Wednesday, 30 March 2016

March is on ...

... the wane.  ¼ of the year gone already.  Scary!  

Last year - March - just a few photos ....
Eldest granddaughter and boyfriend ... and they're still together a year later.
Eldest granddaughter as a model for the local college hair show.  She took part as a 'contestant' in her last year at school.  This year, as a student, she helped out another.
Brother - looking so much like my Dad it's frightening.  All to do with the angle of the dangle *grin*
A few taken recently - March 2016 ... nothing crafty!
Me, OH, Bro & SiL
Me, OH, nephews and niece.  Nephew's (in green) 21st - our most recent star in the family.
Eldest and youngest .... Easter Saturday - and yes, that is a height difference
A rare event although one is missing but, having the grandkids (including the great) all together in one place cannot be a missed opportunity.  Eldest granddaughter was working.  Sad for me, good for her.
Oh yes, one other crafty thing happened in March .... I did something I've never done before.  I won some blog candy *happy dance*.  A lovely large bag of crafty goodies arrived all the way from Northern Ireland from Lee/Crafty Loops ...

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Sunday, 27 March 2016

It's officially ...

... spring.  Meteorological Spring was 1st March, Spring equinox was 20th March and today we moved to British Summer Time (BST), or daylight saving.  Can safely say it's Spring - and Easter Sunday!  7pm and it's still reasonably light.   I love the lighter evenings.  Bring on Summer, but let's have some decent summer weather! 

I'd intended to post midweek but somehow time has gone away from me and it never happened.  Been a busy week.  Busy doing nothing, or so it seems, but feel as though I've done a lot, which I must have - just doesn't seem like it.

There's been some good news, and not such good news, with OH.  The pain is still under control but fluid is starting to gather again.  After 3 months in the hospice last year due to extreme fluid retention and it taking that length of time to get to the bottom of it and deal with it we're not too keen on it coming in again.   It may be a bit of a trade-off though because it seems that the pain control has worked because of reducing his diuretic substantially.  In reducing that they've been able to try different pain relief, and a higher dose, than if he was on the original dose of diuretic.  Unfortunately it seems as though the diuretic has been reduced too much now so some fine tuning needs to take place.  It was looking as though he may have been home sometime this coming week.  Perhaps not - until they've done the fine tuning!

Eldest has confirmed he's not so in love with OCRs as he has been.  Think his midlife crisis is passing.  He still does the odd one but not as many.  He'd planned on running his first marathon next month but has decided against.  He's had a problem with his right knee for a number of years (seems to be a weakness in the family with knees) and has decided that road running aggravates it, although running through woodland, on softer ground, through mud and water and dealing with obstacles of all shapes sizes doesn't so much.  He ran the Hastings Half Marathon last year, intended to this year, but didn't in the end.  He'd entered, just never did it ... pretty much as he's done with the Brighton Marathon.  He'd applied for the London Marathon but didn't get in.  Just as well as it's turned out.  
March 2015 - Hasting's Half Marathon
The appropriately named NUTS Challenge OCR ... March 2015.  Eldest and DiL
Think my son's have a problem with reaching 'middle' age.  Youngest is doing his first OCR later in the year.  Workmates have entered him.  Crazy  .... now I wonder where they get it from???  Not that I'd ever do crazy things.  It wasn't me going jet-skiing or paragliding for the first time at the age of 60 *grin*

When I was sorting out some space to give youngest on his return home I found a fair bit of archery gear, including old bows, arrows and maintenance equipment.  As there's no way any of us will ever 'arch' again it was taking up needed space so onto eBay it went.  All bar 3 items sold so I'm happy.   10 items have left the building and I've a nice empty space that they took up.  I tried selling a 'vintage' travel cot as well.  It hasn't gone.  That could end up a charity shop donation - lol!  It's not been used in 13 years and I certainly have no use of it.

A make from last year, around this time. One of Clair's workshops.
Altenew stamps coloured with Prismacolors, highlighted with Wink of Stella (clear) and a die - MFT I think, but not sure.
I have a visit to make on Tuesday ... to the jeweller.  I'm hoping that my other ring is finally finished *big grin*  We'll see!

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Sunday, 20 March 2016

May be too ...

... early to celebrate so won't be holding our breath any time soon but ..... hubby has had 3 'good' days in a row *YAY!*  Does this mean they've finally found the combination to help deal with the pain?  Really hoping so but, as I say, we're not holding our breath just yet but keeping everything crossed.  They're monitoring him and he's still on a syringe driver but, if things continue as they are now he could be home soon???

I took him to the local PC World today.  He wanted to have a look at some gaming laptops.  Why I can only guess at.  He's got a bells and whistles PC he uses for his games.  He's got a bells and whistles laptop but not a gaming one.  He has a tablet.  Can't see the need for yet another piece of tech when he barely has anything on the stuff he's already got.  Insists on mega amounts of memory yet doesn't save a thing to them.  Crazy!  I've asked why he needs wants yet another one.  Haven't had an answer.

The kiddlies have had a couple of sleepovers here with their Dad.  I've managed to clear some space for them to have a 'play' corner and it's been 'personalised'.  Think they're happy with it.  I'll do more as and when I can for them but I have 'jobs' to do in preparation of OH coming home.

March has seen a couple of Clair's workshops.  Yet again, beautiful cards and great techniques.
Lavinia fairy stamp, distress ink background, Marianne flourish die, SU flower punch, Sunbeam embossing folder
Sunbeam embossing folder, SU dies and stamps.  Leaves and flowers are inlaid from the 'cut outs' cut from spray coloured card
I made a card under my own volition recently .... for my nephews 21st.  I used a technique learnt at one of Clair's workshops a couple of years ago.   Always good for a man's card *grin*
Sizzix Wordplay die for name, SU dies for numbers.  'Metal' work - aluminium foil tape with plaster board joint tape/scrim ... both from DIY stores
Just realised I missed this in February .... Valentines!  OH and I have never bought each other anything for Valentine's day.  To me it's for singles, not old marrieds as we found our 'valentine' when we got together and married but, this year he was in the hospice.   Hospice visitors/volunteers took in roses to give the patients and they were able to have one for the significant other.  OH got one for me and then made me bring his home as well!

Tomorrow is going to be a batch cooking day - something I started doing when OH was in the hospice last year.  Only started it to make it worthwhile cooking for myself.  Making meals in bulk and freezing so I had meals to hand instead of cooking for one all the time or buying ready meals.  I continued it when OH came home.  To spend 2 to 3 days cooking continuously - pots and pans on the hob and 2 slow cookers on the go - to save cooking for a couple of months (apart from the odd stuff that has to be done fresh) is soooo worth it to me.  I dislike cooking so would rather batch cook and get it out of the way and it provides us with non processed, fresh, healthy quick meals when needed.

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Thursday, 17 March 2016

Nothing much ...

... changes for hubby.  They're still struggling to get on top of his pain.  I've an awful feeling it's never gonna happen and he'll be coming home no better off than when he left.  If that happens it rather makes a lie of that mantra that's heard .... nobody needs to suffer pain.  They might not need to but it happens, despite everyone's best efforts!

Catch-up!  February 2015 and I had a Groupon deal for a massage at a therapists in Alfriston - the olde worlde village where eldest grandson married in 2012.  It was a reasonable afternoon, weather-wise, so I decided to go for a stroll and have a look round the village properly, which I didn't do on the day of the wedding.  It's a beautiful old village and the hotel that grandson married in was built in 1345.  Anyway, I had a lovely stroll on a beautiful afternoon in a wonderful location, fully relaxed following a brilliant massage .....
The Star Inn - centre picture
 The afternoon ended with the most beautiful sunset colours, as seen from the kitchen window ...
February 2015 also saw eldest and daughter-in-law (if you can't beat 'em, join 'em) continuing with their madness and competing in their first obstacle course race (OCR) of the year.  Madness! They don't seem so keen this year.  I'm wondering if they've - or should I say he's - got over this bit of his mid-life crisis *ROFL*
A brief catch up for now but it pretty much sees January and February 2015 done.

January and February 2016 have pretty much been stinkers.  Too much unhappiness, both within the family for various reasons and then with the numerous celebrity deaths starting with the legend that was David Bowie and still continuing this week.  Not all world famous, admittedly, but well known celebrities worldwide and some just more localised.  Don't think there's been a week since the beginning of the year without somebody passing over.  The age range is large. Some pretty much no surprise, although still sad, due to grand old ages, but others taken far too soon and who should have had many years ahead of them.  2016 is not being a very good year as yet ........ *very sad*

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Sunday, 13 March 2016

I feel ...

... pooped!  It's been a very emotionally draining week, one way or another.  Very tired.  I've had little ones around more than I'm used to nowadays.  Loved having them though and it looks as though it's going to be ongoing, for a while at least.  Youngest is still with me, hence little kiddlies being around more.  It's going to be quite a long road for the couple, sorting out what's gone wrong and the myriad of reasons.  Space and time should see them right, one way or another.

OH had an afternoon out of the hospice today.  Nephew was 21 in the week and had a celebratory lunch at a Chinese restaurant (Dragon Rustington) near where brother and sister-in-law live.  Extremely good value for money with an 'all you can eat' lunch and a lovely afternoon has been had.  OH managed 5 hours away so a good change of scene for him.  The medics gave me the meds he needed for the afternoon.  Just wish they were more effective.  Despite what some people would have you believe people do suffer pain, no matter how much palliative care they receive.  We're told by the anti euthanasia brigade hat nobody need suffer.  Somebody should try telling OH that right now (light the touch paper and stand well clear!) 'cos nobody yet has found anything to relieve him of the pain he's in, despite 3 weeks of trying and keeping him so dosed up he can't think straight and doesn't know whether he's arthur or martha - and that is on top of the pain he's suffered constantly over the past 30 odd years but has learnt to live with.  He's told them he's had enough and he's tired.  They're not letting him home yet, even if they manage, by some miracle, to deal with the pain.  Not unless his mindset changes!  I hope they can find something that will work, eventually, and that will give him his mind back because, as he is at the moment, he'll not return to driving or his sport and we did have high hopes that he'd be getting his life back this year after all the other problems he's had to deal with over the last 5.  This problem could be the one that will finally put the nails in that particular coffin.  I hope not as he'll really feel that his life has no further meaning

On to happier things.  Several crafty card workshops have been had so far this year.  There's been 3 lead by Vickie, whose workshops I started going to last year.  They're very different to Clair's but just as good in a very different way.  These are the makings so far from these workshops .....
All Stampin Up stamps, papers, inks and papers - from the Spring and Sale-abration 2016 catalogues
Again, all stamps, papers, inks & punches are from Stampin Up
All stamps, papers, inks and the 'Celebrate' embellishment - Stampin Up.
All the cards are the Stampin Up Notelet card size.  Not large but I love the size of the cards.  I'm thinking some need to find their way into my stock pile :O

I'm hoping to find some time to do a bit more catch up from last year ... which will, partially, involve a look around the area near to where I live.  If you ignore the town city on the doorstep, which I steer clear of as much as possible, I live in a beautiful part of the world - at least, I think so.  There are probably more beautiful places but there's so many different sorts of beautiful and I've recently started looking at some of these places and trying to picture life as it would have been, way back when some of the buildings were new.  Thinking about people who may have walked these paths so many years before me.  A couple of years ago I was walking streets in an area I'd never been before but, I knew my Great-Grandfather had lived there in the late 1800s.  I was probably, literally, walking in his footsteps ....... I was walking and trying to see that area as he would have done all those years ago.  Weird ... or not???

Here's an example.  On my birthday OH and I took a 'stroll' from our home into Rottingdean - around 1½ miles.  I took this picture of OH as we were passing St Margaret's church (Saxon, early 11th century) and I realised that the house behind him was The Elms - Rudyard Kipling's home in the late 1800s/early1900s.  We were travelling paths that he and his family would have travelled over 100 years before us.  I wonder which other footprints we travelled over on that day.
Another view of The Elms, with Rottingdean pond in the foreground and the war memorial (obscured by a bush - lol!) between the pond and the house.
Getting a bit deep now ... time I went to bed *LOL!*

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Sunday, 6 March 2016

Mother's Day ....

... or Mothering Sunday, whichever you prefer, here in the UK.  Not the best one I've ever had, it has to be said.  Things are afoot and OH is on new medications that have made him very argumentative and unpleasant.  Easier to come home (he's still in the hospice) than spend the afternoon arguing with somebody who won't listen anyway.   They can change these meds as soon as they like!  There's other things afoot as well.  Youngest has moved back home while he tries to sort himself and, hopefully, get his marriage back on track.  Not sure how successful that will be but it would be sad to see it end.  They've been together for around 27 years ... since they were 14.  Perhaps, therein, lies the ultimate problem???  Time will tell ....

Not in the mood for 'catch-up' today.  Requires a bit of brain power and it's all gone at the moment.  Fuzzy brain is ruling.  Trying to take on board all that is happening around me sometimes takes it's toll.  I'll be back to normal in a day or 2.  Bonus to this is though - I've been forced into doing some sorting and more decluttering which has been easy to ignore.  Perhaps I will get my craft room by the end of the year but I'm not holding my breath.  *LOL*

On the crafty front - I had a 'commission'.  Before Christmas eldest sent a random request.  He wanted to know if I could knit a pug dog *weird*  I sometimes wonder about my children even though they're both now grown and middle-aged (both 40+) men.  Anyway, long story short.  I've never made a stuffed toy in my life but said I'd give it a go and here's the end result ...... of which I'm pretty pleased.  There are mistakes but I know where they are.  Not sure anyone else would notice *wink*
Don't yer just love that curly tail???
Hopefully the next entry will be a bit more upbeat and have a bit of catch-up .....

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