Thursday, 31 December 2015

Day 14 - and it's another trip to the doctors

As usual let me start with last night.  My brother, Phil, was 50 this year and, for a variety of reasons, couldn't celebrate.  Since he is obsessed with Dr Who we had a Dr Who celebration for him ( the cake stand is my "design and create a 50th birthday cake" challenge!  After tea we exchanged our £2 presents that I mentioned yesterday (mine was a lovely felt kit and some ribbon) and we created an Oscarworthy video ( my brother Graham sent us some masks to create and then set us the challenge to create a video - the less you ask the better - it's just a strange family!). Suffice to say the whole experience left everyone in tears of laughter!

So - onto today.  Mum had a follow up appointment at the doctors.  She is feeling better in herself but her leg is still very painful and swollen.  The doctor looked and then thought that it could be a blood clot - cue an afternoon appointment at the hospital for a blood test and scan.  Fortunately it wasn't a clot - just very serious Cellulitus where the antibiotics hadn't touched it - mum now needs far stronger ones - 5 tablets three times a day and three at bedtime!  I must say, however, that Barnstaple hospital need to be congratulated for their speed of service and bedside manners.  Our initial appointment was for 1:40 and we were waiting for the medication at 3pm having had all the test results and seeing the doctor twice.

So I am now back home, getting ready to travel home tomorrow and starting to pack the car.  How on earth am I going to get all of this into the car tomorrow? ( There is also a bag of coal, a dog cage and a Hoover to fit in! )

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Day 13 - and it's the arrival of the £2 challenge

Today started quietly with a leisurely lie in and breakfast - albeit a house full of nine people rather than three.  It was then time to set out for a retail Outlet called Atlantic Village and the afore mentioned £2 challenge - each person picks a name and buys a present for £2 or under for that person and gives it to them over tea.  I won't say who mine is for since she reads the blog but my £2 bought around £17 worth of stuff!  You've got to love the sales!

We have also sorted out the crackers for next year and who has picked who - the crackers yesterday went down well - Phil was really pleased with his Doctor Who cracker!

Tonight we are planning special tea with a theme - again I cannot say because HE reads the blog as well!  Pictures will follow tomorrow and does involve come baking of mine!  It also involves successfully negotiating one of my challenges!

The other activity today is beginning to narrow down my choice of new puppy - I think that I am going to have a cockerpoo.  Phil's dog is just like a lovely teddy bear and Millie has reacted well to her so that's positive!  

Anyway that's enough of my ramblings - off to ice a muffin!

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Day 12 and the cavelry arrived - or shall we call it carnage?

The day started early - Cinders here was up at 7am hoovering and tidying ready for the visitors.  I also managed to rustle up a multi seed loaf and some banana muffins for tomorrow - us servents need to think ahead.  Around 9 the invalid arrived looking and sounding much better and we began to think about breakfast - when my cousin, Jo, and her husband Ian and children Jenny and Matthew arrived.  Consequently "breakfast" was a lovely piece of panettone around 11 when my brother, Phil, and his wife, Chris, arrived - complete with their small dog Bonnie and puppy Penny ( named after Penfold I am told). Four dogs with the puppy feeling as if she had the upper hand and it was carnage!

I was really pleased with Millie's reaction to the puppy though - bodes well for the future- and pleased to see her settling down. You would never have seen her being stroked by Jenny in the past!

The brown bread was for lunch - the recipe called for a camembert cheese wrapped in pancetta ( we only had bacon) and then wrapped in the dough.  I was dubious but it worked out really well - although the bacon needed further cooking so we will have that for tea - and we served it with the leek and potato soup.

Then it was present time - the dogs were banished to their beds and the chaos started.  As I said before, we opened one present at a time so the whole process lasted around two hours.  Of course it is now time to reveal the mystery presents that caused me such pain - they are called bionic gear bags and have 4 zipped compartments and 5 pockets.  Let's just say that they went down well.

I made a lap quilt for my sister in law which she loved and my brother was bowled over by his collection of Dr Who signatures that Mum and Dad gave him - a student of mine managed to collect them for me.

The afternoon finished with a present from my brother Graham - blue crackers with fox masks to make up and then a video needs to be sent of us doing something with a ball to celebrate Leicester City's current success ( don't ask!)

So - onto tonight - it's our Christmas meal and exchanging the home made crackers that we have made.  It's over meals like this that the challenges are set for presents tomorrow - gulp!

Monday, 28 December 2015

Day 11 and Cinders is feeling the pinch!

Let's start with last night - Mr Mouse is now complete - ta da!  As I have said before I love working with felt - it is really forgiving.

Today I enjoyed a lie in but needed to be up and out shopping for those things that we couldn't get the other day.  Dad came in from walking the dog and I made him his cup of tea and his breakfast sandwich.  I also gave him his morning pills - big mistake.  That reminded him that he hadn't filled his pill box for the week so he ignored his breakfast whilst he did that job.  Meanwhile the invalid arrived so I set to filling her hot water bottle, making porridge etc.  Quite frankly it was a miracle that we even got out of the house!

However we did manage it, completed the sainsbury's shop and picked up some bargains.  Apologies if anyone gets this card next year but, at 10p per pack of 8 I just couldn't leave them on the shelf!

In Dunelm I also managed to spot two single pillowcase shams - these will complement my new Duvet set and were £2.50 per pillow case in the sale - only to be reduced further to £1.25 at the checkout!  The actual duvet set complimentary pillowcases were priced at £22 per pair so me thinks that I have made a saving there!  At this point I should admit that Cinders was treated to a coffee and a cake - Dad and I shared these two beauties.

We came home to find an improved invalid who fancied what our family call a "flying saucer" a toasted cheese and bacon sandwich - progress indeed food wise.  The rest of the afternoon was spent sorting the dining room out for our visitors tomorrow, tidying the kitchen, cooking the turkey plus stuffing, making a bread pudding from the lunchtime scraps and helping Dad work his Kindle Fire to take photos and attach them to an email. I'd like to think that I'd rest tonight but I wouldn't place a bet on that one!

Sunday, 27 December 2015

Day 10 and the invalid is regaining her appetite slowly

The day stated early - I do have to watch my sewing show on Create and Craft you know!  Fortunately Sewingbuddy and I agreed that there was nothing to be tempted by so we didn't need to break our fabric fast.  Then it was time to start on the housework.  I just knew that as Mum got better then she would start to fret about the house being guest ready.  Just as well that I did - she came down around 10 ish after I had finished the lounge and kitchen - phew!

Mum had been dreaming of eating some porridge - which is a good sign.  She only managed a couple of dessert spoons but, at lunch time, followed that up with a little plain fish so that's a good sign.  Mind you I think that I managed to cremate the fish - quite an achievement when you consider that the fish was being steamed in the microwave!  However it was good to see Mum regaining her strength - we even managed to go through the presents, wrap the last few up and sort everything out.

This afternoon I decamped into the kitchen to sew the mouse.  As you can see he is getting there and should be completed by tonight. ( I had run out of stuffing so needed to pinch some of mum's).  Why the kitchen? Well - as my parents watched Mary Poppins ( that was the first film that I can remember going to the pictures to watch when I was around 4 years old - I remember my brother and I looking in a bed sales room window and picking out a pink and blue blanket each!) - I wanted to watch Downton Abbey from Christmas Day on catch up.  Sadly I already knew the ending from the newspaper but it was good to see such a wonderful series finish so positively.

Tonight - well it's finish Mr Mouse of course, and Dad has "ordered" Shepherds Pie for dinner but then it's back to the EPP tablecloth- again!

Saturday, 26 December 2015

Day 9 - and its father and daughter in charge!

Let's start first with last nights creation - the mouse now has arms, legs and the start of a body.  I must say that felt is easy to work with and, so far, the pattern is easy to follow.  The kit is from and is very reasonably priced in my opinion - worth a check out!

Mum managed to come downstairs this morning, although still isn't eating properly.  That meant that Dad and I were tasked with going shopping for next week and when the rest of the family come down. We had a list - what could go wrong?  A lot it would seem.  Firstly, of course, it's Boxing Day.  There were not that many people out but, of course, shelves had not been stocked.  Morrisons had no lettuce, for example!  Then you need to factor in THE routine.  Apparently you need to take two trolleys, three boxes to stack the right food in afterwards and then let Dad loose on the fruit and veg.  Let's just say it's an experience!  To be truthful Dad is doing his best to tempt Mum to eat. He really does love her and is keen to be of any help that he can.  He even bought her some daffodils - bless! ( well I paid for them since he doesn't carry cash but you get the point!)

This afternoon there appears to be only one thing to do - sit in front of Final Score engrossed and desperate to hear that Leicester are beating Liverpool.  Me?  Well more mouse sewing of course before starting to cook tea - leftovers!  That reminds me - there were some doubters that we could produce a Christmas dinner.  Well scoff no more!

Friday, 25 December 2015

Day 8 - Merry Christmas Everyone

I guess that every family has its own traditions.  Since there are no small children now, we get up and have a usual breakfast, then it's off to church.  When we get home it's coffee and a "lunch" of mince pies and sausage rolls whilst we open the presents - one at a time in turn.  Those who are active amongst us then go out for a bracing walk whilst the rest of us recover / "play" with our presents until the evening meal - our Christmas dinner.  Finally it's either game playing or Christmas tv with my brother shouting "no talking" periodically throughout Doctor Who.

This year I expected things to be different but Dad went to church whilst I made the fire up so that Mum could come down. Dad and I had the traditional lunch and the three of us exchanged our Christmas presents.  These are just a few from my parents and Wendy& Nigel - many thanks X. I was also lucky enough to be given some felting mats, make up and chocolate from Jean whilst my Tuesday night sewing class friends gave me some decorations, a candle and a jar of beads.  Mmmm- me thinks there's a sewing theme here.  Sewingbuddy - I hope that you noticed the Christmas fabric - Mum thought that if I couldn't buy any then she would wrap my present up in the fabric.

Talking about Mum, I wonder if you recall me struggling with her present?  So much did I struggle that I threatened to throw my expensive machine out of the window.  Anyway it turned out to be this hand embroidered handbag made from hand dyed felt.  She was pleased with the end result so it was worth the pain!

This afternoon I " played" with a present that I have given myself - a reading mouse for the lounge. This, if you recall, was a kit that I bought in Harrogate to make up on Christmas Day.

Talking about presents I can now reveal the gift that I made for Wendy -it was a wall hanging that is oh so true for every sewer out there!

As for the "mystery" presents that have so haunted this blog in recent weeks - well, they're still to be given - Millie is keeping stum!

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Day 7 and the invalid is still poorly

I don't know about you but it seems as if every Christmas has a story behind it.  On the face of it everything is the same - the traditional story, church going, family getting together, present giving etc - but we refer to past Christmases as " the one where there was no power and it took hours to cook the meal" or " the one where Baby David had to be rescued from the snow".  I guess that this year is the one where we had a poorly mum and the doctors were involved.

When I went to bed last night I popped my head around the door and she could talk but was clearly very weak.  We were struggling to know what exactly is wrong with her.  Around midnight she had tried to go to the bathroom but it took Dad and I to get her back into bed.  Aggravating the situation was a fall that she had a couple of weeks ago and her leg was really painful.  She did then sleep for around 8 hours straight but she is in danger of being dehydrated so, much to her annoyance, I rang the doctor.  She asked to see her so she had to make it down stairs - in a very fragile manner with a very red leg.  We got her down and then gave her an hour in the chair to recover before going to the surgery.  I am grateful that her doctors can usually see their patients the same day - you certainly cannot say that about mine! Anyway the outcome is that Mum has Cellulitus and has been given antibiotics with a warning that if they don't work then she may have to be admitted to hospital!

Elsewhere "on the farm" I have finished as much as I can of the first "a quilter lives here" block ( I need to iron some interfacing on before embroidering the title) and have made a start on the second.  The trouble is that we can't settle to anything - Dad even resorted to washing the underside of his dog today - Collies pick up so much dirt!  I've no idea what's going to happen tomorrow - we have turkey but not much else.  However at times like this Mum's health is more important!

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Day 6 - and we have an invalid in the house.

 The day started as normal but I was aware that someone had needed to visit the bathroom several times in the night.  It turns out that Mum has fallen foul of what I suspect to be a gastroenteritis bug.  Stubborn as she is, Mum refused to go to the doctor - preferring to sleep it off.  We shall keep a watching eye on the situation and override her if necessary.  Meanwhile Dad has lit the fire early so that the lounge is nice and warm when she feels able to get up and come down. I, of course, nipped out to sainsbugs and bought some lucozade and replacement salts.  Don't know whether we will use them but it helps to do something practical!

We had planned to go out but clearly that was off the cards.  Instead I used my time to tidy around and then finish the needle turn block.   The actual month one block is larger but it involves cutting pieces of fabric and the sewing machine - I had only brought down the materials to complete the needle turn so must leave it for now.

The next piece of excitement was a large parcel arriving for Mum and Dad - I strongly suspect that it's presents from one of my brothers.  All of the males in the family support Leicester City - but he's the worst.  Given their extraordinary rise to fame ( they are top of the premier league at the moment, having been bottom this time last year in case you've escaped the hype) I strongly suspect that the present will have a Leicester City link!!

I let Millie out into the garden today - not realising that Dad had left the gate wide open.  Cue a look around the village before spotting a brown lab streaking up and down the street going to say hello to whoever she could find - including a cage of birds I might add.  Eventually she came back without too much of a fuss but before I could congratulate her too much( ahem) there was a knock at the door - she had gone through a neighbours garden and the neighbour had come around to complain and tell us that she was frightened of dogs.  Dad had to apologise and explain that it was truthfully his fault for leaving the gate open.  Do you ever get the feeling that it's going to be one of those days?  Meanwhile Millie is totally oblivious to the chaos that she has caused!

Next update is re the duvet set.  Ponder Mills have been fantastic in their communications - the issue is with Yodel who have been overwhelmed with the deliveries - hence the delay.  Ponden Mills have now refunded the postage and are trying to contact Yodel to arrange a delivery time ( I had said that we were out all day today!)

Craftwise - on the agenda today is blanket stitching one of The Quilter Lives here blocks.  I will finish it,I will finish it , I will ..........

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Day 5 - and the excitement of eBay

After the last few days of door watch a lie in was in order - in fact I didn't wake up until after eight and then, ironically, it was to the noise of the builder fitting the flaming door!!   However it is looking good and, hopefully, was worth the bother.

Talking of bother with deliveries - do you remember the duvet set that I ordered on Saturday?  Not only did they not apply the 20% discount promised on the website( they have now after an email) but I paid for express delivery to make sure that it was here by today.  Huh - here we are again - no delivery!  I have emailed the company and they have said that if its not delivered today then they will refund the postage costs and it will arrive tomorrow.  I will be getting it free at this rate!

So - onto today - we had decided to get the house ready for Christmas.  I was set to hoovering, delivering Christmas cards to neighbours, wrapping presents etc.  Gee I've gone from Miss Haversham to Cinderella - all within 24 hours!  I managed to escape, however, and set to being creative.  I can't explain with what but all will become clear after Christmas - wink wink!

You may remember that we were selling the petrol pump on eBay yesterday and accepted a bid which was very close to our asking price.  I have to say that some buyers surprised me with their lack of communication - one even asked me to say no to the winning bid ( after I had said yes) and they would give me the asking price.  Sorry I don't play games like that!  The buyers came around 3:15 and were pleased that Dad had also managed to find the original nozzle and fuel pipe to give them.  Fortunately the builder was still there to help Dad and the buyer dismantle and then load the petrol pump into the van.

You may also recall that yesterday I started on a Gail Pan quilt - undertaking part of block one with some needle turn appliqué.  I think that this is " so far so good".  I need to work on my curves a little more and the definition of shapes but I am getting there.

Finally I came across this in Facebook.  As a mathematics teacher in my former life I really love this!