Monday, 29 November 2010

Dairy, dairy, quite contrary

I know that I don't usually blog two days in a row, but I am having a bad day so I thought sharing it might help.I slept ok, once I had got to bed. we'd had a visit from the family again and a nice evening. This morning I actually managed to get up at a 'decent' hour.
The new spring arrived for the washing machine door catch, so I took the door off again, and replaced the spring. Unfortunately as I did so, one of the extremely flimsy bits of plastic sheared off. However, although this holds a spindle in place I managed to get it all back together and the washing machine has a fully functioning door catch again.
I set off on foot for Sainsbury's to buy a few items, and after I had scanned them, and got over the 'unexpected item in bagging area' (MY bag), reached for my purse, only to find it was not there. I had forgotten to replace it in my bag. A helpful assistant cancelled all m my items and put them in a nearby trolley, and said to contact an assistant when I got back. I duly hot footed home picked up purse, car keys and drove back down.
Soon I was on my way back out of the door. I called in for petrol, then came home. When I got in I checked to see if the milk had arrived. It had, but only one pint. We only get 3 deliveries a week now as our milk depot closed and it now comes from Watford.
I used to have the number of the dairy, but now there is a call centre number, you know the ropes 'press one for...' press 2 for...'  By the time I got to speak to a person, I was beginning to get irritated, the young man suggested that he check my delivery, then came back to me to say 'yes I was down for 2 pints on 2 lists', what is known as stating the obvious. He then said 'I can try and contact Watford and if the milkman hasn't gone home they may be able to get a pint out to you, otherwise you will have to make do with one' At this point it was hard not to explode! I said 'well what am I supposed to do for tomorrow?' 'Oh, I will phone Watford and then if you leave it about half an hour, then ring me back I will adjust your bill'.
I have always believed in supporting my local milkman, it keeps a man in work and if we are too ill to go out, we know that at least the milk will be there. Also I do not have to lug milk from the supermarket.
However if this goes on, I just might well reconsider.
Perhaps praying for calmness will be like praying for patience, God often exercises our patience when we do so.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

No deep, but much crisp and even

I was looking through some of last winter's pictures to see if I could use any to make cards when I came across these pictures. Thankfully we haven't had as much snow as this yet, but it seems so little time since last winter, although much has happened. In fact we have had some heavy frosts this week and 2 light dustings of snow. I was feeling a bit down again on Monday, still haven't caught up on my sleep debt and fed up with never reaching the bottom of the ironing basket, so I thought I would pay the ironer's a visit. I took a fully loaded bag with me. It is not something I do regularly these days, but I started going there when I had a bad right shoulder, and then when my disc was bad I went a few times. The proprieter was glad to see me, I think there has been a drop off in trade since the recession started. So I thought, 'well I am helping keep him in business'.
Of course it was so near that I couldn't resist popping in to see Daughter. We had spent a pleasant hour or two with them after church on the Sunday evening. Baby  is always glad to see me, and I think Daughter is. She can leave him with me whilst she does other things. Poor little chap still has a nasty cough though, and the cattarh makes him bring back milk, so as I've seen him a few times this week, I have also ended up with a few changes of clothes.
On Tuesday I drove over to our nearest Hobby craft to buy some card making stuff, I'm not doing many this year as I've left it too late. The morning seemed to fly by. On the way back I called in at our local washing machine repairer's to see if they had a door spring in stock. I've been having trouble getting the door to close and my washing machine beeps annoyingly if the door isn't closed properly, so I had taken it apart, and as I did noticed a bit of the spring was broken, as I examined it another bit broke. He didn't have the part  in stock and offered to order it, ''S'ok', I said,' I can do that online'. He had confessed to not being really au fait with computers.
Wednesday was busy, Sainsbury's, parent and toddler's, then up to collect the ironing. I also called in on Daughter as I had been unable to contact her. She has been having sleepless nights with baby, but sometimes if he sleeps she can't, so her days are a bit hit and miss at present. I told her about the problems with my washing machine, and she offered to do a load for me.
On Thursday I managed to get to Ladies' meeting, a book/ bible study on Jepthah's Daughter, we are going through 'Contagious Christian living' by Joel Beeke, a series on which he preached at the Aber conference one year. We had quite a lively discussion over whether Jepthah's promise was 'rash', and marvelled at his Daughter's obedience. Someone quoted from a poem by Tennyson in which he refers to Jephthah's Daughter, which prompted the comment, 'People knew their bibles in those days'.
I forgot to mention that husband came home complaining of a cold on Tuesday evening, so I hit the Vick's First Defence. As I write I am still cold free. He brought his work laptop home with him, but he was officially off sick on Wednesday and Thursday.
Daughter came round after I'd been to Women's hour, she had taken Baby for his appointment at Watford hospital, about his umbilical hernia. the consultant was fairly dismissive, saying ' I'll eat my hat if that's not gone by the time he's three' (I've just thought of a wicked response, 'would you like fries with that sir?'). He will arrange an appointment in a year's time to check progress. He says it will 'just disappear one day'. I hope he is right, I believe someone in the family still has one at 15. Daughter stayed till we got a call from her husband asking where she was, and she departed with a basket of my washing. I said I would fetch it when it was done, but when she rang I had just finished my meal, and it was cold, so I said I would go on Friday.
Before I went to bed I made myself a hot blackcurrant drink. Husband had had one, but I forgot to check the water level. I soon realised, but too late. The element had gone and as it is a concealed element.....I had to use saucepan to boil the water.
 On Friday I picked up the washing, went into town and to the local retail park, but no one does the same model. I came home and tumble dried most of the washing.  I went online to search for the kettle, and got down my old one which I had way before I met husband. It scrubbed up quite well, I put a plug on it, got some of the scale out and it worked. It's a bit slow, but boils quite quietly, and  doesn't switch itself off.  When I first had it automatic kettles were in their infancy, expensive, and not trouble free.
I also  got the bed ready in the spare room for a fleeting visit next week from our Son, he is staying overnight on his way to somewhere. It will be nice to see him. Husband came home with no voice and a hacking cough.
On Saturday morning I shopped alone, I took the car as we had had a dusting of snow, and after my fall last January am wary of slipping.I was home quite quickly, then later after lunch, and as the spring had not arrived, I reassembled the washing machine door and managed  to force it closed for long enough to do 3 loads. I was fed up with an over flowing washing basket in the bathroom and being knee deep in washing.
I went to church alone this morning, a good sermon on  the 9th commandment. I wrapped up warm. but it was so cold most kept their coats on during the service. Our thermometer has not gone above freezing all day. Global Warming anyone?
In my bible notes this morning it was suggested that we should  'pray for the gift of calmness for the day' So that's where I have been going wrong obviously.  If I remember to do that  every day I may become less of a grumpy old woman.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Thoughts on a grey Sunday afternoon

Oh dear, the further we get into November, the more that I think it is my least favourite month. So many grey days, outside temperatures falling, longer evenings, drivers who insist on driving with their headlights on in the daytime, thus dazzling other drivers; it is a wonder that I manage to get out from under the duvet. I have been sleeping  a little better but some nights have been restless, so I feel like a zombie till about lunchtime. Turning on the heating makes my cattarh much worse, and inevitably my sinuses start to play up.
I have tried to contact the plumber to have the new radiators fitted but despite leaving messages on his landline and mobile, have not had a reply, perhaps he is sunning himself on a beach somewhere hot.
I have seen quite a lot of Daughter and baby this week, Unfortunately Daughter caught another cold and gave it to Baby. Sadly we have seen more incompetence this week. When daughter tried to make an appointment a while ago for his 8 weeks jabs, she was told by the receptionist that there were no appointments with the nurse till December. In the meantime she received a letter from the surgery which actually referred to another baby, so she phoned the surgery to tell them an admin error had been made.
This week she received a letter asking her to phone as he had not had his jabs. When she phoned and explained the receptionist was a bit sharp and said '' he must have his jabs'', and insisted she took him on on Thursday. Daughter explained he had a cold, so the receptionist fixed an appointment with the Doctor in the morning, to check that he was fit.  I hope that the receptionist then lectured the others on the importance of making appointments for jabs at the correct time.
I went to visit an old lady we know who was 100 years old on Wednesday - and took her a card and some flowers and chocolates. She was having a difficult day, with problems with her house. She has stayed in her council house with stairs and will not hear of moving. Daughter and I took Baby to parent and toddler's, and he was a bit less fractious. He was looking around at his surroundings, and seemed fascinated by the lovely creation collage we have which has stuffed toy animals sewn on it. We have some talented ladies in the church. Occasionally we have craft evenings, and our attempts to reproduce the set items usually result in much hilarity.
Baby saw the doctor and was pronounced fit enough for jabs, she said Daughter should have had a letter asking her to take him back after the tongue tie op. Daughter explained about the letter she had received about the wrong child and the Doctor was distinctly unimpressed. As you can imagine, Baby had a temperature on Thursday evening  which would not come down, so they had a trip to the 24 hour 'Urgent Care Centre' where they gave him baby ibuprofen on top of the Calpol he had had. They let him leave when his temperature had gone down, but gave instructions to return if it shot up and wouldn't come down again.
The poor mite has a hacking cough, and when I saw him on Friday, he was one minute laughing and gurgling the next, sneezing coughing and crying. He has been kept indoors most of the time, just in a nappy whilst he had the fever, but I think he has been a little better and the fever has gone. Must go nearly time for church

Sunday, 14 November 2010

A not very newsy week

The last week hasn't really been terribly exciting, no major upsets, no irritating phone calls and the weather has been so Novemberish I quoted Thomas Hood on Facebook. One thing that I forgot to mention last week was that whilst in town, on the Saturday, I met J, whom I have known for a very long time. She did not remember my name, so I told her, and then asked about her family. She told me that E, her youngest Daughter, aged 44 has inoperable liver cancer. She is receiving treatment, and is remaining cheerful, but nevertheless it is a huge shock to everyone. There are some treatments that she cannot have, but J was a bit vague about what treatment she is having. J has had memory problems for quite a while, but she says that this news has made her even worse.
E was baptised as a believer, but a while afterwards began to question her faith, in the same manner that her Father did. Her Father had been a minister of the gospel, in Wales, so this was difficult and he remained in this state up till the time of his death, also from cancer.
We may ask why does God allow such things? But we are living in a fallen world, and  once Adam and Eve disobeyed in the garden of Eden, things like disease, and disappointment came along and sin took a hold. God can use this illness to bring E back to Himself, and I know that many are praying that this will happen, also that the treatment might work, and she might have more time with her husband and children. One good thing is that her husband who was opposed to marriage has changed his mind and married her. Please pray for E. You do not need to know her full name, God knows who she is. Later in the week I broke the news to my friends C& C, who had invited J for lunch a few weeks ago, but she had not turned up. I explained to them that she had so much on her mind she must have simply forgotten.
I made my Christmas cake this week. usually I soak the fruit overnight in lemon juice and brandy, to give a moist cake, but this time I soaked the fruit during the day, and baked it in the evening, so that we went to bed with a lovely spicy smell pervading the house. I had mislaid my lemon squeezer, and only found it after I had walked to Dunelm and bought a wooden lemon reamer. I blame it on having such a small kitchen, although I suppose if I had a bigger one then there would be more room to lose stuff....
I had 2 really bad nights last week, and decided it was time to change to the winter duvet, so when I changed the bed yesterday I enlisted Husband's help to turn the mattress, then made up the bed with the winter one. My feet had been getting cold, and the bed was feeling cold when I got in.
I was on duty at parent and toddlers on Wednesday, but Daughter didn't come.She had a friend from church visiting. In Ladies' meeting, on Thursday, we were writing Christmas cards for missionaries, and we had a prayer time too. The card writing was slightly chaotic, and I ended up signing one twice. Afterwards I called in on Daughter as I hadn't seen her since Sunday. I got plenty of cuddles and smiles from baby. He is now able to grip  a rattle if it is offered to him, but his coordination is still far from perfect.
Yesterday husband saw the optician, he has to go annually because of his Mum's eye problems, and gets free examinations. There is a slight problem with his left eye, but nothing too serious, I expect they will keep an eye on it. ( sorry, awful pun I know, but it just escaped) Afterwards we treated ourselves to lunch out, one less meal to prepare and wash up!
Mum in Law has been unwell, she is blaming it on her IBS, but she had a routine blood test this week, which should show up any serious problem. I must phone her later to check that she is recovered and eating properly again.
I tracked down some more of that tablewear on ebay, and now will soon have the full set again. I must get that new kitchen cupboard put up, it's been in the boot of my car for weeks, but now has the road salt for company.  I have to rearrange the boot when I go shopping. My half price crackers from Sainsbury's ended up on the back seat. First though I want to get a socket sorted out, so need an electrician. Must phone the plumber too, it is better to get the new radiators before the snow comes.
I found the Downton abbey DVD in Sainsbury's, and have heard such good reports  that I bought it.we have watched 2 episodes so far, and apart from one scene in the first episode, which wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be, have enjoyed it so far. Fortunately I have a husband who doesn't mind costume dramas, I know some men don't like them.
I hope your week was good and not as boring as mine.

Monday, 8 November 2010

part two of the week

On Wednesday I also took my shoes in for repair, we have an old fashioned shoe repairer near here, so he always gets my custom, sadly some of the shoes we buy these days cannot be repaired. He still keeps going despite the heel bar in the town centre, and the Timpsons. I also took in a repeat prescription form. I don't know how but some of my thyroxine must have got squashed and were powder when I popped the foil.I  had also decided to order some boots online, having ascertained the calf size by e-mail
On Thursday I didn't have  particularly good day, have  had a few nights when I haven't slept again. We didn't have a proper ladies' meeting, a local Christian book shop brought their bookstall, so they were there from 11 till 3. I managed to get there and bought more Christmas cards and a couple of books so that I have something to read for our book reviews.
I didn't buy any as Christmas presents as their stock was a bit limited and I'm not altogether sure of people's tastes. Friday was a parcel day, I got some china in a huge box in the morning, I had been browsing the internet and come across some Poole pottery 'Springtime'. We bought  the teaset to use for visitors with some  of our wedding gift money.  We were unable to afford the dinner plates before it became discontinued. when we visited Poole pottery it was in their museum! All of the cups and most of the saucers got broken, but I have now manged to replace them. I was knee deep in packing beads, it was all so well packed. I have spotted some teaplates on ebay so am watching those. I think the sugar bowl was broken too. This was sometimes the cause of much hilarity. It was the same size as the cups, and occasionally we would accidentally serve tea in it. The faces of the guests who had it were a picture as they turned it round and round looking for the handle. Maybe we should try and find the sugar bowl.
Later I started collecting Johnson Bros Summer Chintz, a sure sign of our increased affluence that I managed to collect 12 of everything before it was discontinued. I still buy up bits when I see them and we have a matching tablecloth, how naff is that? Sadly we now do not have many potteries left in this country. When our son was doing teaching practice a couple of years ago he was in a school where the local kids would have gone into mining or the potteries, now they have no prospects and as a result are hard to teach as they do not see the point of education.
Speaking of which, our son has managed to find work, but it is part time and in an optician's. He uses the 'air puffer' machine and does retinal photography as part of his job. He is still waiting to hear if he has been short listed for another job. Many jobs these days want 2 or 3 years experience, but how does one get experience  if no one wants to train anyone?
I digress. The second parcel was the baby's new trousers, so I went to collect my prescription then called in at daughter's to deliver them. I couldn't make her hear so let myself in. baby was asleep on the sofa, and I soon found Daughter, clad in wellies and a waterproof. She was weeding just outside the French windows, in the pouring rain. She was close enough to see baby, but he was fast asleep, till I spoke loudly and he woke up. I stayed a while whilst she fed and changed  him, then I managed to rock him to sleep again. They had had a bad night with him again. he does seem to feed a lot. When I got home there was a note saying my boots had been delivered next door. They fit and I wore them for church last night as my legs had been cold out of doors in the morning
Saturday I went off for my flu jab for 8.30 am. I was about 9th in the queue. T hey were expecting 900. We walked into town and got the bus up,  we didn't buy as much in Marks, but I still didn't buy butter for my Christmas cake, so later went to Sainsbury's. Yesterday Daughter and Son in Law came for Sunday lunch, but Baby slept most of the afternoon. They stayed on as he had a nappy change just as we were leaving for church, which meant a whole change of clothes. We had a late tea together and got many cuddles and gurgles from baby, especially when we sang to him. For some reason he appreciated Widdecombe Fair, harmonised by 3 of us. I'm sure daughter's husband thinks we are potty,- he could be right. We did on Ilkley Moor baht  'at for an encore. Mad? who? us ?

Just half of the week for now

 I can't believe how quickly the weeks are passing. Last Monday morning I took Mum in Law to Watford Junction, I was allowed on to the platform to see her off, then I went off into Watford town centre in search of  coffee, as I had missed mine that morning. I went into M&S cafe, then had a look at the baby clothes and was tempted by a gorgeous outfit with a matching furry lined jacket. Then I stocked up on low fat sausages and other things I cannot get in our local M&S, wandered round a few shops, then headed home. The Harlequin centre have their Christmas decorations up already, unlike our local shopping mall. Mum in law rang about 2.30 to say she had got home at about 2pm. She took a taxi from the station, which was better than her struggling on the bus. I hope she enjoyed her stay. Seeing Nathaniel was probably the best bit. I discovered that the trousers of the baby's outfit had the wrong size on the hanger, so ordered some online, then took the others back. I was surprised to see they had the outfit in our local Marks, which doesn't usually carry as much stock
On Tuesday I decided  to visit Harpenden where there are some  nice shoe shops. I always used to buy Clark's or K shoes, but don't fancy any Clark's atm, and Ks now all seem to be EE fitting , which are too wide. Are all feet getting wider?
I was after sensible flats, but the first pair which I tried on were also EEs and slopped around. Another pair I tried had a slightly lower heel, but being a D fitting were comfy. I bought them. My sensible brown shoes were in need of repair. Unfortunately the new shoes are not as comfy as they were in the shop, this often happens to me. I think my feet must change shape during the day. They need a bit of stretching and wearing in.
I also looked at the boots, 12 years of tap dancing gave me bigger calf muscles, plus a vein that leaks fluid, all combining to mean I need an expandable calf in boots. I have one pair in brown, but they are hard to put on as the zip only goes as far as the large 'cuff', and my foot tends to go into the top of the boot then out through the zip hole. I didn't buy any boots there, but had a wander round the town. I bought a sandwich, then sat on a bench to eat it then later went for a coffee, and got tempted by a chocolate eclair. There is a shocking dearth of public loos in Harpenden, so I had to go in supermarkets, to use their's, and then buy something.
I took my HP camera and took a few pictures of trees, but should really have gone to Rothamsted common.
Years ago we went for a walk there with folk who had asked us for lunch. We had our dog with us, and the pastor also brought his dog. The 2 dogs were racing round near the experimental centre, when Jess leapt over some water. Our dog Peppi gamely followed but had shorter legs and didn't quite make it and fell backwards into the water.T he pastor wryly commented, 'That's about 5 years worth of experiments destroyed' I hope that the pools were just ornamental!
Wednesday was just my usual Sainsbury's trip then later I called in on Daughter to take baby's new clothes. She had missed parent and toddler group as she had an upset tum and was afraid of passing anything on to others. As it happened it was not a bug, but I think she did the right thing. I got lots of cuddles, smiles and gurgling from baby, he almost tries to talk to us. It must be very frustrating being a baby when your only method of communication is crying. Must go now will catch up later.