Tuesday 23 April 2024

A stroke of pure genius . . .

 This rose support has blown over a couple of times when we've had strong winds - not doing my poor rose any good.  I have used vine eyes and 12" camping pegs, but no go.  I had a stroke of intelligent thought today, and hauled across the two cast iron spud (?) or coal weights we'd had kicking around for years, and tied one on each side with parachute cord (Keith never wasted anything!)  THAT is going nowhere now!

I have had a busy day - Llandod for groceries this morning; then as I arrived back the District Nurse arrived, and between 2 and 3 p.m. it was the turn of the OTs.  I now have to turn the whole room upside down again to make room for the standing aid Keith needs and the, arriving later, supportive wheelchair.  They are also suggesting to Social Services that they visit to look at turning the en suite shower and toilet into a wet room.  That would mean Keith being moved into there.  All this would have been SO simple at Ynyswen, but here it is a huge juggling act!  At least I know why Carers aren't darkening our door - they are not allowed to lift. 

Danny is back tonight, and we will be back to normal - until he and Emma are away this weekend.  Then I will be struggling on my own.  Again, something booked before they thought of moving here, to celebrate his birthday.  Tam is coming on Saturday with Rosie, so I will at least have moral support, but she is NOT lifting a finger!

Sunday 21 April 2024

A wander around Cors y Llyn nature reserve

 Cors y Llyn is only about 6 miles from us by road (less as the crow flies.)  I've not been there this early in the year before, and it was good to see it in spring.  It was a perfect walk for little "I"'s short legs and she enjoyed herself.  She recognized the Dragonflies picture on the reserve plan/information board, but of course it is too early for them to be about, although we did see lots of St Mark's flies as we returned to the car - perhaps very newly hatched as they hadn't been there on the outward journey.  They are black, with dangling legs.

Last year's Bullrushes looking a bit the worse for wear.

The stunted pine trees with their toes in the bog.

Lots of different mosses too.

Birch Boletus.

With all the rain we've been having, water levels were high.

Yesterday was a gardening afternoon, and I have more seeds started, including a gorgeous Cranberry Cosmos, and Emma and "I" sowed Pumpkin and Sunflower seeds.  I did some weeding along the west side of the house, where the old mansion wall is.  Grass and Dandelions everywhere.

Would you believe this time the patchwork is going really well - I am literally just making it up as I go along and the two block panel is looking amazing now I have started on the borders and joined the two blocks with a long row of 5" strips.  Finished photo later, but here was the state of play yesterday morning before I began adding the short strips border.  It has tied the purple and lilac strips in well.

Friday 19 April 2024

An afternoon out

 A very kind local friend suggested she took me out for tea and cake locally.  Emma covered for me, and off I went and C and I talked the hind leg off a donkey at a little cafe by the River Wye.  We watched wild birds at the feeders (which needed topping up).  3 Siskins, a Nuthatch, a Great Tit, a Goldfinch, a Blackbird and a couple of Robins.  They were a joy to watch.  We hadn't seen one another for a while (I seem to have been poorly/busy for nearly two months now) so had a good catch up.  I came home relaxed and feeling like I had had a real treat.  We even came home the back road route, and it was lovely to see the countryside coming to life in the spring sunshine.

I came home to find that "I" had been inventive in my absence, and that Pippi was dressed up to go to the Ball!  Emma had cooked tea for me too, and I enjoyed a Pepper and Mascarpone bake, with peas and chips.  Tastes all the better when you haven't had to cook it!

Of course, I couldn't sleep in the night, for worrying about whether Danny negotiated the country roads and then the busy motorway to Bristol safely, and was awake 3 hours as per usual, so I came down and worked on the curtain blocks and had a good idea after laying them out on the old curtain - two really big ones would cover a window, with a border, so I have added two more strips on all sides.  They are looking colourful and no-one is really going to look at them.  They are for privacy.

Emma and I have managed better than we thought without Danny, though of course we aren't taking Keith to the bathroom or trying to give him a shower.  He did however, manage to walk his usual length of the hall rails this morning, and has been out of bed a couple of times.  

We will get a walk in tomorrow.  Hope it's sunny again, and then I can get on out in the garden too.  Have a lovely weekend.

Thursday 18 April 2024

Sewing patchwork curtains

 These are for the summerhouse.  The two small curtains are finished and up and I decided to use huge 16" blocks to make up curtains for the two bigger windows. I sewed the first two late afternoon.

These lilac colours were amongst the red strips I bought (black and dark blue ones too).  If they can't be merged near a blue square I'll turn them into a cushion cover.  The colourway out there is predominantly red but these were too pretty not to use.

Current downstairs reading.  I can recommend her novels.

Keith has been eating better, but needs to improve his water drinking . . .   I waited beside the phone all day today, as Assist were meant to be phoning me to tell me about Carers. I phoned twice. Keith passed their Panel discussions, but guess what, the Brokerage Team don't seem to have found anyone to come and do the Caring.  This was fairly vital as Danny is away tonight, and not returning until Tuesday night, as he's going to Spain where a friend is having his Stag do.  Emma and I will have to manage as best we can, but Danny's strength will be much missed and Keith won't be able to have a shower etc.  OT are coming out on Tuesday, but by then he won't have done any walking for 4 days and so they won't be able to assess him.  It is beginning to look that the Council can no longer provide the Carers they say they will pay towards . . .

Off to bed now, but sleep will be at a premium as I will be worried about Danny driving through the night to firstly Carmarthen, to pick up friends, and then to Bristol Airport.  A different set of worries for the wee small hours.

Wednesday 17 April 2024

Out of the mouths of babes . . .

 I was weary yesterday, trying to juggle half a dozen jobs at once after yet another poor night's sleep, and continuing worry over Keith.  "Jennifer's tired", I announced, weary.  "I" looked at me and remarked, "Jennifer's ALWAYS tired!"  Hmmm.  Wisdom at 4 years old . . .  I'd waited all day for the District Nurse(s) to come and check Keith's pressure sores, which he had been complaining about.  They came late afternoon and put some soft covers over the area, saying that the sore was healing.  Keith was in discomfort though - he WILL persist sitting at just the same angle all the time and can't get comfortable when we put him on his side.  Today I had to take the dressing off as a fresh area was reddening and I had to get cream on it.  He isn't drinking anything like enough and has dropped a pint straight away as he has given up on tea as he can't manage hot drinks any more.  He is getting fussier and fussier about what he will eat and I tried him with four different meals earlier in the week - and each mealtime can take up to an hour . . .  Needless to say, he needs to eat MORE (and drink more).  I got him Complan this week - just waiting for him to wave that away too.

A little sewing help from Lulu today . . .  This is a quick(ish!) strippy curtain for the Summerhouse.  I have the strips of another sewn up but need to do the border and back.  I struggled no end with the tab top - thinking I had it placed correctly but then bodged the corners of the tab and ended unpicking it all (my stitch ripper is always red hot!) and hand sewing it instead. Worry does not a good curtain make . . .

This was the book I was tempted by.  I haven't had much chance to dip into it yet, but can say what I've read so far is just up my street.  She has written two others, so I may treat myself to those in the future.

 Odd childhood memories have been coming into my mind randomly today.  Like when I was riding a pony called Snowy in Cricket Camp woods, went under a low branch, bending low on his neck, and snagging my nearly-brand-new blue woollen jumper.  My mum was NOT pleased.  A house where the old Queen of the Gypsies lived, opposite us, a creosoted cabin gloomily sat under a planting of tall fir trees.  Going scrumping in the abandoned orchards down in the valley.  A time when we knew the name of every pony for miles around - even if they were names we gave them ourselves!  The footings of a windmill near Windhover Roundabout - a windmill which has now been restored.  I guess the oldest memories are the safest ones . . .

Sunday 14 April 2024

Time is in short supply


Emma and I went  to visit Tam and Rosie yesterday, and we all had a lovely walk together in the spring sunshine.  Tam is lucky to have a network of footpaths and bridleways literally on her doorstep.  I am envious as it's much flatter than round here!  We could see a pair of Ravens flying round this hill and the field below.

Long valley views and an inviting path leading into the distance.

Emma and I both had long baby-cuddles whilst she slept and Tam was able to finally get the shower she'd been trying to get for days! If she's allowed to drive, she will visit us next weekend.

I managed to get out in the garden today, and potted up a couple more plants and sowed red Spring Onion seeds, and also a couple of packets of Verbascum and some home-grown Hollyhock seeds.  About 40 of those went in a tray and probably 40 more sprinkled along the herbaceous border. It was good to potter.  I pulled out spent strawberry plants from last year - 3 yrs old now so time for fresh ones which I ordered from Ebay last week.

I also had a books offer come up in my email.  I went to check out one title and of course bought it.  Ann Hayward's "Where the Saints Came From - on Pilgrimage in Wales and Beyond."  Thought it had my name on it.  

Just off to bed now.  

Friday 12 April 2024

One Swallow does not make a summer . . .

 ... but it certainly cheers me up.  One of our stable Swallows has returned home.  I saw a 2nd yesterday morning, but it was just Passing Through.  Hope more of our Swallows soon arrive.  Yesterday's sunshine and delightful warmth cheered me up no end.  I pottered about in the greenhouse, and transplanted the other cucumber plants, and have sown some runner beans (Scarlet Emporor) and a packet of Sarah Raven's seeds - Rose Campion.  I bunged the Iris, Lychnis Strachis, and Paeony which I bought in Hereford Garden Centre in pots as I need to dig over where they are to live and remove grass and old house debris.  A job for tomorrow.

In between watching the racing from Aintree with Keith, I went out and finished painting two walls in the summerhouse for Emma, who was away in Carmarthen for the day.  I listened to Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone (Diana Gabaldon) and it was an absolute joy to listen to the story as I worked.

I did some weeding on the left hand side of the bank, where grass was threatening to overwhelm my plantings.  I will have to get some membrane and mulch down. 

I have found a little time to do Family History research (it's wonderfully distracting to escape into the past) and have gotten back further with Keith's Isle of Man ancestors.  Back to 1602 with his main line now. Manx records are brilliant and there is so much on line.

Today Emma and I are going to see Tam, Jon and Rosie.  I am going to tidy her back garden for her and will pot up a few Aquilegia from here (seeds from Ynyswen) so she has a nice link to our old home in her new one.  

Enjoy your weekend all.  I will try and find time to answer your comments.