Saturday 29 June 2024

A mouse in my sewing machine . . .

 Pippi's catching about three mice/voles a day at the moment.  Some are dying or dead, which I can cope with.  The very much alive ones mean a race between me and the kittens (though they're nearly 2 now!) to rescue them before one of them beats me to it.  I was just unwinding with a new-to-me book from the Co-op charity book corner (S J Parris: "Prophecy" - think Dr John Dee et al - it captured me from page 1) and Pippi mislaid a mouse under the settle.  I saw it bouncing from wall to wall trying to find a safe hiding place, with me in hot pursuit with a yoghurt pot with the foil lid still on and a pink pond net (courtesy of "I".)  I managed to rescue it and it ran off happily into the undergrowth to live another day.

A couple of days back she lost one and I knew it had been in the vicinity of my sewing machine but wasn't anywhere beside it.  Carefully I carried the sewing m/c outside and shut the door behind me and when I lifted the lid a big fat Bank Vole scuttled off, doubtless very relieved!

  Rhapsody in Blue in full bloom.

Keith has been difficult today, insisting on sitting on the rubber ring ALL day.  The D. Nurses said it wasn't a good idea as it would put too much pressure on the newly-formed skin, but he spelt out "I know best" so he can jolly well suffer if it all gets inflamed again.  I had to leave the room before teatime and leave Danny to it as K had made me cross and I didn't want to be angry with him.  I went and sat by the river with the new book and tried to relax.

I was up there all afternoon working on a 3/4 finished quilt which needed the design for two more borders marking through the stencil.  I began having one of those lose-it days though, and came downstairs with a reel of thread and promptly lost it.  Then I realized I couldn't hand-quilt the border I'd just marked, as I needed my quilting thread, so searched for my wooden box of quilting threads - EVERY colour except white was in there!  I have searched everywhere and can't turn the white up.  Frustrating.  I know where it was last and it's not there either!

My foot is annoyingly painful again today too and it's also frustrating that I can't just go out for a walk but have to try and rest it (not easy, as I've clocked up nearly 10K steps just around the house - mainly going up and downstairs I might add).  

Having finished reading The Tattooist of Auschwitz, I thought I would see the series on tv last night, and they've been faithful to the book.  I've seen the first 3 episodes.  D & E want to listen to Glastonbury tonight though - I was going to sit and sew - HAH - not now!  HAH 2 - literally just dowsed for it with my fingers and turned up a small reel of white quilting thread in a paper gift bag at the end of the table (full of fat 1/4s of fabric).  Right, I shall be off to sew now.  I LOVE hand quilting, and have already hand-quilted the central square of the quilt.  The complete centre is appliqued.  I'll take a fresh photo tomorrow to remind you which one it is.

I will buy more of these big Alliums next year and put them front of the long main bed- they look like starburst fireworks.

Thursday 27 June 2024

Several Positives

One of my new roses in full bloom - this is Champagne Moment.  £12 well spent!

                                      *          *           *

Keith has had medication to sort out his throat, which worked after two doses.  

He had his Covid booster today.

He had new cream for the pressure sores today.  

The Care Workers are a step nearer as I heard from the Social Worker today, and his case goes before the Panel next Tuesday.  She said she would be very surprised if it wasn't passed and then it would go out for brokering.

Yesterday we had a visit from "Technology" - which had bewildered me when it was made as the chap on the phone was rather vague.  Anyway, a really helpful Dr turned up with his assistant, and they were the Technology arm of Speech and Language Therapy, and to cut a long story short, Keith is going to get a device which he can operate by hand or even by eye control!  It will enable him to switch the light, the tv, DVD player, etc on and off, but best of all, it has a pager so he can contact us wherever we are in house and garden.  That is a great improvement on his original "hurl the bronze bell" onto the floor (so I hear him in the kitchen or living room) or turn the tv sound up to 84 (which is deafening!) 

The BIG positive on a practical level for me, is suddenly remembering that I had the phone number of the master carpenter who did our sash window repairs and fitted and tiled our kitchen.  The door at the bottom of the stairs has been coming apart at the seams all the time we've been here.  It didn't matter too much until Shadow-cat arrived but it has to stay shut and you wouldn't believe the number of times we are all going up and downstairs each day, and how many times I had to thump the top bar of the door with a big wooden mallet.  Paul put in a gigantic 6"?! screw so that joint will never come apart again, and then planed the door edge so it fitted snugly into the frame.  The best £30 I've ever spent!! You have no idea how irritating that door had become.

Other positives - Keith and I can bird-watch through his lovely big picture window.  There are Kites, Buzzards, Crows, Pigeons, Swallows, House Martins, Swifts, Robins, Blackbirds, Thrushes and cheeky Sparrows, and best of all are the Flycatchers who are nesting out of sight behinds our stables.  They do a repetitive "flight loop" to their favourite perch on the power cable to the cottage next door.

Not so good on the wildlife front was a rather enormous Hornet which decided it wanted to try its luck inside the bedrooms.  I managed to get it out of Keith's room as it stayed by the open window and when it buzzed off, I quickly shut the window.  Then it went into Danny & Emma's room and was more persistent - they pulled the curtains to stop it coming in, but it couldn't work out how to get out through a huge open window! It was hanging around for half an hour or so.

Off to watch Gardener's World and relax now.

D - I have not forgotten to answer your lovely emails but I have been inundated with phonecalls, professionals and going out for prescriptions etc etc.  I'll get back to you soonest.

Monday 24 June 2024

Malvern Fleamarket - lots of quilts, and quick update

 Just a few photos from Malvern.  Keith not well.  Waiting since 5 a.m. for ShropDoc to phone back.  D. Nurse asked for urgent visit from GP yesterday - she phoned instead and put him on extra meds, but no antibiotics, which is what I asked for - to have in hand should it become necessary to give them.

GP been and lowered dose of the new med as it's knocked him for six - made him very drowsy.  It's basically an anti-histamine, BUT it is working and he no longer sounds so bad with breathing.  No chest infection and no pneumonia.  Hopefully he's not on this long.  Thank you for all your kind comments and I will try and reply to them soon.

The view leaving Malvern - back of the Malvern Hills.

I was good and resisted temptation.  Nearly bought one of the beautiful Eryngiums (out of shot), but the thought of carrying it back to the car deterred me.

I think this little rotund pony was Italian.  Hefty price tag anyway.  Sat amongst the Bitossi pieces, he added a good look to the display.  He was £150 ish.

Wasn't this lovely?   I couldn't justify buying it (£25), so I just made do with a photo instead.

Ditto the Log Cabin blocks at £10 each . . .  I didn't ask the price of the sampler.

This was a lovely little chair, but again well into 3 figures.

A probably-Welsh practical use-what-you-have Quilt.  

This chap had pretty well all African tribal things on his stand.  There were a couple more tables out of view.

A view of the hills, with an all-sorts stall in view.

Another all-sorts stall.

Wouldn't you just like this in a corner of your living room?  NOT!

Interesting but difficult to place in a room.

Interesting things on this stall, but some are definitely Decorator's pieces rather than room settings.

More quilts.

A dramatic Log Cabin.  Interesting to see that the farm size was written in acres, rods and perches!  We still learned about them when I was at school.

What a shame she was missing a match for the red print hexagon flower.

I visited St Meilig's church at Llowes on the way home, but more of that another day.  I am still sat here waiting for the phone to ring.

Friday 21 June 2024

Today's another day

Liz Jones has written a book, so I have treated myself.

Keith now has a half-decent painkiller to help with his sore neck and even sorer btm . . .  Danny had a few words with him today (he of a calmer nature than mine!) My entreaties from yesterday had been listened to.  

I had intended to have a respite day today and in view of having to send the Fuschia running shoes back, I needed to actually go and try some on and walk round in them in the shop.  I couldn't find the shop Danny and I went to last time, but found another selling sports shoes and got myself a sensibly priced pair (with size 5 feet I can apparently buy childrens' sizes, which are cheaper!  I went up half a size and the Nike ones I bought are broader and comfy and I did a short walk when I got home to trial them, and my bad foot feels SO much better now for being supported properly again.  Cotton Traders summer daps just don't help your feet, comfy though they are.

I enjoyed my wander round Hereford, chanced a boughten sandwich from M&S for lunch (in the light of the recent E-Coli flavour sandwiches, I hoped M&S Prawn Mayonnaise might be a safer bet).  I sat and ate them just a few feet from where Owen Tudor's head had once been parked (on the step of the Market Cross) following his execution after the Battle of Mortimer's Cross.

Then I needed (truly!) to go to Doughty's, the patchwork shop, to get soft cotton batting and an extra-wide backing for Gabby's quilt.  Hmmm - £71 later!  I think this is going to be her birthday AND Christmas present!  I also spent £2 on a well-stuffed plastic ziplock bag with small bits of pink fabric.  I want to make Iarna a little snuggle quilt for mornings on the sofa watching Bluey :)

I even had a decent drive there and back because the Council have blown the last of the 2023 roads budget and mended the A438 into Hereford so I didn't have to drive with my Pothole Radar on full alert.  I listened to Sarum on the way back, the last book I got on Audible.  It's 53 hrs long so great value for money!

Off to relax now.  On my own here tomorrow again, so another challenge in the offing I fear.


Thursday 20 June 2024

Not a day I want to repeat in a hurry

 No positives at all yesterday.  I was on my own with Keith, and he was obstreperous as it's possible to be.  I found that the D. Nurse had to come out again (we'd only seen her the day before), and I ended up having to change sheets 3 times (twice in the space of an hour) and try and replace the dressing which had gone on less than an hour earlier.  Not easy as Keith was tired and found it difficult to stand for me to get the dressing in place.  To do this with him lieing down it takes two people - one to help him stay on his side and the other to do the dressing.  As the day went on I became increasingly angry and frustrated and worried and horrible and kept bursting into tears.  I hate myself as I was shouting at Keith, and he wasn't co-operating as he hates the tilting mattress and keeps telling me it isn't working (it is, for the main (large) pressure sore but we can't seem to get the surrounding area to stay dry.  He refused to have a pad beneath him which the D. Nurse said to use (hence the sheet changing and washing machine on all day).  He has wax in his ears and had the tv nearly as loud as it can go and it was driving me mad.  I have come close to breaking point today and there seems very little likelihood of ever having carers to help here.

Debby - communication is via a sheet printed with the alphabet or with a predictive text i-pad but Keith seems to prefer the sheet.  However, I keep missing letters or he doesn't point clearly or the letters are covered by his hand, and that is frustrating for both of us too.  The OT woman is the one who does everything by the books and is NOT helping with adaptations to help him, but actually taking things AWAY!  I said we didn't want her here again, but have to suffer her being back here again next week, or else cause a delay.  I rather think I shall be telling her this when she arrives next week, having found out that she has not allowed an order for a motorised wheelchair to go through but modified it to a non-motorised one and the first we heard of this was when I was chasing the order up.

The day continued to deteriorate when I noticed I needed two new front tyres on the car but I couldn't get away to the garage.  Hoping they have them in stock . . .  Then the Asic running shoes I bought on Ebay arrived and seemed ok at first, but the longer I wore them the tighter they got and so I have spent good money for nothing.  I know - don't buy shoes without trying them on, but needs must. I will have to try and get to Hereford today to go and actually try some on before buying.  I just cannot get away these days and Hereford is the nearest place I can go shoe shopping.  It's Malvern Flea on Sunday and I HAVE to be able to walk comfortably for that.

I have been awake since midnight (2.30 a.m. now) and came down as feet so painful (the bad one still hasn't healed) and back and arthritic neck hurting from trying to get Keith up the bed earlier.  I've had Ibuprofen in the hope I can sleep when I go up again.

Pippi has been catching 3 meeces a day and I have either been removing corpses or trying to rescue the poor blighters before they are murdered.

The only good bit of the day was relaxing a bit this evening watching two episodes of Poldark with D & E (well, D was on his phone listening to Podcasts instead).  I hope today is better, but the Respite afternoon I had planned has now been hijacked by shoe shopping. Yeesh.

Wednesday 19 June 2024

A full house

 Tam and Rosie have been staying here - Tam wanted me to look after Rosie whilst she was in the Dentist's yesterday.  She was gone an hour and I was quite relieved to hand Rosie back as she needed to sleep but wouldn't settle in her pram - I'm not surprised as the pavements were very bumpy.  I was in the single bed in Keith's bedroom and didn't sleep at all well as too hot and Keith's bed is noisy, plus his breathing was too for a while. 

This morning we had a meeting over funding for continuing care for Keith.  Gabby and Tam were present to help support me.  Was it down to the Council or did the NHS pick up the bill? We had the Social Worker and the Parkinsons' Nurse on line, and we did a series of questions which determined his vulnerability.  He doesn't come under NHS terms yet, and so we will have to carry on waiting for Carers to become available via the council.  I'm not holding my breath.  I spent two hours and more yesterday writing notes for this, only to find they weren't needed.  Next week we have more professionals coming out, including the officious OT lady again and the Speech and Language Therapy lady.

Isn't this pretty?  My favourite from the display of a local sewing group in the photo above.

Above - some of the lovely textiles on display in the Church.

Now, a taster of the FABULOUS quilts to come in the next post:

These are the work of Liz Jones, who has displayed them in the USA and been a prize   winner (no surprise there!)  Here is a link to one of the quilts (displayed here too) when it was at Malvern Quilt Festival this spring.   Back in the morning.

Sunday 16 June 2024

Threads Through Creation at Leominster Priory Church

 A long picture-heavy post, and there will be more textiles photos in a post tomorrow.  Yesterday I went to Leominster Priory Church to see the textiles exhibition by Jacqui Parkinson.  These fabulous hangings took her three years to design and make.  They are fabulous works of art and illustrate the Genesis story.  Sorry - few words from me as I'm busy today, playing catch-up after having a house-full yesterday when Tam, Jon and Rosie came to visit.  D,E and I are out at a re-enactment day at Tretower Court.  I wish I was there too.

If you click on the photos, you can enlarge them (useful for the words telling you about each piece).

When I last visited, I missed the Piscina in this side chapel because there was an orchestra setting up there .

Finally some outside pictures showing the massive Norman door way and the beautifully carved capitals, carved by masons of the Herefordshire School of Romanesque Sculpture - though at the times they just thought of themselves as masons of course!  

I hope you are all having an enjoyable weekend.