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Friday, 28 September 2018

Welcoming Autumn

Firstly I must begin again by thanking you for your lovely comments and well wishes for my parents. I'm happy to report that they are now settled back in at home and dad, although still very thin, is looking so much better and feeling much more like his usual self. This type of operation takes around 3 months to recover from, so hopefully by Christmas dad will be feeling much better.

Here in the northern hemisphere, we're welcoming autumn in with open arms after a rather hot and sticky summer. I love the changes in season, adoring them all for their different attributes. We started off by giving the garden a good old tidy up. Emptying and cleaning some of the tubs, weeding and lots of sweeping up. There was a bit of a bargain to be snatched up in our local garden centre with their Cyclamen, just the thing to brighten up the garden.

 I put some in the back and a pot in the front to bring some colour.

Some of the other flowers are still going strong, a second Foxglove appeared from nowhere, which we were quite thrilled about. It makes me wonder about what will spring up next year!

Lots of deadheading and weeding helped show off some of the summer's marigolds and geraniums that are still looking quite vibrant.

Some heather and violas dotted about

The physalis is at it's best this time of year, I love the bright orange lanterns

Honey, Alfie and Gary sat outside with us enjoying the September sunshine, but just couldn't be persuaded to pose for photographs. I think this was the best with Gary (in the middle)

Honey in the middle here

this isn't too bad of Honey and Alfie, but Gary wasn't having any of it that time!

After sorting the garden out, I thought it time to update the mantelpiece too. Brought out the Halloween globes so we get the benefit of them for a little while.

I think this little chap may be my current favourite, I don't tend to use him as a time piece as my slowly ageing eyes need to get quite close to him to make it out, but he does carry the correct time.

 Hope you're enjoying your seasonal changes wherever you are.

Take care

Sunday, 16 September 2018

Dad's Operation

Thank you for all the lovely comments and well wishes for my parents on my last post. I usually try and reply to them under each one, but what a week it's been!

I shall launch straight into it by telling you my lovely, kind and gentle dad had his heart valve replacement operation a week ago Thursday. I think it started badly when my parents arrived at the hospital and the room my mum had booked to stay in had been double booked, the poor woman didn't know what to do! Luckily a friend had driven them to Cambridge and found a b&b just a few minutes walk away that relatives sometimes stay in.

Dad was first down on the Thursday morning and the operation took between 5 to 6 hours, then back up to critical care with one to one nursing. Unfortunately when my mum was able to visit him, he wasn't awake. It was hard because the 2 other men there had also had heart ops, but were sitting up in bed, one drinking a cup of tea and both down to the ward by the next day. Obviously you shouldn't compare people, not everyone's operations were the same, but dad ended being on the ventilator until Monday, they just couldn't wake him and then he had a stroke, my poor mum watched people come and go.

We couldn't even go and support my mum as we have coughs and colds and she can't risk catching any germs she could pass onto dad. The good news was that the operation itself had gone very well, they had hoped to just repair the valve rather than replace it, but it was too damaged. I can't help but think that's something to do with having to wait over a year for the operation. The nurses did comment to my mum what a remarkable man my father is, how quickly he seemed to start regaining strength in his left arm after the stroke and how he never complains about anything, even pain.

Mum would ring every morning after getting the hospital update before going up to see him, then in the evening when she returned to the b&b. She had to return home on Tuesday as she had a hospital appointment herself and a friend took her back on Friday.

When mum left dad, he was on a feeding tube and terribly confused. Even though he is a wisp of the man he was, he has had the tube removed as he is eating now and having build up drinks. Still a bit confused and desperately tired, dad is so much better! He was having one to one nursing until Friday morning and mum says his care has been amazing, they couldn't be any better or any nicer. I think it's going to be a slow, uphill journey, but dad is making improvements everyday.

It's been a bit of a nightmare, and we thought we'd lost him, so even though he is still in hospital, wired up and stuck in bed or a chair... it's still heaps better. He is oblivious to it all, I think my poor mum has probably aged another 5 years though and I still get butterflies waiting to hear the daily update.

I'm going to make myself a cup of my new tea then get the table ready for dinner.

Take care

Monday, 3 September 2018

End of the Holidays

We're ready to start getting back to the normal routine. We have Zack tomorrow and Imogen starts 6th form college on Wednesday. It's been a wonderful summer, but I'm definitely ready for autumn to start creeping in and for a bit more routine (it completely flew out the window during the summer).

One of the days we had Zack and big sister Izzy (she's only 9), we took deep breaths and took them to a local soft play place. I have to admit, these are not my favourite places to go, I find the noise quite deafening and they always seem to feel a bit claustrophobic despite them often being in enormous rooms, but I was a good nanny and off we went (OK I did take my book with me too as Imogen was supervising Zack and Izzy). Zack loved the ball pool and climbing on and off Thomas here.

We stayed for a couple of hours (ok, may have been an hour and a half), then left as Zack was falling asleep on his feet. Izzy was very keen to do some crafting with me, she really is the most creative little girl and loves making things. We cut out some birds from some felt she chose and Izzy sewed a couple of the wings on. It's been put to the side for when she has some time here again and I think we're going to fill them with lavender for Izzy and her mum's wardrobes., but it's a secret so can only be done when mum's not around.

Have to show you these cute little photos of Zack.My son sent them to me as he was trying the dungarees on Zack, but they were unfortunately too small. They were Imogen's, they're reversible and the other side is covered in brightly coloured cats. Imogen wore them when she was over 2, she was always very tiny, but at just 12 months they don't fit Zack... he's a big boy! I love his face in the second picture!

I've also spent some time sewing and made a dress for my Luna Lapin.

The instructions were very good, I've never made anything like this before and had to reread it a few times and unpick the collar a couple of times before I got it right with the binding, but it added to the sense of achievement when I finished it.

Imogen's had a busy summer with her NCS (national citizen service), a week in the peak district, a week staying on a university campus and a week working hard to raise funds for the RSPCA. She also had her GCSE results and enrolled in college. As a reward for doing so well and because we felt we hadn't seen much of her we took Imogen to Meadowhall where she was treated to some new clothes, we had tea out and went to see a film (I couldn't remember the last time we went to the pictures). We had a lovely time, really enjoying each other's company.

Some good news for my parents too, my dad finally received a date for his heart operation. He had a few tests to go through and goes into hospital later this week for the surgery. So pleased it's going to be done (a new heart valve), but also very worried for them both.

Take care