perfect condition and I think if you keep taking care of them they’ll last you the rest of your life.”

My jaw nearly hit the floor! I pressed him, “Are you *sure* there’s no decay? 2 years ago I was told I need some fillings”

To which he replied, “Oh, you have one tiny brown spot on one tooth, but that’s nothing to worry about; it should be fine.”

WOOHOO!!! I went skipping out of the dentist happily! Who would have thought ice cream would be better for cavities than getting fillings?

Monday, 22 February 2010

Busking Baby

Littletree has been practicing guitar lately, and went out busking at the market today with her friend

44 busking

They played for about 20 minutes – until it started raining, but they managed to make $3.60. Not much, but it’s a start.

Littletree has been saving up all her pocket money lately, and practicing her gymnastics and guitar so she can busk, because she’s desperate to get herself a 10” Netbook computer (Preferably pink).

She spends hours trawling through eBay and other computer shops online trying to find the exact one she wants – of course, it’s all a bit of a moot point since she has a lot of saving-up to do before she can afford a computer – the ones she wants are all around $300.

I have been quite impressed with her determination though; she has been forgoing all treats and sweets in favour of saving up her pocket money for the computer – being radically unschooled, she has an unrestricted diet and can eat as much of whatever she likes, but we have an agreement that we don’t buy extra treats for her from the family grocery money.

Obviously, if it’s something that we’re buying for everyone we get it, and we do a lot of baking our own cakes and cookies and I make ice cream, so it’s not like she’s in any lack of sweets, but if she wants candy bars, she has to buy them with her own pocket money.

I’m noticing she isn’t making up for the lack of chocolate (which we don’t buy because I’m allergic to it) by eating extra cookies at home; she’s just forgoing them, on her own motivation. And to think I was assured by just about everyone that if I let her eat candy she’d eat nothing but candy!

Anyway, on behalf of Littletree, she is making a request for anyone who wants to help her buy a computer. (At least it sounds “educational”)

Thursday, 18 February 2010

NVC Workshop

This week’s home school group was a lot of fun – there was a Non-Violent Communication workshop for all the kids

39 NVC

A huge number of families came, including a big group from a new homeschool group that’s formed about 45 minutes north of us – I’d love to go check it out, but they meet at the same time as my life drawing class.

40 NVC

The kids enjoyed doing the little NVC dialogues; the woman was leading the kids in different situations, teaching them how to say how they feel without blaming and criticising. Then Littletree piped up, “Excuse me, I feel like I’d like to have a turn of the hand puppets”

41 NVC

I thought it was pretty funny that this woman was trying to teach all the kids to communicate in the way that they usually do anyway.

It was nice to catch up with everyone again; I’ve been a bit of a hermit lately.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Latest Life Drawing

I just wanted to share my latest escapade in Life Drawing

35 life drawing

I think I’m really improving since I started, and I’ve been working on new techniques as well. This week I was really focussing on doing feet – something I thought I could never draw, and I found out that I can!

36 life drawing crop

Next I’ll get to working on hands – even harder, and eventually I might work up to drawing faces.

If nothing else, at least I’m getting some good art to adorn the house!

The moral of this story is: you can achieve anything… if you can let go of the fear of looking stupid. ;)

Friday, 12 February 2010

Little Acrobat

Littletree is getting really into Gymnastics and acrobatics. She’s been practicing every day, especially since we were at the Rainbow Gathering and she was hanging out a lot with people doing acrobalance, and juggling and stuff.

Littletree really wants to go to gymnastics classes, but I haven’t been able to find any in our local area, so for now, she’s just on her own, doing tricks.

Here’s a little clip of her practicing

Monday, 8 February 2010

Light Reading for Littletree

Littletree is really starting to read now; she gets simple readers out from the library and practices on them, and a friend of ours was throwing away a primary school resource kit, which is like a whole bunch of progressive worksheets designed for substitute teachers in school.

01 homework

I was a bit sceptical, but Littletree pounced on it and gets the folder out to work on regularly. I’m amazed at how much her reading and writing is advancing, without any external teaching at all. I answer her questions if she has any, but mostly she just plugs away at whatever she’s interested in. She spends a lot of time writing lists, mostly related to the planning of her birthday (which isn’t for another 2 months).

Her favourite books at the moment are some of my medical dictionaries and biology textbooks.

32 reading textbooks

She sits for hours pouring over them, reading bits, asking questions…

31 reading textbooks

Today Littletree called me over to point out that in one book (Taber’s medical dictionary), all the words on every page started with the same letter, and all the letters were in the order of the alphabet.

That led to a discussion about alphabetizing – she caught on to the concept straight away and was so excited about it. She immediately went and checked a few other dictionaries for alphabetical order, and shouted “This is SO cool!”

30 reading textbooks

It’s all very strange, because I was assured many times by well-educated people that my child wouldn’t be able to learn anything if she wasn’t in school. I guess the boredom of being cooped up at home and not learning anything and not having any friends will kick in any day now… :p

Friday, 5 February 2010

Guinea Pigs

Introducing the newest members of the majikfaerie family:

15 guinea pigs

The white one is called Snowy (Snowflake for short) and the Ginger one is called Shyly.

Littletree has been bugging us to have a pet since… well, since forever. My longtime readers (yes, both of you) might remember we did once have a pet, Estrella the Hermit Crab, who mysteriously died after just a few months.

Since then, I’ve been nixing the idea of pets, saying that we can’t have dogs or cats because we live in a small cabin in the bush with lots of wildlife, no mice or rats because we have enough problems with wild rodents and I set out traps, and no rabbits because feral rabbits are such a problem in Australia and I don’t want to add to it.

Finally, we narrowed it down to say Littletree could have a Guinea Pig.

19 guinea pigs

Only I still had one excuse up my sleeve – we lived in a tiny one-room cabin with no place for a pet. I promised Littletree that we could get one as soon as we got a house of our own because then we will be done with travelling and settled down.

And yes, it’s true. we bought this house just over a year ago *hangs head in shame* but at first we were still moving in, then we were going to Tasmania. Then we were going to Thailand. Then we were going to Far North Queensland. Then Littletree and Purple were going to Israel. Then we were all going to New Zealand. (This is me settled down; not travelling any more!)

I finally ran out of excuses, so Purple and I capitulated and bought Littletree a couple of Guinea Pigs, as well as a nice hutch for them to live in (which I spent an afternoon painting and will soon be moved out onto the grass).

25 guinea pigs

Littletree plays with them loads since she got them (let’s see how long that lasts *rolls eyes*). She brought them to Life Drawing Class, and decided to draw the Guinea Pigs rather than the model

20 guinea pigs

Today Littletree built the Guinea Pigs a little castle with her blocks

27 guinea pigs

She hand-feeds them

21 guinea pigs

As much as I’m not really convinced having pets is such a great idea (I don’t remember this being in the brochure when I signed up for this parenting gig!), at least Shyly and Littletree are colour-coordinated

16 guinea pigs

And if it really doesn’t work out, I hear Guinea Pigs are quite tasty ;)

Wednesday, 3 February 2010


Our homeschool group finally recovered from the summer holidays this week, and we all met up for a beading workshop in the park

20 HS beadmaking

It was a whole bunch of fun, the kids all got to make necklaces and bracelets and stuff.

21 HS beadmaking

Then the kids all ran around the park, which is an awesome park, climbing trees

26 HS treeclimbing

It was a great fun day and one of Littletree’s friends was celebrating her birthday as well

31 Maya birthday

The funny thing was that they brought birthday cupcakes, only there weren’t enough cupcakes to go around, so I offered some fresh lychees that I’d brought for lunch, and the unschooled kids abandoned any thought of cupcakes in favour of the fruit!

Monday, 1 February 2010

Ode to My Printer

I did a lot of work this week for the Advanced Midwifery Studies course I’m doing, and had to print out and scan a bunch of stuff to send in, which inspired me to write this poem:

My love, you are so silver and shiny,
You make noises that are clunky and whiny.
And all the ink you drink and drink,
I threw my wallet down the sink

Seven hours now, I’ve spent,
My hair is torn, my shirt is rent.
And no print-outs do I have to show,
The scans I needed are a no-go.

On the wall I've bashed my head,
And screamed until my eyeballs bled.
Once more I try to scan and then,
My computer must restart again.

Have to find the driver disc,
Reboot, install, and take the risk.
Maybe it will work this time,
Oh darling printer, please work fine.

I implore you please, just once more,
Or I'll throw you on the floor.
And my computer for good measure too,
But now there's nothing left to do.

It's just a great big paper suck,
So I shout "Oh, what the $#@%!"
It will not work, not ever, I think,
The last resort is have a drink!

As someone has already asked me, this work is copyright under Creative Commons – feel free to reproduce it as long as you give credit and link back to me.