Sunday, 28 February 2021

Sunday 28th February 2021

Today's job for Mum was to order shampoo caps. The ordering is simple. Acknowledging things like this are needed is not quite so easy. First there's the realisation that she can't wash her hair any more. It's not a major catastrophe but it's one more thing she's unable to do for herself. The situation frustrates her and we have to talk it through without dwelling on it too much. I go along with her theory that if I order 3 and she uses one a week she might have some more strength by then to do it herself. Then I move the conversation on and ask her something about my garden or tell her about something that's happened at home. 

I've cleaned the fridge and made jelly. Mum uses granules, I use the old fashioned cubes because you can pull a piece off and eat it. She enjoys a slice of cake and custard so I've bought 3 different ones to give her a choice. Cake of the day is lemon. I've told her she might not be feeling 100% but that doesn't mean she gets to eat it all. It's the sort of relationship we have. She'd throw me out if I was too kind to her. 

I've got 6 flowering aquatic plants, a waterlily, 2 pond baskets and a bag of aquatic soil sat in a basket waiting for me to check them out. I might suggest to Amy and Thomas that they buy the plants for Mother's Day although they'd probably prefer to buy the fish. I'm really looking forward to setting up the container pond. It's not a huge or overly expensive project and I'm sure I'll get a lot of enjoyment out of it.

Can't believe it's the last day of February today. I'm an equinox girl rather than a meteorological one so for me Spring won't arrive until 20th March, but even so it will feel good to waking up to a new month. 

Hope you've all had a lovely day. xx


Saturday, 27 February 2021

Saturday 27th February 2021

It's been another lovely day made all the better by Mark making me poached egg on toast and a cup of tea for breakfast. Before coming back to Mums I re-potted more seeds. Some of them, like the lettuce and carrots are so delicate that I'm not sure I'll get far with them. I'm more sausage fingers than green fingers. But the peas are much more substantial and have doubled in size in just 2 days.  I'm not an overly competent gardener. I'll take care of the seeds but if they can't fend for themselves in the pots then that will be it, especially as I'm not there to properly nurture them, although Amy has been put in charge of watering them. 

I talked myself into hanging up a bird feeder again. I went off these pretty quickly the day I saw a rat swinging from one at the bottom of the garden having a good old feast. I'm not a lover of squirrels either so at the first sign of any creature with fur rather than feathers I'll be taking it down again. 

I've taken the first step towards setting up the container pond by buying the container. This week I'm really going to research the plants and fish because according to Google the size of the container means I can have 2-6 in there. 

Today's job was my wardrobe. I've dumped a few crochet projects in there over the weeks so I washed them all and when I next go home I'll parcel them up and post them off. This is a baby boy blanket I made. The stitch is really simple and I think it would make a lovely boys bobble hat so I'm going to give it a try. 

I'll be at Mum's now until Friday when my sister is coming to stay for 2 nights, so I'll get another break quite soon. And hopefully some days I'll be able to pop home for a couple of hours before then. She's got a really dry, sore mouth at the moment which is affecting her eating so I bought her a spray from the chemist. I'm sure anybody who's had experience of cancer will tell you it can be the little things that cause the most nuisance value and leave you feeling fed up. 

Tom's timetable for returning to school has come through. He stays home on Monday for lessons then goes in Tuesday for his first lateral flow test, then back home again for lessons. On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday he's back in school full time, with his second test on Friday. The following week it's school as 'normal' and he'll have his third test. All future tests will be carried out at home. 

Amy won't return to Uni at all. Her degree has no practical aspects to it, so she'll continue lectures on line. She'll have spent half her 3 years at Uni and the other half at home.

On a positive note my nephew left Uni last year with a First in Economics and has been working in a supermarket since, but landed himself a cracking job a few weeks. I take my hat off to these youngsters who are making the best of what is a very difficult situation and still pushing themselves to achieve their goals. They don't get enough credit in my opinion.

Hope you've all enjoyed your Saturday. Mine's been pretty good and about to get sweeter :) xx

Friday, 26 February 2021

Friday 26th February 2021

I went to a funeral today at church via Zoom. A lovely lady was killed in a car accident last month. She was only 38 and leaves her husband raising 4 children aged 5-18. It really does put things into perspective. As with everything these days, the whole thing has been made all the harder for them because of the covid situation.

I needed to return a parcel to M&S and the Post Office is now in WHS in town so while I was out I got a few bits. It really did feel nice to be doing something as normal as shopping again. 

I have bits of paper everywhere at the moment with things jotted down on them that I need to do especially where Mum's concerned, so I bought a project book and pens. Mum used to love a good project and will laugh when I tell her she's one of mine. 

I bought some more wool but it wasn't until I put them all together for the photo that I realised I'd unintentionally gone all patriotic. 

And I popped a bottle of Robinsons squash in the basket. I must be subconsciously ready for the season to change.

Finally, some soap, face cream and body lotion. I've been using bar soaps for the past few months and really like them. I usually go for sweet and fruity bath products but thought I'd try the lime & mint to start my days with a bit of zing.

I bought a couple of garden things as well, but I'll photograph them tomorrow. And my task of the day was the airing cupboard. There will be before and after shots! 

Had a yummy Carbonara last night. It was only a microwave ping but some sugar snaps and a slice of garlic bread added to the meal. This is the sort of thing I'd never go to the trouble of making because I'm not good with sauces.  

Hope you're all happy it's Friday and are looking forward to your weekend. xx

Thursday, 25 February 2021

Thursday 25th February 2021

I'm home for 2 nights now while Amy takes over at Mums. She said she felt a bit nervous being left in charge, but Mum's problems are only physical. When she's awake she can still direct, instruct and make decisions as good as anybody else - she just does it all from the comfort of her bed. 

There are a few jobs that need doing while I'm here but I've decided not to spend all my time cleaning, instead I'll do a few things that are quick but gratifying. Like tidying my bedside cabinet which has become a bit of a dumping ground lately when I've been rushing in and out to pick up clean clothes etc. This is my space and it's usually kept very neat and tidy so this job was top of the list. 


It's been lovely today. Blue sky and sunshine and a lot warmer than the past few weeks, so I took the chance to get some fresh air and re-potted the peas and some of the beetroot. The shed would make a great place for my seeds but Mark has claimed it for his hobbies, so I rarely venture in there for fear of falling over something or banging my head on one of his RC planes he has hanging from the ceiling. 


I also divided the Peace Lily into 3. I could have got another 2 plants from the original one, but I didn't have any more pots. If I go shopping tomorrow I'll look for some.  

I finished the blanket. I need to get my act together with borders. I can never decide what to do and undid two before I settled on this simple one that doesn't detract from the pattern. 

And this is what the flat crochet turns into. Baby bootees. I've been watching loads of crochet videos lately to pass the time and found this little nugget a few weeks ago. I just need to add some sort of trim at the front like a button, bow or pom pom. 

Hope today has been a good one for you all. xx


Wednesday, 24 February 2021

Wednesday 24th February 2021

Firstly, a big thank you to Sadie for her lovely post welcoming me back to the world of blogging. And also to Sue for linking me on her blog. Can I just say how touched I am that you both went to the trouble of doing this. I had so many visitors yesterday and I really hope some were new friends as well as old. 

Many thanks to people who've also contacted me behind the scenes. You know who you are and it's been lovely to hear from you. 

A big apology to Janice who went to the trouble of commenting but then couldn't post it. I'm really sorry about that. I didn't think it was set up that way so I'll have a look at it later. 

I don't know if I've just fallen lucky but my little slice of the blogging world has always been a lovely place to be and I've made some lovely friends over the years. As Sadie quite rightly says, if you're lucky enough for that to spill over into real life, it really is a blessing. 

It was shopping day today. Mum piggy backs on my orders now so I popped home to get her things. Malt loaf is a favourite of hers at the moment with butter and cheese so I bought 4 of them. I'm partial to a couple of slices myself but it's just butter for me.

Mark's cousin ruptured his tendon 4 weeks ago which means he's hobbling around in a cast and can't drive. He's in his 70's and lives on his own since Aunty went into a home last year so Mark has been taking him shopping every week. I have to agree when Mark says we should both have big red crosses on our cars at the moment lol. I'm not able to help Ken in any way, but he always sends home a box of Lindt chocolates for me which is really thoughtful of him. 

I mentioned trimming Tom's hair to him today before he goes back to school but he's having none of it, no matter how many times I tell him I only want to do the back and around his ears. I wonder if it's because in LD1 my confidence about being able to pull off a number 2 fade for him was sadly misplaced and he's not forgiven me yet :) With the barbers still not open, I've no idea what all these lads will look like when they return to school. Mini Boris Johnson's if Tom is anything to go by. 

I've just a few more rows to do on the Crystal Wave blanket and then the border so I expect I'll finish it tonight. I couldn't decide whether to do a pink or blue border but I think the lacy pattern lends itself to pink. 

And I'll leave you with a guessing game. I've crocheted 6 of these and with a bit of crochet origami courtesy of YouTube have turned them into something to go with the blankets. Some of you might know already but if not I'll show you tomorrow.

Hope you've all had a lovely day. xx

Tuesday, 23 February 2021

Tuesday 23rd February 2021

I managed to pop home for a couple of hours today to see the troops and pick up some things. It's strange going back to Number 38. It feels like home obviously, but the family are in their own routine and Mark has his own way of doing things, so I sometimes feel like I'm just a very welcome visitor, especially when I empty the dishwasher ;) Amy and Tom say Mark is much stricter than I am, by that they mean he makes them tidy up after themselves. But he gets more votes in the food department because he's happy to order them a weekly takeaway and get chippy on Friday night! 

I picked up some clothes and some wool and gave myself a liberal spray of my Cherry Blossom perfume, that with some gentle guidance, Mark bought me for Christmas. I've said before that I can't smell any perfume that I put on, but I walked past Amy and she commented that I smelled nice, so that's good enough for me. 

I checked the seeds fully expecting not to find anything different than when I planted them just a week ago, so was surprised to see this. The radish have really taken off (left) and so have the lettuce (right). I'm not sure if that's normal but I'll thin them out and re-pot them when I go home Thursday and see what happens. 

I'm in the process of finding out how to set up a container pond. From what I can tell it seems easy enough, fill a container with water, leave it a couple of days and put plants in. Some people put gravel and soil in though so I need to find out if that's absolutely necessary. You can add small fish as well but I'll only do that if I think the fish will be fine in there. Tom was quite into this idea until he realised I wasn't talking about a dozen huge Koi and wandered back to his Xbox.

Just 2 weeks to go before school resumes, fingers crossed there'll be no blips in between now and then. We've already had an e-mail saying Tom's school will be doing a phased return while every student is tested twice. Have to say I feel sorry for them if they have to wear a mask for 6 hours every day. I can just about manage an hour if I go shopping and then I'm ready to rip it off.  

Hope you've all had a good Tuesday. xx

Monday, 22 February 2021

Monday 22nd February 2021

We went to hospital this morning where the consultant said Mum isn't well enough to have any treatment. She had a major operation in November and then caught Covid in hospital and he doesn't think she's strong enough. Given her situation, I think recovering from the virus is a miracle in itself. The conversation didn't come as a major surprise but there's always been that element of hope. 

We'd only been out of the house 2 hours but Mum was shattered so she went straight to bed when we got back while I started to text and call people to let them know the news. It's interesting given you're imparting the same information how people ask completely different questions. 

Anything out of the ordinary that upsets my day and I'm likely to head straight for the biscuits and throw myself into mindlessly eating far too many, but I'm really trying to watch out for that, so I made myself half an egg mayo & cress ciabatta followed by a little treat of trifle. 
This afternoon I gave myself a manicure, if you could call it that. I basically trimmed and filed my nails and applied some cream. Looking at this little pot of body lotion from The Body Shop I'm realising that although I'm not the biggest fan of shopping I can't wait to be able to go to some non essential shops again. 
I'm hoping to get home for a couple of hours tomorrow and Amy is moving in Thursday and Friday so I can have a proper break. I wasn't sure at first, but she's confident and so is Granny and it means I can take the opportunity of not having to be here as much while things are just ticking over.

I'm off to enjoy this hot chocolate now. My sister brought some instant drinks with her when she stayed and set a kettle up in the bedroom to make life easier for Mum, but she's not inclined to bother. I'm going to pop the TV on, do some crochet and watch Virgin River, a series where absolutely nothing happens and what does is pretty cheesy, but it's an easy watch. If Mum calls me I can be gone for 10 minutes and still be pretty much watching the same scene when I return. 

Hope you've all had a good start to the week. xx


Saturday, 20 February 2021

Saturday, 20th February 2021

On a rare outing to the shops in January I bought some seeds. I've never been overly interested in growing food with the exception of peas and strawberries when Amy and Tom were younger, but this year I'm inclined to give it a go.

We sold the caravan in December so at least I'll be here at weekends and school holidays to water them. I've no idea why the packet of beetroot I bought isn't in the photo but I've got those as well. And sweet peas are a must. I adore these pastel coloured delicate beauties and love snipping little bunches of them off to dot around the house.

Sadly, Sparky is no longer with us, we had to have him put to sleep last summer. But that's also another reason why I can try my hand at edibles. He had a completely normal but infuriating doggie habit of peeing over all my pots which is fine if it's just flowers but definitely not OK on the lettuce and radish! 

Anyway, I planted them up while I was home last week and as I usually do quite well with seeds I'm feeling pretty confident, but we'll see. I've put the troops on watering duty just in case I don't manage to pop home but we'll know more about that on Monday.

It's been a quiet day at Mum's with everything ticking over just as it should do. Her house is so cosy and peaceful that if it weren't for the situation, being here would feel like a mini retreat. I've done a bit of pottering around, a touch of dusting and cooking, you know how it is, but there's also been plenty of time to read. I found a brilliant series of books by Rachel Lynch about a detective in Cumbria. Detective books aren't usually my thing but I'm thoroughly enjoying these. Mind you I have serious doubts that Cumbria is as crime ridden as the books portray. 

Hope you've all had a good day. xx  

Friday, 19 February 2021

Dipping My Toe Back In

So, after deciding last year to wrap up Life at Number 38 and determined to leave the world of blogging behind me, here I am again. I've been toying with the idea of starting a different style of blog for a while, but the reality is, this is who I am and writing about our everyday life is easy and comes straight from the heart. 

Comments are off for the time being. Everybody on LAN38 was lovely and I thoroughly enjoyed replying to each person individually but it takes time to do that and at the moment I just don't have it. Not consistently anyway. And if people go to the trouble of commenting I'm a blogger who feels it's polite to reply.

I thought I'd start with some photos of one of my favourite hobbies. For the past 3 months I've pretty much been living at Mums looking after her and while there are definitely hectic moments both day and night, there's also a lot of sitting around with not much to do, so crochet is an ideal way of passing some time. 

I've made several Moses basket blankets for Baby Basics who are still accepting donations. The heart blanket is an old favourite and I've done the ripple blanket a couple of times. 

I'm always on the look out for a new stitch to try and came across this one. It's called Crystal Waves. I found it a little tricky to start with but as with everything in life, once you know how, it's easy. 
And my sister put in a request for an octopus for the grandchildren's bedroom when they sleep over. 
I've been able to spend a few nights at home this week to celebrate Amy's 21st with her but I'm moving back to Mum's tonight. It's not been an easy few months and the road ahead is going to be a bumpy one to travel, but Mark has been really supportive and Amy and Tom have taken me not being around in their stride. 

There's an important appointment she has to get to on Monday and she's going to need a lot of help over the weekend to make sure she gets there. 

Hope you all have a lovely weekend. xx