and another one joins the flock!

baby girk

A new chick for the Flamingo Dancer flock! A very tiny chick.

My niece, my Sister and the late BIL’s daughter, gave birth to a teeny tiny 820 gram daughter this afternoon.

The poor little baby was delivered at just 29 weeks gestation as her Mummy had placenta praevia and then developed HELLP syndrome . Mummy has gone through three hours of surgery and two blood infusions and is now in intensive care. Bub didn’t need resuscitation, was quite pink and crying, all good signs.

A new special addition to the Flamingo Dancer flock, a very precious one.

 

Chuffed all around

ODD 1

Mr FD’s full time job seems to have become maintaining his health in recent months with visits to the optometrist, pediatrist, physiotherapist, family doctor, dentist and now periodontist. Getting old is a full time job! It is also a growing expense due to major design faults with the human body – maybe The Big Whatever should have rested for a day before undertaking the construction of humans!

I arrived home with my post conference glow to be greeted with the fact that at the age of 64 Mr FD’s four wisdom teeth need to removed – on Tuesday. I guess the wisdom never functioned so what is the need to keep them anyway.

So, from Thursday night to today we have been in high gear in preparation for “the procedure”. It is taking place in Toowoomba which is some thirty or forty minutes drive from The Village, with a lot of road work in between. As I work 40 minutes in the opposite direction from The Village, it necessitates me taking a Family Care Day to drive and care, well, drive, at least. Then I get to spend five or six hours in a city which was home for 25 years but with which we now have no contact. See the inconvenience I am suffering?

Then there was the shopping list to the pharmacy for ice packs, pain killers, nausea medication, cotton pads and the list goes on. We had a complete list from the periodontist and I thought it would be a case of handing it over and paying for a shopping bag of goodies, but the pharmacy assistant had to second and third guess and confuse herself over every item on the list. I think she was somewhat perplexed in serving a person (Mr FD excluded) with any level of critical thinking and so had to argue every point.

I wanted to say, “excuse me, but I actually have a level of intelligence” with perhaps the addition of “more than the usual locals around here” but one must be politically correct, and so I had to work REALLY HARD on keeping my voice calm and jammer polite replies, but we must have been close to an hour in the damn pharmacy before we were able to obtain what was exactly on our list.  Not to self, take a cut lunch and a thermos on next outing to pharmacy.

There was a poor woman in the pharmacy waiting for a script who looked like a suppurating wound from head to toe, and while she was distressing to look upon I can only imagine what a misery her life must be. She adopted Mr FD and I however, in-between the pharmacy assistant appearing and disappearing on her fool’s errands, and tried to tell us her story. She wanted to tell the entire store her story, which may have been good therapy for her, but most of us had our own issues – I mean I had to lead a wisdom tooth suffering Mr FD around as he malfunctioned on pain medication.

I tried to appear sympathetic, and I was, I am guessing that she had a severe skin infection from eczema or dermatitis,  but when she started to complain about how the doctor would no longer allow her to drain her own infection by popping them I just wanted to throw up. I murmured soothingly comments, such as “oh dear, how uncomfortable for you, that must be distressing, and oh my how terrible” hoping my lack of questions or conversational natter would deter her but alas, no.

It came to the point where I was about to throw my arms around the pharmacy assistant and welcome her into my family if she took us to another department, when she actually did, and we were released from our incarceration.

However, not before Mr FD had to share a joke that he had created in the middle of the previous night, with the pharmacy assistant. I figured it was pay back for the suffering she had made me suffer, so I allowed him to roll.

My doctor says I am addicted to fishing. [Pause for the listener to react sympathetically] But it is okay because they are going to give me NEMOtherpay.

Yep, so chuffed was he with his comedic efforts that he had woken me the previous night to share his brilliance. Like I said, she deserved it. No doubt he will share with all on Tuesday prior to surgery. They may increase his pain level in return, but who would argue?

Mr FD stayed ensconced in the car, windows down a crack for ventilation, as I ran through the supermarket scooping up soups, custard, soft fruits, jelly and yoghurt for his invalid needs. Another budget blow out.

He doesn’t know it yet, but I am keeping tally on all my discomfort and efforts in his cause and he will be billed in kind accordingly. No more settling for a meagre cup of tea and a piece of toast when I am attacked by diverticulitis. I expect service with a couple S, man.

Tuesday, he is to be delivered to day surgery by 10am, nil by mouth. I shall depart to a fine restaurant for brunch, and maybe a spot of shopping, but if the weather is fine I shall walk some of the local parks which are beautiful even in the dead of winter, which is yet to arrive. Autumn passed still dressed as summer this year.

Then there will be the drive home, hopefully with a silent and docile pain relieved Mr FD in the evening to face the long first night.

Back to work on Wednesday. I think I will actually be looking forward to it!

post conference exhaustion.

green suit

The conference was better than fantastic, but it was a full on three days. The first day went form 8.30am to 5.45 pm, not counting having to get there early to wade through the thousands to register.

I was solo, and it was great, as I didn’t have to worry about anyone else. If I wanted to sit quietly in a break I could, or if a session wasn’t what i expected I could move to another one easily.

I did meet a couple of librarians that I had been to PD with recently, one I had sat with for an entire day recently. I ended up sitting with her and a few of her colleagues during the first session with Sugata Mitra, but I walked out a different way to the morning tea break and made myself singular after that.

Except people kept attaching themselves to me, which was nice, I suppose, but… One woman kept commenting through a session to the point of irritation and I started calling her “Chatty Cathy” in my head. She was also one of those people who kept making excuses for why she wasn’t doing things, and using her age as an excuse. No excuse at all when it comes to technology. We can do it if we want. I left her in my wake at first opportunity.

The food was incredible, with sumptuous morning and afternoon teas of slices, muffins, danishes. Lunch was always a choice of salads, and not just lettuce and tomato salads, but grain salads, pastas, pumpkin and sweet potato salads, or hot dishes such as curries, fish, hot pastas, roast potatoes and more. There was one morning, the second when our group arrived to find all the food was gone, and we ll twittered our disappointment. It did not happen again.

The other key speakers were Anthony Salcito from Microsoft Education, Sir Ken Robinson, the curriculum creativity expert, whom we all adored, and also Ian Jukes of the 21st Century Fluency Project. Big hitters. At question time I think just about every presenter was asked to speak to our Federal and State Government Education Ministers and ask them to stop using teaching and education as a political football.

Strangely enough, pandering to the voting parent is not meeting the needs of a 21st century child. Institutional models of education like a production line no longer educates our students for today’s world.

Off the soap box, or at least I will leave that until another post! I returned to school on Friday, to be teased by fellow teachers that I had been on holiday, but I shared my notes and I think they can see that the days were filled from start to end. I have learned to much, and have so many ideas, little steps, that I want to implement. Our library shall be a space of creative enchantment.

One dog nights

dog man

Tuesday to Thursday I will be here, growing my brain, or maybe just giving myself a headache. Once again I am going to realise how much I don’t know, and maybe even wish I was 20 years younger so that I could do things differently, or at least with more energy, but then, that’s the way the roller coaster rides.

I am solo at the event, given a leave pass from school to attend. No swanky hotels or air flights though as so close to home, I will be staying with Daughter1, Mr Boy and Petite Fille, some of my favourite people.

Mr FD is home alone with Augie Dog. I hope he doesn’t move Augie into my side of the bed now that the colder nights have arrived…

when he grows up, or is that out?

VISUAL artist Fergal McCarthy

We were sitting with laptops on our laps in our favourite chairs watching television when Mr FD looked up and spoke.

Mr FD: I have decided what I what to do with the rest of my life!

FD: And that is?

Mr FD: I am going to become a geographical formation. I think when I die, it would be nice if people said “He was a great geographical formation.”

FD: Any particular geographical formation in mind?

Mr FD: Well, I don’t think water, because I am not that great in water. Maybe a city, I could be a city.

FD: But people annoy you after awhile and cities are full of people.

Mr FD : True.

FD: How about a mountain? You are certainly hard to move most of the time.

Mr FD: An island? I might like being an island.

FD: You do have the mass for it.

And with nary another word Mr FD returned to his laptop screen.

 

 

country nights

night

At night our Village is utterly quiet, except for the trains that wind around the town throughout. I sit on my bed in our hilltop house and through the forest of trees, the street lights twinkling like fairy lights through the branches and the  waving leaves. Across the valley the yellow lights of a distant highway service station bring to mind the ramparts of a far away castle.

A train starts its climb, the sound of its efforts somehow comforting. All is right with this world.

Sleep well.