Thursday, 30 September 2010

Last Day of LSNED

Today is my daughter's birthday. My first-born. I woke up this morning remembering what that day was like so many years ago. I remember being terrified. Looking back I can see that I was just so young, too young really but I had no choice at that time.

Lots of conflicting emotions now though, and then I had one of those thoughts. You know the ones. They pop into your head and you try hard not to think them because they are going to change the way you think forever more.

So there I was, hopping on one foot while I got dressed and suddenly thinking "Really Profound Thoughts". This is how it went

If I could go back in my life and know what I know now, would I change anything?

Well, would I change anything? NO.

My reason is simple. If I change one tiny weeny little thing in my early life it would mean that I would be different, my life would take a different course and I wouldn't be where I am right now. I like where I am right now. I adore my husband, I love my children to bits, I think my grandchildren are the best things that ever came into this world and my darling great granddaughter is just the sweetest little girl ever to be seen. Would I be prepared to lose any or all of this just to get rid of one of the heartaches I had when I was young? no, and no and no, never!

That would be the same as asking a mother to choose which of her children to cast out of the plane to stop it crashing. I would have to jump out to save my children because I cannot choose between them.

So my lesson for today is that I am truly blessed and absolutely content with my lot in life. Aren't I just the luckiest person? I think so

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Today I Learnt.....

That shouting and swearing at the printer will not make it use the yellow ink cartridge you have just replaced if it doesn't want to. I also learnt that it doesn't make me feel any better if I do shout and swear so I shan't waste the energy with that again.

I seem to have found some extra energy from somewhere because this morning I have cleaned out the chicken house and given them nice new shredded paper in their nest boxes (not that they are laying at the moment) I have put a load of towels in the washing machine, ironed Mr M's shirts for work next week, ironed a pile of T-shirts for me, peeled and diced the vegetables for lunch (Mr M is off work because we planned to go away) made the tuna and yogurt topping for the baked spuds, put the diced veg in the actifry to roast, sorted the pictures I want to scrap for my birthday weekend and sent the order to, made a cuppa, answered the phone several times and then ate lunch. Now I am waiting to go and collect Miss E from school and then I can sleaze in front of the TV for a brief while until it is time to go to Guides with my daughter and show a group of 12-14 year olds how to make a bag from a pair of old jeans.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Birthday weekend

We went away for my birthday weekend. We went to Colchester to visit my eldest son and his lovely wife and my two beautiful grandchildren. It was a chance for me to meet the youngest who was born in August and to renew acquaintance with the oldest who is 18 months old.

Sometimes everything works to make a time like this very hard to get through and other times everything just falls into place. This weekend everything seemed to fall into place and we had the most marvellous time. Both children soon were adoring grandpa. and the oldest was crawling all over him and getting him to play with Duplo and read books.
We also managed a trip to Mersea Island while mummy and daddy took the boys to do some serious grocery shopping - important stuff like juice and bananas and crackers, oh and a play mat with roads for cars!
We had a chance to look at the fabulous beach huts on the island and to seek out a lucky pebble from the beach. We found some oyster shells and a flint or two but no lucky pebbles. I took loads of pictures of the beach huts but none really captured the feeling you get when you first see the line of huts meandering off into the distance. The weather was quite stunningly bright and sunny so we took advantage of it and sat outside the beach cafe - called The Two Sugars - and shamelessly eavesdropped on the group of motorcyclists at the other table. It was so odd to see these large leather clad gentlemen sitting there with mugs of tea and coffee talking about bike insurance. Not the sort of thing you expect to hear from what look at first glance to be "Bikers" One of them was sitting directly facing me so I didn't have the courage to take their picture, just incase he took umbrage.
I learnt that
The M25 is reallytoo unspeakably awful.
The A12 is terrifying
I need to actually read the interesting book on photography for the hints and tips to work.
Essex is really beautiful and I am glad my grandparents met and married there.
It can take at least ten minutes for a child to warm to Mr M.
It takes hours for a child to warm to me - I don't "do" small children. Teenagers on the other hand...
I love Mr M very much
I have a daughter-in-law who is shyer than me and that's why it has taken so long to get to know her.
A travelodge is very useful and a Little Chef breakfast sets you up for the day.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

learning stuff is easy peasy

"That was easy peasy, Grandma," she said, closing her school reading book and stuffing it into her school bag. "Now you must write in my link book that I readed it right."

So with a quiet "read not readed" I wrote in the link book that we had read the book together and just before I signed it she couldn't resist the temptation to tell all.

"I read that book in Reception class so I knew all the words." I praised the correct use of 'read' and added to the note in the link book, saying "This book was easy peasy because GD remembered it from Reception Class.

After I had taken her to school I thought about this a little and came to the conclusion that when her teacher had given her the book GD had made a concious decision to keep quiet about having read it before, just to be able to sail through it and look good. I remember doing exactly the same thing but I was a lot older than her. This sent me on a train of thought about when reasoning power starts to develop and just how good should you be at "thinking things through" (as we say these days) when you are only five and a half?

So my lesson for today will be that I must never under-estimate the ability of a bright five year old to think through a situation and to come to a conclusion.

Friday, 17 September 2010

More learning - some scrapping

I thought I might be able to keep up with blogging most days, but I haven't. I have now finished the pages for our holiday in the lakes and I can see that my "style" if I have one is really minimalist. I suspect this is because I really can't be bothered to fiddle about with all those frills and furbelows. I like the pictures and journalling to tell the story.

I have always made a scrap book for our holidays, ever since my children were small - in fact I started before my children were born - and I have always tended to just let the journalling tell the story. There are several rules for holidays. I am sure I have said this somewhere before but never mind.

1. No Newspapers

2. No Radio or TV

3. Everyone has a nickname so that they are not their old stay at home self they are a new holiday person. This really has the effect of lowering the inhibitions and allowing ourselves to relax and enjoy.

4. Keep a holiday Journal.

The last one is essential. We record all the silly things that are said, all the daft things we do, all the things we don't do and especially the food we eat.

When we come home I scan the pages of the journal and when the holiday scrapbook pages are completed I put the journal pages into a pocket so that we can look at the pages and read the journal. The scrap book pages usually contain a pertinent phrase from the journal and if it is required then some hidden journalling to explain things.
So I have learnt that I have a simple style of scrapping. I have learnt that time runs away from me. I have learnt that I really enjoy doing the Learn Something New Every Day Class. I have also learnt that after thirty years together Mr M can still make me laugh and still understands me better than anyone in the world.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Sunday Sweet Sunday

The caption on this reads
"He's made a hole!"
"ooh, he is Sooo grounded!"
After the excursion yesterday I spent today doing ordinary things like scrubbing the feed container for the chickens and scraping chicken poop out of their house so I could spray it with red spider mite killer. Killoo killay, oh frabgeus day!
Then I scraped the flag stones in the yard and scrubbed them. The girls were not happy about this because they hate disturbance, any disturbance. Any alteration to the pattern of their day is regarded with suspicion.
As a special treat I opened the gate that leads out into the alley at the back of our house. This little space belongs to us and it is totally enclosed so is quite safe for the chickens to roam freely. I just worry that one of the neighbours might decide to go out of their back gate to their car in the side street and they might just leave the alley gate open.
I supervise the girls when I open our garden gate, just in case. They go out and spend an hour scratching around in the weeds and it keeps the undergrowth down too. However, even though I took them out into the alley and made sure everywhere was secure when I came back in and started the scrubbing and scraping they had to come back in with me. They stood in the gateway, close together for comfort while I took all that lovely, comfortable, poo covered, shredded paper out and replaced it with nasty clean non smelling stuff. They clucked and crooned quietly to one another the whole time but when I went towards them with the intention of closing the gate they shot outside and started madly scratching around. Trying to convince me that this was their intention all along.

Today it is clear that departure from routine is unsettling for most creatures.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

I Love my husband

Today was setting itself up to be a sad one right up to the moment the Mr M came downstairs. He gave me a hug as he does everyday, he gave me a kiss as he does everyday. He put the kettle on, as he does everyday, he told me he loves me as he does several times a day. Then he held me. Not as a hug but as a let-me-take-away-your-pain-and-sadness hold. It wasn't for long and then he lissed the top of my head and asked itf I had remembered to take my pills.
Goodness me I love that man! I still get that excited buzz right through me when I see him, even after ten minutes in different rooms it is still there. He can still surprise me and watching his face as he concentrates is pure joy to me. I love it, love it, love it!

I have re-learnt that even after 30 years love can still grow

Friday, 10 September 2010

Anticipation - sometimes good sometimes bad

Learn Something New Every Day certainly makes you think. I didn't write anything for 8th September or 9th and this morning I found myself mentally groaning because I didn't want to go back and think about what I had learnt. Not because it was too much trouble but because I was sure that delving into what I was thinking on either of those days was A Bad Thing.
The reason, I realised is because of tomorrow, September 11th. It brings my dad into the forefront of my memory and I just don't deal with that too well.
On that date - 9-11 - he stood infront of the TV in the kitchen and cried as he watched events unfold. It is the only time I have ever seen any emotion other than anger on my dad's face and it really affected me.
I am anticipating the emotional mix that I will feel on the day and increasing it by worrying - now how stupid is that? To be worrying about how I will feel three days before I need to instead of just letting it happen.
So my lesson for today is to get out my worry list and start using it again. That way I will be back in control.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Miss Em is very taken with the challenge jar

I took up the challenge from Shimelle to print and cut up the sheet of little page challenges and learnt that even five year old girls can get totally taken over by something new and different.
I put them into a jar, thinking that I could use them for pages when I was a bit short of inspiration. I don't need to use them for LSNED because I have the page design sorted in my head and all the bits are ready in the project box.

When I was cutting up the pieces I had the help of Miss Em and she was really intrigued by what we were doing. She loved the idea of putting a label on the lid of the jar but the best bit for her was choosing one of the challenges.

Now bear in mind that her reading is limited because she is five and because reading seems to be something they learn by osmosis these days not through structured learning, but even so that is not what she enjoys. She doesn't really care what the challenge says, it is the choosing that she loves.
She has encouraged everyone to "Choose one, see it says on the lid, choose a challenge". Then they have to read it aloud, "Now Grandma must do that to a page", and then put it back. The important thing is that she gets to choose one first. She gives it to Grandpa to read because then he has to find his spectaclesand she can help him do that and then she puts it back. She makes the vict... other person choose and read and then she gets to choose again!
I have decided that I will make a small selection of slips - typed and printed by the computer - and put them into a container (I will use a plastic one as she is only five). These will have things like "Pick up all the toys in the living room and then take a treat from the treat box". "Brush Rosie Custard (the kitten) and then take a treat from the treat box"
There are loads of things that I can use and for as long as the novelty lasts it might just encourage a few good habits but if it doesn't then no one is hurt
I like today's lesson

Monday, 6 September 2010

Sunday thoughts teach me a lot

During the course of Sunday I spent a lot of time thinking. I was making Christmas cards ready to write and prepare for posting next month so I was sitting half listening to Radio 7 and quarter concentrating on sticking and glittering. That left a space for just thinking.

I realised that I was editing my LSNED daily sentences so that they were not too revealing about my present state of mind. I was, in fact, searching for something suitable to "learn" that could be written about while the actual lesson of the day was probably mostly something I didn't want anyone else to read.

The train of thought travelled on and I then realised that if I wanted to keep this year's journal just for my eyes then all I had to do was complete it and then put it in the Special Place. Once this thought had arrived in my brain I felt the enthusiasm for the project roll over me in a great wave.

Now I realise why I didn't finish it last year, I wanted so much to write about the emotional stuff I was learning but couldn't let go enough to allow it to be public. So my lesson is that my LSNED journal is MINE. I claim ownership of it and all the lessons in it. If I want to share that lesson with a few people I can do this but if it is just too personal to share with anyone I can keep it to myself.

I can honestly say that this is a HUGE revelation for me, and is possibly a huge step forward in my progress towards being me again.

So there we have it, some days you'll get the lesson learnt in all its glory and on other days you'll get the "Normal Service will be Resumed as soon as Possible" sign - or a picture of one of my pages, whichever is closest to hand.

here's one to be going on with

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Sunday and I feel better

I had an appointment on Friday with the practice nurse for my diabetes review. That seems to have gone well. I haven't put any weight on, I haven't lost any either but not adding to the load is a GOOD thing. My blood pressure is also fine so I must just keep on taking the tablets. We have begun to formulate an eating plan. Both of us are desperate to lose weight but Mr M is never full and if he eats I will try to keep up.
I have no idea why I do this, just that I do. Now that I am aware of what I am doing I try very hard to stop. I also try very hard to reduce the portion size without him noticing. I am gradually increasing the amount of vegetables I put on his plate while at the same time reducing the amount of food that goes on mine.
I think it is working.
Friday night I felt lousy, Saturday we went to my cousin's for dinner. As they are dieting too we really enjoyed eating with them. All fat free and the pudding was fresh fruit so Mr M could have some with fat free yoghurt. Excellent!
Sunday I spent all day making our Christmas cards. I used last year's cards that were sent to us and recycled as much as possible. Then I used up all the christmassy bits left over from free gifts and a kit that someone gave me that they had received for joining a bookclub. I made 50 cards - I like things to be simple - and that means I have now made over 150 so I have 36 to give to Tenovus to sell.
Lots of lessons learnt. Lots of crafting done. Pictures will follow

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Losing your sense of smell is dangerous

On September 1st I made a cup of tea for Mr M and a cup of coffee for me. Whenever I open a bottle of milk - we still get ours delivered by a proper milk Lady. it comes in bottles to my door and I recycle the containers by washing them out and leaving them on the doorstep to be collected by her every other day. Where was I? oh yes, whenever I open a bottle of milk I automatically sniff it, just to make sure it is fresh. Somedays we don't use much milk because we are both out all day. So, yesterday I made the cuppa, sniffed the milk, no smell so not gone off yet and poured it into the tea and coffee. I gave Mr M his cup. he lifted it to his mouth and then made one of those good-grief-that's-a-nasty-pong noises. "Don't drink your coffee" he said as he carried his cup to the sink and poured the contents away. "didn't you smell the milk first?"
And that's when I remembered that I have lost my sense of smell. Ever since Little Miss brought a cold home from school for half term and shared it with all of us I haven't been able to smell - well, anything much. I can sometimes get smokey smells and I did get a faint hint of lemon when eating fish and chips in Morrisons but gone-off milk doesn't register and neither does that good country air smell that comes around muck spreading time. Mr M opened all the windows on the car and his eyes were watering from the smell but I couldn't even get a hint of it.
So now I am a bit concerned because milk that is "off" is dangerous and milk doesn't go sour anymore because it is pasteurised and all the sour-making bacteria is killed off. What makes it go off is the bacteria that lurks in fridges and I no longer have my sensitive nose to protect us.
I also cannot smell eggs. Because we have always had chickens and sometimes we are not sure about the freshness of eggs I have developed the habit of cracking the shell of the egg and sniffing it. If you can smell it then it is not fresh. If there is no smell it is fresh.
I crack three eggs yesterday and sniff them before dropping them into the bowl with the cottage cheese and beating them smooth for the sauce for our pasta bake. It wasn't until it was in the oven cooking that I remembered about the loss of sense of smell. I did the panic dance in the kitchen for a brief moment and then reason kicked in and told me that a three-day-old egg was not stale and never could be regarded as stale so we weren't all going to die from food poisoning.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Day one LSNED

If I could learn how to put the blinkie for the class onto this blog I would consider that a huge thing. I have tried up down and sideways to copy the thing from Shimelle's forum to here and the darned site keeps saying "invalid code" I think what it is really saying is "You have forgotten what you did last year you silly woman, now pay attention and get it right."
The problem is that I can't remember where I looked to find the correct way to do it. I think that probably someone on the forum took pity and gave me step-by-step instructions that start with "Press the button to turn on the computer". I will go and scrapbook with my cousin for the afternoon and come back to it.