Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Grandma's visit and after.

Our daughter and Son in Law were taking the family to a barbecue, on the bank Holiday Monday, so we collected Grandma, and gave her another roast dinner. She spent the afternoon with us, and admired the garden, she hasn't been up in the Summer for a while.  We had a small piece of the  Birthday cake.Then later we all went up to our Daughter's for tea. There was plenty left from the day before as our Daughter hadn't realised that her brother would be going home on the Sunday. We all had more Birthday cake.
On the Tuesday, Son in Law had things to do with job seeking, and we asked Daughter if she would like to come to the big garden centre  on the bypass. There wasn't enough room in her car for Grandma, so she came with us. Daughter was a bit careful with what she could spend, due to their current situation. We had lunch in the outside area as it was quite warm, and any mess the children made could be cleared up by the birds. Then they went off to play for a while in the play area. Grandma wanted something that she couldn't get locally,and has no transport anyway, so we helped her there I loaded up my trolley with mostly trailng plants for my containers. Sadly they had sold out of the Winston Churchill standard fuchsias, one of mine did not survive the winter, the other has few buds on one of last years stems. Later we dropped Grandma off at our Daughter's and kept her heavy stuff in the boot, ready to take home.
our honeysuckle

The tall ceanothus

One of the spreading ceanothus
some of our roses

Potentilla in the bottom corner

On the Wednesday I offered to take Mum in Law shopping, as she was planning to return home on the Thursday, so she could go to the funeral. She did not buy very much, but we had cool bag we could lend her to take the cold stuff home.  had bought some of the dairy free 'ice cream' which she likes, Daughter had bought some, and Mum in law bought a third pack.
We had been asked to babysit from 4 pm to 6 pm as our Son in Law had an interview and Daughter was meeting a friend in need. a lot of the time the children spent being read to by Great Grandma. however Daughter hadn't quite got the times straight and her husband was not home till about 7.30 had I known I could have fed the children and Grandma, but never mind.
On the Thursday, we collected Grandma and her stuff, and set off for the South Coast. we didn't leave till after the rush hour.The journey there was quite reasonable. Mum in Law said she would like to take us out to lunch, when we had a stop on the way down, but when we arrived at around 1 pm, husband said he wanted to be home by 4!
I told him we would never make it, so we had a bit of a break, but then set off. As we both thought he would get overtired, I drove to the services, where we bought food and ate it in the car. Then we set off with husband driving, but had a much slower journey,especially  on the M25. we arrived home a around 6.30 pm.
On the Friday we had a fairly lazy day, husband announced that he wanted to have a look for something in the local Aldi store. We have 2 now, so we visited both. They have been doing a lot of cycling stuff lately. I did buy some 'padded knickers', but they are nowhere near as thick as those which I bought online.
Saturday was the usual into town for shopping and bus back, and Sunday, church.
On the following Monday and Tuesday I got stuck into replanting my pots. I had to remove all the daffodil bulbs,and leave them for the foliage to die back. I used quite a lot of compost, and was not sure what to do with the old stuff. I rang the council,and they said not to put it in the green bin, which is where it always went, but to take it to the dump. After some conversation and a bit of thought, husband decide it should go in our compost bins,and we could save money by using our own 'home grown' compost for potting. I went to the supermarket on the Wednesday, and when I got back he wasn't home. I thought he had walked into town, but no he had gone off on a bike ride.
Son in Law had heard that he had been accepted for a job in Milton Keynes, so we didn't need to collect Lydia, she would  have Daddy care. When husband got back he had made it even further than last time, as far as Northchurch.
On the Thursday morning, our friends in Dunstable, with the miniature railway in their,garden were
having a Coffee morning, in aid of the Christian Charity for whom their Son works, Caring for Life, so we spent a pleasant part of a morning sitting in their garden, drinking coffee  and chatting. sadly there were not many people there, although others may have arrived after we left.
Home gain we got on with packing and sorting stuff, then husband decided to go on another bike ride, but I was too busy.He went South,as far as the grounds of the Grove in Noth Watford, although now it is a hotel they prefer to be known as the Grove Croxley Green.
Friday was spent collecting stuff together, packing the car, cleaning and tidying the house,setting up security lighting, and we set off at about 3.30 pm on our annual 2 week holiday. This time we were going back to St Ives. We stopped at Leigh Delamere, but the choice of food was not to our liking,so eventually we decided to go to the West Cornwall pasty company kiosk, and get a pasty and wedges.
We also had a  coffee, and then I went onto the small M&S store and got us a dessert each.
Later when we stopped at Taunton Dene for the night, I had a massive acid reflux, so had to go in search of indigestion tablets. that is why I rarely eat pasties, I always suffer afterwards. Husband would eat them every day if he could.
I had taken milk with me, and my supply of Ovaltine, but I realised I had no means of boiling the milk, I didn't fancy using the kettle, so I compromised with half hot water,and half milk. It didn't taste great, and I didn't get off to sleep very quickly. Still, we were half way on our journey.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Pictures from Grandma's Birthday

These all came up in the wrong place so I'm posting them separately

the cake


 The sunset

May madness

It was on the Saturday, the day after Tom came, when we were in town that I suddenly had what seemed a crazy idea. Husband's Mum was going to be 91 on May 24th. We could not go and see her, as we had to be here for our Son and family to collect Tom, and they were staying overnight. It was to be the start of the half term holiday, and Daughter had been talking about visiting her Grandma, but with her husband needing to be around for interviews, she hadn't made plans. Our Son's old bedroom has become more of a storeroom, but I did wonder if someone could collect Grandma, and could she possibly stay with our Daughter?
First I asked husband, he wasn't sure how it would work out. I then asked Daughter, she thought it a good idea, but wasn't sure that she could do the journey in one day, and would have to stay overnight.
In my Sunday evening chat to Mum in law, I put the proposal to her, and asked her to think about it.
I'd had some difficult news that weekend, my dear friend C who had seemed to be getting better, had deteriorated during the week and was being sent home for palliative care. I was quite upset at this news.
We didn't go on any bike rides that week we were busy taking Tom for walks. On the Monday it was raining and husband took him for a long walk, so I had to towel him down afterwards. On the Wednesday, when Lydia came, she made friends with him, and seemed to enjoy having him around. The weather was fine so they were in the garden.

Tom waits expectantly
Tom just loves affection
A complication with my plan arose. Grandma's next door neighbour had recently died, and she had found out that the funeral was to be on the Friday. She had also been expecting delivery of bean plants, and despite enquiries she couldn't find out when they were to be delivered. She had, apparently told the suppliers the whole story, including that her Grandson whom she saw infrequently, was to be there, and would have to get back to.... not being able to remember the county, she said it was near the Scottish borders. This caused quite a lot of amusement for us who were waiting for will she/won't she come. At one point she wasn't coming.
I then suggested that she could come on the Saturday, husband agreed to collect her, the beans duly arrived and were potted,and all systems were go. To be on the safe side I posted her gift, just in case.
On the Friday I was busy getting the front bedroom ready, I was going to phone C's husband, but thought I'd do it later, but then later in the morning got a call from a mutual friend saying that C had entered the presence of her Lord that morning. I felt so sad, I had known her for nearly 35 years.
I rejoice that her earthly sufferings are over, but remembering how well she was doing before her last stay in hospital,when she was so bright and cheerful.
That evening, husband was on the phone to his Mum finalising the arrangements for her visit,and he learned that she had waited in vain for someone to collect her for the funeral, only to discover later that she had got the date wrong and it was to be the next Friday.
Next morning husband set off bright and early,  I took Tom for his 'final' run around the local field, with the ball thrower, then I walked into town to do the shopping alone. I had bought a chocolate Birthday cake earlier in the week., but I had the usual weekend shopping to do. Husband had rung to say he was there, but Mum in law had also bought a chocolate cake, and should she bring it? It would go out of date on the 30th. I sighed, and said ok!
Husband arrived home late afternoon, he had taken his Mum straight to our Daughter's. I had lent her the bedlinen and towels that we usually use for Grandma. Our Son and his wife arrived later, they had stopped on the way for a meal, so I had made a minced beef cobbler just for 2. Ethan seemed to be getting more used to me, but he had to go off to bed. Then they chatted to us about the holiday.
The next day we were up relatively early, and it seemed along time till church, as I had no dinner to prepare. The family went off to the new church plant, and we went to our usual service. We popped home briefly, then drove to the place which we had chosen for Sunday lunch, for Grandma's Birthday treat. It was a good lunch, and afterwards we headed to our home, where I put candles on the cake I had bought, and we sang Happy Birthday, and Grandma blew them out. then I cut a wedge for Son and his wife to take home with them, and we all went out to the back to see them off. Sadly our Son had to work the next day, which was a bank holiday.
Lydia tackles her huge Yorkshire pudding

Grandma tucks in

some of the family
Lydia fell asleep on the sofa, so that delayed us going to Daughter's, so they took Nat to the local park with his scooter, Some of the rest of us had a bit of a doze, but the others returned with a crying boy, who had gone over the handlebars of the scooter on the footpath along our road and bashed his face. So I had to give him a cold wet flannel, as he wouldn't  anyone else deal with it.
Lydia woke up, and daughter and family went back home,and we took Grandma there,and had a scrumptious tea, and a piece of Grandma's Birthday cake. I forgot to mention that Son in Law had gone shopping, and thinking I wouldn't have bought a big cake had also bought a cake, so that was 3 Birthday cakes she had!! Of course having had a nap, Lydia was late to bed. Husband and I noticed there was a sunset, so we walked over to the playing field opposite their house and took a few pictures. A lovely end to a lovely day, perhaps my idea hadn't been so mad after all, the whole family had been together for a while, which is always good.
Sadly, when we got home I found there were 3 missed calls on my answering machine, when I rang the number, it was a family member to say that her husband had passed away, so I rang our Daughter, and spoke to Mum in law to tell her the sad news.