Thursday, 31 March 2011

Hospital visit ...

... over and - well, we wait! Seems his kidneys are very complicated - aarrgghhhh! Well, guess they had to be as nothing ever seems to be normal where we're concerned. I suppose it's good not to be normal, whatever normal is, but there are times when it would be OK. Yes, really it would *grin* 

Seems both kidneys have cysts but apparently that's not unusual as we age (he said, consultant that is, that most of us have them) however, Paul's right kidney has the 'not unusual' little ones but also has a ma-hoooooo-sive one (and trust me, it is BIG). This ma-hoo-sive one is not filled with fluid as normal but is more solid and has white 'bits' which is calcified 'stuff' and suggests that he's had a bleed into the cyst at some point. Consultant not too worried about it but wants it checked at regular intervals to see if it changes or not. If not it is going to be left alone but if it does then he will be rethinking and action will need to be taken but it will be a last resort. He laughed at Paul's suggestion to 'whip it out' saying that certainly wasn't on the cards. Good thing - there's nothing to suggest cancer *phew!*  

In passing he made comment about the state of Paul's spine. He said it 'wasn't good' Huh? Understatement or what? Guess we didn't already know that - *lol* My comment to that was "that's why he's in a wheelchair" *grin*. He went on to show us on the MRI saying, it's full of holes and got bits of bone sticking out all over the place. Hmmm, holes? Yep, that'd be where he had the laminectomies that took a couple of discs away and were left unfilled for scar tissue to do the job. Guess that last bit never happened if there's still holes 25 years later. Shame.  All the scar tissue went the opposite direction then and mangled all the nerves at the base of his spine - *duh*. The bits of bone sticking out could just be aggravating the pain he gets from mangled nerves. Wise words from consultant? ... "With a spine like that you will have permanent and substantial pain."  Yep, got that one right! Pity he wasn't a 'back' man - he might be able to sort that out as well ... or maybe not.

Anyway, we did come away a little confused. Seems consultant can't understand why oncologist discharged him. He says that, although the cancer has compromised a lymph node, radiotherapy is still an option as it has been found to have benefits even with the cancer in the lymph node, especially when it is being well controlled as Paul's now is. He's told us that he may well be transferred to a different oncologist so it could be that the 'discharge' could be rescinded. The urologist said that he will be discussing Paul's case at their next meeting so that story may continue ....

No jobs done at home - feel really tired today so having some chill out time and even a ready meal for dinner - *lol*! In the meantime, a couple of weeks ago - in fact just after Red Nose Day, one of our forum members posted a little story of an experience she had. I asked if she minded me putting it on blog and today she said I could (she's been on holiday). Take time to read. It is just soooo funny it had me in tears of laughter and it was even worse when I read it to Paul and we both ended up having to wipe the tears away. It's not often I find something that I think is this funny - just hope you do to and please remember ... it is a TRUE story!  Thanks Brenda (Megapixie) - you couldn't make it up!
(copied and pasted directly from the forum - hence the pretty colour ...)

A Red Nose Day tale.
Last week I put my change in the Sainsbury's collecting bin every time I shopped. Today I found I still had a tenner in my purse so thought I'd donate that. No more collections in Sainsbury's, so as I was going to the bank it could get paid in there. I finished my routine banking and then asked to donate, like they said on the telly. The teller said they had no Comic Relief slips, and hadn't actually had any at all this year. Right.......
On to Oxfam. They still have a window full of noserabilia so it's a good bet, like they said on the telly.
I approached elderly till lady and asked to make a donation to Comic Relief.
'Oh no dear, we only support Red Nose Day.'
'It's the same thing, Red Nose Day is a Comic Relief fundraising event,' says I.
'It's finished now' she told me.
'I'm sure that they will accept donations now, and you still have their merchandising on sale.'
'We don't have a donations form for Red Nose day, so you can't give to just that charity, it will be for Oxfam or DEC. Or you can buy something, but it's out of date now anyway,' was the reply.
A browsing customer with a huge and silly grin on his face came over to help me out. His suggestion was a good one, buy a Red Nose and just forget to take it home. The manageress also turned up at this point and agreed that was the best plan.
Right, I decided I would buy a nose, and the manageress said I could pay whatever I liked for it, a tenner then.
The till lady asked me to choose which nose I'd like and scanned it.
'That's a pound' says she.
I gave her the £10 and said I wanted no change. She asked if the £9 was a donation to Oxfam. I said 'no, it's for Comic Relief'. She looked confused, the browsing man's grin got larger and the manageress started to look harassed and I heard a titter from behind the shelves.
The till lady then told us that if I paid £10 for 1 nose the till would be wrong at the end of the day, so the manageress suggested I buy 10 noses and not take them home. Good idea, that's what I'll do. Till lady explained to manageress that that wasn't a good solution as I didn't want 1 nose let alone 10, and by time the next Red Nose day came around there would be different noses anyway so it would have been a waste of money.  Aaaaaarrrrgggghhhhhhh.
Manageress and I assured till lady that it would be fine, just scan the nose another 9 times. Till lady asked me if I'd like to choose a selection rather than just have the one design. I am losing the will to be charitable by now, but for pragmatism's sake agreed and gave her 1 of each to scan. Phew.
At that point the manageress decided that the poor till lady's dignity might just have to be sacrificed and gently moved her away from the till. Mistake! As she moved aside the wrong button was activated and my bill went from £10 to £1,000. Till lady nearly had the vapours, browsing man was now promoted to laughing man. He asked where I was going to keep 1000 red noses. I asked the manageress if Oxfam deliver. Till lady looked at me as if I'd asked a very silly question. Manageress just smiled serenely and said 'only in exceptional circumstances'.
It was agreed that since they could not deliver and I couldn't carry 1000 noses home she'd cancel the transaction and we'd just go with the original 10.
I finally got to hand over my £10. I got my receipt, and as I left the shop I heard a little, elderly voice say' she's forgotten to take her noses' and some stiffled guffawing from laughing man and customer behind shelf.
Sometimes the urge to punch old ladies is very strong. But hey, I did something funny for money and made at least 3 people laugh. If you didn't donate yet, do it for me. PLEASE.

Thanks for dropping by .....

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Yay! ...

... don't yer just love it when a plan goes to plan - *lol*  Kitchen is at the stage I wanted so will be finished Friday/Saturday.  I've 4 boxes of breakables for the Dogs Trust shop along with 3 big bags of unbreakables.  The worktops are no longer buried - in fact, the kitchen looks decidedly empty and everything is now better organised although that's taking some getting used to *hehe*  I think the endorphins and adrenalin are kicking in and, apart from the breathing problem, I'm feeling good right now.  Can't wait to get on to the next major project, house-wise.  Would love to finish the kitchen off tomorrow but there's important business to be had at the hospital.  It's Paul's appointment with the Urologist so hopefully we'll know what the problem is with the kidney - or not!

I've finished sorting the year book photos and they've been saved to a disc.  Wallet to make to go in the back of the year book and that's another project finished :0)  I'm on a roll and don't it feel good ... *grin!*  Pity the weather has decided to turn nasty after all the sun we've had lately but guess we need a bit of rain as well.  Just wish it wasn't all or nothing.

Quick question.  Where would you wear a corn plaster?  Your feet, right?  Well, not Paul,  He's wearing them at the base of his thumb.  Yeah, I know he's getting on now but he's not quite senile.  His hand surgeon suggested he try them to protect the screw that's in his thumb 'joint' and that has to be there for another couple of months.  We can feel it and it moves sometimes.  If he catches it he jumps through the roof with the pain it gives him so surgeon thought that if he could have the raised felt ring around the screw it would help prevent it from being knocked.  Works to a point but it's not allowing him to try different things like they wanted.  He hasn't yet tried to hold his shotgun as it would be resting right on the end of the screw.  He still can't attempt to wheel himself properly and has to use the side of his hand instead of gripping the wheel.  He can't use his crutches so can't attempt to drive yet as he uses them to move from the back of the car to the front and he can't transfer because of putting pressure on the hand.  There's lots of things he's finding difficult because of this damned screw but hopefully it won't cause a lasting problem when it's removed.  This op has been far more successful than last year's.  He's definitely got a grip (when the screw allows) which he didn't have after the last op and he's not getting the same type of pain - only that from the screw - so, all in all we think it's worked.  We'll know, for sure, when that screw is removed ...

Thanks for dropping by .....

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Ooops! Slipping ...

... with my posting and I was doing so well - *LOL!*

I've been really busy.  Sunday was spent all day in the kitchen ... cooking!  I decided to cook a 'boeuf bourguignon' properly, from scratch, no jars, nothing!  Took forever to cook.  Around 5 hours but it also took a long time to prep.  The bulk of the prep was done at the start but more had to be done for ingredients that were added about 3 hours into the cooking.  Then I decided to keep to trad French as much as possible and decided to do 'pommes boulangĂ©re with rosemary' as a side dish with green beans for the veg.  Let's just say the experiment was an huge success but it's not likely to be repeated any time soon!  It was delicious and actually gave us 2 days dinners but after spending a long time on my feet in the kitchen I knew I'd done it and I ached in places I'd forgotten I had.  The joys of getting older!

Yesterday I was in the kitchen again but this time continuing with the 'spring' clean.  Oh, it's looking so much better!  Can't believe the amount of dirt the steam cleaner is shifting.  Certainly puts all the chemical cleaners to shame so there's gonna be a good few of them confined to the bin!  Hoping to continue there tomorrow and finish everything except the windows and floor, which, if everything goes to plan (oops - there, I said it so it's unlikely to) will be done on Friday and that'll be it ... finished!  

Then it'll be on to the next job but first I've to go shopping for something to wear to a Balinese wedding!  Found 2 long, floaty dresses I've really liked so far but - neither were in my size.  Looks as though I've got to go and foot slog the high street and that will be fun - NOT!  Can't remember the last time I went into the town to the stores but it was certainly 5+ years ago.  Mum was alive and I took her in.  Wasn't even for me or my benefit but she wanted to go 'shopping' so I took her.  All I wanted to do was get home and outa there!  I don't 'do' shopping (unless it's crafty) so the sooner in the sooner out - *lol*

Today it was a Dad visit day.  Had to go earlier than I normally do as his Occupational Therapist rang me yesterday and asked if she could come and talk to him with me there.  She wanted to sort out a 'problem' with a commode chair she'd ordered for him a few weeks back.  There isn't, as far as I'm aware, a problem with the chair at all.  The problem is that Dad doesn't want to use it and is kicking up about it and the carers have refused to force him to use it - which is right.  Don't think he's ever been asked to use it as a commode but more as a  wheelchair (it's wheeled) to get him from the bed to the shower in the morning when he's stiff from laying all night and having problems with mobility.  He would rather walk so walk he does.  He has agreed to use it - under sufferance - a couple of times, as he did today when the OT asked him to sit in it so she could try it and see if it 'worked'.  He really was not happy at all but she agreed it wasn't the best idea and if he wanted to walk then he should.  Outcome?  No idea except the commode is sitting in the hallway where it's been since it was delivered!

We've also now got the funeral details of our friend.  Her body arrived back in the UK on Friday.  The odd thing is, and I'm sure her hubby wouldn't have given this a thought, the funeral is on the day of the next meet that had been arranged and the day we would have seen her again following our last meet and their holiday.  We're all going to the funeral and then going to keep the meet, rather than cancel it, so we will be raising a glass to her in the evening.  I'm pretty sure her hubby won't be joining us but we can have our own 'wake' for her.  It seems right we should.

I'm getting itchy fingers to do something crafty but want to get these jobs done first however, in the evenings ... when I've lost the will to do anything vaguely physical ... I've been sorting photos on my lappy and putting them in order to save to disc.   I'm gonna save all the photos, used in the year book, to disc and make a wallet that I can stick in the back of the book and put the disc in so that's it kept with the book.  As well as doing that I'm trying to make a slideshow of the Spanish trip last year and will do something similar with the photos that I used in that photobook.  I'm considering whether to do the same for the African one.  That's more daunting as there are loads more photos involved.  In all these books there is only really a taster of the photos taken so I really should go through them and see what are worth keeping, what I can get rid of, and then decide what to do with those not used in the books.  Anyway, I guess all this stuff I'm doing with photos is crafting of a sort.  Hoping it'll be worth all the effort when finished :0)

Thanks for dropping by .....

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Whoop, whoop! ...

... we've now altered the clocks and we're into British Summer Time!  So glad 'cos it means that the clock in my car is again showing the right time.  It's always on BST.  I just deduct an hour through the winter months when I look at it.  I'd altered the clocks in the kitchen yesterday afternoon while I was working out there and it was still light at what will be nearly 7:30pm today - *grin*   Weather is still playing ball at the moment as well.

Anyways, I managed to get more done in the kitchen than I thought I would yesterday so good progress is now being made.  Didn't quite get to where I wanted to be by the end of Saturday but not far from it.  That steam cleaner has been a godsend.  So looking forward to seeing what else it can do once the kitchen is finished :0)  Gonna have a day off today ... aching in places I forgot I had.  Dinner will be cooked slowly, very slowly as it's Boeuf Bourguignon being cooked the traditional way.  Prepped most of it yesterday so not too much to do today before it goes in for the marathon cooking *hehe*

Nothing else to report at the moment and I think I've caught up with the card photos I've got.  I did put my Year Book together in Photobox to get a larger on screen version to share and I've added that to the relevant post .... here.  Anyone who wants to see more detail that they couldn't see in the Albelli online version may have better luck with the Photobox one.  Only downside is ... it takes a lot longer to load for some reason.  Well, it does for me - *LOL*

I've got one amusing thing to share.  It was sent to me by Sylv (aka Budge) on the forum. I hope she doesn't mind but it made me chuckle - *lol*

"Just ONE example of why English is SO difficult to learn ...
Think about it .... UP
This two-letter word in English has more meanings than any other two-letter word and that word is UP

It is listed in the dictionary as an [adv], [prep], [adj], [n], or [v].

It's easy to understand UP, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning why do we wake UP?

At a meeting why does a topic come UP?  Why do we speak UP and why are the officers UP for election.  Why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report?

We call UP our friends, brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver, warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen.
We lock UP the house and fix UP the old car ...
At other times this little word has real special meanings.  People stir UP trouble, line queue UP for tickets, work UP an appetite and think UP excuses.
To be dressed is one thing but to be dressed UP is special.
This UP is confusing -  a drain must be opened UP because it is blocked UP.
We open UP a store in the morning but we close it UP at night.
We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP!

To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of UP, look UP the word UP in the dictionary. In a desk sized dictionary it take UP almost ¼ of the page and can add UP to about 30 definitions.
If you are UP to it you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used.  It will take UP a lot of your time but if you don't give UP you may wind UP with a 100 or more!
When it threatens to rain we say it is clouding UP.  When the sun comes out we say it is clearing UP.  When it rains it soaks UP the earth. When it doesn't rain for a while things dry UP.
One could go on and on but I'll wrap it UP for now .... my time is UP!

Oh ... one more thing.  What is the first thing you do in the morning and the last thing you do at night?  U    P

Did that one crack you UP?
Don't screw UP.  Send this on to everyone you look UP in your address book ... or not ... it's UP to you.
Now I'll shut UP"

Thanks for dropping by .....

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Plans again ...

... down the pan - as ever.  I really will, one day, realise that I get to do what's intended if it's not planned.  Nothing done in kitchen but got paperwork done instead.  No idea why nothing else got done except I had a bad night, fell asleep as it was nearly time to get up and ended up sleeping late ... again!  Really will have to get a handle on that.  I always used to be an early riser but I'm getting later and later.  I'm hoping that today ... *grin*

I've another card to show.  It should be 2 but I've still to make the second one.  It's the card made last Friday, the 18th, at a floral punch craft class with Jane Gill at the Glitterpot.  The workshop was making gerbera and margeurite daisies.  We made the gerbera in the morning and put the card together after lunch.  Once done we made a daisy and bud.  Time ran out so we were given all the elements to make another daisy and all the requirements to make a card with it.  To date, I've still not made the other daisy let alone the other card *lol*

The main punch used was a super duper Woodware daisy punch - the largest one they do.  Other, smaller daisy punches were used for the more central part of the flower.  The black middle was fun flock.  A Tim Holtz Sizzix swirl, Martha Stewart Punch Around the Page set, greeting stamp, ribbon and Bazill card ... 

The Friday of this workshop was also Red Nose Day/Comic Relief.  (Bit blurry but she was other side and down the end of the table from me - *lol*)  It didn't stay on ...

A workshop full of concentration. Note the view in the background ... containers!  Not quite the pond and sheep in the fields we had at Scaynes Hill.

Lunchtime and Jane prepping for the afternoon class ...

UPDATE:  I've remembered why nothing got done yesterday .... I was Googling and comparing prices for anti-malarials, anti-bug spray, bite relief and sunblock!  Successfully, I might add 'cos it's all on order.  Well, there's only just over a month before the off *yessssssssss*!

Thanks for dropping by .....

Friday, 25 March 2011

The condolence ...

 ... card.  Not happy with pic as I think the light was too bright today but it had to go in post so this is as good as it gets.  It came together quite quickly and I actually quite like it.   The stamp I've had a while but it's not really been used.  This is certainly the first time I've made a complete card using it.  I used a Whisper stamp pad I've got (I've got loads of them) and had to break the seal on it.  Wasn't too sure what they were like but used one at Deb's and liked it so think I'll be cracking open a few more - lol! 

The image on the card blank should have been paler.  I stamped it off once on a piece of scrap but obviously not evenly, otherwise the top of it would have been paler.  The idea was that it would just echo the main image on the plaque.  2 shades of mauve card for matting, a few toning pearls, a bit of glitter and some ribbon and it was done.  Nothing spectacular but the thought is there.

Thanks for dropping by .....

Funny day ...

... yesterday.  A day where I was still having trouble getting my head round the news of Barbara's passing but having, amongst that, good-ish news from Paul's Oncologist.  

It's really surreal to think that we'll no longer see Barbara, especially as she was healthy, bright, cheerful and looking forward to her holiday in Canada when we last saw her on 22nd February but, as they say, life goes on and it seems that life is going on for Paul *grin*.  The Oncologist discharged him from her care yesterday.  The last MRI showed there was a big reduction in the growth within the lymph node and, because the PSA levels are now so low, it's proof that the hormone therapy is working. The latest MRI confirmed that the cancer had spread into the lymph node so there's no point in radiotherapy as that would only target the prostate however, as the hormone therapy is working he is to stay on that 'indefinitely' and his PSA levels will be checked 6 monthly.  If they start to rise then he will be referred back to the Oncologist otherwise it's just the 3 monthly hormone implants.  Prognosis?  A full life span.  Now it's onto the Urologist next week to find out more about this mass on the kidney.  Paul reckons that if it's completely confined to the kidney, rather than have the worry of it, he's gonna ask to have it out - dependant on what it is, obviously!  His left kidney is perfectly healthy  *grin*

Didn't get to do any more in the kitchen yesterday but spent some time making a condolence card to send to John (or JLD as we more commonly call him).  Light had gone by the time I'd finished so haven't photographed it yet.  Will do so later today and post as soon as convenient.

There was something else good happened yesterday *grin*  My photo Year Book arrived and this time I'm really happy with it.  Got to say that some of the photos have printed a bit dark compared to the way they look on screen but not as dark as with Snapfish.  This is the second book I've had from this particular company and the first one printed a little dark as well so guess I need to allow for that, going forward.  The one good thing about having seen it in print A4 size, I decided to have it printed 8" x 6" instead and much prefer the size the largest photos have come out.  I can add more photos to a page if I do an A4 in future as I don't particularly want  large photos. Anyway, overall I'm more than happy.  I've decided I'm going to save the completed pages, and the individual photographs used, to disc (possibly a few extra as well) and keep that with the book.

Here it is, although on my viewing of this online version some of the perspective in them is a bit odd (squished and tall and skinny in places) but the book and photos are perfectly OK.  Anyway, this gives a taste of what the book is like.  Now I've plans for more ..... :0)

I've now put this book together in Photobox and it's better viewing - *lol*  You can see the book full screen, which is bigger than Albelli's 'full screen' so more detail is available.  You just need to give it time to load.  Ignore the 'selling' bit - I've no control over that.  Click "HERE" to be taken to it or click on the pic below :0)

Thanks for dropping by .....

Thursday, 24 March 2011

I've nearly found ...

... a miracle!  There's history to this story.  Back in October Paul and I were watching Ideal World ... well he was channel hopping and landed on it and the content caught our attention.  It was for a Polti steam cleaner and I thought I'd seen it before but for a much cheaper price.  Turned out I had but it had been a smaller, cheaper model .. but I'm digressing!  Anyways, we watched the demos and thought, if they weren't staged and were true, then it was a pretty good machine to own.  Not impressed with price so off I went to Google and found it online for a much cheaper price and item was ordered and duly delivered and that was it.  Said item stayed in it's box until yesterday when I unpacked it (including cutting off the plastic 'string' stuff strapping).  It's the Polti Vaporetti 950 and, if I'd waited to buy it for when we wanted it I'd have got it even cheaper as it's now £5 less than I paid - *lol*

It's been in action and I'm soo impressed!  I've cleaned over half of the kitchen cupboard doors and some of them I've always had real difficulty in cleaning ... the ones near the hob and the door covering the extractor fan.  The ones that historically get all the gunk from cooking, no matter how much you wipe down afterwards.   Ate through that with no problem and the most exertion I had to put into it was climbing onto a stool, stretching and wiping down!  It certainly allowed me to get more done than I thought I would in one go.  Hope to finish cupboards today but first there's an appointment to keep with Paul's Oncologist.  Keeping fingers crossed that the MRI results match the much improved PSA levels .... scarey though.

On a downside I had an awful shock yesterday evening.  Every month I meet up with old work colleagues, most of whom I've known since 1969, some not quite so long, and we were all made redundant from the same company back in 1993 and yes, we've met up regularly every 4 to 6 weeks since then.  Initially it was just ourselves but over time spouses have joined us so for at least 10 years (or more) we've got to know them as well. Around 9pm last night I got a phone call from one of my ex-colleagues to tell me his wife had died suddenly last Friday, on their way home from holiday in Canada.  They were at the airport Thursday last week, she collapsed and died within 24 hours, on Friday 18th March.  She was generally fit and healthy although, apparently, had complained of feeling a little unwell for a couple of days, but nothing major.  Seems she'd contracted Strep A ... and it killed her.  What he must be going through right now is unthinkable.  He's home, trying to deal with jet-lag and the shock and she is still in Canada waiting to be flown home.  He has his  adult children and their partners supporting and helping but they must be dealing with all sorts of emotions as well.  It was sudden, totally unexpected, in her early 60s - and a breast cancer survivor!  It's surreal.

RIP Barbara - you will be missed.

Barbara - Jan 2011 - my birthday meet.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

OK, so it's ...

... all change.  Decided that my sunset header, although pretty (well, I liked it *grin*) was a bit warm and cosy and today the sun's shining and it's all fresh, bright and cheerful so thought perhaps the blog should reflect that.  Searched for another photo I could use and the one I've decided on is one of my faves from my clicking last year.  Cropped, admittedly, to make the header but it's bright and cheerful just like today.  Think I've got to tweek blog a bit for toning 'accessories' but reckon this will be my Spring & Summer decoration and the other colour-way my Autumn & Winter. :0)

Thanks for dropping by .....

Last project from ...

... Wednesday and my favourite, although I've some corrections to make *LOL*

This one used Stampin' Up products, predominantly the Vintage Vogue stamp set which is good as it's one that I own ... *YAY*  I can definitely see me making more in this style.  Deb's got inspiration for it from somewhere but couldn't remember, at the time, where it was but she's since remembered and it was here (scroll down to the very bottom of the post as it's the last card shown).  I've never ruffled/ruched ribbon in this way before but will certainly be using it again.  Very sticky tape (the red stuff) was laid down after the border was stamped and then the ribbon was randomly ruffled and stuck down as you go ... if that makes sense :0{ (does to me - *lol*)  I can think of several ribbons I have that I might not have used in a traditional way so they could have been wasted but, with this method I would certainly use them.

The larger flower was the reverse of the fully stamped one with the edges inked.

Now, if nobody had noticed from the photo of me holding the card a few posts ago, what my faux pas was it will be obvious now .... and what the correction is that I have to do!  Yep, I put it together upside down!  

I had a bit of a nightmare with this one.  No excuses ... well actually there are excuses.  Last card of day, around 3pm, tired and my concentration was shot.  Started off OK with everything cut to size, stamped, punched, ribbon stuck on then stuck cream mat onto orange and ...... it wasn't square.  Took it off, lifted ribbon and trimmed ............... crooked!  Tried again and still crooked.  All the while the orange border, which should have been barely there, was getting bigger and bigger.  Tried to get it straight one more time, failed and gave up, sticking it all together for final time.  Only problem was, card blank laying flat and I didn't check which way up it was ..... ooops!  Now, do I start a new trend or should I put it right?  *hehe*

Visit to Dad yesterday .... exciting!  NOT!  He liked the banana cake - phew!  Left him the box with the rest of it and the apple cake.  Just hope he remembers it's there before the contents turn a lovely shade of blue.  No problems reported regarding the hearing aids ... although he did ask if he was to continue putting them in their box at night.  Yes Dad.  Thinking we were going to have a good visit with no problems, just a nice chat as I did his little jobs, then it started.  The TV!  The TV didn't start (well it actually did start - that wasn't the problem) ... he did, about it, or rather the remote control!  How do you turn TV on with remote? He'd just done it without thinking.  How do you turn it off?  He'd just done that as well.  How do you change channel?  That's more difficult as he stopped channel hopping when he moved.  Before that he was always channel hopping.  Explained about the number buttons (he'd only use 4 channels at most as he's never done any of the digi channels or Channel 5).  Asked if he remembered ever using them ,... nope!  Showed him again (it's not the first time we've been through this) and told him not to worry about it if he's not going to want to change channel anyway.  Now .... how many times can you go over the same thing in a couple of hours, without losing the will to live??????  Even as I was going out the door he was still asking the same questions ....

I'm not sure if it's the only way he can really interact nowadays.  Every week there seems to be just one thing we have to concentrate on.  I can try changing the subject but he ignores that, as if he hasn't heard me, and his focus is fully on whatever concern is most current to him.  It seems to be cyclical as well.  One thing gets sorted to his satisfaction so we move on to the next.  That gets sorted then we move on to something else and so on.  Every few weeks we're back to where we started and off we go again.  Holding a normal conversation now seems to be pretty much beyond him so I guess I should be grateful for what I do get.  He tells me that he knows what he wants to say in his head but it just doesn't seem to want to come out of his mouth (at least, that's what I think he was trying to tell me).  He can't say the right words although they're there, in his head.  You can actually see him trying and getting frustrated because they won't come.  He does seem to have lost the art of conversation which hasn't been helped by his refusal to socialise with anyone or take part in any of the activities available at the flats ... of which there are many now.  I've tried, the carers have tried, but he just will not join in with anything.  He won't go outside of his flat!  Short of forcing him there's nothing we can do.  I'm so sure that 'if you don't use it, you lose it'.  OK, so some of it is uncontrollable but it's certainly not helped if you don't 'use it'.

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Tuesday, 22 March 2011

More from last ...

... Wednesday but not before I vent!  I'm so cross with myself.  Stupidly so really 'cos it's not something I have much control over.  It took me nearly all day yesterday, on and off, to clear, sort and clean 2 pretty normal sized kitchen cupboards.  Why am I annoyed?  Because it's a job that used to take no more than an hour!  Heaven knows how long it's gonna take to do the rest of the kitchen but I have to do it in stages.  Anyway, insides done now it's on to the outsides ....

On the plus side, I've been getting feedback on my stamp storage *grin*  Not asked for but offered .... in a way.  If  "you're PeeJay, aren't you?  You've cost me loads of money" counts?  Seems some of the ladies that I see at the Glitterpot have been reading my blog.  One bought some of the multi-media cases (is having to buy more as well) and organised her stamps and had so much space left from doing so that she went out and bought another desk *LOL*   Another lady came and said something similar but she hadn't been and bought a desk ... just 100 of the multi-media cases, has gained space and can now find her stamps easily.  So glad that I've managed to help some people and it's good to get feedback.  Got to say though, the idea wasn't entirely mine.  I'm sure I've seen it on my 'travels' somewhere but I've put my own slant on it.

Anyway, on to another couple of projects from the day with Debs ....

Forever Friends
Decoupage enlarged and printed from a CD and mats cut with Nesties Grand Labels on a Grand Calibur.

Necklace (worn in a previous post)
Made using Metallic Mesh Ribbon.  Really strange stuff.  It's quite wide when you get it but you have to run it through your fingers several times to stretch it and from there you can start to play with it.  Not only can you use it for jewellery but you can also make bows, butterflies, flowers and all sorts with it, just by pulling, shaping, stretching and ... if you don't like what you've done just run it back through your fingers and start again.

It's Dad visit day today.  Wonder if he's any better with his hearing aids this week.  I do hope so otherwise this could become a major problem if he doesn't get back into using them as he's done for years.  I'm taking him some of my baking this week.  He's had my soup when I've made it (note to self -  make more!) so thought I'd take him some cake.  He's got a very sweet tooth so I'm sure it will be welcomed more than the soup was - *LOL*  Was also wondering when my brother is likely to visit him again.  He's not been near since a week before Christmas.  Sooo difficult to call regularly when you live all of 20 miles away!  I despair of him sometimes.  I shall be asking him to call while I'm away but pointing out that it's really not necessary if he's not going to call until the day before I come home - like he did last year!

We've been having some glorious weather of late and I truly think that Spring is well on it's way ... well, it should be as it was officially the first day of Spring yesterday - lol!

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Monday, 21 March 2011

Projects from ...

... Wednesday.  Well, a couple of them anyway.

All stamps on the first card were from a stamp set that came free on the front of a Docrafts magazine some while ago.  Loosely coloured with ProMarkers, I loved the freedom to colour this one any way we liked without having to worry about blending, staying within the lines etc 'cos it didn't matter.  Cartoon style drawing lets you get a way with all sorts - *lol*  The main image was stamped onto a piece of card (mat) that then had 'windows' cut into it (with nesties in this instance) and the sentiment and handbag stamps were stamped through the windows onto another piece of card (mat).  The edges of the mats were coloured using the ProMarker chisel tip and a ruler.  Width of the colouring can be adjusted by where the ruler is positioned and at what angle the nib is used.

The following card was the first one made.  Reason being, the centre of the flowers.  Debs had discovered, purely by accident, that if you put a big blob of PVA glue in the centre of the flower, covered it in glitter and allowed it to dry that it dried leaving the glitter raised, brad style.  The idea was to replicate that but, in the event, we ended up with something completely different.  Our glue sunk in the middle and we ended up with a raised edge, like a doughnut, and have to say .... I love it!  I will certainly be playing with big blobs of PVA again ... just to see what I end up with although, I don't generally 'do' glitter well, not loose glitter anyway - *lol*  The other highlight of this card was the ruched ribbon.  I'd never used ribbon in this way before but I will be using it again.  On this card the ribbon was ruched by making running stitches along the centre and then gathering it up, fixing the ends behind the mat and then playing with the positioning of the ruches before sticking it down with a bit of tape to stop it moving around - although it could be left loose.

Plans for yesterday went a bit awry - as can be seen from the blog.  I did go into my crafty corner for a while and I can see the desk again - yessss!  Then I decided to start on the blog makeover.  It's going well and I think I've most stuff covered.  Was stuck for a while on one thing I wanted to do, even though I'd found really good instructions on how to do it.  Just couldn't find the relevant place in the template.  I just took time out to cook dinner, which was delish ... and quick but not good 'cos it's not encouraging Paul to take the cooking reins back - *lol*   Seemed to be just what was wanted 'cos I came back and found it!  So it's job done and just the final bit of tweeking to do ☺
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Sunday, 20 March 2011

Wednesday playday ...

... at Deb's - photos!  Well, a couple for now.  Fuzzy group photo, although not all of us 'cos I'm missing.  Photo taken on camera timer to see if it worked, which it did but I wasn't quite in shot  (I can just see a bit of my sweater in the bottom right hand corner)  Second attempt had me in shot but Cathy decided to hide behind Joy so I didn't manage to get one of all of us together.  I've photos of myself on  blog in various places so thought I'd post the fuzzy group one, minus moi!

l-r:  Cally, Jennie, Elaine, Debs, Cathy and Joy

One of our projects ... a necklace using a metallic ribbon.
The black one was made by Cally and the bronze one is mine :0)

At every meet there is one of us that has ..... ermmm, what can we call it to be polite, ermmmm ... oh yes, a faux pasdeliberate mistake creative inspiration. Can you see this one?  (Jackie & Susan couldn't make it so it had to be me - *lol*)

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Saturday, 19 March 2011

Baking day ...

... today!  Don't know how long this Domestic Goddess phase will last but I'm enjoying the 'stuff' I don't have to do ... like baking!  The other domestic stuff can go chase whatever as far as I'm concerned but guess, if we don't want to live in a poo pile and/or starve, then it has to be done.  Hubby did cook dinner tonight but it was only fish from the freezer with potato wedges - also from the freezer - *LOL*  At least I didn't have to do it but steak came out 'cos we're having steak with all the trimmings tomorrow and guess who'll be cooking that one?  He's not up to doing that type of cooking yet but he may be getting itchy fingers :0)  I'm sooooo hoping!  Anyway, today I baked a couple of cakes ...

Looks good but not sure on what it'll be like until cut.  I'm having problems with my banana baking's being a bit doughy at the bottom of the finished product.  Hoping this one is better.  Every banana baking I've done has taken a lot longer to cook than recipes say :0(

I added some cinnamon to the dry ingredients and also I didn't use totally Bramley apples.  I used ¾ Bramleys and ¼ dessert apple (I used Jazz apples that I had in fruit bowl).  We had some warm, with cream, for our pudding today .... delish!

Tomorrow, apart from steak and all trimmings, I'm hoping to go clear my crafty corner up again.  Amazing how messy/untidy it gets when it's not being used!  I admit I've trawled through it looking for bits so guess I've turned it upside down without realising.  I've got photos from Wednesday at Deb's to deal with and I've a card to finish from the Glitterpot yesterday.  We only got to finish one card completely but were given everything to finish making the elements and to finish the second completely.  Need the space to play though - *LOL*

Paul thinks the screw in his thumb is working it's way out.  Not sure if it'll still be there in 3 months to be removed but then again, he could be imagining it.  He is complaining quite heavily about it being a nuisance and painful though and it's actually restricting his use of his hand, or seems to be, which is a bit daft when he's been told to use it as fully as possible but with care ... unless the 'with care' bit is to protect the screw.  Who knows?

I ordered my 2010 Year Book yesterday from another company.  It's been tweeked a bit and I decided on having a smaller format.  It's not brilliant and there could be vast improvements made but hopefully I can do the next one better.  I just hope this one will be better than the last,when I receive it.  I've used this company before and like what I got so keeping fingers crossed.  Got to say that the preview looked a lot more hopeful.  This time the company I've used have given an option to share the book online.  It's not an option offered last time I used them but, if the book prints up well I will post a link on blog *grin*
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