Sunday, November 30, 2008


Today is the first Sunday in Advent, and this evening, I will light the first Advent candle in our wreath. We time this as a family, so that wherever we are in the world, we all light ours at the same time. To me, this is the start of the Christmas season.

In the UK, people do not generally put up their trees or decorate their homes until about a week or two into December, but then we all keep our decorations up till 12th night, so our Christmas season goes on longer. However, I have seen some homes around the village with their lights up, though not on yet. I think by tomorrow, some homes will be lit - at least on the outside!

It has been fairly quiet around here - I have been sewing, and will show you some of the things I have made before I wrap everything. Some of the recipients do read this blog, though, so I will be showing you everything nearer Christmas! They will be too busy to read by then. I do love being creative, and there are so many wonderful things out there in the blogosphere to give new inspiration! And my sewing room clearly demonstrates the fact that I am inspired. I will need to mow the carpet one of these days. We will not mention the state of the kitchen.

Yesterday, I went to Costco with friends who have never been before. And although I expected chaos, it was really quite civilised. And everyone was so polite - both shoppers and staff. The mistake I made was taking a trolley (shopping cart). One then feels the need to fill it up. I have enough toilet rolls to survive a decade or 2.

And then I saw the perfect body pillow - you know, those long bolster like things which should have been invented back in the dark ages, when I was pregnant. I have looked at them in other shops, but they were very expensive, and came without a slip cover, so I resisted temptation. But the one I saw yesterday was perfect. AND it came with a zipped cover. This is just what I need to try to sleep better with the WK (Wretched Knee).

So I slapped that thing in the trolley. And every time I wanted to put things in there, it was like a divine sign. Stop! It unfolded itself and shot up to full height. 5ft. I squished it down and suddenly it would fly up and wave its head about again. It was like wrestling an anaconda. Not to mention the fact that by the time we got to the car with 2 trolleys, we had a slight logistical problem. The car was small and there were 3 of us. So I wound the anaconda over my legs and stayed warm and snug all the way home. And slept very well for the first time in months too.

Right - sorry I have not been commenting much - I am reading when I can and I will be making time to comment in the next few days! One is striking while the "iron" is hot. The muse may depart.

Happy tree-putting-up-and-decorating!

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends!! You should just about be starting the washing up now, I think. And trying to fit all the leftovers into the fridges. I can see it all. I hope you have all had a wonderful time!

Here in grey old England, it has been an ordinary day with no turkey in sight. And I am draped in the infamous poncho, trying to keep warm, as it has got very chilly all of a sudden. I went to physio this morning, and then on to see the Consultant with my friend, Jackie - she is the one who thinks of very important things to ask, and has paper and pen to write down the answers. The sort of thing I do when I go to hospitals with my friends, but which I can never do for myself.

So what did I learn today? That Jackie is very intelligent indeed. She popped outside while I was waiting to register that I was there, and made a call to the pain clinic without me knowing, to find out what the waiting list was to see the pain specialist. So when we were talking to the Consultant, and he mentioned that he had sent a letter of referral on the 5 November to the pain specialist, she asked why, seeing that the waiting time was 20 weeks, he hadn't immediately referred me when he diagnosed the CRPS on 9 October. Sigh. The woman is brilliant. He mumbled a bit and sort of changed the subject. Then she happened to mention that the NHS guidelines were 7 weeks max waiting time. Hmmmm. He said he will see if he can speed it up a bit.

But never fear, people, I am not finished. She then told me that she has discovered that there is a hospital in Bath which is the centre of research for CRPS here in the UK. So I phoned them up this afternoon to find out what their waiting times were. They have a special CRPS unit, and it is a maximum of 5 weeks wait to see the assessment team, and after that you may be admitted for 2 weeks of intensive multi-disciplinary treatment. Now that sounds much better. So I have all the info to give to my GP and she will see what she can do. Hopefully, just get me an appointment asap. Sigh. Friends are amazing. Especially this one. And Bath is a beautiful place.

So my day has been somewhat lacking in excitement. I spent most of the afternoon researching more hair raising stuff about CRPS, and I do not want to think about it any more. Tomorrow it is back to creating. Now that I am happy about.

I have been thinking about Thanksgiving, and I wish we all had a day dedicated to being thankful too. For so many things.

But that doesn't stop me from waking each day, and thinking of 5 things I am thankful for. I celebrate Thanksgiving my way every morning, just without the turkey. (Although a turkey a day would be a bit over the top, maybe. I am babbling - you may ignore me.)

And there is something new every morning. No matter how oppressive the world can seem at times, there is still that little, very beautiful, spark of light. Hope. Blessings. Reasons to smile. Always. Every day.

Today, I am thankful for:

Friends who walk beside me
Warm socks for my feet
The physio who is helping me strengthen my leg
The sewing machine which transforms my ideas into reality
Hot coffee

Right. I am off to make Number 5. Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

All action here....

No time to post anything edifying - my sewing machine is whizzing and so is the embroidery machine. I am trying to keep up with them...... I wish you could see what my house looks like. It appears as if something has exploded. The saw is also in action for good measure. When I do something, I do it to extremes.

So I have trashed 3 rooms, and the microwave is now sitting in the middle of the kitchen. And I keep finding material and thinking -ooh I can use that for x, y, or z. Sigh. I only remembered to eat something at 9 tonight. But while I am on a roll.......

I will be back. I will be the one covered in thread, glitter and sawdust. And rice. Do not ask. It is just as well we do not have Thanksgiving here!

By the way - if you sew,save all the bits of thread you cut off, the ones you usually throw away. Pop it all in a laminator pouch with some glitter and a few stars etc - what ever you have around, and laminate the pouch. Then you can cut out christmas shapes and hang them on the tree, and they look brilliant. Or use them to decorate cards, or as gift tags. Whatever you feel like doing. Just plain glitter in a pouch and laminated is also perfect. Try it and see!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Physio affects the mind......

Physio. I went. I ache.

She said - "How is the pain?" and I said "I will take care of the pain and you take care of the mobility. Deal?" And we got moving. I just needed a nap right afterwards. More on Thursday, followed by a visit to the orthopaedic consultant. No news yet re the pain specialist. And the exercises continue.

Here is a useful tip to improve the thigh muscles - I can't remember if it is adductor or abductor thingys. One of them, anyway. While you are on the computer, stuff a cushion or a rolled up towel between your legs and squeeze them together, holding for 10 secs. Repeat 10 times. Or, if you are like me, as many as you can do. It is supposed to work really well. That is always supposing your thigh muscles need attention, of course. I am sure you are all as sleek as racehorses and as fit as well. Of course.

However, a little exercise while blogging means it is healthy, doesn't it???? I am all for the healthy option here.

To recover from the physio, I popped into the shops and hobbled around a bit, and looked at the toys. Toys? I am going to be a Granny remember! So I did what every self-respecting Granny would do - I bought a dolly with a stroller and car seat and changing mat in a set. Well, it was Fisher Price and it was 25% off, and hey, I NEED to buy a doll for my granddaughter! I do. So the Bump has her first doll. Sigh. Maybe I need to make the doll a quilt. Or a blanket. Or a dress......

I think the physio affected my mind.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The cupboard saga....

Well, the food cupboard sorting went well. It appears that I have 25 bags of pasta. All in date too. Sigh. I seem to buy pasta every second day. If all else fails around here, we will be eating Italian style. And do not ask how many bags of rice I have either. It is embarassing. It is actually a real blessing to see just how much I have squirrelled away in recent months. Deepening the pantry indeed.

However, a little variety would be good too. So I have drawn up a list of variables. So when I venture into the shops again, (in 6 months time) I will look only at the variety part and AVOID THE PASTA AISLE. If you live around here and happen to see me wandering in that direction, for heaven's sake, STOP ME!

In typical Casa de la Rocking Chair fashion, I had reached the point of no return, and had just emptied the entire store cupboard into my kitchen - table, floor, chairs, counter...... you get the picture... when the doorbell rang. After negotiating my way past teetering piles of foodstuff, I made it to the door, and a friend had popped round for tea. Re-negotiating one's way over the piles to reach the kettle was a feat I am justifiably proud of. The grin on the friend's face, quickly hidden, was met with a baleful eye. It shrieked "one word and you are so dead". The friend sniggered. And I inched my way back over the piles clutching 2 cups of coffee and flopped on to the couch and pretended my kitchen was a picture of orderliness.

I am talented like that.

So. That is sorted. We will not starve. And I do indeed have 3 jars of pesto and 3 of Thai green curry paste, now stored in different cupboards, to prevent me from making unfortunate mistakes. Ever again. I am a picture of organisation. It may last a week.

And even though there are 17 more cupboards in my kitchen to sort, I am ignoring them. They can wait.

It snowed a little last night, and then we had torrential icy rain today, and I have just been out to lunch and the temp is 3degreesC. COLD. It seems that winter has arrived. This is wind from the Arctic, so we were not expecting tropical, but this cold is eye-popping. I have yet to hunt down the gloves and hats.

Just so you know, yesterday's post was not morbid and depressed. It rather amused me. Trials can be depressing, but I tend to either stomp about in a demented fashion, (for a short while) or get a fit of the giggles at what else can go wrong. And given the nature of the things that tend to go wrong around here, that is a real blessing. If I am really upset, I never talk about it. Or say very little.

One more thing re the cupboards..... I can't actually eat anything in them now, you know, because that would mess up my arrangements, wouldn't it??? All those neat towers of things could come crashing down.........

Sigh. Life has its challenges!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Saturday: morning

My day did not start well. I need some strips of magnets for my woodworking projects, and I shot out the door at the crack of dawn to avoid the shopping rush. Leapt into the car. The end.

It did not start. Irritation beyond belief. Yes, I could have called the AA, but I called a friend instead, and we jump-started the car eventually - he had to dress three children and coat them up, find hats and scarves etc as it freezing here today. It may snow.

So my cunning plot to avoid the crowds ground to a halt. I took the car for a run along the dual carriageway to charge the engine, and then tried one shop, got vacant stares from the info people, and gave up. I did ask politely if they could check on their computer systems to see if they actually sold the item, and got a "who do you think you are to question me" stare to go along with the vacant one, so I departed.


I am now going to go and re-organise my food cupboard. I have run out of reasons to avoid this. I will be back.

Friday, November 21, 2008

A meme and stuff.....

Donnetta from My Quiet Corner has a meme up and anyone can join in. As I am trying to keep all the balls in the air here, but still want to actually speak on the blog so you will not all disappear into thin air, I am grabbing the idea!

The Rules: Use the 1st letter of your name to answer each of the following questions.

They have to be real places, names, things - nothing made up!

You can’t use your name for the boy/girl name question.

(Tag at least 5 people to play along )

1. What is your name? Linds
2. A 4 Letter Word: Love
3. A Boy's Name: Liam
4. A Girl's Name: Lucy
5. An Occupation: Lumberjack
6. A Color: Lilac
7. Something you wear: Lipgloss
8. A Beverage: Lemonade
9. A Food: Lobster
10. Something found in the bathroom: Loo-paper
11. A place: Lapland
12. A Reason for being late: Lethargy
13. Something you shout: Look!
14. Tag...... anyone who wants to play along!

If there is one thing you do today, take part in the Mother Letter project which Shannon has posted about. I have emailed mine already. This is such a wonderful thing to be a part of! Go now!

I am gathering all the bits I need to start sawing up wood to make some presents. I need to move the microwave as it is next to the saw. It should be in the microwave casing in the built in units, but that means moving the fridge, which mean moving the table, which means taking the stuff off the table which means where will I put the old microwave and all the stuff on the fridge, never mind in the fridge and it is heavy and what if it doesn't fit and can I move it in the first place and should I even try and I want to use the saw and .......

So you see, things are a little fraught about the place right now. The last week of November is almost here. I am still stuck in April. I am so full of good intentions. Groan. And the leg.... I am pretending it is fine, and it does not like being ignored. I wear jeans and I can't see it, so like an ostrich I think - hey I can do. No. I. Can't. Screech. Maybe food would help. I am off to see what I can cook for supper.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


This morning was taken up with helping Margaret cut out the quilt for her grandbaby, who is due a few weeks after MY granddaughter. She has started sewing the pieces together, and, as I am not really a "follow the rules" type of quilter, it has been a rather slow process. I am usually inventing things as I go, so the tops come together really fast and then everything starts slowing down as I start embroidering and embellishing etc. However, we are following a pattern and it will look beautiful and bright.

She happened to mention that she had seen the Hungry Caterpillar fabric in our local patchwork shop (yes, we even have one here in the village!) and so I popped in to see it when I was in the village. It is SO cute! We had the book when at least one of my children was small and it was such a great favourite. I am sure the next generation will love it just as much.

So the planning is under way. For Christmas. The making is an entirely different story. I need to get moving. I have a list. I have some ideas. I am great on ideas. Speed is a slight problem, and so is standing too long. However, we will make a plan.

Creativity is slowly beginning to re-emerge around here. Now to fit it in around the physio, exercises, doctor's appointments etc. I am a woman. I can multi-task.....

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I may have to think about Christmas soon.....

Well, they came. They stayed an hour and then they left. I have 3 options, or maybe 2 and no, the occupational health doctor does not think I will be able to go back to work. Until I get more info that they are going to gather for me, I will not make any decisions, but I did give them back my laptop and key and yes, I got a receipt!

Good. That is out of the way then. We are apparently going to have snow on Friday. It is going to get considerably colder over the next few days too. There are no leaves on the trees any more. Most of them appear to be in my garden. Heaps of them. I made an attempt to collect them today. Well, I walked out into the garden, nearly skidded on the wet paving slabs and walked straight back in again. I am not stupid. Leaves can stay there.

I also startled a squirrel. That rodent was digging up my pots. I looked out the window, and so help me, he has dug up half the garden. I need a bazooka. Blunderbuss. Something large and deadly. There is soil everywhere. I have a suspicion that there will be no daffodils next spring. They may be in some squirrel's stash.

Anyway, I have decided that I do need to consider the fact that Christmas is approaching at a rate of knots. I have not even made a Christmas list. Sigh. And I really do not want to head into the shops. I have to make things. Tomorrow. I will get out the saw tomorrow. The next few weeks may well see me eating food gently seasoned with sawdust. I did mention that the saw is on my kitchen counter, didn't I????

Prepare to be amazed by my creativity. I certainly will be. I don't know what I am making yet.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Ridiculous, really.......

I don't know how it can possibly be 10pm already. It was 4pm just a few seconds ago. Time flies, I know, but this is ridiculous. So today has been busy.

I went to meet the physiotherapist this morning, and that went well. I have a series of exercises to do and will be going to work in their gym, with the physiotherapist, twice a week. Hopefully there will be a real improvement soon. She explained that the nerves in my leg are "on red alert" all the time. ALL the time. And they need to be bamboozled. So I have to use different textured things - say my hand, then cotton wool, then a towel, then a soft brush, and massage the leg now and then. It sounds weird, but I sat there and massaged my leg, and it felt ok, and then 2 minutes later, it felt as though it was on fire. Unbelievable. I could almost hear the nerves thinking - "what was that then? I don't know - PAIN". There is always a delay then the pain kicks in, so the trick is to try to fool the nerves. Hmmm. I wonder who will win this battle then. This is war, people.

Anyway, today has been a mix of friends popping in, grocery shopping, getting the school laptop cleared and ready to hand back tomorrow..... did I mention that my boss is coming to "discuss the medical report" with me tomorrow? I think, no, I am sure I know what is coming, so I am prepared. Cooking supper, making calls and answering emails and the telephone, and suddenly it is 10pm. Chatting on IM and trying to think of how to tidy this house before 2.30pm tomorrow.

I need to topple into bed soon. So, my friends, I am going to leave you all in peace for now and give the brain a rest for a while. Good grief - it just occurred to me. I do not even have control of my own nerves. It is as though I have been invaded by an alien being. That is not an option. I do not do alien encounters. I want my own nerves back where they should be, listening to me. Sigh. I am a mother. I should be used to not being listened to. But my own NERVES?????? That is ridiculous.

So I started on a ridiculous note. And I end on a ridiculous note.

Night Night all.........

Sunday, November 16, 2008

To write or not to write......

Hello all. Susan, from Penless Writer has given me this award. Thank you Susan - I am honoured!

About the award: Uber (synonym to Super) Amazing Blog Award is a blog award given to sites who: ~ inspire you ~ make you smile and laugh ~ give amazing information ~ are a great read ~ have an amazing design ~ and any other reasons you can think of that makes them uber amazing!

So here goes - I am keeping up my resolution not to delay passing on awards, please note. I am a star.

Chris for Post Stroke
Sandra for Diary of a Stay at Home Mom
Isabelle for In this life
Jeana for Days to come
Judith for Flight Song

I could in fact have given it to so many people who inspire, delight, amuse, and amaze me. Not to mention educate me too. I learn so much from so many people. If you don't know these 5 amazing women, go and visit them for yourselves, and you will see why they are special.

So. Here I am on a chilly Sunday afternoon in Middle England. I still have some questions to answer, and believe me, I have not forgotten, Crystal and Theresa. I have the posts almost ready, and they will be here as soon as I finish them.

This week is bringing with it quite a few challenges. The physiotherapy starts tomorrow, and I will find out how often I have to go and what exercises I will have to do to speed up my movement and recovery. I have a meeting scheduled with my employers too this week. I am pretty certain I know how that will progress. And loads more stuff happening too. Life is complicated. Indeed it is. Very.

(I realise the title makes no sense. I took down most of the post. My decision. I cut it and then lost it.)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Contrasts and assumptions.......

Life is full of contrasts. One minute high and the next, low. One minute dark, then light follows soon after. One minute fast and the next, slow. One minute hot and the next, cold. Happy, sad. Rich, poor. Big, little. And so on. In a sense, it is what makes up the unique tapestry of our individual lives. The contrasts. Shadow, light. Said, unsaid. Loud, soft. Acceptance, denial. Good, bad.

We all have bits of each of them to contend with or celebrate, each and every day. Sometimes the extended time at one end of the spectrum can make us feel that we are in the troughs forever, and that the peaks are unassailable. And time tends to slow down when we are in the pits, doesn't it. Have you ever noticed "how time flies when you are having fun"? It is true, isn't it? Old adages came about for a reason!

I am no different to any of you. I am a creature of contrasts. Strengths and weaknesses. I may appear strong, but have moments of great weakness too. I may appear confident, but have times of huge insecurity. I may appear optimistic, but there are also times when I wonder if I am being an idiot. About the optimism. And though there are some who assume I am as tough as nails, I know there is a side which is very vulnerable. I may appear to cope, but at times feel as though I am sinking. I am a warrior for other people, but am a wimp when fighting battles for myself. Just because I am an extrovert, it does not mean I don't have dark abysmal moments too. Contrasts.

People like me have great difficulty letting the weak or the vulnerable side loose. We have become adept at being upbeat and our "I can cope with anything" attitude works. It really does make other people think we can actually cope with anything. If I ever have to hear the words "God never gives you more to cope with than you can bear" again, I may do actual bodily harm. Of course He does. That is the whole point. You get to the point where you absolutely CANNOT cope with another thing, and that is when you fall at the foot of the cross and say I can't, I can't do this. And that is when you learn that you should never have tried to do it at all or by yourself in the first place. He never intended you to. He wanted to carry those burdens FOR you, but you were too stupid and pig-headed to listen. I speak from long and bitter and repeated experience here.

The hardest thing in the world is actually saying - I can't cope with this. I can't do it. I have had enough. No. I lie. The HARDEST thing is actually saying - Help me. Please. And having the rest of the world actually believe you.

That is a problem. Help? It is as though you have suddenly entered a twilight zone. Disbelief. Jokes cracked at your expense. Or nervous laughter. Because, you see, people who are the solvers of everyone else's problems, can't possibly have problems they cannot solve, can they. See? That is how it works. There will be many of you out there who know just what I am talking about. I would hazard a guess that we are predominantly the oldest children in our respective families. My own children were typical of this - the oldest used to swat away my hands and say "I do it!" "I do it by my OWN!" And my youngest would yell " HELP me!" to his big brother and sister.

This is a long-winded way (very) of coming to the point I wanted to make. Assumptions. Please try not to make them. Remember the flip side to everything. Some people use humour to mask pain. Just because they laugh does not mean they are not feeling the pain. Inside a bully may be a frightened child. Inside a beautiful woman may be an insecure fat teenager. Inside each of us, there are contrasts. Opposites. Shadows and light.

You only know the part of me I choose to expose. But do not assume that that is all there is to me. Assumptions. Making them can be a great mistake.


Personal views(Seeing+hearing) = Assumption. It does not equal Truth. Multiply what you see and what you hear by your personal view of life, and you come out with assumptions. I see a beautiful woman, who speaks well, dresses well and walks with confidence. I assume that she "has it all", is rich, clever and successful. I have made assumptions, neatly pigeon-holed her and I have not even begun to consider that there may be a whole different side to her. First impressions are not always so accurate, are they.

Sigh. I do this too. All the time. I am the first to confess that I make assumptions. I am not setting myself up here as some angelic being. Hahahahaha. But I have come to the conclusion that I cannot expect others to realise that there is another side to me, unless I acknowledge that they too have contrasts, which they may be as adept as I am at concealing. It has only taken 54 years. I am a slow learner at times, it seems.

Anyway. This has been a week of contrasts. Highs and lows. Good and bad. Success and failure. And you know what? Next week promises to be more of the same.........

That's life. Isn't it?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Second opinions are interesting.....

I have finally seen another doctor, and have had a second opinion. Yes, I hear you. It is nearly 5 months later than I should have done this. But I have been. I liked him. He knows what he is talking about, and after hearing my story and examining the said limb, he sat back and started talking.

First.... I should have had an MRI within 2 days. Second, I would and should have then started immediate physiotherapy. The sitting on that wretched couch has not been a good move, never mind that every doctor I saw said sit. And I sat. For months.

Second...... the osteo arthritis could have been dormant for the rest of my life, but often an injury wakes it up and speeds up the damage. Mine did. And now the leg is compensating and unreliable.

Third.....It is possible that the inactivity coupled with the arthroscopy, triggered the CRPS.

Fourth..... CRPS is a horrible thing. However, there is a positive here. He says the medicine I am on is good. And he explained more about how the tablets work. I have to do much physio and exercise, and he estimates that it will probably take 6 months to a year to get well. He says I appear a stong character, so getting better is hopeful. Determined not to consider any other option is more like it. Some people don't, by the way. Get better. Not me. I am not going there. He was not altogether flattering in his assessment of the NHS. And I am being diplomatic here.

Fifth... I need to see a really good pain specialist, not a psychiatric one. And that it is a team effort to treat CRPS. If the tablets I am on now don't work, they will probably introduce beta blockers in addition. Just great. Here I am with no depression, epilepsy or heart problems, potentially taking medication for all 3 to cure condition 4. However, if they work, I will take the lot.

So. It is now "let's repair the damage" time. This is going to take a long time people, so brace yourselves for more knee stories in the immediate future. Sorry about that. But it is life. Mine.

At least I know that the treatment I am getting NOW is what is appropriate. At last. And after I see the physio on Monday, I am going to be an exercise fiend. I AM going to crawl on the floor when the bump arrives in February. I AM going to walk in the mountains again. I AM going to have a knee which works properly again.

Just watch.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Today is Mum's birthday. I cannot tell you how irritating it is to my sister and to me too, that we, under our chemically assisted, stunning locks, are hiding more grey hair than she has, and she is 83 years old. It is a major irritation.

We are so blessed that she is fit and well (apart from the cold) and way more mentally adept than we are at the moment. She remembers everything. EVERYTHING. Sigh. The genes must have gone awol when we were born! The next stage, people, is when we are mistaken for sisters. You will be the first to hear about that, I guarantee.

I have mentioned before that I am lucky enough to come from an incredibly close and supportive family. What I may not have mentioned is that without the mother that my sister and I have been blessed with, this family may have been entirely different. We do not understimate your influence on our lives, Mum.

Happy Birthday!

Monday, November 10, 2008

You have to grin......

It is wet and revolting around here. So wet, in fact, that the roads have great pools of water, and the carpark at the supermarket is one big sea, so no matter where you park, when you are wearing jeans, they get sodden. Mind you, I may just have invented a new way to clean the kitchen floor. And the tidal waves one's car sends into the air - awe-inspiring.

So I am cold and damp and it is dark. But I do have hot coffee. (And super warm socks!)

I have just received a report from the hospital sent to my MP in response to the complaint he lodged on my behalf. It is priceless. Remember the brace which kept falling off? Well, you will be pleased to know that they most assuredly instructed me in the correct use of the device. And there was indeed one person (that would be MOI) who had to wait on hold for 16mins and 5 secs (OK - I said 17 mins) that day. Unfortunately they had to deal with 12 other calls that hour. And the nurse practitioner who saw me the day after I damaged the knee? He says I was walking, and the swelling was not too bad. And he stands by his diagnosis of a lateral sprain. However, 3 pages later, they concede that it had nothing to do with the lateral side at all.

Therefore they say all is well and sorted.

I give up. There were 8 pages of similar stuff. I just started laughing and put it down. What on earth is the point of getting worked up about it? Ludicrous. My MP clearly feels the same way. He did suggest that we meet again and see what we should do next. To be frank, I couldn't care at this stage. Complaining about things seems to just put a red star on your patient file alerting staff to the fact that you are Trouble.

Oh yes - this letter comes from the same department who sent me a letter saying that, as the verdict at Geoff's Inquest was Natural causes, they did not have any need to progress with the complaint. Hello? I phoned them and said that I was not sure which Inquest they had attended, but Geoff's one ended with an Open Verdict. They were going to review their notes and call me the next day. That would be 2 October. I am still waiting.

So - instead of throwing myself on the floor and having a tantrum, I am sitting here grinning and wondering what I am going to have to contend with next. Bring on the physio and pain specialist. And please remind me never to return to that hospital should I ever need to for any new reason.

Right. I need some light entertainment - so I am going to see if any of you are writing today. Have a good Monday!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

From my perspective......

The last few weeks have brought with them enormous challenges in the Casa de la Rocking Chair, people. Both physical and emotional. Mental too. And those tablets? Evil things. I just hope they do their job. I have got to the stage where I went out all week wearing odd shoes, AND NEVER NOTICED. Sigh. My feeble attempts at looking something more glamourous than an old woman hobbling along were clearly doomed from the start.

The past week has seen the dawn of a new era in modern history. From an international perspective, Barack Obama's election heralds the dawn of a new world order, and a new approach to international relations which above all, brings hope to millions. The hand of friendship is a mighty tool. Wanting to work with the international community instead of dictating to it, can only be good. And we really do live in a global community now, don't we.

I am old enough to remember the 60's and I was a student in the 70's, and deeply involved in politics then, in a country seething with turmoil and unrest, and I remember what the world was like. And I am witnessing history in the making now. I never thought it would happen in my lifetime.

Please note that I am talking about International Perspectives here, and not domestic perspectives. This is the historian in me speaking. The world looks different from the other side of the globe.

I have watched young people dropping their mantle of apathy and disinterest, all over the world, and here too. They know what is happening, and are suddenly becoming aware, for the first time in their lives, that they too can actually, really, become anything they want to be. It is no longer a fairy tale to the disconnected sectors of the global population. Dreams can become reality. Young people around the world are excited. Miracles do happen.

And you know what? He is The Good Guy. He is the American President Elect. Not a misguided tin god, leading frustrated young people down wrong or evil paths. Not a gang leader. Has there ever been a role model quite like this for young people? I don't think so.

I think that it is quite possible that a large number of young Americans too, who have previously decried the value of education, might suddenly discover that they have a reason to strive, work hard, and excel. It is no longer pointless. What better role model? How much better is this than a sports star or pop star or TV idol? There is, for them, a precedent. He happens to be the new President. All of a sudden, everything becomes possible. And not only in America. All over the world.

And so the world changes.


Back to me. The important part. Of course.

I refuse to keep looking at my leg. I know that it continues to swell and walking is not a pleasant experience. I start physio on 17 November. I just want it to work. Frustration levels here have been very high recently. And the inability to walk in a straight line has somewhat hampered my efforts to try to move more. That is wearing off a little now as I adjust to the pills, but believe me, I have not been a happy bunny. Mind you, the idea of me wearing shorts for the physio does not thrill me either. What an appalling vision I have in my mind right now. Groan. Dignity is not an option.

You know, the one thing which really fascinates me as I read everyone's words, is how different we all are, and yet, how similar too. We all cope with things in different ways, and we all worry about different things. We all fight our own personal battles - some in silence, and some with the courage to share. We are just like a family, gathered around a table, disagreeing, arguing, laughing, sharing, weeping and stomping off in a huff too. But, like a family, we love each other, and so accept our differences, and maybe, as we get older, we tend to do a little more listening and a little less speaking. Does this make sense?

So now, I will put the lid on the cauldren of bubbling words for today. Have a peaceful and relaxing Sunday. It is Remembrance Sunday here.

I, too, am remembering.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Nap time........

I am here. I am just having a little break at the moment - reading, but not writing. Well, not strictly true - I write plenty. Write, delete, start over, delete, etc etc etc. Toss the hands in the air, try again, go and have a nap on the couch and return , rinse, repeat. You get the picture. The words come, but not the right ones.

I have a lot on my mind at the moment. And medication to master. Stuff to do. Life. It happens, you know. I have more questions to answer, and I will be back, because I don't think I could stay away.

Write, delete, start over, coffee, delete, write, nap.......................

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Alphabet soup and the Election.....

It is Tuesday, so it is Alphabet soup day again, with Morning Glory. Just click on the button, and it will take you to her site, and you can add your name to the others taking part. Today is the letter H, and we are listing thing which bring us joy, starting with that letter.

Here we go then:
  • Home - the place we love to be
  • Holidays - time to explore the world, and have a break from the routine
  • Hands - which can make things, do things, be held
  • Hammock - well, I have never had one, and I can understand they may induce a great deal of hysteria when trying to get into one, but they sound like fun!
  • Home-made - things made with love, and time
  • Hobbies- so many. Sewing, crafting, woodwork, reading, walking, scrapbooking, writing...
  • Hampers - picnic baskets, full of lovely goodies
  • Harvest - in a small way. Gathering the fruit and veg from our gardens or allotments
  • Health - um, well usually! Being healthy is something to really be joyful about
  • Heat - in the winter, having a warm home is wonderful and oh how we long for heat in the summer time!

Ok. So, it is good to come home after a holiday spent somewhere hot in a hotel. Having hysterics remembering hoisting oneself into a home-made hammock wearing a hat, holding some ham from the hamper of healthy food in one's hand, and watching horses gallop past haybales after the harvest.

It is election day in the States. I am watching with great interest, because this affects the entire world. John Fischer has a wonderful message about fear and hope and the election today. It is really worth popping over to read the Catch of the Day - Have no fear.

And the Compassion bloggers are telling their story - so click on the link at the top of the sidebar to read.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Compassion and Q&A2......

Most of you will already know that the Compassion bloggers are on their way to the Dominican Republic as I speak. Among them are Marlboro Man and his 2 daughters (reporting for Pioneer Woman), Mary from Owlhaven, and Melanie from Big Mama. All these links are in my side-bar so do make a point of popping over to visit them to hear all about what they are seeing and feeling. (I am too tired to put in all the links - sorry!)

or go here
<---------------------------------------------------- Also on the trip are Tim Challies and his son, Nick (8), who is blogging for kids, and Jennifer Donovan from 5 Minutes for Mom. If you have children, send them to Nick's blog so they can get a child's point of view. Go to Compassion Bloggers and click on the link to learn more, and how you can help. Hopefully thousands more children will be sponsored as a result. They need us more than ever now. And prayers for their health and their safety would be wonderful too.

I have to say that these tablets are unbalancing me. As in I feel as though I am weaving about instead of walking. We have just reached the full strength phase and it is a little odd to say the least. But that is entirely beside the point......

Back to the questions.......

But first, a short note of explanation for my newer readers (Hello and welcome! I am always delighted when I make new friends!) - When I referred to the Inquest in my last post, it was my husband's Inquest. He died 2 and a bit years ago and there was an Inquest 15 months later to establish the cause of death, as it was in hospital, and sudden. I represented the family and asked all the questions, and the verdict, in the end, was an Open verdict. Until more info turns up. I had to do a great deal of research before it happened. If you would like to read about it, it happened in October last year, so check out the archives in the side bar!

Isabelle asks: What's your favourite colour, flower, food, poem?

Colour - well, strangely enough, this is not a question I have ever found easy to answer. You know when you sign up for something and they ask you your favourite colour? Like broadband etc? I can never remember. I give them a long list and tell them I hope the one I listed is there. It changes. I am changeable. I love my home to be fairly neutral, so that I can easily ring the changes from season to season. I love the colour blue - the sky, especially when there is snow about, is stunningly blue. I love yellow, because it is a happy colour. I love the blends of soft pinks too. I tend to wear neutrals or olive greeny things at the moment. Hmmm.

Blue. I think. Or maybe yellow. Or....

Flower - I love flowers. I have roses of all shades and colours in my garden. My favourite is called Alpine Sunset. But I also love freesias, and lilies. The common factor in all of these is scent combined with beauty. I had freesias in my wedding bouquet. Again, is all depends on the mood!

Food - I love salmon. I also love Italian food. Proper SA style braais (BBQ) too, with marinaded meat. We don't tend to eat much red meat at all, but I do love a nice roast when all the kids are home. I will go with salmon. Smoked, grilled, baked, with sauce - any way at all!

Poem - I used to know so many by heart - a by-product of my education (and age) where we actually had to learn poetry! I have forgotten the words now, but as soon as I read them, I can hear the rythmn again from all those years ago. Maybe I should read poetry more often. I remember loving "Kubla Khan" by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. I loved "If " by Rudyard Kipling too. And Wordsworth, Blake, Milton, Donne, and Dylan Thomas. Elizabeth Barrett Browning. I also grew up with Robert(Rabbie) Burns poetry. However, the one poem I loved reading then and still do now, is Longfellow's Snowflakes.

Here ends the second round of questions, and NO, Mary , I am absolutely NOT going to tell you how much I weigh. Not in this lifetime. Or not until I am a sylph once again, and that may never happen in this lifetime either! I have lots more to answer, so part three will be along soon!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

All about me...Q&A1

OOOOOH ....questions! I love questions. The answers may well cover a few posts, and for those of you who still have questions to ask, fell free to add them in the comments.

Needled Mom asks: If you could do anything you want today...what would you do?

Today. Not tomorrow. Today. Hmmm. If I could, I would have been on a plane at 7am to Switzerland, and would be at my sister's home in the early afternoon. And where I have been longing to be for months - in the Alps. Or I would have shown up at my daughter's party in New Zealand.

Or on a more realistic note, I would love to spend the day sitting in front of a roaring fire, with friends, laughter, and interesting conversation. Or I would choose to be sitting in front of the roaring fire with candles lit, and dream a while.

However, in the absence of the roaring fire bit, I will probably curl up on the couch and do some dreaming anyway. I can light some candles. I am inventive.

Vee asks: What are your Christmas plans? Will you stay at home or travel? What is the best book that you've read over the past several months and why?

My Christmas plans. Well, they depended on what the Consultant said last week, and he did say I can fly, so I really hope that I can be in Switzerland this year. My son has invited us to spend Christmas with them as well, and while that would be wonderful, it is time to have Christmas with my sister. We haven't been with her for Christmas for years. David will come with me. I hope. If it turns out that I can't go, I will love being with Andrew and Ann. All I know for sure, is that I will not be here at home. So I hope to be travelling. And this year, there will not be a Diana surprise, as she is planning to come and visit her little niece after she arrives, so that is great too.

The best book I have read over the past months has to be The Shack. I know many of you have read it, and we have all talked about it on our blogs, but I really enjoyed it. It is a book which makes no claim to be a theological treatise, but if you suspend all pre-conceptions and read it as a novel, it will surprise you and make you think. It certainly did that for me. There are many themes in the book, and most people pick up on the forgiveness part. For me, it was the justice. If you haven't read it, I do urge you to do so - it sparks so many interesting conversations too. A great read.

And then I am adding another one or twenty. A series of books which have completely captivated me, and which I absolutely love. The Elm Creek Quilt novels by Jennifer Chiaverini. There are lots of them, and they delight everyone who has read them. My books are still doing the rounds. They combine my love of quilting and history and people, so could not be more perfect for me. Stunning books which will make you want to read them all immediately. You will fall in love with them. The characters are wonderful the lot.

I love reading. I love reading anything and everything really, and my home is filled with books. I always have a couple of books on the go and in the past couple of years, I have been drawn to a lot of Christian literature too. I have read Max Lucado, John Ortberg, Elizabeth George, John Piper, Philip Yancey, Rob Bell, and so many more. Each book has left me with something wonderful to savour. I love learning. I am also reading Robert Winston's book on the mind - The Human Mind. Fascinating stuff. I could go on and on, but I will leave the books there. For now.

Theresa asks: I'd like to ask you if you work and if so, what type of work do you do.

Technically, at the moment I am not working. I am on extended sick leave (that really irritates me, people, I am not sick - just a bit dented) from the school where I have been working since November. Until Geoff died, I had been mainly a stay at home mum, who had worked at a few jobs over the years. I managed a doll's house shop for a while, worked in an Oriental rug shop - I even learnt how to repair fringes there ) and as an exam invigilator. But I stayed at home, raised my children and looked after my parents. My Mum lives with me. Geoff was away 9 months of the year throughout their childhood, so it made sense. This, I have to say, is what I love doing the most. Being home. Making a home, helping out in the community. Being involved.

I started working after Geoff died, as a learning support assistant in a secondary school. That changed over night to a departmental assistant and then within a month, I was teaching Textiles to the whole school, after the teacher left. Bear in mind that my degree is in History here. Not textiles. But I know the subject and loved the challenge. I left the school at the end of that year, and took a couple of months to do the Inquest (I represented the family) and then started working at another school as a cover supervisor - standing in for teachers who were absent. That lasted a month and they asked me to teach Design. So I did. And that was what I was doing when I blew out my knee. Will I be able to go back? Will I want to? That remains to be seen. It was not paradise, as some of you will remember. Technically, I have done enough teaching to get QTS (Qualified Teacher Status) But that is not going to happen where I work. Do I want it? Not really. I have other ideas!

Well people - there are the first answers. I may do another one later today. We will see. I have had fun.