Saturday, 31 May 2008

turning the corner

Haven't been blogging for a while, didn't want to break the spell of 'luck'. But it seems at last we have turned a corner re mum, she's making excellent progress, is walking a bit further every day, can get herself in and out of bed, and to the toilet. Funny how we take such things for granted, but their big strides in her life right now. I took her down to the coffee shop tonight, they have a garden area, so she enjoyed some evening sunshine and some fresh air, if she'd been more comfy in the chair she'd have stayed a bit longer.

I also got myself out and about, went to see what our new shopping centre is all about.... and... well it is a shopping centre! Not sure what they were all raving about, it is an open air shopping mall. Once you've seen one shop, you've seen them all. Sadly no craft shops..... :-( I'm sure if someone put a bit of effort in then we could have a darned good craft shop, instead we get John Lewis' pathetic effort, a tiny corner of their vast new shop, as opposed to what they used to have in the old store - a vast area. Plus the paper mil, which seems to slip further down everytime I visit. They seem to keep trying different things, then give up and try something else, instead of pitching it right and sticking with it. It would probably be better if it were an independent store, or Craft Central, far too much paper, which is a bit oxymoronish... but it just doesn't have enough of the bits and bobs that us crafters need. On my last visit they seemed to have decided to concentrate a bit on scrapbooking, but when I went today they'd abandoned that idea! So came home with some peel offs, a peel off storage folder, full of alphabets and sentiments. I'd seen them at the craft fair, but hadn't bothered buying them, but they are actually a good bargain. They also had the Big Bite, but at £34.99 it was a bit pricey.

At the new shopping mall I did get some new clothes, love the Maine range at Debenhams, dunno why but I prefer American clothes, they go for classics and don't faff around too much with designs, and they fit better. Can't be bothered with tight T shirts, or cropped sleeves - ugh! I like clothes that I can put on, look good and can forget about. So got two T shirts and a pair of very comfy trousers. Then went to Clarks to see if I could get a pair of comfy shoes, but nope, no daft ones that I liked.

So to the pic... my happy little vehicle, so called by my mum having spotted the reg: HLV. And it was a very happy little car, with ideas well above its station. It was a bog standard fiesta, but it thought it was a ferrari, it would take on anything. I loved it, sadly, as with all old cars, it got too expensive to keep. Tho if I'd had the money I would have had it restored to its proper glory. I used papers from my QVC kit, a spotty paper for background, and stripey bit for accent, plus the blue mat behind photo. I made some slits in the stripey paper and threaded the mat thru it, just for a different effect, then used some chipboard letters, some circles and some squares, to spell out Happy Little Vehicle. Added some of the new peel offs I got, to spell out 'Star Car' and coloured them using some peel off pens. Think I should take photo of present car, and do a double page spread!

Now off to watch CSI NY, have a good weekend all. Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, 26 May 2008

Getting back to normal...

Think this will be a month I won't easily forget. Thankfully mum has continued to make good progress, tho she did pick up an infection but they quickly got that under control. With luck she should be out of hospital by the weekend.

My happy pills have kicked in and so I feel more on an even keel, also decided to avoid a few people that frankly I'd be happier if they were out of my life completely. Funny how you find out who you can both turn to and rely on for support, and how it sometimes comes from the most unexpected sources.

Been managing to do a bit more crafting, tho now the French Open is on... think if rain hadn't interrupted play I'd not have got anything done!

Made this page yesterday, using Paisely paper, which I usually never know what the heck to do with. I'd like to know why it is called Paisely! Nearly went for a more funky paper, but ended up with the Paisely, sort of a challenge. A fairly simple affair, didn't really want the paisely to distract too much from the photo so used the orange card to tone it down, as usual a bit of serendipity kicked in and I cut some strips of the orange card to blank out some of the pattern, used a tag with some ribbon, then a couple of blue flowers.

Started another page, but it all needs to be glued down, so will post that tomorrow.

Thursday, 22 May 2008

What a month!

It has felt that whatever could go wrong, went wrong regarding mum and her hip replacement op. First she nearly dies of shock, due to a massive haemorrhage, we think she is okay, is well on the mend and we find out she has in fact got two fractures in the newly repaired hip! They had no choice but to operate again, and to partly replace the new hip, the bit that goes into the femur. As you can imagine it was the last thing any of us wanted, tho this time they didn't take any chances, giving mum 4 units of blood over the weekend to boost her haemaglobin levels, then having another 4 on standby for the op, and wanting her to spend at least 24 hours in ITU after the op. Still it made for a very anxious 24 hours for all of us. Was a bit mad at my brother, he'd had an appointment at the hospital, so was going to sit with mum till she went down to theatre, I naturally presumed he'd phone me to tell me when she'd gone down. But no, so there I was worrying all afternoon, thinking that the damn thing must have been cancelled cos there was no ITU bed. In the end I rang the ward to learn that mum had been in theatre for nearly two hours! She finally came out of theatre after five hours, then spent quite a long time in recovery, we didn't get to see her till nearly 7.45 pm, we didn't stay long as she was very sleepy.

Then this morning I got all confused, the phone woke me up, I thought it was only 7 a.m., so started to panic thinking something had gone wrong. In fact it was gone 8 a.m., and it was my brother calling to say mum had had a peaceful night. I felt terrible, sore throat, aching limbs, like I am coming down with something, had intended to go see mum, but thought best not to chance it. At 2.30 mum calls me, she wanted something taking in, she sounded bright, asked how I was, so I said I felt like death warmed up, so what does she say - that I'd better dose myself up as it will be a strain on everyone else! She seemed to have forgotten that I've just spent the last week at her bedside, plus ferrying her friends to hospital to see her. I was very upset, luckily my neice called and gave me some much needed comfort. I suppose I should take it as a sign that mum is getting better, but it was also thoughtless.

Also popped into work to see boss, she was very kind, even gave me a hug. She can be a funny old stick, but underneath she has a heart of gold, and she has been incredibly supportive and kind.

Best explain pic: another scrapbook page. I'm much happier scrapbooking when stressed than making cards. Found this photo of my sister's two boys taken at a fun fair, it is a great pic. Used one sheet of paper from my QVC TSV, a really funky paper, rather retro. Just matted the photo onto some dusky pink card, added the 'fun' using some stripey ribbon, then decided to take a strip of the dusky pink card and lay it on top of ribbon (I know not why), used some really chunky letters to spell out 'brothers', liked how the green stood out, stuck the letters onto a strip of the pink card, then cut round them - that was it! Who says scrapbooking has to be complicated! Some papers are easy to use just on their own, others tho do need some contrast.

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Drowing not waving

Just when you think things couldn't get worse, they do. Its as if life keeps on placing banana skins along my path, no sooner has one crisis ended than another arises.

Mum was making good progress, walking a little further each day, getting stronger, and more determined to get out of hospital. We all thought that she'd be out by mid week this coming week. Then clang... another crisis. Last Sunday, as the nurses were moving her back onto her bed she felt a sharp pain in her recently replaced hip, the next day they had it x-rayed, all seemed okay. But x-rays can continue to develop, and what may seem fine at first may not be. And so it was with mum, on Thursday the registrar broke the news that in fact she'd suffered a fracture where they'd put the new hip prothesis, the pointy part of it, bit that goes into the femur. We were hoping that some bed rest might suffice, but nope, they need to operate to stabilise it. The last thing any of us want after what happened during her initial hip replacement op. They've given her blood, stopped her blood thinning drugs.... yep I know that they will be monitoring her carefully.... but so far she has bucked the trend in the odds against the bad stuff happening, in going into shock after the op, in suffering a fracture... and want the bad feeling I have to go away.

I'm trying to remain positive, around mum at least, but it isn't easy.

Somehow I managed to do some scrapbooking, as a distraction. The pic is the first of two pages I've done this weekend. One, this one, took an afternoon, but mainly because I did so much cutting out, the other just took an hour.

Skool Dayz - entitled only cos I was short of certain letters, and couldn't be bothered to fire up the robo. I used my QVC TSV (from last week), took a piece of plain dusky pink card, then used a sheet of the star paper, cutting a strip off but also cutting round the stars, I cut out the photo, matted it onto some cream card and cut round that, then slotted it behind the paper (sort of!). I cut out some more stars and dotted them around the photo, then cut a piece of black card, to act as a sort of psuedo black board, and added the lettering.

thanks for stopping by, sorry it is pretty gloomy

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

It can't last...

This gorgeous summery weather... can it? Getting quite used to wearing just T shirt and casual type trousers, plus fitflops.

My parcel from QVC arrived yesterday!! Love getting parcels. It is fab, gorgeous, gorgeous papers, all in a lovely two drawer box. The segment on QVC didn't do it justice, or should that be that the presenters never did it justice! Was so delighted at getting it I just had to go scrapping. Think I must be going thru a blue phase, as a lot of pages lately have had a blue theme!

Used two pieces of paper, a blue spotty one as the base, and a stripe for the accent. Went for the large photo corners again, but this time used the left over as a giant triangle under the photo, just matted the photo onto some blue card, rounding the corners of photo and card to give a softer look. Edged all the triangles with some dark gold paper, then added the lettering (thank you robo!)

The robo definitely works better cutting large lettering/shapes, guess my muck ups with it have been due to me using small letters. Hey ho, another lesson learned.

At last managed to wash the car, it was looking rather disgusting, windows were filthy. Trouble with washing it is that you notice also what needs doing to it. Guess I'll have to get down to doing some touch ups on the paint work. May tho take up my sister's offer to go to her place for a couple of days, then I can get it off the road, and away from pesky kids.

All for now.

Monday, 12 May 2008

Summer at last!

Been a while since I last blogged. Been busy with hospital visiting etc, and trying to get the flat ready for when mum comes home. Had to do battle with the fridge door, the OT said to turn it round... easy for her to say, took me a good couple of hours to switch it. Also washed all the suite covers, and gave the suite a bit of a scrub up, that oxy stuff is fantastic.

Mum is on the up, but very slowly, too slowly I think. Told her yesterday to try to walk outside her room, or at least get a few steps from the door, its definitely a confidence thing. But she has to get herself going, at this rate she'll be in hospital for weeks. I'm sure she'd do better if she were on one of the wards, instead of being stuck in a side ward.

I've been having my own wobbly moments, think everything came crashing down, not just family situation but also work. Got call from boss, I've asked just to have my hours adjusted, only slightly, I thought she might just do the sensible thing and just alter my rota... but nope. It has to be done properly, so I have to fill in form and hand it in, someone has to review it... Why do some people make life more complicated? Fortunately the lovely weather has been helping to lift my spirits, can't believe we've had so many sunny days strung together. Long may it last! We did have a big thunderstorm yesterday evening, just got home in time to get the washing off the line before the heavens opened.

At last managed to get some crafting done, had a bit of a struggle with on scrap page, ideas just wouldn't come, sat and stared at photo for a couple of days. Finally got a bit of an idea, and then it began to grow. Had more success with layout above. First managed to come across some lovely stuff in the WH Smith sale in town, they're relocating to the new mall, so everything was being sold off. Wish I'd known earlier, got two DCWV scrap pads for half price. Not much else left, so I settled for those. Papermill shop has now sorted itself out, got much more scrapbooking stuff, and penny black stamps. So what did I buy? Two lots of peel offs, two packets of glittery flowers and a crafty bitz thing of baby embellishments. Also got a couple of T shirts from M&S.

Scrap page: This is of my friend Debbie with her hero Lindsay, who she met at some event in Birmingham. I used papers from my new scrap pad, using one as the base, then the stripes as the accent, just had some bits of blue card laying around, so added them as giant sized photo corners. Stuck on four flowers, green and white, then the lettering, persuaded the robo to cut the large amphersand (& sign), and one of the sentiments from the scrap pad 'Keep Smiling'.

Now got to go find some humorous verses for a 30th birthday.

Thanks for stopping by

Thursday, 8 May 2008


Hard to think that this time last week I was wondering whether my mum would still be alive. She is now back on the ortho ward, and is progressing, albeit slowly. She also has my old mobile, not that she knows how to work it... just hope she remembers to switch it off, else she'll drain the battery. She is not too confident with new fangled things. Did tell brother to explain the ins and outs of a mobile phone, a PAYG phone! Need mum to realise that she can't chat to her hearts content. It has also taken us four days to track down the cardiologist who saw her last week... we just wanted to know what was what. Laughed when he insisted on saying that my mum had had an; Insult to the heart... what! What is wrong with Heart Attack? Felt like telling him to junk the PC talk and use plain speak. Do like it tho when I see them change their attitude when I say that I was a paramedic... think they realise that they're talking to someone with medical knowledge.

But has been tough few days, have been signed off with stress - understatement of the year. My own GP was very understanding, tho he refused to give me any happy pills, frankly I could use a couple.

The crafting has gone out of the window. Managed to make the above card the other day, used my favourite stamp, a cat stamp (nope did not buy it from QVC!), used a black versamark ink pad to stamp the image then used some enamel powder, but while it was still hot sprinkled on some more to get a really thick impression. Was going to just do some simple matting layering, but the mats slipped, and I liked the fan idea that had accidentally happened, then cut four strips of card, two silver and two black to give it an art deco feel.

Have been trying to do some scrapbooking, but my creativity seems to have taken a break... or it could be the heat, it is lovely, and I'm not complaining about this gorgeous weather, just that the flat gets stuffy.

Talk to you again soon.

Monday, 5 May 2008

what day is it?

The days have merged into one, glanced at the calendar and realised it was still at April! Then went over to corner shop for paper and milk, came back with paper, made cup of coffee and... no milk! Feel as if I am on an ever spinning merry-go-round... I go see mum, then have to update everyone... sadly most are of the Aged P generation, and none have mobiles, else I could just text them - Mum is fine! Hey ho... The upside is my jeans are loose, and a pair of favourite trousers even looser (in fact keep on having to hitch them up... so stepped on scales... I've lost 4lbs... want to lose weight: get stressed out!

Really want to do some crafting, have got a day off from visiting tomorrow (all being well, keeping fingers and toes crossed) so will make some thankyou cards for the staff who have been caring for mum. Now just have to convince brother to make up a visiting rota, so he and me, get a break.

Been gathering photos to scan and then scrapbook... by a happy accident I seem to have started a family album. It wasn't intentional, since none of us particularly like to have our photo taken, they are hard to come by. But found a few today. Might even scrapbook my graduation photo! It is a nice photo us kids with mum. Mum was really proud that day, me being the first to get a degree, and being the most unlikely one to actually get to university. Knew how she felt when I witnessed my god-daughter going from graduand to graduate... big moment, lump in throat time. Also going to pester all family for photos.

Well hopefully tomorrow there will be some crafting stuff... two hours of the Bibster, and of course it is National Scrapbooking day on Thursday, with QVC going bonkers for 24 hours on craft, I shall be in seventh heaven.

Sunday, 4 May 2008

Family matters

Not sure if I am coming or going, or have been and come back. Last few days have passed in a whirlwind. Now worried about my brother, he has a serious heart condition, but of course, being a man, he won't listen to any of us. He needs to slow down a little, otherwise I'll be visiting two patients.

Mum is at last on the road to recovery, now much happier at being on a normal ward, well on the coronary care unit, but at least she is free of drips etc. Tho still attached to heart monitor, and still getting blood. Mind you she was a blood donor, so figure she is getting back what she put in! I also was a blood donor, then I became anaemic so they stopped taking it from me. Anyone who has an hour to spare, go give a pint of blood, you may help save someone's life.

Mum kept me and my brother amused on Friday, she had been given a morphine pump for pain relief, during our visit she kept on pressing the button... she almost ended up as high as a kite. All the drugs were confusing her, she is much more like her normal self. Well almost.

Managed to get some scrapbooking done.... started it yesterday, it was a bit serendipitous, pulled out a couple of papers and stuck inbetween where a few scraps of paper. I'd been flicking thru the scrapbooking mag, and had taken a fancy to the circles layouts. So took one piece of pearlescent purple paper, cut two circles, cut four strips of co-ordinating paper, found some purple ric rac ribbon, plus an oddment of white ric rac, and arranged on paper as it took my fancy. Also used a stamp from a Do Craft goody bag, did use some enamel powder, and added a few bubbly gems. Only one title for it: Family Matters.

Friday, 2 May 2008

better news

Think I need someone to whack me over the head with a mallet... just need a good nights sleep. Funny, me, my brother and sister are all exhausted, can't sleep and who can sleep - mum! Yep, she is getting a good nights rest, while the rest of us are on tenterhooks. Went to see her today, she was very bright, I took all her birthday cards in, so that cheered her up. Tho me and my brother think that our mother was as high as a kite on the morphine, she has an 'on demand' drip attached, we both think she is getting a bit too attached to it. But it made for an amusingish visit, tho at one point she seemed to have a funny turn, she said she was dropping off, but it was more than that... course we told the staff and they came in, checked her and of course she was all bright and compus mentus! I didn't want to alarm her, so couldn't just dip out to tell the nurse exactly what I'd seen. All the stress has gone straight to my back, which is protesting like mad, nor do hospital chairs help, can't sit in them for very long... But did get a night off from visiting duties, has cold as it sounds, you do need a break, and some normality... well as normal as it can be. Have found myself feeling the need to keep myself busy, just don't want to sit and dwell on things.

Hope to get some crafting done at some point, just want to lose myself in something for a while. No thoughts in taking part in any challenges, just to do my own thing. May get all the stuff out tomorrow, oddly enough mum said: you'll be enjoying yourself. A reference to me having the place to myself, and normally I would enjoy it, but not like this.

Did buy new phone, old one was useless, could hardly hear anyone, and if you moved about you lost the blooming signal. So now the proud owner of two digital phones... and will have to explain the new fangled things to mum when she gets out. I think they are easier to use than the old one... she no doubt will beg to differ! Called in sick to work, told them my back is bad (which it is) and I'm stressed out. I just couldn't cope with work, think I'd end up thumping some of our most annoying so called 'customers'. So best I stay away.

Looking forward to a bit of a lie in tomorrow... then off to hospital for visiting. At least all this stress is doing wonders for the weight loss... did think the old jeans were a bit loose! But may need a heavy duty hair dye to cover the extra grey bits.

Oh photo is of a pathetic attempt at a screen card, and it was pathetic. Well got five more to pratice on!

enjoy the bank holiday weekend.

Thursday, 1 May 2008

Life's a bitch....

This is my mum, she had her hip operation yesterday, what should have been routine ended up with her being taken to the criticlal care ward.

I called the hospital at 4pm to see how she was, and all was fine, she was a bit drowsy, but she'd had a cup of tea. So I put the finishing touches to her birthday card and then got ready to go see her. When I got to the ward it was obvious something was going on, they wouldn't let anyone in. Then a nurse came out and said everyone would have to wait as they had an 'incident'. I didn't want to even think it was mum... then the nurse came back out, he asked for any relatives of my mum, I came forward, feeling sick.... the other visitors went in, while he sat me down... I really thought he was about to give me the dreadful news.... mum was bad, she was losing blood and her blood pressure was dropping, they couldn't stabilise her. There were lots of doctors coming and going, fortunately her consultant exercised his authority and told them to get her to the critical care unit ASAP. My brother was there, with his wife, doctor came to talk to us, it was grim... so I called my sister to tell her to come over (she lives in Wales). Finally at 11pm they let us see mum, she was awake, and fortunately making sense, but hooked up to all sorts of machines.

I just had a terrible sense of deja vu, seeing my dad the same way... I just hated seeing her like that, so helpless, and looking so frail. You wonder where the strong lady went, the mum who had all the answers, who would scoop you up and remove you from harms way, who would lie next to you till the nightmare went away. Who was there, waiting for you when you got home from school. You never expect it to change, that is how it will always be, they will always be strong, be wise, will know what to do... then life gets turned upside down. Tho my life keeps getting turned upside down, no sooner has our family got thru one crisis then the next seems to turn up... I remember her telling me after I'd just told her that my sister had breast cancer: Don't you get sick... I wanted to say the same thing to her. She doesn't deserve this, she has worked damn hard all of her life, forget the modern working mum, my mum worked - she had to. I don't know how she did it, juggled everything, her work, a bloody awful part time job, us 3 kids, my dad... then ending up in a sink hole estate (wasn't like that when we first went there, but it gradually was filled up with the druggies and the wastes of space. Finally she and my dad moved out, but she was so desperate she took the flat, had she just waited she could have had a nice house, with a little garden. She has helped me thru the worst times of my life, watched me make mistakes, how they hurt her, but she kept her silence, then when my world fell apart, she was there by my shoulder, no judgements, no 'I told you so' just a comforting hug and wise words. I know I am lucky to have such a mum, her Sil and Dil love her dearly, she has been a wise counsel to them on many occasions.

I wish life was fair, but it isn't. It angers the hell out me when I see the scum getting away with things, winning the lottery... when those who are really in need are left to struggle, and they do...

I also need to say a big thankyou to the fantastic staff at Fazackerly hospital... without their skill, dedication and unconditional care - my mum wouldn't be still with us.