Friday, 30 March 2012

Looking forward to the weekend.

I'm looking forward to this weekend, it's the first car boot sale of the season and although there is so much going on at the moment we have decided that, weather permitting, we will be there.  The truck is already filled to bursting with lots of our things deemed totally unnecessary after the move.

We are determined to declutter once and for all and to STOP spending our hard earned pennies on things that we don't really really need.

I will update my £2012 in 2012 Blog page after the event and we will see just how much we can get with this first load.

*** *** *** *** ***

Thank you for all the lovely comments on yesterdays Blog post.  They help, they really do.  My Lovely Mum reads each and every one, and usually my Blog is syndicated around the family, so everyone now knows what a wonderful bunch you are.  Thank you.

Sue xx

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Me and my Dad......

Me and my Dad......

....a history shared.

Happy memories stored .....

..... of help given and received.

Lifetimes linked.......

... and families wrapped in love.

Love and laughter.  What more could you want.

My Dad.

*** *** ***

Syd Shaw

19th December 1930 - 26th March 2012

Rest in Peace,
 knowing how well you were loved.

Sue xx

Saturday, 24 March 2012

From me to you......

To all my lovely Followers, readers, blogging friends and everyone I know and love.  A happy little banner to sit on your sidebar.......

..... and a happy little thought to hold in your mind while I retreat from Blogging for a while.

Thank you for everything, the messages, the thoughts, the prayers, the love and most of all the hugs, we really needed the hugs.

I am not going to be Blogging over the next few days, but I will be thinking of you all.  My Facebook page will most likely be updated with news of Dad, you are very welcome to have a peek, if you can't get access ask me to be your 'Friend' as I already consider you to be my friends that will not be a problem.

Bye for now

Sue xx

Friday, 23 March 2012

Happy Birthday Shelbie

Happy Birthday Shelbie

She's 12 years old today and our only Grandaughter, she's outnumbered by the boys, it's a good job she's such a lovely, pretty girly girl and can keep them all in line.

Have a lovely day, we're all thinking of you here in Manchester, Preston and Berkshire.

With all our love,

Nana Sue, Alan, Great Granny Joan, Great Grandad Syd, Great Uncle Graham and Uncle Jason.

*** *** *** *** ***

Dad is relatively comfortable in the Hospice but is slowly slipping away from us now.  We all sit with him and have brief little flashes of recognition from him as he wakes slightly and reaches out for our hands, but then he drifts off back to the deep sleep he's experiencing now.  It won't be long and we will always be with him while we still have him.

Thank you for all the hugs, we shared them between us and added them to ours.

Sue xx

Thursday, 22 March 2012

In Manchester for Hugs

Yesterday I travelled up the motorway to be with my family, Lovely Hubby, my husband, my rock and my best friend in the world , is holding the fort for me.   Managing to look after cats, dogs, wayward chickens, going to work each day, winding down Jointers Farm and building my kitchen garden at the new place is getting no hugs (although maybe the odd lick off Suky).

SO I can be with my Mum and Dad and get lots of hugs.

But we are like a pair of old teddy bears, our hugs will be cyber until we are back together, then he owes me the biggest hug in the world.

In the meantime here's one for you....all the lovely folk who have commented on the Blog, contacted me via email, Ebay, struggled to leave a comment and failed (please feel free to use my private email if you want to), left comments on my Facebook page and held us warmly in your thoughts and prayers. 

Sometimes we all need a hug to start or end our day.

Sue xx

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Sad days, happy days......

Amid all these sad days we have two happy days this week, Kyle our grandson is 7 years old today, and on Friday his lovely sister Shelbie is 12 years old, how time flies.

Shelbie, swimming with dolphins last month, a lovely picture, stolen completely unashamedly from her Mum's Facebook page, gorgeous girl.

These pictures, although slightly out of date show Kyle enjoying a wonderful day at his Great Grandads house two and a half years ago.

Lots of laughs, playing with Sophie the Border Collie and seeing how far a little rubber man would stretch!!  We know how to have real fun in our family.

Here with his Dad, deep in concentration watching Sophie.

Happy Birthday Kyle.

from Nana Sue xx

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Looking at things from a different perspective.....

It's a very sad and hard time for us all at the moment, but sometimes it pays to look at things from a different perspective.  Yes we're losing Dad.......but we had him!  While we have him we need to let him know that he made us so proud, of all he accomplished and all that he gave, mostly that he was the man he was.  And we in turn made HIM proud.

The photo at the tops was Jasons' graduation day when he got his Masters Degree, Mum and Dad were so very proud of him that day.  All of us were, we all helped him through his years at University and he worked so hard to get his two degrees, it was fantastic to be there to help him celebrate that time.

Simon made his Grandad proud in a very different way.  He was the first younger member of the family to join the Army.  He served his country well, in many war torn areas and bravely took part in the Iraq war.  We were lucky we got him back, although the war took it's toll.  Writing to him while he was overseas, occasionally speaking on the phone, sending him parcels and keeping in touch brought back many memories for Dad.  And when Simon finally came home there were many army chats with his Grandad.  Sad chats and happy chats, he gave his Grandad the chance to discuss his National Service times and the things that only fellow soldiers can talk about.

We very proudly all went on holiday to celebrate the great achievement of their 50th wedding anniversary, happy times with presents and balloons at the table in a hotel in Scarborough.  A week spent together forged tighter bonds with his two beloved grandsons.

And a few drinks were consumed with much laughter in the evenings.  Even the photo is blurred....hic!!

But the proudest day of all.....

... was the day he made an honest woman of my lovely Mum. June 13th 1959 the day our family began, such a special day.

So today I'm trying hard not to be sad, I'm trying to think of what we wouldn't have had without my Dad.  I'll be back in Manchester to spend time with him tomorrow, and let him in on the very widely spread secret that I am a very proud daughter.

Sue xx

Monday, 19 March 2012

Back Home

Back home temporarily because I'm going for tests at the hospital tomorrow and Dad insisted, well he did after I told him why I had to nip home, at first he wanted me to stay...but then he insisted, it would seem that Spring has sprung with a vengeance.  The tree in front of the tree house, is in full blossom, with the gentle breeze blowing it down like sweetly scented snow over the washing drying in the sunshine of the early morning.

The view from my desk as I type.

Everywhere is peaceful here this morning a perfect antidote to the last hectic few days.   The chickens were pleased to see me, who knew until a couple of years ago that chickens form attachments to humans.  It was lovely to see them run to the fence with the chirrupy chirrups of the Pekins ringing loud, and the big girls rushing over to see just food dish in my hand, no titbits to tempt them, just me.

It would be magical to whisk Mum and my brother Graham here for a couple of hours, to sit swinging gently in the pergola swing chair, to sip elderflower cordial or big mugs of coffee and bask in the springing to life that is happening in our magical little patch of Berkshire.  Taking away the worry and the strain of the last few months from them both for a while. It would be wonderful to tuck Dad up in a comfy chair, sit him in the sun and let him see where I will be for the next few years.  He's been here through the wonder of the Blog and I hope I have painted a true picture of our new little home, but I'd love to let him have a glimpse of the magical place I will be bringing Mum to this Summer, to spoil and molly coddle her as she deserves for as long as she'll let me.

You can see it clearer if I stand in the doorway.

The birds are singing gently, chirping and whistling, welcoming in the first real days of Spring, as I type the office door is open, leading to the garden that surrounds the house, the blossom from the tree wafts gently by and the dogs lie sprawled out in the early morning sun.  Peace is here, well it was until Ollie, the big black Labrador from next door came to visit through the fence then there was the barking welcoming of Rosy, but at least it brought a smile to Sophies face, she really is smitten!! Then he was gone and the quiet descended again, the washing machine hums its' way quietly through the third load of the day, as I rush to get everything ready to hang in the lovely sunshine.

Grab a coffee, join me and we will head for the garden, today is a day to relax.

Sue xx

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Happy Mothering Sunday

Who elses' Mum would rush out first thing in the morning to cuddle a chicken.

 Sorry Mum that you're not dressed on the photo, that you have no make up on, that you haven't even run a brush through your hair, but this photo shows the Mum I love, as she is, full of love for everyone, full of concern for a chicken.......simply being a Mum.

My other Mum, Jessie, sadly no longer here in person with us but deep in our hearts, always with a smile and a laugh, today we're thinking of you with love and with happy memories.  You can't be that far away we can still feel your love.

And she isn't really giving Lovely Hubby the finger in this picture, she's showing him her cut so he can put a plaster on it.  She laughed so hard when we described this photo to her, I can still hear the giggles.

Happy Mothering Sunday to you both, we love you to bits, now, forever and always.

Sue and Alan xxxx

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Quiet at home......

It's quiet at home, Mum and Dad's home that is. 

We potter about, sit and chat, sit and drink coffee, sit and wait.  Wait to visit Dad that is, other family members are taking a turn this morning and Dad has asked for a break in between to have a little nap, so we are going in later on today.

It's strange here without him.  Mum is tidying her kitchen, I have read magazines I haven't read for years, as I type I hear the vacuum cleaner start up again.  We must have the tidiest, cleanest home ever at the moment.  Recycling goes straight to the recycling bins outside the minute we finish with something, pots are washed as soon as we have used them. What we wore yesterday is already blowing on the washing line in the garden, tomorrows meals are planned out.

There's lots to do, but we concentrate on the basics of daily life, it's all you can do when your mind is half an hour up the motorway sat in a room watching over your Dad.

I'll join it later, and maybe even try and bring it home with me tonight.

Sue xx

Thursday, 15 March 2012

And flowers for......

And flowers for....... the nurses.

Yesterday a comment was left by Daisy, it said

'Having worked for the NHS for many years i'm afraid thats it's the same old story, he who shouts loudest gets the most attention.    Ashamed nurse, Daisy'

Me and my lovely Mum want to say loud and clear to every caring nurse, doctor, auxiliary worker, cleaner,  volunteer and all those in the health profession that look after their patients to the best of their ability THANK YOU.

The staff looking after my Dad now are absolutely wonderful, the mistakes that left Mum and Dad struggling for help for so long are more than being made up for with the care and attention he is now receiving.  His medication has been sorted out, he has been lovingly bathed, shaved and manicured today, his frail body is padded and comfortably wrapped, they helped him struggle to his feet and walk the corridor to get his circulation going, and then on his return brought him tea and cake, and although he was too weak to eat more than a mouthful, the thought was there.

We left him tonight about to be served his evening meal and waiting in anticipation of the football match on the television.   He may be poorly and may be weak but with Manchester United playing an important match he was determined to stay awake for as much of it as possible, and we are under strict instructions to bring him his paper tomorrow so he can read the sports headlines.

So Daisy, a message to you and all the wonderful nurses out there, don't be ashamed of what you can't do, what you can't control and what the rest of your profession sometimes gets wrong, know instead that when you touch the lives of those you do help, you get it so very right and we, both patients and families, will be eternally grateful. 

Thank you, for the dignity, care and the love you bring to the final weeks, days and hours of those you help.

And flowers for...... YOU.... all of the lovely folk who are leaving comments....THANK YOU. 

Mum has just printed out all of yesterdays comments and will be reading them to Dad tomorrow.  He has always been amazed by my Blog and the lovely folk that follow it, and to know that somewhere out there, all over the world there are lovely people that know his name and are thinking of him and praying for him is so very special.  You have touched our lives as much as I hope I occasionally touch yours.

Sue xx

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Flowers for my Mum

Primroses from me to Mum.

I was born on Primrose Day 1960 and these sweet little flowers are our link with each other.

I have not Blogged about what the family has been going through recently as this Blog has had to remain newsy and happy for my lovely Dad to keep in touch with what has been going on in our lives. 

After Jessie died in October last year, Dad had a sudden and unexpected heart attack, my Mum's quick thinking and commonsense got him the medical assistance he needed and he was home within days.  While he was in hospital they did tests and these highlighted that he had been living, unknown to him or any of us, with a rare and slow growing liver cancer.

Over the months since then with Mum's love and care he has managed to stay at home amongst his family while the cancer gathered speed and started to seriously impact on their lives.  She has somehow managed without any of the usual help, due to an appalling series of failings on the part of the NHS, (she has had no help from Macmillan nurses, home visits or any respite care), she was told to fill in forms for Carers Allowance and was turned down, when she should have been advised to apply for Attendance Allowance, so has only had financial help for 2 weeks.

Yesterday after a small fall Dad was admitted to hospital and the Doctors decided to re-assess his medication, they realised how hard it has been for Mum and just how well she has done with her round the clock care, but now the time has come for them both to have complete rest.  Dad is being transferred to a local hospice later on this morning and we should find out more news then.

You will understand why this Blog may go quiet or go completely off subject for a few days while I stay and help in any way I can.  Lovely Hubby is holding the fort back at home, luckily our new home is nearer to where he works so he can dash back at lunchtime to let the dogs out briefly and check on the chickens.

Family and friends are rallying round and we are all supporting each other in any way we can.  Our world is a strange one at the moment, but I know with help and prayers we will get through this.  Thank you to those of you who do know about this (you know who you are) your good wishes and emails have really helped, especially over the last few days.

Thank you for your understanding.

Sue xx

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Round, round.......

Happy chickens in their new Chicken World.

We currently have only 8 Hylines, 1 Light Sussex (Lofty) and four Lavender Pekin Bantams (Alice, Little Lucy, Poppy and Daisy), Mr Fox and old age have taken it's toll on our lovely girls this Winter.  Hopefully we will be able to pick up some more laying girls this coming weekend now that we are settled in and Chicken World has been established.

The shed door.......

Why the title round, round.....I hear you asking....  well yesterday stood in front of the shed I decided to take a sweep of photos to give you a little glimpse of a section of our new outdoor space. 

 In total we have four acres, mostly laid to pasture with the stable block dividing the two paddocks and the office building tucked at the edge of the woodland.  (We do not have access to this rather hi-tec office, it's currently being used to store the majority of our landlords furniture while he is working abroad.) It forms the backdrop for what will be the Kitchen Garden.

...the first turn takes me to the trampoline, Chicken World can be glimpsed just behind on the left.  We are using the right hand paddock, dividing it into thirds so the girls always have fresh grass and the previous area can be rested and mown before they go back onto it.

The next turn takes in the edge of the membrane that is covering the ground that will be the Kitchen Garden.  Note the handy picnic table, neatly placed for drinking coffee and planning the planting and weeding of the soon to be in place raised beds.  Of course if I'm feeling fit I could make use of the little climbing wall.....

...or the slide and swings!!

Sweeping round again we see the side of the house, the window is one of the kitchen windows, and the green square thing is the oil tank.  In the foreground is the pond with a rather large Bay tree to the left of it.

Yesterday we had visitors on the pond.  Mr and Mrs Duck, they flew away when they saw me and the dogs....I hope they come back.

A final turn shows a little climbing tower thing, left out by our landlord, and behind that over the fence our neighbours paddock, tennis courts and in the distance their Walled Garden.  The traffic cone is on our track which runs behind the shed and turns left there, and then about three hundred yards on we have a road, a real road that takes us to civilisation.

And back to the shed, currently full to bursting with tools and car boot stuff waiting to be sold. It will have a proper window soon, the glass that came with it was slightly too big so polythene was tacked on temporarily, then when Lovely Hubby picked it up to take it to the glaziers to get it trimmed ....he dropped it!! 

I hope you enjoyed this little circular tour of our place, I'll try and take some shots of the rooms in the house today, now that normality has almost descended.

But first I have one thing to say.....

Happy Birthday Mum

I love you lots, you are having a hard time at the moment and I am SO proud of the way you are doing your very best to look after my Dad, thinking of you today, see you soon.

Sue xx

Monday, 12 March 2012

£2012 in 2012

Now we're in the house I have to get my mind back in some small ways back to normality (if there is ever a state of normal here).

One small way is to resume my Challenge of raising £2012 in 2012.  As I still have sooooo much to do I thought a good way of earning some extra pennies and not actually having to do very much is to get a few bits on Ebay. 

I put them on yesterday on a seven day sale so it ends next Sunday, a little tip I picked up from someone else here in Blog land, seemingly folk like to sit at their computers at the weekend bidding away in a determined effort to be the lucky 'winner'.

The first things to go on are these lovely little Cath Kidston Egg Cosies.  I thought with it being so close to Easter someone might want to give them as a gift.

They were one of those daft things that I liked the look of and bought, just because I could.  Now seeing them sat there, I'm slightly of the opinion that I must have been mad.  We rarely eat boiled eggs, if we do they are gone in minutes, why would I pop a cosy on to keep them warm.

Wearing my newly frugal and sensible head I have decided that although they are gorgeous to look at they are completely unnecessary and they need to go away and make someone else happy for a while.

They are HERE, if you want to watch their progress.

Today I have to nip back to the old house to pick up a few bits and pieces that we need here and couldn't fit in the cars over the weekend.

What unnessary, but lovely thing have you been tempted to buy in the past that you now know just has to go?

Sue xx

Sunday, 11 March 2012

The Family is Complete

The family is complete!!  All cats, dogs, humans and birds are now in residence.

Toby an old hand at moving house is happily tucking into breakfast.

Archie pops back in through the cat flap after a couple of hours exploring the woods to see what's on offer.......

... and decides that a drink from the dogs' water bowl is first on the cards.

All mooching about making no room for humans in the doorway, deciding what to do next. 

The cats have been in and out of the catflaps all night, exploring the house and the surrounding land to their hearts content.  We didn't see the need to butter paws or keep them locked up for long, they have all lived through moves before and are secure animals, once they know where we are and where the food is they generally have a good sniff around and then spread themselves farther and farther afield. We have set their little wigwams up in the Office/Utility room next to the new ones we bought for our adopted cats, they will get their new ones later, but we thought scents of home more appropriate at first.

We have no idea if they have crossed paths with Muffin and Ginger yet, (our resident house cats) but no doubt they met each other at some point during the night.  We will not be forcing them to be friends, just hoping they can live in acceptance of each other.  Our cats know us and Muffin and Ginger know the area and the house, they are all neutered Toms, so really they should all be on a level playing field to start their relationship with each other.  Only time will tell.

Today is being spent with Lovely Hubby unloading our second henhouse, which we brought here yesterday and me trying to make more sense of the kitchen cupboards.  We are both so relieved that we de-cluttered so extensively last year, selling all our excess through the car boot sales and Ebay, we were saying to each other last night how full to the seams this place would have been with all that extra stuff.  As it is we are going to spend this Summer de-cluttering even more, space is lovely, surfaces are lovely.....clutter is not.

Off to get on with it now, enjoy your Sunday.

Sue xx