Tuesday, 16 January 2018

The Puppy Dilemma

    I know a lot of the country has had snow today but it was a lovely bright sunny morning here although I noticed the barometer was quite low which I tried to ignore. I had to dash around before I left for my Mum and Dad's house but it always seems a bit easier when the sun is shining. My sister and I went together today as neither my Mum or Dad are feeling very well. After we had made my Dad some lunch, nothing for my Mum as sadly she is on a liquid diet now, we settled at the kitchen table with old boxes of photos whilst they both had a sleep. We are trying to sort them out and get them in some sort of order. We thought it may help my Dad's memory if we could scan them and get him to try and remember were they were taken and when. It's worth a try we thought.
   After a run round the shops for them (in the pouring rain, I knew the barometer never lies!) I left for home later than usual and it was gone six by the time I got in. My youngest daughter and her boyfriend were telling me how down our little Yorkshire Terrier Cassie has been.
   One of the saddest things that happened to us last November was our old beagle Poppy dying. She was nearly 15 so I know she was a good age for a beagle but we miss her terribly. She was deaf in the last few years of her life but her face would always light up and her tail wag when you stood in front of her. She died two days before I went into hospital and the night of my operation I kept thinking of her and felt like bursting into tears. The only thing that stopped me was if the nurse asked me what was wrong and I replied "I miss my dog" they would have thought I was mad!

Poppy Jan 2003 - Nov 2017

     We all miss her so much but Cassie has taken it the hardest. I didn't really realise that a dog could be depressed but she is showing all the signs of it. We have always had three dogs and it had worked perfectly. Our Border Collie Bud thinks he is a person so he virtually ignores other dogs and Poppy and Cassie would always be together, They would sit cuddled up together all the time. When Cassie was a puppy Poppy would fuss about her licking her like she was her puppy and when Poppy became old and frail it was the other way around and Cassie looked after her. Now Cassie seems bereft she is off her food and sits staring into space, it is so sad. The only time she brightens up is when we are in the park but we can't live there! We had thought of getting another puppy in the spring but I am scared it may backfire and we will make the problem worse. 

It is a dilemma. Does anyone else have any experience of a depressed dog?


Monday, 15 January 2018

Recycling Ideas For Pretty And Useful Storage

      It started off  as a horrible rainy day today so I decided I would sort through some new storage ideas. I am an avid collector. Whether it's books, vintage toys, old tins, or vintage costume jewellery I collect it. I only have to buy two items and that's it in my mind it is the start of a collection! As I am not selling on ebay at the moment I have promised myself when I buy items at car boot sales or jumble sales it will only be if I can display it, store it easily or an item I can find use for and adapt into everyday life.
     When I am out searching for bargains I always look out for some retro storage ideas to keep my collections in. I love the look of them around the house and it just seems to me sensible to recycle old items into useful storage. Two items I have found recently have given me lots of storage with a 60s and 70s look and at a price that can't be beaten really.

1970s Vinyl Record Storage

     One is this 1960s or 70s LP record storage case I bought at a car boot sale for £1. It still has the original key and I keep lots of my 1970s LPs in it next to my lovely record player my family bought me  a few years ago. You can't beat the sound of a 70s vinyl record! I'm always on the look out for more but at about £25 each on ebay I think I'll keep scouring the car boot sales.

1960s Air India Vanity Case

      The other great storage find was an Air India 1960s vanity case I noticed under a table at a jumble sale and also cost me £1.

1960s Air India Vanity Case

     It is in lovely condition and has the original Air India logo of The Maharajah which was the mascot from 1946 until 2015.

1960s Air India Vanity Case

      The inside is still lined with some beautiful 1950s or 60s Christmas wrapping paper. So neatly done I wonder if many people today would take so much trouble and look after an item for so long. I have put it on top of my wardrobe with a collection of some of my vintage toys inside and I love the look of it. New storage would be ten times the price and not nearly so much fun!

    I was out feeding the aviary birds and hens this afternoon and the clouds gradually started to clear. I decided to try and fit in an hour tidying up in the garden. 

Clouds Clearing On A January Afternoon

     There is so much to be done after a few months of neglect but I'll keep pushing on so the garden looks half way decent by the spring. It was lovely being out there I enjoyed it ever so much. There is a lot of  pruning to be done and I feel as if I have made a slight start. I was thrilled to see there was the beginnings of blossom on the plum tree. I know we still have a long wait until Spring but the signs are there! By the time I had finished my hours work the clouds had almost disappeared. 

A Blue January Sky

After such a gloomy start the day has certainly brightened up.

Sunday, 14 January 2018

What A Difference A Year Makes!

Never has that been a more true statement than in my life. I have not written a blog post here for just over a year. My Mum was re-addmitted to hospital just after my last post and we were back to weeks of visits and stress. That was the first of several admissions over the year and although she is back home now she is so much frailer and every little health problem seems to turn into a health crisis. My poor old Dad is carrying on with failing memory to put it mildly. My sister and I check and double check everything but we have had to get power of attorney and even then it is so hard as none of us want to admit how bad things are getting.

I managed through all of this with lots of health problems I tried to ignore until in July, when I was putting sun tan lotion on, I felt a large lump in my neck. I went to see my GP the next day and it all started. Months of scans, X Rays, biopsies in between hiding it all from my Mum and Dad.  I didn't want to worry them even though I was constantly being told it was highly unlikely to be cancer. I was finally admitted to hospital for an operation in October only for it to be cancelled as I was waiting to be taken down due to such abnormal blood results. In November I was back in and had half of my thyroid gland, a parathyroid gland and a lymph node removed. To be honest the operation was no were near as bad as I thought it would be and within a few weeks had recovered from the surgery but still these aching symptoms remained.

On the 3rd of January I finally received the diagnosis I have Follicular Thyroid Cancer. It was a shock and I have been told I will need more surgery and treatment. "If I had to have a cancer" my consultant said "I would choose this one." I felt like saying "Well you can have it mate! I don't want it." But I can't, so it's a case of getting on with it. I know so many of my old friends in blog land have been through so much in similar circumstances so I have decided to record my progress and if I can help one person with a similar diagnosis it will have been worth it. It will be a pleasure catching up with old friends. I wish I had returned sooner I have a feeling it would have helped me on dark days.

I changed my profile photo as although I am still a nostalgic person I feel at the moment it is about looking forward not back. The photo was taken at last year's visit to the Smallholders fair in July. Just a few days before I felt the lump. I'm hoping this July Tom and I will be back there and will take a new photo, scars and all! Here we were looking so happy.

It's not all doom and gloom though, we never lose our sense of humours no matter what! I have a lovely new Granddaughter called Scarlett to write about and have made more contact with my 13 year old Granddaughter from my eldest son's previous relationship and I can't tell you how happy that makes me. As a family we still laugh at everything and I have made "It is what it is" our family motto I think I shall get it translated into Latin and put it on a plaque! 

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Always A Dog

I thought quite a lot after yesterday's post how much a family of animal lovers we are. Our youngest son said a while ago that he couldn't imagine life without all the animals we have had but he is sure it wouldn't have been nearly as happy without them. We always talk about our animals both now and from years ago. My Mum and Dad grew up with animals and talk about them still. Every dog, cat and pet rabbit is remembered with pleasure. When I was a child we took our dogs on holiday all the time and all I can remember is walking on the beach or up mountains with a dog. I was so happy.

1960s Holidays With Our Dog

    I wanted my children brought up in exactly the same way and they have been, with long walks with dogs and holidays with dogs on the beach. When we are all together we reminisce about them exactly the same as my Mum and Dad do. 

A few years later and another much loved dog.

   My eldest daughter was telling me she wants her baby to be brought up the same way. She said she will start as soon as the baby is born, going to the park with our dogs and long walks. No ipad for our young child she said firmly. I am sure what ever stage of your life you are at, dogs will bring you pleasure if you are a dog lover. My heart breaks when I see lonely old people on TV saying they can go for days without talking to anyone. Get a little dog, I think, all those people to talk to in the park and a reason to get up and go out every day. If you don't have that love of dogs you just don't but I am so glad I have.

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Just Too Much!

   Tom and I enjoy watching Midsomer Murders. Not as much as we used to do as it always seemed to be summer once and we loved looking at the pretty villages and cottages. I know it is very far fetched and if it was real life I think M15 would be crawling all over the area as so many dead bodies turn up but it is a short while of escapism. We noticed tonight there was a new programme on which is very unusual as let's face it they love to repeat it at least 20 times in a year! We settled down with a cup of tea at 8 o'clock. Tom commented there was a new sergeant. "Oh well they all merge into one after a while." I replied. Then I realised who else had been replaced. Only the best actor in the whole programme. The one who made it worth watching. Sykes the dog. Sergeants are one thing but Sykes, that is a step too far!

Sykes in Midsomer Murders.

The new replacement. I suppose I may grow to love him. The dog not the sergeant!

   My Mum is a bit better today so I am hoping may improve a little each day. Well I'm off now to put another couple of extra blankets on the bed as they say it's going to be a cold night tonight. The gritters have already been passed the house so they must be expecting something. Hope it is not too cold for everyone tonight. 

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

The Day Started So Well

   The day started so well. Tom and I went to the farm to get food for the hens and ducks and I took some photos of the alpacas in the field. It was such a lovely day but very cold we stood watching them for a while. We talked about how when Tom retires we would love to move down a bit to the countryside in Kent or Sussex and have walks like this on our doorstep everyday. We came home cheerful and chatty only to be met with a phone call from my poor Dad saying my Mum wasn't well.
   My spending time in hospital bag was got ready (phone charger, banana, bottle of water) I am very well practiced at this. The G.P. came to see my Mum but she was adamant she didn't want to go into hospital again. The doctor decided to refer her for tests. As we left my Mum said "Now you look after yourselves." Typically thinking of others all the time.

I've looked at the photos again this evening but I can't quite recapture the pleasure from this morning. Every little noise I think is going to be the phone ringing. On the bright side the day is nearly over and all seems well. Fingers crossed tomorrow will be a bit better.

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Happy New Year

    Happy New Year to everyone. I hope 2017 brings health, happiness and nostalgic memories in the future to everyone. I walked down to the Co-op this afternoon looking forward to seeing what had replaced the Christmas display. I was hoping for some meal deals which would set us up with meals for all of January. What had replaced it? This. One of the young men who works in there asked me why I was photographing their shelves, Because no one will believe it I replied.

So I suppose it's the countdown to Easter then!