Monthly Archives: November 2013

Ten Things of Thankful #16

I didn’t write a post last weekend. That was because I was busy getting ready for my parent’s first visit to my home in 25 years.

My brother was to bring them across the UK, from East Anglia, to the west coast of Wales, and we were all set to have an amazing time together, where I could hug them for the first time in 6 years (since my last visit to them, before I got too ill to travel).

I was woken up on Sunday morning, when we were expecting them to arrive, and I thought hubby was going to tell me that they had arrived early – but, instead, it was to the news that Mum had been up all night coughing and, that morning, was rushed into hospital coughing up blood!

As you can imagine, I was immediately on the phone to my brother, who had phoned hubby with the news. Mum was in intensive care, and having problems breathing. Her blood pressure kept falling through the floor, and she was in a very, very bad way.

I’ve spent this week, alternately praying like mad for her improvement, and on the phone, or on facebook, talking to my brother, and various sisters, trying to find out what’s wrong.

It turns out that Mum has got pneumonia, caused by a massive invasion of a streptococcal bacterial infection in her lungs that is, apparently, and according to the medics, eating one of her lungs away. The hospital had put her in the CAT scan while trying to find out what the problem was, and saw this – as well as the fact that she’s got a tumour on her kidney that nobody knew about 😦

The biggest problem that the medics have got, is the fact that they needed to do a biopsy, although I’m still not clear whether this is in order to find out which strain of the streptococcal bacteria Mum has got, or for the tumour – but my brother thinks it’s so they can target the infection with the correct antibiotic, otherwise they can only give her an overload of general antibiotics, and hope they do the job.

Another problem they have, is that my Mum’s heart is very weak, and so they can’t put her under anaesthetic to do the biopsy and, because she’s also on Warfarin, that’s a problem, too – so our family have spent this week praying, and hoping, and praying, and crying, and praying even more, in the hopes that there will be some improvement.

There isn’t any right at the moment, so any prayers for Mum’s recovery will be very welcome.

Because of all this, I was going to avoid doing the TToT today – but then I thought hard about it, and realised that there were some things to be thankful for – so here they are:

 

  • I’m thankful that my Mum is still alive, and still fighting.

 

  • I’m thankful for the emergency services that got her to hospital so quickly.

 

  • I’m thankful for all the doctors and nurses who are working so hard to keep Mum alive.

 

  • I’m thankful that my family are keeping me in the loop as, living 360-odd miles away, and being unable to travel myself, I’ve felt like I was 1,000 miles apart from them all.

 

  • I’m thankful for my brother, who, apart from being my parent’s official carer, has gone beyond any duty of care he might have for our parents, and has taken on all of the responsibilities of the Head of our Clan while Mum and Dad can’t – and is having to deal with all the negative stuff on the front line, as well as informing our huge, and extended, family – daily – of Mum’s progress, while also trying to keep Dad sane, as poor Dad tries to cope with the love of his life being so very ill.

 

  • I’m thankful that Mum’s still alive – this bears saying time and time again!

 

  • I’m thankful for my faith, which has helped to keep me sane throughout all of this!

 

  • I’m so very, very thankful that Mum’s still fighting – she gave us all her streak of stubbornness, so we’re praying that it helps to keep her going.

 

  • I’m thankful that, despite his own health concerns, my Dad is still able to go to be with Mum – as much as the hospital will allow, anyway.

 

  • I’m thankful for the love and support hubby has been giving me throughout      this awful week – I don’t know what I would have done without it.

 

I don’t know what will happen now, but I can only wait, and hope, and pray, that Mum will pull through all of this – please mention her in your prayers, too?

Her name is Gill, and she has always been a fighter, so we’re hoping that she can win this one, too!

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Filed under Disability Issues, Faith, Friendship

. . . and The Night Owl is back again!

I’m ashamed to say that the last Crafting post I did was way back, on September 11th!


I hasten to say that this doesn’t mean that I’ve haven’t done any crochet work – it just means I’ve been so overwhelmed with health problems, that writing about anything I managed to make was just too much – plus, there was also the restraint that a lot of the things I was working on were presents, and I didn’t want the recipients seeing them all before the right time 🙂

In my last crafting post, I mentioned that I’d had the privilege of testing a pattern for a wonderful designer, Dedri Uys, who’s Blog is called: Look At What I Made (she can be found here:

http://www.lookatwhatimade.net). 

She wanted people of all levels of skill to test out a cute bonnet pattern, using the Crocodile Stitch – something I’d not come across until then – and she bravely allowed me to give it a try 🙂

This is what I made:


Unfortunately, the only yarn I had available, in the weight that she wanted used, was some Red Heart Super Saver, in Pumpkin, so that’s what I had to use. Now, don’t get me wrong, I actually love the colour – it’s just that, with my abysmal photographic skills, I couldn’t show exactly how lovely the colour really is – but you can definitely see the crocodile stitches! I’m quite fond of this little bonnet, as it was my very first item made with the crocodile stitch, and there had been quite an amount of frogging involved before I caught the knack of using it 🙂

I think that’s one of the main aspects of crochet work that I love most – there’s such an infinite variety of ways it can be brought together to make so many things, that I’ll never get bored with it 🙂

I also tested a pattern for another lovely designer – Candace Glabas, who’s Facebook Page, Crochet Dans L’air and The Grey Lady, is full of wonderful craft work:


Candace had asked me to test out a pattern, which involved using another new stitch for me, the Half Double Knit Stitch – which is actually a crochet stitch, and can be found here:


Candi’s pattern was for a Laptop case and, as it happened, I had need of one, so I was happy to attempt yet another new stitch, and have something useful at the end of it – and here’s the result:


Because I didn’t have the appropriate yarn to use, and was already 
waiting on an order of my favourite Red Heart Yarns, sent from the USA, I made it up to the thickness needed, using three strands of DK yarn I had in my yarn stash – a dark purple, a lavender, and a white. I used 2 buttons from my button stash as a closure, and I’m very pleased with the result – as was Candi, thank heavens 🙂


Since then, I’ve made quite a few items – including some bunting in various leaf patterns for a friend’s craft stall – which I forgot to take a pic of! But I’m hoping that she will take one of it in use and, if so, I’ll show you on another post 🙂

I’ve been quite busy making winter outfits (hats, scarves and gloves), for my parents, as it’s their 58th wedding anniversary on 27th December and, as they both use scooters to get around now, I figured they’d keep a little warmer with some snuggly winter wear 🙂

I was given some gorgeous cream-coloured Aran Yarn, flecked with tiny spots of green and brown, which was, unfortunately for me, 25% real wool, and so was a total trial to use – but I was determined to make a really warm set for my Dad, and so I made him a lovely warm Hat, a scarf to match, and some Glittens – or fingerless mittens – that I’d got as a Premium pattern from Crochet Spot, which can be found here:


– I managed it in the end, after having very frequent breaks to ease my hands (it’s a pain figuratively, as well as physically, to be allergic to real wool!), to get them finished – along with a set of house slippers that I lovingly crocheted with the same yarn, too – but my Dad is well  worth the pain of using the wool-blend yarn! 🙂
For my Mum, I was very fortunate to be given a wonderful pattern called, Lady Victoria’s Winter Warmers, a set of Hat, Neckwarmer/Cowl, and a combination of fingerless gloves, with a Mitten cap, to keep fingers toasty while not using them for anything intricate 🙂

The set was designed by a lovely lady, called Sue Pendleton and, if you like these, then you should go onto Ravelry, where she has a load of free patterns to be used – you can find her patterns here: 

My mum loves blue and green and, while I didn’t have any suitable blues, I did have just the right amount of greens available – Red Heart Super Saver Solids – in Tea Leaf, and Honeydew, and I also used a tiny amount of the Hunter Green for leaves, along with some vintage buttons I had just purchased, and so I was able to make the set for her 🙂 

The Hat and Cowl part of the set 🙂

See the vintage button in the flower? 🙂

Here are the gloves/mittens 🙂

 By the time I’d finished making the set, there was plenty of the accent colour (the Tea Leaf) left, and so I decided to make Mum an extra gift of some Leg Warmers to keep her legs snug on her scooter – and a pair of light house slippers to wear indoors 🙂

I used the Alicia Leg Warmer pattern, designed by Leah Addis, which can be found here:
http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/alicia-legwarmers 

I followed the pattern, except that I left off the frilled edge and buttons down the length 🙂


These house slippers, minus the contrasting, frilled, edging, were from a free pattern on Jay’s Boutique Blog, to be found here:

Two other items I made – which were posted all the way over to Canada, were a couple of amigurumi sea creatures, to be placed on display in a Crochet-arium, organised by Michael Sellick, of The Crochet Crowd fame:


This took place on October 13th, at the Creativ Festival in Canada, where each item was sold on behalf of Crafting for A Cure, a charity project, which also covers North America. I don’t know what my two sea creatures went for, but I just hope that they helped a child somewhere 🙂

I made a Narwhal, and an Octopus – unfortunately, I can’t find the photos I took of the Octopus, but there’s a nice photo here (even if Mikey did get the place I lived wrong – it’s Wales, Mikey, not England! Lol), along with my Narwhal:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikeyssmail/9836843594/in/set-72157635299722849/
I did make a collage pic of the Narwhal, so here it is:



I’ve made quite a few other bits and pieces but, until they are given to their recipients, I can’t show them on here, in case they see them before time 🙂

I do hope this has made up for my silence for so long? 🙂

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Filed under Crochet, Family, Friendship

Ten Things of Thankful #14

This really should have been post #16, but I’ve missed the last couple of weeks – due mainly to sleeping through most of them – not fun – and I seem to keep missing days, then wondering what time it is as I wake up in the dark, then fall back asleep in the dark. I don’t know whether to blame the ME or the Lupus for this, but I guess it doesn’t matter what causes it 😦

So, my very first TToT is that I’m thankful I’m awake enough right now to contribute to this weeks hop! 🙂

My 2nd TToT is the fact that my Mum & Dad, along with my brother, are coming here to Wales on the 24th for a short visit! I haven’t seen Mum & Dad face-to-face since 2007, so it’s going to be a bit of an emotional time, no doubt. Although we talk regularly on the phone, and occasionally wave to each other on Skype (when there’s someone to set it up on Mum’s side) it’s just not the same as being able to hug them physically again 🙂

My 3rd TToT is that my brother got his 4 x 4 back, so he’ll be able to get around with our parents, despite the snow being forecast for their visit!

My 4th TToT, is that I’m thankful for feeling slightly more alive, and just in time to rustle up some gifts for my parents to take back home with them. Not being able to stay awake long enough to even do some crochet has been bugging me badly, and it’s been a delight to be able to get back into creative mode! 🙂

My 5th TToT, is for the care and love my hubby has been giving me throughout my latest health downturn, especially as he’s still recovering from his last bout of pleurisy, so isn’t 100% himself – he’s such a caring man, and I thank God every day for him 🙂

My 6th TToT, is that, once again, I’m grateful for my laptop, as I’ve been able to keep in touch with my daughter as she travels around with her work – I’ve mentioned it before, I know, but I can never be less than thankful for such a modern convenience 🙂

My 7th TToT runs on from #6, as I’ll be graced with another short visit from my girl at the beginning of December – too late for her to visit with her grandparents, unfortunately, but a sweet thing for me, even though it’ll be a flying visit – I adore my girl, and am grateful for any time she can spare away from her work 🙂

My 8th TToT, is for the care and attention my buddy, Helen, has taken, in keeping me spiritually uplifted. This amazing lady goes out of her way to make sure I’m able to keep up with what’s happening with my spiritual family, and she was able to reassure me that they are all okay, and are keeping each other strong after our loss a few weeks back 🙂

My 9th TToT is for the gratitude I feel for our lovely pets – dear old Fred Barker who, at 19, is totally deaf, and his eyesight isn’t great but, despite chronic arthritis, still bounces around like a puppy whenever I’m well enough to pay attention to him – he’s such a little gentleman – and eats enough for 2 still! My lovely Kushka has barely left my side this last few weeks, and hubby says she kept purring up a storm as she cwtched up to me, whenever my pain was too bad to bear – I do love my furry friends for their devotion to us both 🙂 

My 10th TToT, is for all of my internet friends who cared enough for me in my absence to enquire if I was okay! 🙂

If you have things to be thankful for, why not click on the link below, and join in the fun? 🙂

Ten Things of Thankful

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Filed under TToT

I’ve Been Nominated for The Triple Award!

I’ve been kindly nominated for The Triple Award, by Nirvana, of http://nirvanaamjad.wordpress.com/.

This is very nice for me, as I love that people are interested enough to read my Blog with any regularity 🙂

The three awards are, as follows:
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I love this one, as it means someone has found something in my writing to inspire them. I was fortunate to have had an English teacher who did the same for me so, if I can encourage anyone, even a little bit, to write whatever is in their heart, then I’m happy to have passed on that inspiration given so freely to me 🙂

shine_on_award

I absolutely love the idea of this award, not only for my own sake, but because it reminds me so much of my daughter. Her favourite quote comes from Oscar Wilde ‘We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.’ She took that quote to heart, and recently started up her own group, called ‘The Gutterstars Collective’, where she performs fire routines within plays. If anyone shines brightly, it is she 🙂

becauseurfantabulous

I love the idea of this award – it a definite feel-good thing! 🙂

Now, apparently, there are a few rules to accepting this triple award, and these are:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you.
  2. Add the Very Inspiring Blogger Award to your post.
  3. Share seven things about yourself.
  4. Nominate a list of bloggers who inspire you.
  5. Include this set of rules.

Right, so I have thanked Nirvana, who nominated me so, check 1.
I’ve posted the award itself onto my Blog (as above) – check 2.
Now, #3 says I have to share 7 things about myself – so here goes:

  1. I’m absolutely petrified of spiders! Intellectually, I know there’s nothing to be afraid of, but years of conditioning by a mother who screamed every time she saw one means I’m still terrified to absolute freezing whenever I see one!
  2. When I was about 10 (in the 70’s), I had a pet rock! Don’t ask me why – it was the thing at the time! I named it Boris, and kept it by my bedside, and didn’t do very much with it, as you might imagine 🙂
  3. Out of all the seasons, I prefer Autumn. Whether it’s because I was born in September, or whether it’s the smell of bonfires and rotting leaves, I’m not sure, but it’s the time of year I prefer to any other 🙂
  4. When I was young, my older sister, who was left-handed, wrote what we called mirror-writing, and we used to write each other ‘secret’ letters this way, convinced that nobody else had ever done the same (not realising our mother, too, was a lefty).
  5. I’m a total and utter sci-fi/fantasy addict, and am re-reading (for about the 10th time) the Anne McCaffrey-Elizabeth Ann Scarborough Powers That Be trilogy. I have every single book Anne McCaffrey has written, and am well on my way to having all of Elizabeth Scarborough’s too! They are definitely in my ‘keepers’ category, to be read, and re-read, as often as I feel like it – I never get tired of reading about space adventures, Unicorns, Dragons, and Cats! Lol
  6. When I was 3, I was nearly thrown into the public bonfire, on Guy Fawkes Night, that our family was attending at the time. It was only the quick wits of a stranger that the boys who tried it didn’t succeed! I’ve never enjoyed bonfire nights since 😦
  7. Despite being a total bookworm, I am now thoroughly, and utterly, addicted to Crochet! In the 16 months since I taught myself to crochet, I’ve managed to gather 4,000 patterns already – I’d need to live to be 1,000 to complete them all but, knowing me, it wouldn’t be possible anyway, as I can’t resist a new pattern, so I’d have to live forever to manage it – now that’s an idea! 🙂

As for #4 – here are just a few of the Blogs that I get inspiration from. These men and women are absolutely amazing writers:

23 Thorns – for his ability to make me laugh so much I could wet myself – plus, his wife writes the most amazing posts on historical stuff, which I love 🙂

Lizzi of Considerings – for her ability to make me laugh, or cry, with ease, as I read her amazing stories.

Christine of A Fly on our Chicken Coop Wall – for her ability to laugh at life, and keep her family and surroundings from falling into chaos.

Dyanne of I Want Backsies – for her fighting spirit, and her joy in life, that she shares with everyone.

Kristi of Thankful Me – for her ability to see all the good in life.

Clark of The Wakefield Doctrine – as he continues to shine the light onto our, sometimes disparate, characteristics.

Milly of Millyanna Trees – for her creativity – and for making my amazing Steampunk Owl.

Hannelore of Paper, Beads & Inspirations – for being such an amazingly talented friend, spiritual Sister, and all-round amazing human being.

Mikey of Knot Just Yarn: The Crochet Crowd Blog – for being the inspiration that drove me to teach myself to crochet 🙂

So, as I’ve also done #5 by writing all this, my work is done 🙂

Do feel free to go to all the different Blogs I’ve posted – you’ll be in for such a treat if you do 🙂

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November 8, 2013 · 6:57 am