Sunday, 31 January 2010

It's been a while....

Sorry, I haven't blogged for a few days again. On Thursday I had a card to make, and was debating whether to go over to Watford to Hobbycraft, and miss WW again. So I went to Hobbycraft, then discovered that they did not have what I wanted after all. I had to call in to a supermarket, then get petrol, so by the time I arrived home and threw together a quick stir fry, I was too late to go to the ladies prayer meeting.
Of course I sat down to read the paper and fell asleep again. The only other notable thing about that day is that I got an all clear from the bowel cancer test I did. Nevertheless I shall not be complacent.
I did discover online the story of women in Cardiff being banned from the supermarket in their pjs, and read some of the comments on the BBC have your say. Personally I am mortified if the postman calls early with a package, before I am dressed, so cannot imagine me joining the swarms of people, if these sites are to be believed, who think that it is normal to go shopping in their nightwear. Apparently it is very big in Liverpool. Teachers complain that parents bring kids to school, and collect them so attired, and some kids turn up to school in them.
Perhaps I am wrong, but if there is no time to get dressed, are they even washed? this is a food store after all.
Which brings me to another thing. Have you ever noticed how many women, yes even decent, respectable, intelligent women leave public toilets without washing their hands? I cannot vouch for the men, but my son stopped eating food from the bakery of a certain large store, where he worked for several months, after noticing bakery staff doing the same.
I had a bad night on Friday, lay awake with horrible thoughts rushing round my head. I didn't see to have slept for long, when I woke with palpitations and needing my inhaler again. I had to go downstairs and was surprised to see it was actually 6.30am. Husband came down just as I was having a cuppa,and I decided to go back to bed. I eventually slept, but we ran late again all day yesterday.
I am fed up with feeling grotty and unmotivated and totally lacking in oomph, My get-up-and-go got up and went ages ago. I did a quick check on a website, and decided that I have all the symptoms of SAD. I have decided therefore to spent my Christmas money on a lightbox. I definitely feel better when the sun shines. My Doctor said years ago he suspected that I was a sufferer.I would just like to hibernate in the winter. We didn't get a lot of sun last summer in fact not for the last 3 years. I have an appointment with the GP for a review of my meds, so should get a blood test which will hopefully pick up any other possible cause. I will let you all know how it goes. I have stopped the codeine too, as I blame that for the rush of awful thoughts. I slept without it last night.
I was late to bed again, partly because I had unravelled a ball of wool which was so badly wound that both ends were inside.I couldn't go to bed and leave it unravelled on the floor. so had to rewind it all. I have started a scarf for the shoeboxes that we send out for Christmas. It has been quite cold again here, a few frosts, but only a light dusting of snow. We did shop for warm wear yesterday for when we go away in a few weeks. Last time we were up there we saw quite a lot of snow,and as we are hoping to do some walking we need a thermal layer.I just hope that my back has recovered and I have more energy then

Thursday, 28 January 2010

The Fixits

There are a couple of things that I forgot to mention, Husband did manage to fix his Mum's tv long distance, he told her to use the time honoured method of unplugging and plugging in again-it worked. Last week I was cleaning my new sink by filling it with water and adding bleach, when I realised that the leak under the sink was coming from the overflow. The plumber just hadn't tightened the tube at all. I think I have fixed it now. Where can I find aplumber/heating engineer who doesn't leave me with a problem?

I moved my ottoman today, and as a result I matched up several socks. I wonder where the other 15 or so odd socks are hiding?

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

January, sick and tired you've been hanging on me

These words I believe came from a David Cassidy pop song, I've just looked it up and the words don't make a lot of sense, but I assume it refers to the month. Personally I will be glad when this month is over. From the shortest day,in December, we get two more minutes of light every evening, so at least it 'doesn't get late so early' as I used to be fond of saying. Life has been fairly quiet, no major events or even major irritations.Even the weather has been bland. February is a shorter month, and means we are well on the way to spring.
We have watched some Miss Marple DVDs, given away free with the newspaper, and I must admit they have made me quite nostalgic for the 1950s. I don't really miss things like ice on the inside of the window panes, or having to rake out a fire in the mornings, but life generally seemed simpler then. Maybe it is because I was so young, but people were generally more polite and respectful and we roamed around the countryside, well at least the local parks. I would cycle to a local lake sometimes after school, along country lanes, which have probably now all been built on. There was more of a freedom somehow.
Yesterday I was up earlier than normal, and out to take our Focus for a service. Husband took my Fiesta, I had checked the tyres oil and water for him, as I know how he drives round country lanes. I sat amongst a row of men all tapping away at laptops, whilst I waited for a lift home. I was quite surprised to be the only one waiting for a lift, the others must have been waiting for their MOTs. Before 11 am I got a call to say that the Focus was ready, and they had even fixed a fault which they caused last summer which meant the key remote did not work. They had promised to recall the car in August to fix that, but never did. I got the bus up there so It took a while. The bus is a circular, which goes into town and then out to the suburbs, via a convoluted route. before turning and coming back. My poor daughter once got the bus in town, and hadn't realised it was a circular,she got on one on the wrong side of the road, and ended up going the wrong way.
It caused quite a bit of worry, but she was still fairly young. Maybe I spoilt them by taking them in the car rather than on the bus. The car service btw was very expensive.
I called into Tesco on the way back, being lazy, well it was nearly lunchtime. So I missed my walk to Sainbury's.
Last evening we watched a DVD husband had bought quite cheaply, The Secret Garden. In parts it was a bit like being covered in syrup, I have vague memories of seeing bits of it before, probably on TV at husband's parents. I'm sure that they thought our kids deprived being brought up without TV, they used to switch it on almost as soon as we arrived.
Sometimes I think TV can be a bit like wallpaper, one Christmas when our daughter was very small, we were at the in-laws, no one was watching, there wasn't much on, but Mum in Law said we must have it on for Aunty A, husband's maiden Aunt who was staying. She ended up watching a programme about James Joyce. I've often wondered what she thought of the fruity language that I could hear coming from the telly!
Today I did my usual Sainsbury's run. It took me longer than usual, as once inside I suddenly heard a loud moany voice which I recognised. Oh no! my garage landlord. I sneaked past, but then later he was holding a second, long coversation in the bacon aisle, right in front of the fridge that I wanted something from. I got to the end of the store, and then had to retrace my steps. Phew! he had gone! I picked up my bacon medallions and headed for the checkout. No sign of him, thank goodness.
When I got home there was a message on the answer phone, from the pastor of the church we went to for 3 years just up the road. I rang him back, only to be told that Albert, the old chap I had been to see last week had gone to be with the Lord on Sunday evening. I'm so glad I went to see him last week. He had a nasty chest infection, which was apparently pneumonia, and had been admitted to Watford General on Saturday. Thankfully his son who had recently returned from America has been around, So at least he saw one member of his family. The problem is he had become immobile and pneumonia often takes hold in such cases. Still, it was God's time for him, and he is in a far better place, which is a great comfort to all who knew him. even at such a great age he still had a mischievous streak. Apparently the confusion he had was a symptom of the pneumonia.
Well I did say that the weather had been bland, but last evening the temperature dropped again, and although there was no frost visible, anything in the garden that had water in was frozen. Bring out the hat and scarf,I hadn't stopped wearing gloves. It was drizzling when I left Sainsbury's. Oh well, I've booked us a treat for our 30th wedding anniversary in a few weeks so we have that to look forward to. Still trying to decide about Dorset for the Summer. Must go and put my car away before the neighbours complain

Sunday, 24 January 2010

A dilemma

Sorry for the lack of posts lately, but life has been so normal, not much to report on. I went off to WW Thursday, not good, but according to my scales it was blip. Afterwards I went looking for a cushion, not any old cushion, but one that does not leave me in pain when I sit. We have a new shop in our town, which sells mobility aids, and aids for the elderly and disabled. I crept in and looked at their cushions.
Officially the type of cushion for a bruised coccyx is a doughnut cushion, But according to the internet, what is really needed is a U shaped device so that everything is supported, but the spine has no pressure on it.
Boots used to sell the doughnut but no longer do, and on the internet they are about £35.00. I would have to cut a gap in the cushion, But the internet suggestion is to use a neck type cushion. I have a wedge, which I bought when my disc was bad, but the wedge does not really work. Mum In Law used it at Christmas on a dining chair, and it suited her.
When I got home I decided to carve up a memory foam pillow, putting a hole in about the same position as a wedge. That doesn't work much either. However I have found a Neck type pillow in a Telegraph supplement, so might give it a whirl.

My main dilemma though is what pain relief to take and how much. I usually just take it at night, but am suffering a lot of discomfort in the daytime. I try to walk every day, but don't know if I am doing more damage.
I cannot take Ibuprofen, because of my Asthma,and blood pressure, not much point in taking something that sends it up when I have to take a tablet to keep it down! Ibuprofen also gives me stomach pains.
When my disc was really painful I took a combination of aspirin, paracetamol and caffeine, which along with heat pads made me comfortable. Then my GP told me I was taking too much aspirin. Codeine is addictive, so I limit that to at night, and then only one. That can depress the breathing too. Our daughter was given codeine, after her op in the summer, and whilst taking her on a short trip to Sainsbury's I discovered she had a typical urticaria, so she was advised to abandon that.
I do wish that someone would invent an effective pain relief that doesn't cause side effects.
Otherwise everything is fine, Husband has nearly finished his antibiotics, so hopefully his face pain will go altogether soon. Goodness knows what we will be like when we get really old!

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Here and there.

Well I am blogging earlier today, hopefully so that I can get to bed earlier, yeah yeah, you've heard it all before. Well I am gradually getting back into the old routine. Yesterday I went and had my hair cut in the morning.I have thick, fine hair, and it's better short as it has a slight wave. If I don't blow dry it when it gets a bit longer it's a nightmare, and as I prefer wash and wear hair, and my shoulder aches from the blowdrying, when it gets to a certain length I don't feel human till it has been cut. I have had it longer in the past, but last time I tried to grow it my dear Mum arrived for a visit and announced how much older it made me look. My Mum was never a diplomat bless her. My offspring know where I get my tact from!
Feeling like a new woman, and no woolly hat to flatten style, I ventured into town. I didn't buy much, as I wanted to get the bus back. The bus was just leaving, but the driver kindly pulled over and let me on.
In the afternoon I went to visit an elderly friend who is nearly 92 and in a nursing home since breaking his hip last summer. He startled me at first by asking how I had found him and was there a notice up on the underground, and had I locked the door? But I think he must have been dozing and dreaming as he became quite lucid, and we chatted over a cuppa, and he prayed with me quite lucidly before I left.
On the way home I passed husband who was just leaving home for his dental appointment. Unfortunately he has another infection under another crown, and needs more root canal treatment. This is his 3rd lot of antibiotics.
We relaxed in the evening with a free DVD from the Mail, a Joan Hickson Miss Marple.
I decided to skip the cocodamol last night, but did not sleep well, I just could not get comfortable.
Today I drove to Sainsbury's, and spent about double what I spent when I brought back all I could carry. I met a friend whose husband is on chemo, and we chatted for a while. We haven't caught up for ages, they tend to dash off after church for fear of any type of infection, and she has to take him to the hospital, so is missing ladies meeting too. I treated myself to some mini daffs, to remind me spring will soon be here.
This afternoon, parent and toddler group restarted, and we hadn't even finished our prayer time before the excited tots started pouring in. I was doing craft and ended up with sparkling fingers and a feather sticking to my trousers. Watching them rushing around and their enthusiasm for the singing time, I wished that I could bottle some of their energy.
It was very cold when I came out, but no white stuff. I popped into the Old High Street,and stocked up on toppers in the card craft shop, then had a browse in my favourite antique/curio shop. I didn't buy anything, but it's nice to see what they have in. Husband is collecting silver salt spoons, at least they are small, unlike his other collections. No wonder our surname rhymes with squirrel.
The Old High Street was very quiet, it is mostly specialist shops,hairdressers and restaurants these days. I expect that they suffered in the recent bad weather. I have to go and make some pastry, soon as I use the leftover chicken for a chicken and bacon pie, but I just have the filling.

Monday, 18 January 2010

Trying to get brain in gear

Well yesterday was a very quiet Sunday, I didn't have to wrap up warm to go to church, which was nice. The church was full in the morning as there was a thanksgiving for a new baby. It was good to see some people there last evening who hadn't been able to make it for 2 weeks or so because if the weather.
I was hoping to resume my Sunday afternoon walks, but spent far too much time searching for a picture to upload on to this blog site, only to discover it was on husband's card which was still in his camera. He was napping upstairs but helped me when he came down. It's not a very big pic, but will have to do for now. It was taken when we were in Wigtown in May of last year. near the 'harbour', which is no longer a harbour as the sea retreated. I had a chat with the Birthday boy in the evening too.
Well I'm quite pleased with my progress today, I did a to do list last evening and remembered to do most things on there. I did some cleaning and dusting too, plus the usual mountain of washing. I received the info to help me access the account I couldn't access last week, so had to set about changing passwords etc again. It is so annoying we are told not to write anything down, yet how we are expected to remember all these 8 digit numbers and numerous passwords I will never know. I remembered to make husband an emergency dental appointment as his face still hurts, I also remembered to get the toothpaste that we both forgot on Saturday.It is so much easier walking on the pavements now I can get up quite a speed.
We do not share a tube of toothpaste as he objects to my squeezing methods. I always used to use Euthymol, which I loved, but have been at the age for a few years now where only Sensodyne will do.
It is my cousin's Birthday tomorrow and again I couldn't find a suitable card, so out came the card, glue, ribbons and toppers again. I got it to the post in time.
I have found that just one cocodamol is helping to keep me asleep without pain, but I do struggle to come to in the mornings. I have never been much of a morning person though. I wonder if it has anything to do with the time of day at which we were born? Apparently I arrived at about 8pm on a Saturday evening. When I was young I could be quite lively in the evenings. My first job was in a sub post office and I often used to stand there thinking, I don't remember coming here this morning, My Bike must have steered itself. I had an 8.30 am start
Son and Daughter-in-law brought me a puzzle a few weeks ago, it is one they did themselves,and is a London scene featuring 'the Eye' (no not Sauron's eye). The puzzle seems to have an overall blue hue,. I thought about starting it today,I have my porta puzzle, but couldn't find a small coffee table to stand it on, then I remembered Daughter had it for her Christmas tree. She was going to return our stuff this evening, but didn't make it. Oh well, no matter. I also have several balls of wool waiting to be made into scarves for the shoeboxes we send.
My brain is beginning to get in gear, I hope that my body will follow soon.
Talking of passwords I couldn't get the one for this site right earlier, I was using a variation that I sometimes use, by mistake. Hm perhaps I'm not as in gear as I thought

Saturday, 16 January 2010

tempus (and the snow) fugit.

Well the last 2 days seem to have gone by very quickly, there is nothing exciting to report. I did however get the headphones for son's Christmas present, which I had rung up and cancelled!There was still snow yesterday and treacherous pavements, but I managed to get in a reasonably long walk. Checked up on Mum-in-law last evening, she had actually been out, I think for the first time since we took her back. Friends came and took her to the supermarket. Her heating has now been fixed, but she has a problem with her tv. Not easy for us to deal with at such a distance.
I had a very bad night last night, My lower spine was particularly painful. I may take a codeine based pain killer tonight. I try to avoid them as they do tend to depress the breathing, and with my night time attacks that is not good.
Perhaps this is too much information, but I received my 'postal bowel cancer testing kit' yesterday. I can hardly believe that it is 2 years since I did one.I have already started the test, as I am always good about such things. I have never missed a smear test, although am now told I no longer am eligible, or a mammagram, unlike my neighbour, who will not go for any tests. I don't think I am high risk, not much family history, good diet, plenty of fruit and veg, and a non-smoker. Also I did not sleep around which is a major factor in most cases of cervical cancer. ( more risk of HPV infection)
I was so late getting up today, that I was late doing most things. It had been raining for some time, and most of the white stuff had gone. I tried to put my car away, but it was difficult as someone had parked in front of my garage again. This reduced my manouevering space, and as I went forward I actually managed to make contact with the side of his bumper. There was no damage though, and I succeeded in putting the car away. Every time I looked at the clock today I could not believe how quickly the hours were passing.
We took husband's car into town, and did our usual bits, then went in search of new radiator caps, a new computer virus checker that will not slow computer, and husband also found a hose connector to fit our new taps. We moved the(growing) Christmas tree back to the patio,it was too cold to take it out last week.
I have been in a reminiscent mood lately. 26 years ago I was in labour at this moment. I had had a horrible pregnancy, the joy of learning at 14 weeks that I was carrying twins soon turned to pain as subsequent scans revealed one twin was not growing,and eventually died. The drug I took to prevent total miscarriage had horrible side effects, then I developed a rash, which was diagnosed as uppr. Many years later I discovered that it was thought to be caused by toxicity from the dead twin.
I basically shut down mentally, the only way I could cope. I refused to knit or buy any new baby clothes, and endured monthly scans. I was told after number 7 it was my last scan, then a pompous registrar ordered an eighth, so I waddled again into the scan room and heaved myself on to the bed.
I struggled to comprehend why this was all happening, but one day in my Bible I read 'Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?' Genesis 18v25. God had a purpose, and I think it has made me better able to empathise with others who have had pregnancy related problems.
Our son was born in the early hours of the morning, on my Mum's Birthday weighing 9lb4 oz. Despite the awful descent into PND, caused by the problems, we have been tremendously blessed by our Son, as we were by his sister. He was eager to keep up with her as a child and we have some lovely memories of both of them. The years have flown by, but it still gives me great pleasure to say Happy Birthday Son.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Still trying to get back to Normal (whatever that is)

Well yesterday we woke up to more snow, this is getting boring. Husband had got up the back hill, but had people sliding in front of him on way up our road. He turned round and came home and got his work laptop out. I took a phone call from Son-in-law - all trains cancelled could he come round and use our Broadband to work from home. When they were both settled I debated whether to use the car for my Sainsbury run, then decided to do what I did last week, walk and bring back what I thought I could carry. I took husband's walking pole, big mistake. It was ok on the way there but not with shopping to carry. Unfortunately, I always overestimate what I can carry. 3 bags full is what I got, but I definitely spend less, how this works out over the week I haven't worked out yet. It doesn't help my neck shoulder and back problems though.
The snow was a very fine snow almost like a drizzle, but we had about another inch. The canal bridge and slope on Sainsbury side was lethal again, on the way back I had 2 women in front of me with 10 kids between them, who were somewhat impeding my progress. One was peppering her conversation with the same four letter word over and over again. Don't they realise how awful it sounds? I hope they won't be surprised when their kids start to swear.
In the afternoon I caught up with the ironing, better let them see me doing something, I can't have them thinking I am slob of the year. Daughter called on her way home to collect her husband, We were all astounded to read in the local paper that only 21 main roads in the town are to be gritted, the hill up to our road, our road, which ends in a steep hill, and the road which branches off, a bus route and another steep hill are not to be included. Of course the Government have now taken control of the grit distribution. Typical, they couldn't organise a bunfight in a bakery.
Today I made it to weightwatchers, and learned the Christmas weight gain I had was not anywhere near the high end of the range. I had driven into town and parked about a quarter of a mile from the church hall where it is held. Of course this is the end of town where the pavements are still lethal,and the light drizzle (rain) had stoppped I always wear the same clothes to be weighed in apart from thicker tights, and boots, which I removed to be weighed. I usually look a bit like a scarecrow in cold weather, joggers, and sweatshirt for warmth. I missed them today.
I didn't have time to change before the lades meeting, the small hall was cold today, so we kept coats on. After a short report on some missionaries in Haiti, who thank God are safe, we launched into our favourite hymns. I had 3 but chose'It is well with my soul' as overall favourite. The story behind it is so inspiring. We sang it at father-in-laws funeral,and I fully intend to have it at mine , although I will not be able to hear it. We did miss the men for the bass line. My other 2 favourites atm are Great is thy Faithfulness, and Come ye sinners poor and needy, but it must be to Bryn Calfaria. I love the Welsh tunes, perhaps I could be an honorary Welsh woman, I can say Borre da and iaoun diolch, I think that is the spelling. I dare say Alan will correct me if I am wrong.
When I got home I had to change into joggers etc and found some slipper socks I bought last time we stayed in the Lakes. I must have warmed up as I fell asleep.
I don't think that it is just the late nights at present I don't think I am sleeping properly I still get a lot of pain when I move, from last week's fall. Especially if I lie on my back or turn over. I remember last time I did this I woke myself up every time I turned over. Oh well all things pass as they say, I will just have to hold on.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Soup recipes

Hi, I forgot I've had a request for a soup recipe
Cauliflower and bacon soup;
Small Cauliflower, or leftover uncooked cauli, broken into florets
1 small or half large onion
3 rashers of back bacon, or can use leftover cooked gammon.
1 tablespoon of Olive oil, or olive oil spray for a lower fat version.
one and a quartet pints of hot water
ham stock cube

Chop the bacon and onion, put oil or spray oil into a pan or pressure cooker, soften onion and bacon in the oil over a medium heat.
Dissolve stock cube in water
Add stock to pan, and add florets. Bring to the boil and simmer till cauli is tender, or cook 5 mins on High pressure
Blitz to desired consistency with a hand blender. Taste before seasoning, as bacon is in itself salty

Warning: this soup is lovely but can be a bit 'windy'.serves about 4, increase ingredients as needed

For a bonus:
Broccoli and cream cheese soup
I large head of broccoli
2 small potatoes
2 heaped tablespoons of cream cheese, Philadelphia light or other light cheese for a lower fat version
one and a quarter pints of veg stock made with veg stock cube

dice potatoes,
break broccoli into florets
add stock to a large pan or pressure cooker
add potatoes, broccoli and cream cheese
this may look a little strange at first, but don't be put off
Bring to boil whilst stirring, or bring to full pressure
Simmer till florets tender, or 5 mins on high pressure
Use a hand blender, to blend to a smooth consistency. season to taste

We actually first had this at a motorway services on the way to Scotland, so I got a recipe from internet and adapted it.

Middling Monday, Trivial Tuesday

Yesterday we woke up to a light covering of snow. I could see husband's footprints on the path where he had left for work. He works hard to keep the path clear. I realised I had a bill to pay and tried to transfer some money on-line. I couldn't get my log-in details right so phoned Abbey/Santander for help; press 1, press 2, you know the routine. I spoke to three different people, one Indian, one English and one Irish. The third one offered to resend my details. I was left wondering where their call centre(s) is (are). To be fair all these accents can be heard in this country, but it does make it difficult to know sometimes.
These details wil take up to 7 days to arrive, so I tried to pay the bill from another account on-line. Firstly I was told by the computer it did not recognise British Gas (???) Then when I got as far as paying I realised I had left the pence off, and tried to go back to correct it. I couldn't, so I left it and will check later to see if anything happened.
Having successfully wasted alot of the morning,in between loading and unloading washing machine,(how can two of us produce so much washing?) I decided to do my usual trek to Sainsbury's. I dug out husband's walking pole, as the pavements here are still treacherous.
On the way, I encountered the man who has taken over ownership of the garage that we rent for my car. I asked him why he hadn't sent a demand for the rent which was due on Christmas Day, he came out with excuses, whilst not making direct eye contact. He said I could just shove it through his door, I politely said I would rather pay by cheque, and he moaned then said I could shove the cheque through his door. Then he proceeded to tell me that from March the rent will go up by a massive 42%. He said the amount which the Council now charge had increased, so he was increasing his in line. I feel awful that as a Christian I have had such bad feelings about this man.This is partly because he has lied to me in the past, claiming ownership of the garages long before he actually owned them. When I got home I rang the Council, and although their rental is dearer, he was overstating what they charge by £4 a week.
He claims he has people 'queuing up' to rent the garages. I would gladly give mine up, but where would we store the roof box, and 2 bikes, which daughter and son-in-law can't take in their flat?.
Our son has used the roof box more than we have lately, but always brings it back for storage as they do not have much storage where they live.
In the evening we watched the second instalment of Return to Cranford, alternately funny and weepy, the ladies of Cranford are so well cast.
Today Husband woke me to say he had heard a bin lorry emptying recycling glass. we had already consulted the website, and decided it should not go up. Recycling was meant to be suspended. He checked website again and we did not put bins up. I watched in dismay as not only the recycle lorry, but later the bin lorry went up the road.
After cleaning my kitchen and more washing, I set of to get the papers and surreptitiously checked one of the few bins left out. It had been emptied. Why can't the council make up their minds, and at least stick to what is on the list, or failing that their website? Our cardboard bin is full, but collection of those is suspended.
I posted a cheque to the garage owner, and went to the paper shop, returning by a route that did not go past the garage owner's house. One day he banged on his window as I passed making me jump. Am I getting paranoid or what?
I am still finding it hard to get back into my eating plan, started counting today, and realised I hadn't kept my food diary since November. I am still dogged by tiredness, but am my own worst enemy as I don't get to bed early enough. I must get into a routine. January has always been a slow difficult month, but 26 years ago our lovely son arrived in the middle, on his Nan's Birthday, which broke up the month nicely. Now he is married he does not come home, and his Nan has long been in Glory. I no longer have to fashion cakes into Thomas or Postman Pat's van, or model Wallace and Grommit, and entertain a bunch of unruly lads. It was fun while it lasted. If you have kids make the most of them, I know it's hard work, but it has its rewards. I read a poem once that had I line in it 'my children grew up while I wasn't looking' it soon passes. Maybe one day we will have Grandchildren, then I will have to be organised!

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Lazy weekend

I started off the weekend badly by getting up late on Saturday morning. I had had a bad night, having had some of my night time palpitations, and getting up, taking my inhaler, making a cuppa, and going back to bed in my dressing gown . So husband let me sleep till late o'clock. I was then behind with everything during the day. I was late taking medication, late getting washed dressed and breakfasted, and we set off for town late. We had fiddled with the radiator, and had only succeeded in making it leak. The back road is still fairly bad, so we left the car at home, and donning walking boots, braved the pavements. I had a nasty moment crossing a side road, much arm flailing, but thankfully I stayed upright.
The town centre was fairly busy, husband spotted the pasty van, declared he had had no breakfast,and was off to buy a pasty. The pavements had not been cleared, but some sort of dark brown grit had been put down on the snow. We have council employees who sweep the streets, why does their job not extend to snow clearing?
I went in Boots and their floor was awash with melted snow and brown goo. Goodness knows what is like for the shops with carpetting.
I bought the papers, but could not get my fruit and veg from the market as their were very few stalls. Our market is now in the pedestrianised area, but presumably the traders were not out because of the weather. We decide on a M&S lunch, but when we got to their cafe, there was a queue, some people had already 'bagged' tables. Whilst M&S have a polite notice asking folk to buy food before they sit down, they do nothing to enforce it. On learning that they were out of soup, we abandoned the idea of lunch out and went to their food dept, and bought stuff there to eat at home. I also bought my fruit and veg there, expensive, yes, but I couldn't face going out as second time to either of our local supermarkets. On Friday lunchtime Sainsbury's had been so bad you would have thought that food was going out of fashion. We got the bus home.
When we got home we lunched, looked at the papers, and both fell asleep. Must have been the exertion of walking to town, coupled with the disturbed night. Today has been pretty quiet. We got to church morning and evening, but were late this evening as someone seemed to be stuck at the top of the hill, and was wielding a spade. we waited at the bottom, as husband prefers to try and do it in one run, people are parking any old where so as not to climb hills, but it's quite inconvenient when they park right on the corner of our access road.
It was warmer in bed last night, and apparently did not freeze. we've had quite a steady drip drip from the roof area, but as we set off for church we were getting the tiniest snowflakes, which to my knowledge are still falling and getting bigger, so the forecast was not entirely wrong.
Daughter's husband is now ill with a cough, so I think it's just coincidence that she was ill and not the swine flu jab after all. They stayed snug today, I can't say I blame them. It's not much fun to cough all through someone's sermon. Bless him, our pastor was sweeping the snow off the steps this evening, as the kids had been throwing snowballs. He is a very humble person, and we are very blessed to have him.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Just an observation

have you noticed? Some ladies are posting just one word as a colour on their Facebook pages. This apparently is to do with an item of underwear, and is 'raising awareness of breast cancer'. Personally I fail to see the logic in this.
When I spent a probationary year as a WPC with Cheshire Constabulary, we often dealt with what are termed 'Nuisance calls'.

Sometimes these perverts rang women up and asked the colour of the underwear that the recipient was wearing. So called nuisance calls can be very upsetting, indeed I have been the recipient of 3 such calls since we have lived here, not of the underwear, variety, but in each call a certain four letter word, was used, the use of which I deplore. On the first occasion, I got very upset, and went to visit a neighbour, who told me both she and another friend had had indecent calls, the second having mentioned the friend's five year old daughter.

Perhaps I am old fashioned, but if women get upset by a pervert asking the colour of their underwear, why on earth should we want to advertise it to the whole Facebook world? Could it lead to more of these nuisance calls?
The colour of my underwear will remain my own private business.

Friday, 8 January 2010

The freeze goes on and on.......

Needless to say I did skip weightwatchers yesterday, I'm finding it hard to be motivated with anything. I felt quite stiff and sore. I have been trying to sort out Christmas decorations and cards, the former for the loft, the latter for checking against my sent list. I did venture out to Sainsbury's and brought back what I couldn't carry on Wednesday. Husband was still working from home, daughter still off sick, I think the former has something to do with my lack of motivation.
I had a lovely long doze in the afternoon once I had got comfortable, I have to be careful how I sit as my back jars.
In the evening we watched the first part of the DVD which I had managed to find, Return to Cranford. I do enjoy Cranford, but get a bit irked at the way it strays from the books. We read it as a class book when I was in the third form, and I can recall us rolling round in our desks laughing at some bits. I was at what is now described as 'a 1950's all girls Grammar school', we were actually far less boy mad than the girls I see coming out of schools these days. Sadly some of them bend uniform rules so much they look like hookers. We were told off by prefects if we were caught on the bus without our beret on.
Today, as yesterday, we have had snow flurries, it was -7C in our back garden last night, Nowhere near Manchester's -16C. Hope son and daughter-in-law have their thermals on. I had a bath to try and ease stiffness from fall, but then found it painful getting out of bath. I had a walk to shop, still treacherous in parts, I am very careful where I walk.
I managed to scrape all the ice off my car. Husband had gone into work today, so I hoped to get up the hill at the back, if he can I can, managed it and got to laundry to pick up ironing, they apologised they were running a day late, but mine was done. I am glad I didn't go yesterday. Got back and struggled to get car in garage. (See before Christmas blogs). Car parked by fence again, wheels started to spin, so gave up and parked in rear garage parking area. I put my old frost shield across so hopefully it will not be as bad next time. Daughter rang, she was sent home from work, could she come round? Of course! gave her sympathy,(she doesn't drink tea). Others in her office have a 'bug' so it may be that it was a coincidence that hers happened after jab.
I made a lovely warming stew for dinner, but felt guilty that there was not enough to invite daughter and husband. Am a big softy really. Checked up on Mother-in-law, she has enough food and has had an offer of shopping from a more able neighbour. friends from church usually take her shopping, but they are not risking it this week.
Have conducted an experiment this evening; the indoor/outdoor thermometer sits above husband's desk, which is by a radiator. I moved it to near the non-working radiator and there is a 5 degree F difference. No wonder when I say I am cold he doesn't believe me. We will attempt to bleed radiator tomorrow. If that doesn't work, we will get it looked at when it gets warmer. We were planning to go to an induction tomorrow in Loughborough, a young man brought up in our church is taking on a pastorate there, but i think we will just have to be with them 'in spirit'
We do not want to travel unless absolutely necessary.
Husband fell asleep, so I will have to wait to see second episode of Cranford. well I suppose it lasts longer that way.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Snow use complaining!

well I have been a bit busier these last 2 days, but in a way not as busy as I would have liked. Yesterday I had Daughter and son-in-law here, he was working from home and she had a day off, as they had to go somewhere in town. I had an appointment with my osteopath. It was bitterly cold, well below freezing, but my car started ok, and I duly kept my appointment. I hadn't been for 6 months, so we had a lot to catch up on; he always chats to me whilst he pummels my back.
I was in quite good shape I think as he doesn't want to see me for 6 months. Husband got on ok at the posh dental clinic, and has another appointment booked for half an hour before mine (in February).
I popped out for the papers, and it was still bitter. At least I got some exercise. Daughter popped back into town for her swine flu jab. Husband came home and it had started snowing,the temperature had gradually been creeping up. We watched the snow for a while then urged daughter and son-in-law to leave before it got too bad. After Sausage and mash,we settled down and watched the final Sherlock Holmes with Jeremy Brett. There was no let up in the snow.
Today husband stayed home, and Son-in-law came to use our Broadband. Daughter stayed at home in the flat, she had a cough and slight fever, maybe a reaction to the jab. I had a dental appointment for a filling, and decided to try and get there. Had a nasty moment pulling out of the side road onto the main road, but got up the hill ok. Had another nasty moment as I turned into the dentist's road, almost got stuck on the corner, but remembered husband's advice, and also applied common sense. I parked opposite the dentist's, But as I walked across his drive/carpark both my legs went from under me and I went flat on my back. I felt such an idiot. The dentist was there, lots of people had cancelled, but I had an injection, more adrenaline in addition to what I was already running on, and he filled the tooth, a difficult wisdom tooth gum line filling. I got back to the car, cleared the fresh snow off it and said 'Please God, will you let me get home safely?' the dentist's road was not good, but I made it to the top, then turned on to a main road and then onto a bus route. the buses were actually running today. (and we got milk and post, hurrah! I saw the postie and thanked him)
There was a nasty moment when I had to pass alorry struggling and sliding up the hill down which I was driving, but once I hit the town centre it wasn't too bad, then the hill up to our road was manageable. I parked in the last remaining space out back. I normally do my weekly shop on a Wednesday, but decided to walk down and bring back what I could carry. I also took my camera. ( facebook friends can see some of the results). Walking back up to the canal bridge was hairy, It is never gritted, apparently Sainsbury's grit order did not arrive, so nor was their car park done. I arrived home with the shopping and with arms like Olive Oyl. As I got back the snow stopped, only to start again later. Judging by the pain I get when I try to sit down, I have bruised my coccyx, which is something I once did when ice skating, so I recognise the pain. I just hope it doesn't stop me sleeping.
As I write this the temp on our indoor/outdoor weather station reads 27.5F (about -2.5C) for outside ,so tomorrow it will be deep and crisp and even. With my back as it is I won't even attempt to walk to Weightwatchers,and my car will be covered in ice, and the hill out back treacherous. Oh well every cloud has a silver lining! I have another week to try and get rid of Christmas flab. Having son-in law here means that the Christmas cake is now all gone, and no longer calling to me, so it was worth having my living room turned into an office. Hope you are enjoying your snow

Monday, 4 January 2010

Bits and Pieces

Well not much unusual happened yesterday. It was cold, but bearable. One thing about having someone helping in your kitchen is that they don't know exactly where your things go. I knew I had bought carrots, but could I find them?. In the end I found them in the veg rack, logical perhaps, but they were still in the Sainsbury's bag, and I always keep my carrots in the fridge, not wrapped in plastic. My kitchen is so warm that anything other than potatoes in the veg rack goes soggy. I managed to find one small peeler, but my best one is still missing. Still, mustn't grumble,I hardly had to wash up for 2 weeks. My sister and I used to joke that when our Mum had been it took about 3 months to find everything. Everyone hung around for ages after church last night chatting, it's good.
Today well I didn't seem to get on with much, I had the attention span of a gnat. Popped in and out of rooms vaguely tidying, stripped a bed, gathered some stuff together to take to the ironers. I have 3 lots of bed linen to iron including 2 king size duvets, plus 2 large tablecloths, so I will treat myself and get them back all neat.
In my pottering I managed to unearth a Martin Lloyd Jones CD someone had lent to us, it was hiding behind a plant arrangement I had for Christmas, (I must write a thank you note or 2)
I did my usual brisk walk to Sainsbury's,I must learn to go earlier' Lunchtime is always busy,but by keeping eyes and ears open managed to slip in when a new till was opened. Home to a bowl of soup I made a few days ago. I have been quite good today, but I did open the nuts at the weekend. No one opened them at Christmas and as they are ready shelled it's too easy to sneak one as I go past. I'm afraid I dozed after lunch, I must have a terrific sleep debt. I'm finding Ovaltine helps me sleep atm. Decided to wrap and post a bit of Son's Christmas present which arrived the day after he left, wrote cheque for a bill, and wrote a Birthday card. I had a shock when I went out again, it was so cold still. Got car out of garage, perturbed to see ice crystals on windscreen. Noticed lovely sunset reflected with trees in local church windows. Why have I never got a camera when I need one? Perhaps I should keep my HP in the car.
Checked bird table after getting a reproachful look from a blackbird, put cheese and suet out. Hope it doesn't freeze. I had just warmed up,when husband arrived and let all the cold air in again. One of our radiators isn't working, and it's not the one by his desk. He fiddled with it but no joy. After dinner, he was pleased that he had had a letter printed in the Mail. we sat down to watch a Midsomer Murders DVD, The Glitch. we love looking at the locations as much as anything else, most of it is filmed fairly near here.
Must go to bed soon, I have to go to the osteopath tomorrow, a 6 monthly visit. I'd better not move the Christmas tree too soon! Not looking forward to stripping to under wear for treatment Brrrr! Oh well at least it's not dental clinic, other half goes tomorrow, but it's near his work. Hope it doesn't snow too soo, as he might not get there

Saturday, 2 January 2010

There and back again. (apologies to Bilbo Baggins)

Well all good things must come to an end, and as husband had Friday off, it had been decided that this would be the day that we would return Mum-in-law to her home near the South Coast. We duly all packed bags,and made sure that certain lights would come on whilst we were away, then piled into the car and off. There are 2 ways to start off the Journey, and husband chose the route past Heathrow, which although has roadworks, is better for me, as if we go the other way I tend to get flashbacks to that awful evening in July when we got the phone call, on the way down to say husband's father had collapsed. I remember the exact place where I took the call, the trees that caused the call to break up, and the subsequent feeling of panic that we were taking ages to get there.
As most of you know it was not a good outcome, so it is much easier for me to go the other way, plus the fact that we do not have to pay a toll, and the services are marginally better.
We stopped for lunch on the way, and had a good run after that, so were soon in Mum-in-law's favourite Tesco, helping her to stock up. Then back to her bungalow, and sorting out piles of post and trying to revive wilting plants.
Husband was keen to watch the final Dr Who, so I read a newspaper, and glanced occasionally at the screen, managing to get Bernard Cribbins confused with Bernard Hill.
We switched to the Italian Job afterwards, but came in halfway through, and then had the ending obscured by dinner. I was allowed to watch Miss Marple, wanting to see how Julia Mackenzie shapes up. The plot was laboured, but so many familiar faces, the detective being played by the Cranford vicar. All in all I think Julia is streets ahead of Geraldine McEwan, though not watching telly normally I did not see much of her. It was good to see Joan Collins actually looking her age too.
I managed to sleep better than I usually do, probably as we took our unused mattress enhancer. Then this morning we took our time, had a stroll round the village, picking up a few items in the shops. There is a good variety of shops, which may well change if and when Tesco build on the small site, which they have acquired, but done nothing about as usual.
After Lunch we set off home at about 3, calling at services for a cup of tea and raiding the M&S simply food for tonight's dinner. We had a good run home, and came home to a warm house as my efforts to turn the heating down did not really work. we seem to have had just ground frost again. Those of you who pray, will you please remember my Mum-in-Law, that she might not get too lonely, she said the house was so quiet when I rang to say we were back.
I've hardly washed up at all for a fortnight, and when I was dashing about before Christmas, even husband's shirts were ironed for me. I have to get back to normal. well if he has not dropped off, he will want his computer back, so blog you later!