Monday, 17 October 2016

Light at the end of the tunnel - I think!

It feels like I'm missing in action but I will return.

A small update I contacted social services over my mum a couple of weeks back. They were sufficiently concerned for them to meet me at my mums house within an hour.

A senior social worker and a crisis intervention nurse met me and were so concerned with the state of mum that they phoned through to 999. They are also putting in a complaint against the Dr I called out to assess my mum the week previous.

That has pretty much been my life for the past two weeks. At first the medical team thought she was suffering from early onset dementia but she didn't fall into any of the symptom categories. She has had nearly every medical test going and thankfully isn't suffering from anything sinister. She has caught a serious infection whilst in hospital (as you do) which has caused a setback. The team now think she was and still is suffering from delirium. Yesterday was particularly bad, even I was concerned and it takes a lot for me to get concerned. 

Thankfully she seems to have turned a corner and once she is medically fit will be transferred to the local cottage hospital for rehabilitation. 

Which I will be grateful for - the two and a half extra hours spent travelling and visiting are starting to take their toll. I do have Friday evenings off though. 

I will be back blogging within a few weeks I'm sure, fingers crossed I may be able to do a proper post at the weekend.

I've been reading your blogs in work where unfortunately I can't leave comments but I am still around. Take care xx

Monday, 3 October 2016

Winter Project 2016

Jennifer over at Thistlebear is hosting this lovely event again. I enjoyed taking part last year even though I'm pretty sure I didn't participate each month. 

It's a lovely idea where we share the crafty items that we are working on and runs from October through to March.

So this is what I'm working on - 

My winter hat. The first of many I hope but not in this yarn as it was quite expensive. The yarn is alpaca and is sold by my new local yarn shop. The alpacas are within a few miles of my house and the yarn shop and then the yarn is actually spun within 35 miles. As soon as I read about it I knew I wanted some. The alpacas are a family group and my hat yarn is from the daddy 'Diamond Geezer' I also have one yarn cake from the daughter 'Peggy'. I really want another of Peggy to make a cowl. The yarn is like knitting with a cloud,  it is the softest squishiest thing possible! 

My quilt - this is a monthly subscription box and I received my ninth box last week. It is an EPP quilt containing mainly Liberty fabrics. Its gorgeous! Hopefully this afternoon I shall cut the fabric into the appropriate sizes and glue them to the pieces. I then sort each block pieces into separate bags so I can assemble each block when I have time. A little production line if you will! 

Finally crochet. Mike bought me the attic24 Harmony blanket pack as one of my birthday presents. My siblings gave me some money as well as the promise of afternoon tea from my sister. Naturally I converted this money into more yarn. As if I didn't have enough of the stuff already! 

The harmony pack came with the pattern which is a granny square design. The yarn  I bought is from the new Paintbox range. I did dither between the cotton and acrylic but decided on acrylic as I wanted to make blankets and the dog sheds like crazy! I plumped for three colourways, Fallen Leaves, Wanderlust and Winter Frost. 

I'm thinking of a large granny square from the Fallen Leaves, solid granny squares from Winter Frost and I'm not sure what design to plump for from the Wanderlust. We shall see.

So I have plenty of Wintery projects planned. Hope you do too x 

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Putting on my big girl pants

Trousers actually. Fitted camel coloured ones. They are very grown up looking and quite fitting for a 43 year old head of department. I think they are the most grown up piece of clothing I own. I looked down on them when I wore them in the week and felt very old indeed. 

They were in the sale hence why I bought them, I was actually looking for boots. The boots are a different matter, I wasnt happy shopping for boots. Even less so when I found a pair I thought I might like and assured Mike in a stressed voice that I had no need to try them on that they would do.

Mike sensibly kept his opinion to himself when at home I tried to force my fat little trotters into them and couldn't squeeze them in.  He kindly and quietly took them back and swapped them for the next size up. I tried them on briefly and the zipper couldn't or wouldn't pull up over my leg. You know as your face is meant to sag as you grow older, I strongly suspect that the fat oozes down your body and settles below your knees. I shall try again after before I have a large portion of chocolate fudge cake with squirty cream.

I want to thank you all so so much for your lovely kind thoughts and postings on my last blog post. It is truly a difficult situation to be in trying to care for an extremely selfish person. I deal with it in my normal manner by taking charge and humour. My brother still lives at home and is completely useless and my sister finds the whole situation quite upsetting and can't deal with it. I on the other hand have 'a deal with and get on attitude' which suits me quite well. 

I shall focus on the plus points of my week 

Rocky hound escaped earlier on this week. Rob phoned me just before he was leaving for work in a panic. Luckily a neighbour found Rocky and returned him. Rocky has never run off before and I can only presume he saw a cat as Rob opened the front door. 

I called the doctor out to see mum during the week as she was taking a turn for the worse. Unfortunately mum was at her most lucid. I had hoped they would whisk her away to hospital but she was fully with it and had a lovely conversation with the doctor. The doctor to her credit is concerned and has ordered blood tests and chest x rays and understands the difficulties of dealing with a pensioner who has neither washed or changed for four weeks and cant get out of bed. 

I had the most nearly perfect birthday last Sunday and received lots of lovely presents. Including a bottle of Welsh gin from the dog. I spent the day under a quilt on the sofa with my presents interspersed with three visits to my mums.  

I had cause to remember the time Mike proposed to me. Emma from HandmadeEm recently become engaged whilst on holiday and blogged about it. It was a lovely romantic time for her, Mikes proposal to me wasnt.

I cast my mind back many years ago - we were pondering our future you know the next step Mike had already moved in with me and his house was for sale. I like looking at pretty things and while Mike is extremely generous thoughtful he isn't or romantic come to that. We were perusing jewellery shop windows in Chester and came across the diamond rings. I pointed out an expensive one that I liked. I learnt over the years not to point things out as Mike just buys them without any thought. Any way Mike bought this ring, a beautiful diamond trilogy ring stupidly expensive and I wore it for several days on my  right hand. I received a phone call a few days later from Mike he had realised just how expensive the ring was and perhaps it should be an engagement ring. He took the ring from me later on that week and I excitedly began to think about the big romantic proposal he had planned. Expect it wasnt, he walked into my office one morning with the ring, a bottle of champagne and a bunch of roses. I thought I'd get it out of the way he said - pillock! 

Jo over at Throughthekeyhole is hosting her Twelve days of Christmas swap again, the sign ups are closing on the third or the fourth of this month so sign up quick you might be lucky and get me! I do have a couple of hours of crafty time each evening. Also Jennifer from Thistlebear is hosting her Winter Project link party. I shall be linking up during the week with a quilt and hat I'm making and  quite possibly several blankets with the amount of wool I had for my birthday :)

Well I think that's me up to date no photos or other news I'm sorry oh apart from I have a lovely yellow coat for winter - it's divine - very happy looking. 

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Bits and bobs

I wont be on blogger much over the next few weeks. My mum is slowly passing away and it is starting to take its toll!

The toll being dealing with a mentally competent older person who is actually seriously ill but denies medical intervention. Actually denies there is anything wrong at all, in the fact that she knows there is something wrong but refuses to do anything about it. Bloody selfish really. 

My parents for newer readers were not the best parents, not the worst by a long shot but certainly not the best. They were exemplary grandparents and my main focus at the moment is helping my children deal with this. 

Apologies for any bad grammar or spelling mistakes I'm tired. Dealing with the above, errant siblings, GCSE exam revision (not mine), Mike working away etc etc work isn't too bad.....

Some funny's to brighten this post

I've joined Instagram, quite by mistake may I add. My eldest donated his old Ipad to me and I was messing around one evening. Honestly its that easy.

Mike and I were putting the garden to bed over the weekend. We were (I) cutting one of the shrubs back and discovered oodles of caterpillars on it! I forgot about them until yesterday until my eldest shouted me from upstairs. Please bare in mind that he graduated from uni with honours! Whats this on my bed? Erm caterpillars darling!!! pfft

Its my birthday at the weekend. We have put all major plans on hold no Yarndale or nice days out, Or meals come to that I shall be unjoying Kentucky fried rat at my mothers. She might eat some of it you see (she hasn't for the past 10 days) What the hell i'm going to have from there chips and corn on the cob possibly. I digress Mike has bought me lots of lovely presents I will be well and truly spoilt I've ordered a few of them (on Mikes say so) I placed an order at WoolWarehouse for a blanket pack, some extra wool and while I was at it a couple of Tulip crochet hooks. I wasnt paying, what can I say. Except one of the hooks I have placed in the blanket pack and the other has been squirreld? away with my extra yarn. Bad person Joanne Bad person.

I shall try and remember my blogger password so I can comment in work as it is where I am reading your blogs.

Hope all is well take care xx

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Swap update

Just a quick one as I keep on forgetting to post about the dishcloth swap I took part in recently. 

I've seen this swap for several years now and finally put my name down for it earlier on this year.

Kimberly over at CreativeChaos hosts an annual dishcloth swap. 

I was actually partnered up with Kimberely which was nice so I had a good search through my patterns and looked on raverly for the ideal cloth to knit. 

Pretty isn't it and was actually really quick to knit. Just as well really as I ordered the yarn especially for it and accidentally ordered from America! The yarn is Sugar n Cream and is really nice to knit with.

Along with the dishcloth you include some kitchen bits and some chocolate which I happily did so and off my package went to New Zealand. 

In return Kimberley sent me

The tea is divine, I drink a lot of herbal tea and I think I have three of these left! The sweets are unique to New Zealand I believe and are very different to Cadburys here. Now we all had a good taste and we think they are closely related to smarties. Quite possibly the fatter cousin! 

Right just a quick post from me as the boy was back in school yesterday and I'm still finding my feet. Not that I have a lot to do though to help him on his way though! x

Monday, 29 August 2016

A road long travelled

I'm back in work tomorrow - meh. Mike actually said I could leave if I liked but Harry is off to uni (hopefully) in four years and I like to save more towards that. 

Who knows though in seven years I could retire. Exciting possibilities ahead.

Apart from three years away I've always lived here. I bought a house just round the corner from my parents. Quite a few of my childhood friends did the same and now my youngest son is friends with their children. Some are also in the same year group at school which is nice.

I was very blessed last week as Mike did the majority of the dog walking. I only took Rocky out on Saturday as Mike was fishing. 

Rocky and I almost always take the route above, so close to my house I could almost touch it. The cut off for the primary school is just by the bend in the top photo. The school which my siblings and I attended and our children too. 

This road is still much travelled by us all. My sister lives at the very top out of sight just round the corner.  Harry wanders up and down it each day to meet his friends in the village. They've had a wonderfully idyllic school summer holiday. The group of them tramping up and down the lane and through the fields. It's also the route to and from secondary school if walking.  Similar to me at that age.

They are too old now to find old dens made in the hedgerows, explore the ditches looking for creatures or paddle in the shallow stream. I think they still visit the small wood of which there are two.

Times change of course. The farm is now a farm park, the small field where the best hedges for making dens was sold  and a few houses were built there about 20 years ago. 

Times might change but thoughts seldom do.

"Joanne, where do those little girls I see visiting next door live"?
"In those new houses at the bottom mum"

My thoughts were interrupted as Rocky and I returned from our Saturday morning walk. I spotted three young boys in the middle of the road by the houses. Naturally I knew the boys and how long their families had been living there. Bikes akimbo on the road as is the traditional position here often as goal posts. Never on the pavement and there is always a mad scramble when a car approaches. 

They were looking at something in the middle of the road and as I came into view they looked up at me.
One of the boys I know very well as he is the youngest brother of one of Harry's closest school friends. His father was a childhood friend of mine. This boy has chosen to call me 'Harry's mum'

'Harry's mum Harry's mum there's a frog in the middle of the road'

'Pick him up and put him in the hedge then'

'Ew' said three seven year old boys together then 'Oh no a car is coming, it's going to get squished' - mad scramble to remove bikes.

The frog wasnt squished and after the close escape one of the boys decided he would be brave and pick it up. Except the frog had enough by this time and was unnervingly to the boys hopping off. 
Now they were worried for their new friend so one made a grab for it but really did not like the feeling of the frog and started grimacing. 

I handed Rocky over and the took the frog to put in a place of safety. Rocky was rather exhausted by all this palaver so a short talk on frogs was given and the hound and I returned home for a much deserved rest and treat!  

This is my greenhouse frog - Francis x 

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Treat time!!

In lieu of a holiday away this year due to a mother faffing around(mine) and a reluctant teenager Mike and I have treated ourselves to a stay-cation. 

A whole week away from the office - how blinking divine -smiley face - smiley face. Admitting to the fact that I've cast more than one look at the emails on my phone because a) I'm expecting a couple of important ones from the police and b) one came through about a meeting in London which gives me time to wriggle my way out of it. Another smiley face or three!

We've been out for several nice meals, spent an exorbitant amount on Harry's school uniform. The cost was so scary I declined Mikes kind offer of a visit to Seasalt.  Honestly the cost of buying a uniform for a child who is in adult sizes. Harrumph!!!!

I did however visit the new local yarn shop. Swoony? smiley faces here!

Yarn o'clock is filled to the rafters with British yarn and is absolutely delightful to visit. I have a trip planned for next month. Anne the owner has a little corner where she sits and knits and is so lovely and helpful. 

My loot

The mustard yellow one is WYS 4ply because I have rather fanciful ideas of knitting socks. Ann the owner kindly showed me the magic loop method and after two days of blood sweat and tears have made a good start. 
The rather fancy caterpillars are yarns dyed especially for Yarn O'Clock by Fivemoons. The deep purple is a Tibetan DK is called Vampire's Tipple. Very soft and very squidgy and made from SW Merino, silk and Yak. I have this earmarked for some mittens featured in the autumn edition of  Pom Pom magazine.
The multicoloured yarn is a lace weight as I have even more fanciful idea of knitting a lace shawl. I really am getting above myself. The colours include shades of grey, black, purple, lilac, red and pink and is named Winter.
Can you see the two cream coloured balls or I think cakes are a better word. This really is special stuff. 
Cartref Alpacas is based a few miles away from where I live and a little closer to the shop. It is then spun about 35 miles away. So it really is locally produced yarn. 100% undyed alpaca. I got a little carried away when giving it a good squidge in the shop and picked up a ball of Diamond Geezer (the daddy alpaca and a ball of Peggy (a daughter). Before I visited the shop I knew I wanted to make a hat out of this yarn. Mike very nicely went back to the shop this morning and bought me another cake of Diamond Geezer.I'm going to see if we can visit the place after I've knitted my hat.

Don't feel sorry for Mike, he had a new fishing rod, reel and a tent thing. xx