Saturday, December 31, 2011

Review of 2011 - The Good, Bad and Ugly!

The Good........
Jeff and Joshua went on holiday to America for the first time with Dad and Sandra,
Joshua is off to America on a soccer scholarship.
Benjamin did okay with his GCSE's and has stayed on for sixth form.
Benjamin went to France to see Robert, Jane and family.
Ella has got a lovely carer 6 hours a month :)
I have loved being at home, decorating the house, trying new recipes, crafting, altering, etc.....
Annual Center Parcs with my dearest friends.
Went to the lovely Creative Heart and Soul weekend.
Did Reiki Level 1 and 2; Hopi Ear Candling; and an Angel course.
Jeff and his brother talking again.

The Bad.......
Money, cos I'm at home so much (equal and opposite reaction!)- but then who isn't struggling at the moment.
Joshua's American uni has cost 2k already.
Ella's school didn't complete her DLA report in time and so the DLA and CA have stopped!
Joe's CICA claim is still ongoing - no wonder the governments (no specific party) have no money - this has taken nearly 3 years so far!
SS wasting 18 months of our life to tell us that they think Ella isn't ready to foster - this despite not having met her once in that 18 months!

The Ugly.....
Well, has to be the nightmare we went through at the beginning of the year with the school and social services.
Ella's first major fit.
Joshua's suspected heart attack.
Me trying to slice my toe off.
Horsefly bite that put me out of action for over a week.
Friday, December 30, 2011
Jeff and Ella making and decorating the gingerbread house. Well, Jeff did the building work and Ella did the prettyfying! Oops, gender specific roles there LOL And ironically enough she doesn't even like gingerbread - but made up for it with the sweeties!

Dad and Sandra came up on the 27th, with our Christmas presents. This bag was my present. Sandra had seen it in Roma when they were there a few weeks ago and thought it was so me. I would so have to agree! I couldn't stop grinning, picking it up and stroking it, bit sad really LOLWednesday Jeff and I went for another walk around Swinley Forest, without Ella this time. It's amazing how much further one can walk without Ella!
Thursday we had to take Ella to John Radcliffe for a check up. Her EEG result is ok, no deterioration in the epilespy, so that's good :) They also gave her an ECG just to check the drop fits hadn't been misdiagnosed. ECG was fine :) They would though like us to film her drops. Easier said than done! Took Ella to Pizza Hut afterwards for a treat. Last night watched Little Shop of Horrors. I love that film! Will never forget when I saw the live show and the ending was different - was most unimpressed!
DWP phoned and confirmed they can't recommence the DLA and CA until the school have 'done their bit.' With this is mind, you can imagine how blue the air was when we found out the phone bill was £150 .......for one month!! Mobile calls now barred.
Today Joshua is 19, dear Lord, my kids are getting old!
Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Have had a relaxing Christmas. Seen Mum - Dad and Sandra - Ricki and Kim - Daniel and Shona. Had Christmas lunch at home. Went to Church and the Crematorium. Jeff had time off work. Been for walks. Had friends round. Jeff and I didn't buy each other any presents, money's too tight atm, but when we have a few pennies (ie have paid Mum and Dad back the 2k and the DLA is sorted out!) then I would like a better kitchen mixer and Jeff needs a new phone - aren't we exciting people! Did get the best present from Dad and Sandra though - a handbag Sandra got in Rome - I couldn't stop grinning - will put a photo up when I get a chance and you can all drool and be jealous! Loving Christmas this year :)
Friday, December 23, 2011
Ella with Aunty Joy - Godmother - and Uncle Ian.
Vicky took Ella to Father Christmas. The police car parked in a disabled bay annoyed me - just because you can doesn't mean you should! The dress was a birthday present from her Aunty Joy.
Orla and Martha :) I just love, love, love this picture of Orla with Jeff!
Jeff's family gathering - all the brothers and sisters. And Ella with Uncle Steven - Ella's Godfather.
Nonna came up to see Joshua's Showcase football match for the American coaches. Homemade pressies for escot, teacher and SSA's. Handmade tags - shame you can't see all the glittery-ness! Ella with her Personal Assistant Vicky.

Christmas decs - no really?! Handmade the rag wreaths,
Ella's youth club disco and also her 13th birthday which we had a party for.

What else? Oh, Joe managed to get 2 black eyes during Community Service! Seriously! Breaking up a wooden pallet a piece of wood flew up and hit him smack on the nose. Jeff and I were spitting feathers, but Joe doesn't want to complain cos he likes the fella. Okay, but no safety goggles? Joe might not have been quite so amenable if a splinter had ended up in his eye. But he's 20, so his decision.

Ella's school play was lovely. Ben's school report was the best we have ever had for him. Ella's school delayed the DLA letter request so much that we now have no money from DLA or Carer's Allowance. Freaking great. Social services were investigating my moan on 2nd December. No news yet. But seeing as they've mucked us about for the past 18 months it was expecting too much I suppose for them to reply promptly!

Think that's it, hope anyone reading this has a peaceful Christmas xx
Sunday, December 04, 2011

November Roundup

Not sure where November went, anybody? Anyhow, in brief. Had to call 999 for Joshua this time. Was like he was having a heart attack - scared the crap out of me. First responder said his EEG was throwing up something, so called for an ambulance to take him to A&E. After several fraught hours the doctor decided that it was something called an oesaphageal (?sp) spasm. Apparently mimics a heart attack in pain and style - but thank God it wasn't. On an aside, whilst Josh was on the monitors and entinox in the house, the ambulance pulled up. The absolute *"£$%%^ next door asked the ambulance men to move their van before they went in as he was going out shortly! Hope karma whacks him firmly on the behind in this life or the next.

Had to cancel the weekend away - after dropping the display nearly slicing my toe off; and 101 other things that happened - I cancelled it. As it turns out, the episode above happened the weekend I would have been away - so maybe fate was planning my life for me?

Oh, did I mention looks like Joshua will be studying in America on a football scholarship? Go Josh!!!!!

Ella's upped her meds, bless, as still having the odd fit, which in turn has made her really sleepy.

Joseph has passed his site safety test, so hopefully he will get himself a job and start paying us back some of the money he owes.

Sent in final appeal papers for Joe's claim - now that was hard work - some of the paperwork brought tears to my eyes :(

Ben, Jeff and me, same old, same old.
Monday, November 07, 2011
The last week has been a mixed bag. So here's the good :) Ella had a lovely halloween. Over 40 kids knocked on the door, luckily we just have enough treats to go round. The zombies are looking a bit jaded, so they have gone to the great zombie home - the tip. I'm thinking maybe next year persuade Ben and a few of his friends to act as zombies for me :) Outside - obviously looked a lot more spooky in the dark, but my cheapo camera won't oblige and take good night time photos! There's skulls with red lights, spooky noises. Didn't get out the fog machine as too wet.
Ella dressed up for K2 on Halloween night - bit scarey ;) And indoors, the fireplace - and as one of my friends said, just as well my Mum's on holiday - she would have refused to walk into our living room! LOL!
Friday, October 28, 2011

Hair Cut!

Ella had her hair cut today at Niki's salon - doesn't she look grown up? Photo is Ella with her cousins Sofie and Charley :)
Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Angels watch over us

This is a canvas I made recently, really pleased with the result :)
Monday, September 19, 2011
Back to work, but only teaching one morning a week and have 3 Level 3 candidates. After last term with work and 'everything else' to say I was frazzled was probably the understatement of the year. But now, now work is much calmer (please note not the 'everything else'!) and on a Monday morning I have all the washing and ironing up to date, I have done all my governor duties - I know, I know, I resigned but couldn't stop the guilt of everyone asking me to stay on, and have ended up Vice-Chair! But at least I have got the time to do it the justice it deserves. Oh and work? Yeah I know, I was going to give that up too, but my manager persuaded me to do a little rather than nothing, which I'm glad she did as it keeps my qualifications current.

We had a hiccup with Ella's new transport wanting to pick her up at 7.15am and not drop her home till gone 5pm!! The school, for all their failings last year, were on the case and she's back on an 8-4 slot. So we can get her back to dancing and multi-gym which she has missed out on the last 2 weeks. She's also been to see the Rhino doc. That strange nose of hers? Apparently it's the soft cartiledge slipped. So when she's 16 she will be having a nose job :)

Joe. Electronic tag. 150 hours community service. Nuff said. But he is trying, setting up his own DIY business, so all kudos for that.

Josh and Ben are back at college doing the same course 1 year apart. And now everything's settled down I need to start work on his football scholarship for America he wants.

I have completed my Hopi Ear Candling Course, and my Level 2 Reiki, so feeling very pleased with myself. Toe is looking better, I can nearly move it now LOL

Have had a lovely evening with Ariane and Joy and 'Red Riding Hood'; and an equally lovely evening with Sara, Mikey and Dean. And went to see Patrick and Angela McCarthy in Love Online at the Quince Players. Going there is a baaaaaad thing, cos it makes me yearn for Am Dram, and when do I have time for that??!!!

That'll do. Laterz xx
Monday, September 05, 2011

Just a quickie ...... Love this photo of Ella .......Somewhere in Durham! (ETA Jeff says it's a back wall of Durham Cathedral!)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Ouch! That'll teach me for not waiting for Jeff! Have broken my toe. That white piece across the base of the nail? You can't normally see that as it's under the skin of the nail bed and had to be pushed back under. And I have stitches all around to hold the whole nail in place as it's completely lose but the bed below needs protecting. And the numbing injection - OMG - I have had my fair share of injections, but I have never known such pain!!

Friday, August 26, 2011
Been shopping, but you know me, budget shopping. Or more precise Local Bargain Finder on Ebay - gotta love that search. So we are planning on having a mini-allotment down the end of the garden. Got 3 of these giant nets for £6.00 and the electric propagator for just over £6. The mirror is 2' wide, going to put it on one of the outside walls, add to the mediterranean feel of the decking, and that was only £4.00 :) All good.Also bought these. The woman hasn't long had a baby so her hubby is doing the shopping. Very kindly buys spices every time he shops!! So 31 tubs and pots brand new and unopened for £20. I'm making a hamper for the 3 SIL's this Christmas, so some of these will be added :)

And because it's local bargains there's no postage!
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Ascot United played Wembley in the first round of the FA Cup on Friday. Jeff and Joshua went to watch, as Joshua is now signed up for Ascot Reserves. Match was filmed by Sky and streamed onto a Facebook page. Record crowd in attendance. Now, 2 firsts there - record crowd and the streaming of a match - you would have thought standing by the FA Cup Trophy Jeffers could have looked a little more impressed with the event LMAO! Oh, Ascot lost 2-1 :(

Friday, August 19, 2011
Remember the book a week? Was up to 15 novels (excluding books for work). At a charity shop a few weeks ago I spotted Sepulchre by Kate Mosse. It shouted out to me for several reasons:
  • It's set in south-west France where Robert and family live;
  • There's a lot of history as it's written in 2 eras - the present and the thirteenth century;
  • And it has a supernatural undercurrent.
So I paid my pound and sat in the garden with it - yes, you remember that one day in July when we had no rain? Not the sort of thing you can forget after this years washout! Back to the book. I couldn't put it down. I relished the history - people who comment on how wicked people are now should look at history. We were always evil, just due to technology most people didn't know about it. And yet again in the name of religion. We (oh, the collective 'we' not me and you personally - I'm sure you're lovely :) ) committed from heinous crimes in the name of religion.I digress....there's a surprise. Anyhow, loved the book, was riveted. So a trip to the library with Ella ended up with me loaning 2 more. Labyrinth was just as good and had me hooked. Sadly not the Winters Ghost. It does say at the end that it was originally a Novella and maybe it should have stayed at that. Or maybe it's me. I just felt that what could have been another excellent book was squashed unrealistically. Okay, did I really use the word 'unrealistic' considering the theme of the book?! And listen to me - ultimately what do I know LOL
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Just a quick post....... Last time I ask the kids to put the eggs away - frozen egg!!!! Looks very wrong......
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Thursday went to see Lorna Byrne (Angels in My Hair). Friday massage table arrived. Sunday went to Pyschic Fair in town - not so much to see the mediums and such, but more to see whether I'd be able to offer massage reflexology, etc. Monday I went to Anna's for lunch :) Monday we also heard we probably wont be able to foster 'at the current time' because they don't feel Ella is ready. Of course, reading a couple of documents and meeting us once, and never Ella, makes the SW completely capable of such a judgement. Least said. Tuesday boys all moved bedrooms - most enthuiastic they've been about housework for years LOL Ariane also popped round for a coffee, which extended to 3 hours! Oops! Managed to Freegle the High Bed Sleeper Ben used to use. Tonight Ella has been to local soft play area as they offer Wednesday evenings to SN kids :) Have finally written the ending for my book, so hopefully will now be finished in a few weeks. Right, time to put Ella to bed xx
Sunday, August 14, 2011
Visiting Bath with Ben, James and Ella.
At the beach :)
Ella with Larry Achike - Olympic triple jumper - I just love this photo, she looks so excited :)
Love this photo! Ben and his mate Mark going to a fancy dress party. Like I needed to say that! Hopefully that's not their everyday clothes LOL And of course couldn't resist the Only Fools and Horses comparison.

What else? Josh has a new girlfriend. Joe has split up with his. Ella hasn't had another fit. Ella's been to Woburn Zoo. I've cut my hours back to teaching only 3 a week term time so now I can claim carers grant and be home more. Got Ella's appointments for her nose and her leg. Just her neuro ones now. Looks like fostering is not going to happen, so disappointed, but if it isn't meant to be there is a reason, I just don't know what it is yet.

That'll do. Laterz xx
Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Boobs on Tour 2009!


Okay, so clearing out some old paperwork I came across a scrap of paper from what must have been a Center Parcs night when the alcohol was flowing ...... Some are the girls own comments .....
Ariane - "Stowaway" Boobs
Joy - "Cor she's got big tits" Boobs
Debbie - "God they're itchy" Boobs
Suzanne - "Makes my man happy" Boobs
Heather - "They're not big, I've a small waist" Boobs
Pat - "Keeps me warm" Boobs
Dawn - "It's been so long I don't know what to do with them" Boobs
Niki - "Kinky Boobs" Boobs

Seemed too good not to share - let's hope the girls think so LOL!
Monday, August 08, 2011

Reiki Healing

I think I've found something I'm naturally good at - Reiki healing. I completed my Reiki Level 1 yesterday and can't wait to start practising on unwilling victims - oops, I mean friends and family ;) I'm not going to tell you about some freaky things that happened during the course, cos you'll all think I'm more nuts than I am already! But, suffice to say, Jeff wasn't remotely surprised and just re-inforced his opinion about me being a witch!
Saturday, August 06, 2011
Crazy couple of days. As most of you know Ella has drop fits - has had them for years - and about 5 years ago had a 24 hour EEG which showed 'yes she has epilepsy' and that was it. Has been on 5mls Epilum since.

Fast forward to yesterday morning. I'm washing up. Joe walks into the front room and shouts "Mum, Ella's having a fit." Got to be honest I wasn't phased, they are so quick it would normally be finished before I walked from the kitchen to the living room! Joe does the normal, hold her and comfort her. Then "Mum, this isn't a normal fit." So go in front room, and she's in the middle of a full blown grand mal seizure. Get Joe to get Jeff. Takes one look at her and says 999. Joe goes and knocks on Heathers door, but she's not in. Ben waits at top of road for paramedics. Joshua doesn't leave her side and even carries her to the ambulance. Woman on phone excellent. Ella's fit last about 2 mins. Fast reponse from some top bod in Wokingham as no-one else was available. Then nearest available ambulance turns up - from Slough!! I don't even want to think about how they managed to get to ours so quickly - eek springs to mind.

Long story short:
Now she's had her first GM she can fit for 5 mins without needing medical intervention;
RBH couldn't understand why she isn't under a consultant and because she now has 2 different types of fits needs to be seen by - I think - the Paediatric Neuro-Surgeon.
The Epilum is actually pretty ineffective for drop fits, there are more suitable treatments for those type of fits. But now she needs the Epilum anyway and the dose she was receiving was almost half what she should be getting for her weight.
Needs another EEG.

But mostly I'm thinking, if what she went through scared the hell out of us, how does someone who doesn't understand begin to comprehend what's happened to her.
Thursday, August 04, 2011

Catch Up

Had a difficult few weeks, but hey, tell me something new LOL Won't bore you. Quick catch up with some of the main events. Joshua has got a casual job at a local hotel and has also got a place on a good local adult team. So what happens? He gets hacked in a friendly pre-season tournament and takes the top layer off his knees, preventing him working or playing footy :( But, come September we start the search for an American football scholarship. Ben has his cousin James over for a bit and he's waiting for his GCSE results, but goes back to sixth form in September. Joe is having a bit of an up and down time atm, enough said. Ella, is Ella :) Jeff has been on annual leave, but the weather hasn't been kind - except for a couple of days. We've been to Grimsby for a long weekend - Littlehampton - Bath - had a coffee morning with Sara - and general chilling.

That'll do.
Sunday, June 26, 2011
2 weeks since I blogged? Oops. So....Ben's birthday.... I was sick for a week with a horsefly bite ..... Went on a day course about Angels ........ Ella's school fair (such a let down on previous years :( ) .....Read my first James Patterson book ..... still fighting for Direct Payments for Ella ..... STILL waiting to be assigned a social worker from LA for fostering ..... got some lovely bargains in pound shops yesterday to alter ...... tired, soooo tired! Jeff woke me at 10 this morning, that hasn't happened since I used to have night feeds! ..... Eye infection ( although according to Ella I've been infected by a vampire LOL Toooo much Twilight I think) ....... Hurting for my boy who's lovelife didn't turn out as he had hoped ...... Need to decide whether to quit teaching, not sure it's really worth the aggro ...... Sitting in our lovely back garden on the decking on a sunny day thinking that actually life is not so bad :)

Just one photo of a refreshing water with lemon, lime and fresh mint to complete the afternoon. Lou is right, it would be better with Pimms, but not sure a Pimms head when I've got some work to do would be that wise - maybe later ;)
Saturday, June 11, 2011
Quick blog - been busy, busy, busy! Do you like the bird cage? My birthday pressie from Dad and the wicked step-mother ;) The plate Sandra was throwing out, so nabbed that - then got it home and wondered where the hell it would fit - it's 18" across! And the last photo is a lovely, lovely pressie from Anna, apparently white so I can alter it, but tbh, I think I like it as it is :)
Friday, June 03, 2011

New Venture :)

So, what have I been doing? Looking at setting up my own business. Yes I know, the last one fell flat on it's face, but the previous one was succesful for 15 years, so logic says I do know how to do it, just maybe not retail. As some of you know I have been to a few scrapping weekends and they have mostly been great. But I sort of felt that something was missing. My life has been quite a roller coaster, not going to harp on on here, but a few of you know some of the things I have experienced over the years, both good and bad, so I wanted to look helping the whole person. I believe in spirits - angels - looking after your soul - so building a business on something like that seemed a natural progression. A weekend where you can learn a new craft - make new friends - relax - eat wholesome home cooked meals - have a beauty treatment - enjoy alternative therapies - decide where you want your life to go and how to get there. I could go on and on! Hence Spirit-Mind-Body was created. Wish me luck - a lot :)
Sunday, May 29, 2011
Baking; Crafting; Teaching; Celebrating; and Enterprising - it's been a good week :) Completed this layout. Started it at the Creative Heart and Soul weekend retreat, and the original looked like this ... CLICK HERE ..... The top half is the same, but I altered the bottom. Partly because I wasn't in a paper rolling mood, plus, knowing the cock-ups I've made in my life 'Perfect' didn't really seem apt. But I am mostly cup half full and 'Happy' so went with that instead. I love the finished look.
Asked Jeff to get some sour cream on his way home, only when he got home I realised I meant buttercream! So frantic re-think and web search and found an alternative recipe which used sour cream. So these are black forest cup cakes. The recipe came from HERE. Then I cut a cone out, filled it with cherry pie filling, popped the cone back and topped with double cream. The result? They were divine, really sticky, very chocolatey. And, never having used an American recipe before, I have to say I love cooking in 'cup' measurements - so quick!
So Thursday was my birthday, lovely day. My apprentices sang me happy birthday, Jeff treated me to some lush body cream (I hope he wasn't hinting my body's not as young as it was!), and in the evening, cos I was teaching till 9pm, the other teachers gave me a bottle of wine. Plus I got a ton of birthday messages. And Joshua burned me 2 CD's with my all time favourite songs (save that for another post). But, can you see the calendar - I suppose Jeff and Joshua think they're funny!Today I have decided to tidy up my craft stash. Found a couple of storage units Lydia gave me when I first started scrapping - so about 8 years ago - and decided to re-use them. Thinking of organising in groups, eg summer; christmas, etc. We'll see. Wish me well, I could be gone some time LOL
Sunday, May 22, 2011
Still here, so no surprise that the Rapture didn't happen yesterday. I thought the whole point was that no-one except God knows when it will be, so why some American Minister thought he'd cracked a secret code is beyond me!

Oh well, thankfully because it didn't happen I had the most lovely night with some of my CP friends. Anna hosted a pudding party - in a word.......YUM! The evening flew past and as it was a weekend we were in no hurry to go home. As 'Des' I didn't have any alcohol - but that was okay as it left more room for puddings :)

I can thoroughly recommend a Pudding Party - go on, you know you want to :)
Saturday, May 21, 2011
Everybody needs sleep (well, d'ur!) but how much depends on the individual. I can run on 4-5 hours a night as long as that's BED....SLEEP....WAKE. And then every now and then I sleep all Saturday afternoon. That works for me. But for months now I've not been able to go to sleep, then when I do I wake up half-a dozen times, feeling worse because it wasn't 'quality' sleep. So Joshua, health freak, suggested I try camomile tea. Do you like the teapot? It's just a one-cup pot and was a 50p find at a car boot. Being totally honest camomile tea is not something I would choose to drink, but .................. I have now slept through for 3 whole nights, and I feel amazing! I didn't realise how so much lack of sleep had fogged my brain to make choices and energy to do anything. Damn......just realised it's supposedly the Rapture today - trust me to get back into the world just as it might be drawing to a close!
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Grrrr Blogger, taken 3 days to post this! So have spent hours trying to fix it. Latest thought seems to be that it's IE9 and to install Firefox. So let's see whether it works this time! Been super-busy, which is good, because it takes my mind off all the grief we've had this year. But not much to show for it (well, actually there is, but that's for the next post). No crafts, no trips - except one babysitting with Martha and Orla. Only one DVD - Charlie St Cloud - which I loved, and showed Zac Efron is more than just a Disney heart-throb, he's actually a bloody good actor.And books? Well I've managed 3 since the last count. I had to smile when I prepared the photographs - Vampyres and myths; Angels; and Islam - interesting combination! One non-fiction; one autobiography; and one work of fiction.