Sunday, May 24, 2009

A sunny day....

Britain's Got Talent live semi final is about to start, and Susan Boyle is singing tonight, so I am just popping in to say I am having a totally wonderful weekend. The sun is just setting after a beautiful day. The second in a row, and it has been hot and sunny and blue skies and no wind, and I have been in the garden all day. Well, apart from the trip or 3 to the allotment, and to church. Just the best. Everything is growing so fast at the moment!

I spent most of yesterday out there too, apart from the dash to town to sort stuff. And then Jean came round for the first BBQ I have done this summer. That was superb, and the best was sitting there and hearing everyone out in their gardens, laughing and having fun. I lit the chiminea as it cooled down, and we were sitting out there till 10pm. Sigh. I love summer. I love my garden. I love blue skies.

Tomorrow Diana comes back, and then on Tuesday we are off for 6 days. She has been having a great time in London catching up with all her friends. And that, my friends, is my update. David starts exams on Thursday, so he is working hard. Missy is the proud owner of a Bumbo chair and loves sitting in it. And did I mention the sun is shining?????????

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Thursday - (another stunning title)...

My daughter is in London for the long weekend, so I have been Looking For New Appliances. You know how the salespeople (who are 12) hover around you and know absolutely nothing when you tell them you have a list of minimum requirements for a machine, which must also be the cheapest in the shop ......... I have met a few of them today. Give me strength.

I also had to look for phones. My landline phones have expired too. And the one with the fax. I have decided that I hate choice. If there was just one, if would be simple. Now my eyes glaze over as I walk down the aisles. And it is rather nice in a very quiet house. So I didn't get one. Not yet. I have written down prices, so we have made some progress. I paced myself!!!!!

And the vacuum cleaners......can you bear any more excitement! No. I haven't got one yet. The whole lot can wait till we get back in a week.

Today was aquarobics day again. Good heavens, we worked hard. The woman is a sadist. I am still aching. There was a lot of laughter along the way. And afterwards, despite an urgent need for a nap or something chocolatey, I felt good. Jean came along for the first time today and she loved it too. So tick the box for great exertion. I can't tell you how good it feels to be able to keep up with the class. In the water, I can do things I would never be able to do on land. And I have made a new friend. Ewa is 79. My goal is now to be able to do this when I am 79 too. She is amazing. And believe me, I am not going to let someone who is 79 outdo me. I grit the teeth and get on with it.

The secret is keeping my eyes on the instructor all the time. I lose focus very easily, and then I forget what I am supposed to be doing, lose rhythm and that does not work, so if I watch her all the time, I can do it. I love it. I feel normal in the water. Well, "normal" is a word which is open to interpretation!

And apart from that, I have been trying to put the garden back in place. My neighbours have now started erecting a fence so I am regaining some privacy and the wind tunnel is now under control. But everything had to be moved, so I will spend the weekend pottering in the garden. I have a funeral to go to tomorrow, and then we have a long weekend, and the sun, my friends, is supposed to be shining. I may even try a BBQ. I may also play with my camera a bit too.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Dead appliances.....

It is official. My washing machine is no more. It too has expired. It filled up, and sat there and then pumped the water out. Gee. Great. It was nearly 14 years old though, so that must be 98 in washing machine years, given that they are supposed to live 7 years. (14x7 as in dog years....)It did well. Aiyaiyai. What next???
Remember when the dishwasher died? I can survive without that. Then the microwave, followed by the kettle. Now the vacuum cleaner and the washing machine. I am about to go back to washing in the river and carrying the load back on my head like the African ladies did. Or boiling the washing on the stove. Or trampling the washing in the bath.The old ways. A friend was remodelling his kitchen so gave me his perfectly good old microwave, so that was sorted. I bought a new kettle.
However, a vacuum cleaner is really quite important, if I want to have the slightest chance of pretending my house is clean. Please note the place where the flames shot out. Crawling on the floor with a dustpan and brush is seriously not going to happen in this house. I mean - can you just see me????? I think not. And a washing machine???? What do you think???? I thought so. I will have to get a new one. And here is the challenge. I want one with a good spin speed, but I also want a 0 degree water temp option. Like I used to have in SA long ago. And not one website lists the base temp they will operate on. So I do believe I will have to go and actully look at them. Pulling teeth has more appeal.

So instead of doing that, I took my washing to a friend, and then came home and planted stuff. And pretended all was well. Until the rain came down. These are the beautiful flowers Jean gave me when she got back from Kent, where she has been looking after her mother.
Hallelujah for friends who have just retired and who are around when I have washing emergencies! Both Jean (on the left) and Glynis (on the right) are now retired, and it is great to have them close by. Especially when my washing machine dies.

Diana is off (with the car) visiting friends and I am making more lists. Lists of lists. These are the beautiful tulips she bought me! I do like having daughters around. And now I am going to go and make coffee and then contemplate the chances of new appliances in the next decade. Perhaps.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

I am here.... sort of...

I have no idea where the week went. Well, I know what and how much has been done, but time seems to be flying by way too fast. WAAAAAAAAAAAY too fast. Diana has been cleaning my house, and sorting things and informing me that under no circumstances am I ever to die. Not for some deep emotional need to have her mother around forever, mind you - no, because she starts hyperventilating at the thought of having to sort out my house. Nice child. I am interesting. I have hobbies. I have stuff. Forget all previous posts about decluttering my life, people. And then she caught sight of my "From clutter to clarity" book and had hysterics. She also told me to move it back to the top of my "to read" list immediately.

Sigh. I love my kids. However, I am retaining the right to live my life my way, complete with any stuff there may be about the place. They can regard it as their legacy. It will keep them busy. Hahahahahahahahahahahhaaaaaaaaaaaaa.
My older son turned 32 yesterday, so daughter and I took off to visit the birthday boy, and present him with the humongous chocolate cake Diana baked for him. I think they will be eating cake for weeks. Delicious, it was too. And Missy herself was on top form, smiling and watching everything with big blue eyes. Have I mentioned how brilliant A and A are with her??? They are wonderful parents, and she is a beautiful little girl. She gave here Daddy a card "to the best Daddy in the world" and as her Mum says, the child is totally brilliant and managed to sign her name in cursive writing. Her PhD will be following shortly. She looked so cute, propped up on the couch with her card in front of her, and the little grin in place.

I can't believe how quickly they change and grow. Now she watches everything - across the room, and finally, she likes the swing I bought her. Hopefully it will keep her happy so her parents can actually eat a meal in peace now and then!

My vacuum cleaner expired this morning. It burst into flames, as Diana was vacuuming the lounge. Groan. Diana survived the excitement, but my Dyson did not. It is now on the way to the tip. It is one of the very first yellow and grey ones, so is/was very aged. But still..... And then I put the washing machine on and the blankets came out sodden. This is not good. I have refrained from trying another load as I am now in ostrich mode, and I can't cope with the idea that 2 appliances may have expired on the same day. A Sunday. Maybe it is because it is a day of rest and they were not resting. Lalalalalala. The fun just gets better and better!

And so far my squirrel defences are holding well. If the rain would just stop a bit, I could do more transplanting. So far the beans are in, and I have lettuce, peas, beetroot, spinach beet, purple brocoli, chard, spring onions, onions - both red and white, potatoes and carrots in their proper growing places. I still have squash, butternut and gem, cucumber, courgettes, yellow beans, sugar snap peas, corn, and the tomatoes to move. And there is more, only I can't remember what exactly. Then the mint, sage, chives, parsley etc is also ok. I have not done my hanging baskets yet, but they will have tumbling tomatoes in them too. And herbs.

There are plenty of flowers in my small garden, especially roses. And I have cosmos seeds in and flox too. And marigolds. And fuschias. And other stuff. In fact, my garden is just like my house. Full of stuff. Just the way I like it.

What with hydro-therapy, exercises, tagging along with my daughter (having fun!) and just life in general, I have not had time to see the computer, never mind actually write anything, and forget about reading, so bear with me, people. I will be back when I can find the time.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

My inventions amaze me....

My anti squirrel fortress is truly impressive.
Believe me, NOTHING will get through that. Talk about a woman on a mission. My daughter did start muttering the words "obsessive" "paranoia" and "insane", but she did hold the frame while I hammered nails with vigour. And she operated the staple gun too. It is a little larger than I intended, I confess, but it will keep the rodents with bushy tails out, and that works for me. Hah! And that took most of the day, with many breaks to regain strength along the way. The pacing is still not going very well. In fact it is not going at all. Who needs pacing.....
And my irises are finally in bloom and looking beautiful. They are just next to the lilac tree, which I forgot to include in the photo, as I am an idiot. Not to mention too lazy to go and take another photo!

Diana has been transforming my kitchen. It is a new kitchen. It sparkles too! And she is slowly recovering from the jetlag. I am just loving having my daughter about. Sigh. I am still grinning, people!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

All together.....

She wanted banners, and so banners she got! (And do not suggest better grammar. It makes sense, so it will do!) We were there and she was a joy to behold..... Welcoming home one's children is something very special, as many of you will know.

And then it was on to her big brother's home, to meet her little niece at last.....

And I asked for, and got, the family photo. All of us in the same place, for a few hours, and that is also very special. The fact that I hijacked it and called it Mother's Day, made it even better.
And then Diana and I set off to Canterbury to return David to uni for his last term of the year. She helped him unpack and get sorted, in her own unique fashion - she says she arranged all his photos artistically on his notice board. And he took her on a tour of the campus and the places he spends most of his time.

As we left the uni, I noticed that in the shade of the trees, there were masses of bluebells, so Diana hopped out and took some beautiful photos of them.

Stunning. And then a few metres later, the city of Canterbury came into view. For those of you who may not know, the Archbishop of Canterbury is the head of the global Anglican Church. And Chaucer's Canterbury Tales are familiar to many who studied English at university! It is an ancient little city with an incredibly rich history.

So I am home again, complete with my daughter in residence as I speak. She is cleaning the shower. She has already been sorting things, like my kitchen, and she cooked a wonderful risotto last night. And chased the squirrels away from my vegetable garden. Me? I am sitting back and enjoying just having her here.

Actually, I am off to try and construct a "Keep the Squirrels Out" thingy with wood and netting. Nails and a hammer should do it. The saw is in the kitchen after all. My drill.....

Friday, May 08, 2009

Choosing to look at my world with different eyes...

Today you get a list. As I look around and take stock of my world, I have a choice about what to focus on, and as I am human, I do tend to dwell far too long on the negatives.

However, there are too many other wonderful factors to stay "on the dark side" for long!!
  1. The sun is just starting to peek through the grey clouds today
  2. My daughter cycled over the Golden Gate Bridge (getting a tad sunburnt, as she said) and had a spectacular day
  3. My vegetables are having a massive growth spurt and are popping up all over the place
  4. I didn't have the IVG yesterday because my consultant and I want to see how I can survive without it
  5. So that means I can drive today
  6. Diana arrives on Sunday morning!
  7. Missy (my name for the Bump here on the blog) can roll from her front to her back and is absolutely gorgeous (sorry no photos as per her parents' request)
  8. The lilac is in full bloom and the scent is wonderful
  9. I put out 4 bags of clothing for the Salvation Army Collection this morning
  10. The washing machine continues to work and is whirring away as I speak
  11. I have food in the cupboards, and my lettuce is ready to pick fresh from the garden
  12. I have my son here to carry some heavy bags of compost
  13. Skype is fantastic - especially when I can watch a little granddaughter play
  14. Digital cameras - what would we do without them??
  15. I have so many friends around the world who are ready to pray for my family
  16. I realise and trust that things happen for a reason
  17. And that the timing will always be right, just not necessarily MY timing
  18. And that my friends here are real friends who reach out
  19. I will have all 3 of my children, my daughter-in-law and my granddaughter in the same place at the same time on Sunday!
  20. I know my leg may not get better. And I choose to focus on the fact that at least I can move. Remember that doctor who said I will never walk in the mountains and never crawl on the floor with my grandchildren???? Wrong on both counts. We will not dwell on how long it took to walk on the mountain, or how I actually got UP from the floor, but hey, I did it!

So there you have it. I am smiling today. And I will be tomorrow too. And the next day....

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Flowers in her hair....

My daughter is having a wonderful time in San Francisco. I know this because I read her Facebook page. I found the details at dawn this morning. Sleep???? Hah. There are even photos and it all looks stunning. So I am very happy! Apparently all the many prayers worked and the flight was good. Thank you all!

However, I am NOT happy with this following thing. I can't change anything. Error messages appear, so I am using a combination of the followers and the favourites I have to keep track of you all, not to mention my cunning magical powers, of course. I see that my photo is missing from some followers boxes on your pages, and just reads as lal50 instead of Linds. However, it is there on others. I have checked my settings, and re-entered details, and.... Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch.


Then I looked at the Help pages, and nearly lost the will to live. So I repeat - I have not intentionally dropped off any lists. I will find you. That will have to do.

Now I have to get ready for physio, and then the pain clinic. Remember the worm thingy????? I have to report back on Bath. There may be another IVG. We will see.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

What is up with Blogger???

Is anyone else having a problem with mysteriously disappearing people they follow? Some of my friends have vanished from my list, and I can't add them - I keep getting error messages. And I have no idea how many others have vanished. So if I have been a follower and have vanished, please know IT IS NOT ME doing it. Blogger has developed a life of its own and is interfering with my blog, my lists, and my mind. I am not happy.

One friend wondered what she had said or done to make me cut her out completely, and here I was thinking all was normal. I have not cut anyone out. Sigh. And since when did pink error messages start popping up on the dashboard, and also, what the heck is this " be a friend" thingy I have never seen before? Not follower, friend? Huh???

This is what happens when you don't blog for a while. The world goes mad. Snarl. I think I need to change hosts. If I knew how to in the first place. Or start a new blog. Or get my own domain. Aiyaiyai.

Now if my daughter would just send her mother a text to tell her she was alive and well in SF seeing that her plane landed nearly THREE hours ago, I may be able to go to bed.

She is on her way.....

Diana is in the air as I speak, heading for SF. She is staying there for 3 days to see something of the city, and also to break the journey, which is verrrrrry long otherwise. So that is why she says she intends cycling over the bridge. She will be exploring. I, on the other hand, will be making that banner to welcome her home. And, like all mothers, hyperventilating, of course.

With spectacular forward planning, she arrives on the same day David goes back to uni for the final term of the year. And his exams. And she leaves before he finishes. How we managed that one, I do not know. They are less than enchanted that they will have very little time in the same place, but we will make a plan. And she has a little girl to meet too. And, as she says, she needs to just flop at home for a while. I can't think of anything better. There will also be a trip to Switzerland to see the rest of the family, so the 3 and a half weeks will disappear in a flash. And then she has a few days with friends of Andrew and Ann in Hong Kong on the way back to her home in NZ.

Sigh. My girl is coming home for a few weeks. I need to try to clean this place. And sort. And tidy. And make the banner. I will be back later/

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Hello all.....

I am here, people. I apologise for my absence in Blogland, and for the lack of comments and whatsits. Even my family have started calling to see why I am not posting. Update your blog, they say. And this is from the son who is upstairs as I speak and on his computer there. He checks to see what I am doing. He could, on the other hand, just run down the stairs.

Why haven't I posted? I can't think of anything to say. Nothing exciting going on here at all, except for my daughter's imminent arrival, but I will be excited when she actually walks through the doors at Heathrow, because she is flying. Flying in itself is not a problem, except for Diana. She gets altitude sickness. And heaven help her if she arrives in San Francisco for her very first visit, and looks ill. She will be whisked away and deposited in quarantine in case she has swine flu. And while we are on that subject, I would really rather she didn't get swine flu either.
And then she is in SF all by herself, and as she says, she is 28 and quite grown up enough, having trotted round the globe once or twice, but hey, I am a mother, so I can wail if I like.

So I will be all happy and bouncy when she gets here. She has every intention of cycling over the Golden Gate Bridge, I gather. I don't ask questions. I can find out after it is all over. I just want her home. Here. All intact and without pig flu. Am I the only one who loathes the word "swine"???

The only action around here has been in the garden. I supervised the moving of a shed from one side of the garden to another on Saturday. I use the word "supervised" loosely. The bottom fell out, which complicated things somewhat, but having muscleman David home was a real help. And I lost the ability to move at all on Saturday evening.

And now I have more room for the growbags of vegetables. They are growing. However, I decided that I didn't like the look of all that plastic, so I used all the slats from an old set of double bunks and made a cage for them. A box. My saw was useful, and so was my Dremel drill. And after sitting in my kitchen screwing heaven knows how many screws into the wretched thing to make something like a raised bed, the palm of my right hand was one massive blister. I just kept adding more layers of bandage and dressing till it looked as if I had had major surgery. But it looks good. And then I lost the ability to move once again. We went to a bbq on Sunday evening, and I actually contemplated sitting in the car and having the food brought to me. It was just the smell of the meat on the fire which got me moving.

Then it was Monday. Bank Holiday. And the builders arrived over the fence at 8. I was less than impressed, but got up and decided that I needed to plant things. So I did. And lost the ability to move yet again. As my friends have told me, I have absolutely zero ability to pace my self. Relax. I am a failure, and I am at the stage where I actually see how much damage this obsession with movement can do.

In a sense, I have been subconsciously hoping that if I try to do things, it will all go back to normal. Go away. Push through the pain. Be normal. Move. And the reality is that I can't. I am not normal. I have a problem moving, and it ***(*%^&(%^&*(&)*&*** hurts. Half of me wants to toss out the mountain of medication and try to get my life back. However, that would be both irresponsible and stupid. Having the disabled parking badge thingy has not been a stellar moment in my life. And don't tell me how great it will be when I go shopping. I don't go shopping.


I am here. I am weary. I have nothing brilliant to talk about. Except that I have discovered aqua-robics. I love it! And I can do the exercises in the water! I can't walk when I get out of the pool mind you, but hey, I can do the exercises, so who cares if I end up crawling.

My daughter is on her way tomorrow, and I would really appreciate your prayers for her safety and for her health as she flies across the globe. Home. To me. For a few weeks. It is nearly 18 months since I last saw her. And so help me, I have aged 10 years since then. Maybe she won't recognise me. I will make a banner, I think.

I will put taking some photos on the list for the morning. I am now heading for the couch. I love you all, and please stick around. I will try to do better.