February! goodness

Hi people.

I’ve been a little preoccupied what with one thing and another. But YD finally had her baby, whom I shall call ESW (initals), in the middle of January, 10 days late, and had a very difficult time indeed. ESW is now three weeks old and had her tongue-tie snipped yesterday, which has made life much easier for YD, her hubby, and most of all for ESW. Let’s hope it just all settles down now and they can enjoy, instead of enjoying and worrying about, their beautiful little girl.

Knitting has continued apace as you can see from the photos. And even a little sewing, for LCS (14 month old grandson). He loved it. I’m going to make another clown cushion and keep it at home so children who come to see me (I have a little friend called Henry, for example) can play with it.

Guitar playing – not so much. It’s been a year, I’ve tried two different guitars (classical and plain acoustic) and a ukulele, and it’s just not working for me. I thought a ukulele would be easier to handle, but it’s a pain. Under the boob? above the boob? right on top of the boob? nah, just got to the stage where all three are just sitting staring at me balefully. I’m going to hang on to the Fender acoustic and try to get rid of the other two.

We are in the process of getting quotes for refurbishing our kitchen (cabinet doors and worktops only) and it’s all quite exciting. Today I went to a kitchen showroom. By myself. Not the best plan I’ve ever had really. My inner wimp appeared. I spent approximately 45 seconds in there, wandering around aimlessly, feeling really stupid and as if I were 12 years old again, lumpy, adolescent and awkward, so I came home. There really wasn’t any need to go, because we’ve requested samples of the sort of thing we want anyway.

So I wrote to my lovely French penfriend instead. That’s an hour’s job, because I write in French, then translate into English, and correct her English letter to me. Hardly any corrections this time though, at all. (Bravo, Réjane!)

It’s “Time to Talk” day today – is that global? or just in the UK? anyway, on my facebook “on this day” there was my post from last year. (not sure this will be available if you’re not on facebook!) Still makes me feel a bit wobbly, to be honest. Now I’m on the maximum dose of Paroxetine, having tried to go back down to the 40mg a day dose, but need the 50 to be stable. And I need to be stable.

Tomorrow I’m hoping to have the energy to start re-organising the craft room. The lids on the boxes I got from ebay are starting to split. So I’m going to dump the broken lids, keep all the boxes and unbroken lids, and we’ve been to IKEA and bought a load of Samla boxes, some inserts, and all the lids. Am very nerdily excited about it! I’ll post photos when it’s done, just because I can.

And oh god my computer. Last Sunday it started behaving very oddly indeed. The mouse stopped working. Eventually I twigged that none of the USB ports were working. I reinstalled Windows 10 three times, to no avail. Luckily I was able to find a very old fashioned mouse with a PS2 (small, round) connector – with a ball in it! Haven’t seen a mouse with a ball (so to speak) for years! but I had one so was able to use that and installed Linux Ubuntu 14.04.3. All working really well now. How frustrating it was though. I realised it was the Windows drivers when I went into the BIOS (Setup), and a USB stick was recognised in there.

So I’ve needed to re-think my strategy on certain things, for example cloud storage. After much searching and testing, I’ve settled on MEGA which allows you 50Gb free storage. Yep, 50Gb. And it was simple to install on my computer and on my mobile phone. Just need to get it set up on my (Android) tablet now. I was using OneDrive (MS) but it just won’t work on Ubuntu. Dropbox you only get 2Gb free. And so on.

And it’s been such a long time since I posted. Mother’s knee which needed 19 stitches has healed well. Her shin is still bandaged up though. She’s going to meet ESW this weekend, YD + hubby are going over to see her, my sister who lives nearby, and at least one of my nieces. Lovely.

 

Not great

The good news is, the cat is better. It took a month, and she had to be anaesthetised so they could wash out the wound properly, x-ray it to make sure there was nothing in there (there wasn’t) and take a swab to establish exactly what was going on in there. Result – bacteroides which needed a different antibiotic injection. Now she has no cone collar, she’s very, very happy, and back to normal. Even, dare I say it, slightly more affectionate than usual. That translates into allowing a slightly longer cuddle each day than the regulation ten seconds.

The bad news is, I’m not well at all. Some sort of chest infection or other. No voice for the last seventeen days, coughing like a bastard, very weak, achy, shaky, tired and weepy. I am trying to at least shower each day, but can’t always manage it. I’ve cancelled everything I was going to do, and am just pathetic. I’m taking 40mg Prednisone – last dose of the fourteen days on Sunday. Also 100 mg Doxycyline which I absolutely hate, but are the only thing that work, last dose of the seven days on Monday. I’m really, really hoping that by the middle of next week I’ll feel like a normal person. Or at least on the way there. Or at least the blood pressure and pulse rate will be down and more like normal.

My mother meanwhile has bashed and cut her shin badly, which is not good news at 83. Twenty-two steristrips and a large dressing. I can only contact her by text, and she says she’s doing fine, but of course she would say that because she is as brave as a lion. As soon as I’m better enough hubby will take me over and we will do whatever she needs us to do. In the interim, my sister, who lives locally but works full time in a very busy job, has had to manage it all. Damn and blast.

Then I was too ill go to to Logan’s first birthday party. Ex-hubby had offered to take me and YD (now heavily pregnant) down to Southampton for the day, and they did actually go, but I was just too poorly. Even Facetime/Skype was a bit difficult, what with me having no voice! but Logan is just a joy to us all.

Today I had to go back to bed at 10 am, woke at 1.30pm, and had a cursory shower/hair-wash. I can’t cope with the usual moisturising face/arms/legs at the moment, just too much.

Can’t knit. Can’t even pick up the guitar. Reading is something I can do in short bursts. Thank goodness I’ve done all the Xmas presents. Don’t even talk to me about the tree. That goes up the week before Christmas, and not a moment before.

I feel as if I’ve fallen off the small social world I do have. I’ve been out of the house to go to the doctors’ three times in the past two weeks, and am due again on Wednesday. But am not up to driving, so wonderful hubby has to take me. Phhhhh.

Oh. And the cat peed in the car before I got ill, so now my car stinks of cat pee, despite my feeble attempts to sort that out. And now I’m not well enough to do anything about it. I do have a plan, which involves a special valet service, but it’ll have to wait till I can drive at least.

YD has stopped work. Yesterday. Hooray! time for her to put her feet up.

Hopefully, my next blog will be a little bit more cheerful!

Feeling better

Much better, in fact. Am having to be very careful, and not do more than three things in seven days. Also making sure I sleep every afternoon. Usually 2.5 – 3 hours.

Been knitting again – finished more Christmas presents, and a lace-fronted cardigan which had been causing me grief. I couldn’t manage the lace front which was in the pattern, so substituted a different one. It involved quite a lot of searching and maths-type thinking to ensure that it was the right sort. But managed it ok I think. Finished it last night, it’s currently “blocking”, as you can see in the photo.

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The garden is looking pretty good considering it’s August and it can look a bit scraggy at this time of year. But the crocosmia “Lucifer” really brighten it up, along with the hydrangeas.

Guitar lessons are going well too. Have learned a few more chords, and am able to play a few more songs now. At home, when I’m practising, I like to sing along if my voice allows. Sometimes it’s a bit croaky, but today I was in (comparatively) good voice.

Thermomix: I’ve made double berry dairy free muffins, carrot cake, and pizza dough. The first time I used it was fraught, but the muffins turned out fine, and I’m better with it now. Next up will be the (dairy-free) sponge base for a trifle. Hubby uses it most days, either for lunch and/or dinner. He loves it.

The counselling is going well, and helping with my “issues”. Feeling lighter (of mood) and more at peace with my life. I actually have a lovely, lovely life, and our house just feels peaceful and calm. The counsellor is a wonderful woman, very good at listening and analysing stuff, and makes me think about stuff in a firm but gentle way.

Upgraded to Windows 10 today. It was very smooth and quick. Doesn’t look particularly different from Windows 7, the only niggle I have (and many others too going by the chatter on the internet) is the colour of the menu bars. They are white. All of them. So you can’t tell which window is live. I’ve fiddled about a bit (a lot) and found one workaround which will allow you to have one menu bar coloured, so you can tell that one is live, and at the same time allows you to have a slide show background, but only one of the standard pre-installed ones. It’s a little niggle, and doesn’t really affect the functionality, but it’s an odd little thing for the developers to have done, really. Fingers crossed that they fix it soon. It also seems that Microsoft are not going to make a charge for updates/upgrades, except to businesses. We shall see. First time they try to charge me, I’m off.

Thinking aloud

Well, we bought the Thermomix. I’m going to make some pizza dough with it later on, and hubby has already been using it. It’s wonderful.  It’s an extremely fancy, computerised food processor which can cook as well. Am planning to make a carrot cake next week, and it should be much easier and quicker than it usually is.

Haven’t been able to knit for almost a week now, too tired and my hands are sore. Maybe tonight. We’ve also been watching Breaking Bad, and it’s just too exciting/fraught to knit anything remotely complicated while that’s on. But last night we watched the last two episodes of the final series. Exhausting. Excellent. We’ll miss it though.

And the counselling I’ve been having is going well. The counsellor is a wonderful woman. Understanding, listens to me, and makes me think/reflect about things. I’m able to celebrate all the good stuff in my life. I think I’ve always appreciated the good stuff, but actually saying it out loud really helps affirm it all. She has used the analogy of going up in a hot air balloon, and leaving the bad stuff behind on the ground. I’ve added to that, in my head, so that all the wonderful people in my life are extra/auxiliary balloons, lifting me higher.

I usually go to a knitting group on a Saturday morning – sometimes I go to the Thursday morning one, but counselling  takes up Thursday mornings at the moment- but today I’m not going to do anything. Can’t even be bothered to shower and dress properly. Might walk round the garden in a bit (that takes all of thirty seconds) because it’s a lovely day.

The cat had lost weight when she last saw the vet, so we’ve been feeding her more every day (now two sachets each day) and I need to take her to be weighed again at the end of next week. She looks healthy though and has plenty of energy. Sleek, glossy fur, eating well, killing small defenceless things (a mouse, so she’s doing her job). She purrs loudly, despite initial resistance, when I pick her up to cuddle her and puts her paw gently on my face, so I don’t think she minds too much.

The guitar playing is improving slowly. I can’t strum and sing. I can strum, or do one chord per note, and sing.  I’ve taught myself one song, and learned four others from the teacher, and practise most days. Almost every day, really, but the last two days I’ve just been unable to even think about it.

So for the next few days I’m not going to do anything big. I might start the next stage of the knitting project (if you’re a knitty person, I need to pick up the stitches for the sleeves – it’s a cardigan knitted top down in one piece, so the sleeves are knitted in the round). May practise the guitar, or maybe leave that till tomorrow.

I currently have the fan blowing cool on my face, a cup of tea beside me, and I think it’s time I did a (quick, easy) crossword. Laters, guys.