Monday, 27 August 2012

The Dog days of Summer

Oh dear, late blogging again, I did forget to mention that when husband worked from home, we went to the dentist for a check up, and as I had broken a tooth will have to have another crown. Last week was my final 2 days of looking after Nathaniel, it was quite nice to have him. On the last Friday I took him to a play area near where he lives, but he refused to go on the swings or the slide, and wanted to play on the large apparatus where 2 older children were playing. He got up onto a platform, but couldn't go anywhere but down, as the stuff was beyond his capabilities. I had to help him down. This happened 2 or 3 times, but most of the time he just ran around.

The big boys stuff!

Our Son and his wife arrived here at about 5.20 pm,and Daughter came to collect Nathaniel so that she could see them. She had been given gifts from work. Husband arrived home and gave Son some things to help with loading the car and newly acquired luggage rack. The other young people arrived later, and the car and luggage rack were loaded up. Then they set off for the South of France, leaving Tom in our care.

On Saturday morning husband was up early to take Tom for a walk. Later we drove into town, leaving Tom at home alone. Whilst we were in town we discovered that our town centre Curry's was closing. Husband suggested we went in for a look, and I discovered that they had some reduced laptops.  I have been looking at laptops as I find it frustrating having to wait for husband to go to bed before I can use the desktop in the evenings, and having to share when we are on holiday. I found one in my price range, the last one in stock, and discovered that there was a further 10% off the price as the store was closing. Husband also nabbed a bargain.
Tom was pleased to see us, he is a very gentle, very loving animal, and if he had his way would spend his time being scratched behind the ears, stroked, brushed, or otherwise receiving our full attention. Our little terrier cross who died a few years ago hated being brushed, and would grumble, and snap. Tom however just looks adoringly.
Later that day I phoned Sister, cooked us a meal, took Tom for a walk, watered the plants that were wilting, then fed Tom, and took him for final trip around the block. On Sunday  afternoon, husband took an early nap, and despite the heat, came for a walk with me up to the field at the top of the hill, where we spent time getting Tom to chase after a ball. It was very hot, but he didn't mind, I took some water and gave him a drink. 
Husband gets ready to throw

It was very sticky in church that day too.
 So every day except one last week, husband took Tom out first thing, then I took him out later, with a final walk round the block just before bed. Tom shed quite a lot of hair, and I found myself using my inhalers quite a bit more. Most days I ended up at Daughter's, much to Nathaniel's delight. Tom didn't mind playing ball with Nathaniel, but objected to being chased around, and I heard Tom bark for the first time ever, as a warning that he'd had enough.   He also climbed on the sofa beside me to get away!
On Wednesday my weight was up gain, my leader is quite concerned, she thinks it may be down to my thyroid.  Certainly at times my pulse drops lower to 50, so she could be right I'm not due for blood tests for months though. Husband had his Bristol trip, and was home early, so came with me on the afternoon walk to Daughter's. On the way back Tom managed to lose a ball, he couldn't see where  it had landed, and despite him and us searching it remained lost, when they cut the field the grass isn't picked up, so it may have fallen under a clump of grass.
On Friday morning  I went up to Daughter's   to take Nathaniel's Birthday present, he was 2.  He was most put out that I hadn't taken Tom with me. Son in law was home as they were going to Whipsnade zoo.  I had decided to stay at home and keep Tom company, as dogs aren't allowed in the zoo. In the evening I walked up with Tom, and husband went straight there from work. We had dinner, then sang Happy Birthday, and we had a piece of the lovely cake, which Daughter had made. Nathaniel needed help to blow out the candle.
I wonder what is in this?

Ooh a fire engine

Clean t shirt , ready for the zoo

In the Night Garden Birthday cake

I like my fire engine

Saturday was fairly normal, except for taking Tom for walks, but by bedtime I was too tired for the last walk around the block. Husband took him out first thing on Sunday morning, then we went to church, came home and had lunch, after which the wanderers returned, sorted the car out and their friend who had left her car here departed with her stuff and her passenger. Then Tom's stuff was loaded into their car and Tom jumped in, and they set off for home. Husband and I crashed out, and only just made it to the evening service. We quite enjoyed having Tom and both got more exercise than usual,which is good. I will finish now,and write about the Bank holiday later.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

The Visitors

Well I am really late writing my blog, truth is I haven't been too well. I picked up a bug from husband. I couldn't stay awake at times, had a bad sore throat and now have a cough.
At the beginning of last week I was busy sorting stuff out after the bed move, I also painted the new bit of skirting board, and the old bit that was hidden for years by the boarding around the old central heating chimney. I was thankful for quick drying paint. I also put the guest bed together, made it up and put out towels for the expected visitors.
I relocated the travel cot, managing to squeeze it into Son's old bedroom. One good thing is that husband has said, 'We must go through all those storage boxes and see what can be thrown away or sent to charity shops'. This is what I have been saying to him for a long time. He even said he might get rid of some books, pass the smelling salts please! I am debating am I likely to read those Dickens tomes Little Dorritt  and Bleak House again? Can I make myself put them in the charity shop bag? Some of my childhood books I will not part with, mostly old Sunday School prizes, and a book awarded to me as a prize by the Open air Mission beach mission, for quoting a text for every letter of the alphabet.  I was 12, and didn't have long to learn them, fortunately it was  only part verses, such as 'all we like sheep have gone astray, blessed are the pure in heart, come unto me all ye that labour' and so on. Not sure I could remember them all. My Dad, who was very religious helped me on that . After I was converted I re read that book, and read it with new eyes.
At Weight watchers I was down again, still haven't lost the holiday weight, but slowly getting there.I seemed to spend a fortune at Sainsbury's, water softener cartridges were on my list, they are expensive, but were half price. When I was putting stuff away later, I discovered that we still had some, husband had moved them from their usual place. Oh well, they may not stay half price, so just as well I got them. I also collected some ironing which I had taken up to the ironers, as I'd been too busy sorting things out to do it.
 Our Son and his wife, and Tom the dog arrived at around 10 pm. They had tickets for the athletics heats at the Olympics. I was surprised at Son's keenness, this is the lad whose proud boast was that he never took part in a school sports day at Secondary School! His wife was quite keen to go and as he said it's a once in a lifetime experience. They didn't stay up too late and settled the dog, who refused to lie down till I switched the light off.
Husband had taken himself off to bed at about 9pm on Tuesday, having fallen asleep in a chair. He was complaining of a sore throat and feeling hot. He was still in bed at 9 am, but complained that he hadn't slept all night. So he had been at home all of Wednesday too. He didn't feel up to going in on Thursday, I awoke with a start at 6 am wondering if the young people wanted a lift to the station, but Son had gone to fetch the car. Tom, the dog, was in the living room, so I made a fuss of him, then made some tea and went up for a shower. Just after 7 am I was on the local field, throwing a ball and watching Tom streak after it, it is lovely to watch him move. My feet got soaked from the dew, after a while the ball was getting increasingly soggy with saliva, so I put his lead back on  and walked home. I rinsed the ball under the tap.the had breakfast, and left husband to sit with Tom whilst I fetched Nathaniel. It was good to have another person around. As soon as he came through the gate Nat said 'Ooh dog' as the back door was open. They were a bit wary of each other at first, but gradually made friends, although sometimes Tom got a.bit tired of Nat's overenthusiasm, so I made sure they were on different sides of the safety gate.Husband felt well enough to supervise them in the garden for a while.
making friends

enjoying the sun

getting ready to throw

Nat's 'I've been told off and I don't like it' pose

Much to Tom's relief I took Nat out in the buggy and did my best to tire him out in the local play area. He refused to sit in the swing, preferring to climb the steep steps of the slide which is about six feet or more off the ground, and fearlessly slide down several times. He ran around for a bit and crawled through the tunnel, then headed off for the gate. I managed to get there with the buggy whilst he was still trying to work out how it opened, and plonked him in the buggy and we set off for home. After lunch I put him up for nap, he protested at first, but settled pretty soon, and husband, dog and I all took advantage and napped ourselves.
where is that ball?

Dogs are the funniest thing ever!

How high can I hold it ?

having more fun

Daughter came to collect Nathaniel, and later, the wanderers returned, and having already eaten, went to visit Daughter and Son in Law for a while.
On Friday husband went into work, he felt a tad better, but had to go in to collect his work laptop, as he was due to work from home on Monday. The young people went into town for new tyres, and later I took Nat out to town in the buggy to get a refund on a pair of trousers which although my usual size were too tight, and actually measured 2 in less than another pair which I have! according to the assistant 'they can vary by 2in, we give them the instructions, but it depends on which country they are made in' !! I said 'Perhaps it's time everything was made in this country again' M&S used to be so strict about such things. I also transferred some money, as I've had to book accommodation for our next Wales visit. I bought Nat a drink in M&S, as it was so hot but when I offered it to him I saw he was asleep.
I phoned the other  two to tell them I was on my way home, they had been in the park with Tom. We had quiche and salad for lunch, then later son went up for a nap, so he would be refreshed for their evening journey.  I chatted to Daughter in law as she played with Nathaniel. It's so long since they actually stayed with us, but was lovely to see so much of them. Daughter came to collect Nat again and stayed chatting almost till dinner was ready. They seemed to have enjoyed their Olympic visit, rather them than me, I cannot stand large crowds, and although the competitors did well in the fields for which they had trained, I still find it all incredibly boring. People are either capable of great athletic feats or they are not. If someone is not the right build, they will not do well, I learned that form my Daughter's primary school teacher, a very sporty man, who recognised that we all have our strengths and weaknesses. It was nice to see the Christian athletes giving Glory to God.
If I had medals to hand out one would go to the surgeon who did my operation. Fifteen months ago, I couldn't raise my arm above my head, and changing gear was painful, now I can lift a 2 stone child. Another medal would go to the anaesthetist, who recognise a nervous patient and put me out before I could say anaesthetic, and the physios who worked tirelessly with me in the hydro pool, as they do with others every day, would get medals too.
Our visitors left late on Friday evening,  Saturday, we walked into town, did the shopping, ate sandwiches in town, then got the bus back up. I fell asleep on the sofa Saturday evening, I had a dry hacking cough and a scratchy sore throat. I just about managed to fix lunch on Sunday, but spent a lot of time asleep, no church, as I was afraid of falling asleep and /or coughing through the sermon. I'm not quite back to normal, but the sore throat has gone. Good thing as I have Nat again tomorrow, how time flies! hope all my readers manage to stay bug free. PS, you should see Tom leap over the safety gate, I didn't manage a picture.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

A carpetting, a lurgy and a bed swap

Well another busy week,  lots of things done, but the house was and remains a tip. On Monday morning it was my car's turn for its MOT and service. I keep saying Ford's is too expensive, but as I'd neglected to look around for anywhere else, and I was up there anyway getting the door fixed, I decided to book it in. I took it in first thing Monday morning, then walked into town. I was wearing my pedometer, and apart from a diversion into Asda to buy some stuff and use their loo, by the time I had got to the bus stop at Debenhams it had registered 2.5 miles, so not as far as I had originally thought. I wonder how far it would be if I walked back the way I drive there?
 I got the bus up the hill, had a cup of coffee, and rang the odd job man, who said he hoped to be here on Wednesday. Whilst in town I'd had a phone call from the carpet shop, the message hadn't been passed on, so I confirmed the order, and was told that they could fit it Thursday afternoon. So that wouldn't leave much time for me to paint the skirting board, oh well! I got stuck into the furniture removing, and junk removing, Soon our Son's old bedroom was piled high with stuff . I removed stuff from his old bed, then dragged Daughter's old bed through, piled that on top, then piled more stuff on top of it.
Later I collected my car, it had passed its MOT, and I'd had one advisory job done. the list of advisories in total comes to probably more than the car is worth, but the guy who did the MOT said that probably only one of those would make it fail its MOT next time. One thing that I like about Ford's is that they clean my car inside and out,(except where the junk is, tissues, spare waterproof, local map and GB atlas). I also get Nectar points, and Nectar had sent me a voucher for 900 point to use at Ford.
On Tuesday I  set about vacuuming the old carpet, then getting it up. It had to be cut into 3 pieces to take to the dump. then I vacuumed the old underlay, which had a fine dust all over it, something from the carpet backing had obviously broken up over the years. I had to vacuum everything to reduce the effect it would all have on my asthma. Try as I might I couldn't shift the Ikea wardrobe which Daughter had left behind, it didn't seem to have any bits to grab. I went to Homebase for something and spotted some beautiful variegated Dahlias, which I thought I might buy later.
First thing on Wednesday morning I rang the odd job man to ascertain when he would be coming, he said around 2 pm, so that was good. it meant I could go to Weight Watchers, and stay to the class. I also loaded all the old carpet bits, and some other odds and ends I had found, to take to the dump. I had lost one and a half pounds, so am back to what I was 2 weeks ago.  I visited the dump, emptied the car, came home and had lunch, then later went to Sainsbury's for the weekly shop. Then over to Homebase for some paint and a pack of those dahlias

gazania planted last week

The moon was quite full and bright last week and I managed to take some interesting pictures, but I didn't use my tripod as it was buried somewhere in the small bedroom, so some were a bit wobbly.

Husband helped me to move the Ikea wardrobe and we left it in the doorway of the back bedroom. so that room was completely blocked off, but no one could see the junk piles.
Whilst I was sorting through the built in cupboard I found this:
The morning on which our Daughter was born, (31 years ago tomorrow), husband set off on a high to look for a toy for her. When he visited that afternoon, this was unwrapped and tied to the cot. It has a long digit on each limb, and corresponding holes in mouth, ears and nose!
The odd job man arrived late, but did a pretty good job, and didn't charge the earth. However as there was glue needing to set, I couldn't start to paint the skirting board, it would have to wait till after carpet was laid. My elder sister phoned whilst he was here, she was off to visit the other sister the next day in North Wales, too far for me to join them. Daughter phoned to say Nat wasn't well, he seemed hot and lethargic, and she was going to make an appointment online for the Doctor, did I prefer Dr P or Dr D. I said Dr D, he is the one who retired last year but is doing part time atm, the next morning she still wasn't sure about leaving him, but she went off to work and he threw a wobbly for a short while, but then cheered up. I got him to my house and he was clingy and hot, so I had to cuddle him, but then persuaded him into the buggy so we could go to the Doctor's. Dr D was very good with him, and declared he had a red throat, a virus as his tonsils were ok, and he would have a fever for 3 days and get a cough, which he was already showing signs of. He gave advice on how to deal with high temperatures, then I went to the pharmacy and bought children's Nurofen to alternate with Calpol if that didn't deal with it. He fell asleep in the buggy and I nipped into Sainsbury's, then came home and left him asleep in the buggy. when he awoke he was grumpy, and hardly ate any lunch. the afternoon was spent alternately cuddling and playing, and he wanted to watch In the night garden on iplayer, but found it difficult to stay upright
The carpet fitter rang to say that the van had broken down, but he would be along later, he was going to collect the carpet in his estate car. He arrived so late that I had to ring Daughter and ask her to collect Nat, which she didn't mind. Husband was also home just as the carpet fitter left, so we all trooped up to see it.
The colour is actually duck egg

On Friday when I collected Nat they'd had bad night with him, and he wasn't quite ready. however, he was ok, and when I got him home here I gave him some grapes and raisins  as he hadn't had breakfast. His temperature went up, despite the calpol  so I sponged him down with tepid water, I'd managed to get the cot back up, he'd been quite perturbed at not being able to find it the previous day, wandering round upstairs saying 'Cot, cot'. He wanted a nap, so I settled him, and then came down and vacuumed all downstairs then washed and polished the kitchen floor. When he woke up, he was still very hot so I gave him nurofen, and a drink. We went out for a while and there was a downpour and I got soaked, he was ok as I deployed the raincovers. He did try to eat some lunch, but was more keen on the fruit than the bread course.
The he felt better and whilst I sat on the sofa longing for a nap, he played and asked to be read to. Eventually Daughter rang to say she had been let out of work early due to an office changeover, so she would come and collect him. I had been contemplating doing his dinner, but he had flaked out again on the sofa, so she came and cuddled him for a while here.
Then he insisted on Grandad carrying him to the car. We were rather late having dinner, but as it was chicken livers with bacon it didn't take too long.
Saturday was bed changeover day, but as husband dismantled Son's old bed we began to have misgivings. There were gaps in the frame in which Nat could possibly get his head stuck  Eventually we managed to contact Daughter, they were running late, so we drove up there, and they were having lunch, Nat wasn't eating his though. So eventually the guest bed was loaded up to take to our house, so  we all came  back here, decided to add Son's old mattress to the stuff for the dump. He'd had the same mattress for a few years before we bought the low bed, and he'd not been too careful with his soft drinks, so the mattress had got  coke stains. Daughter and husband had stuff to take to the dump, so after a quick confab, we laoaded the buggy into our car. called back at Daughter's  and picked up a jacket for Nat and his nappy bag, and we took him into town with us. One of the first stops was M&S cafe for lunch. Nat managed to eat most of a cheese and ham toastie and some fruit, so is obviously getting his appetite back. By the time we got to the fruit and veg stall they were closing up, so I only got apples and pears. Nat was asleep in the buggy, and husband and I met up again in M&S, where I bought some veg and our usual assortment of  their food.
Back to the car, husband had been chuffed to find a space in the parent and toddler section, some people parked there seemed to have very large toddlers, about 6 or7! As we loaded Nat on Board he awoke. We got home, unloaded the shopping and Nat, went indoors and after a while husband tried to doze in his computer chair, whilst Nat busied himself with toys including the xylophone!. His parents were so late coming to pick him up, they'd had to go to the dump at Watford, then  later return the van to Watford, Daughter phoned to say they wouldn't be long, and we got Nat ready for home. He found one shoe, then spoke his first full sentence, 'Where's the other shoe?', he's heard Daughter and me say it so many times.
Sunday has been relatively peaceful and normal, but this evening we had 3 torrential downpours, one when we were in church.  It was quite noisy.
Well it's after midnight now, so it's happy Birthday to my Daughter.