Thursday, 1 December 2016

Lost My Mojo


I've decided that I need to take a break from writing but not reading. I think maybe the events of the past two year have caught up with me and I just need to take some time out for me to recharge my battries and find my mojo again.

I didn't take time out when my mum died because then things started to move on with Laura's operation that kept being moved back and my new job hunting had to be put on hold. Then Martin had his accident followed by Laura's operation.  
Laura is recovering well from her operation and doing her physio (now and again) and her college course is going well.
Martin is still experiencing  some back pain and stiffness (should still be doing his physio exercises)
Job hunting isn't going to well at the moment but I do still have a job for now.

Before I go, I would like to wish you all a Very Merry Christmas and a Haapy New Year.          

                            Carolx


Saturday, 1 October 2016

17


Laura is 17 today. Time is going just too fast. It only feels like yesterday we were celebrating her 16th birthday.
She is growing into a lovely young lady who knows what she wants and has the will power to strive for it.
She has no time for idiots but still knows how to enjoy herself.
Last year she had a bit of a rough time with studying for her GCSE's, cancelled operations, her friend moveing to a different school, it all go too much. But to see her so happy now and laughing more is wonderful.
She's enjoying college even though they're long days with an hours travel each way.
We and the rest of the family are wishing her a fantastic birthday.

Carolx


P.S.  It was a sad day yesterday as the library, as we know it, closed it's doors for the last time. I went in to see the ladies in the afternoon when I'd ,finished work, and found them drinking wine and eating cakes left over from the McMillan coffee morning. Some staff are taking redundancy but others have to apply for other jobs and are up against their friends for the same jobs and there are so few jobs. I feel so sorry for them.


Monday, 19 September 2016

Hunt The Picture

Joining in with Mum's picture scavenger hunt.


Beauty and Happiness

Year 6 Prom
Year 11 Prom


















 Laura had fun at both proms and has grown into a beautiful young lady


Inspiration


 Martin's parents, married 54 years. This was taken at their 50th celebration do with their family


Tune and Passion


 Music is Laura's passion whether listening to it or dancing to it. She did an amzing job of decorating her bedroom bedroom in music


Wonder


 Wonder what cuddles thinks of the Jamaican Turkey. They do look rather cosy


Spectacle


Kite festival at Lytham, St Annes. Big ones, small one, in the sky, on the sand and everywhere in between


Sight


I love  Cleveleys beach especially in the summer. Picture is 
of  Mary's shell


Wink


 One of Laura's art projects for her GCSE and one she is most proud of


Arrangement


 Laura sorting my twiddle muff beads

That's my lot and I hope you enjoyed it. I enjoyed looking through my old photos stored on the computer


Sunday, 11 September 2016

Closures In The Community

Lancashire County Council have to make a savings of £265m over the next five years due the central government cuts and these are some of their actions.

Closing 6 museums from 30 September 2016. These are:-

The Judges Lodgings - Lancaster
Maritime Museum - Fleetwood (Run by 1 paid staff and a few volunteers and only open in the summer)
Museum of Lancashire - Preston
Textile Museum - Burnley
Helmshore Museum - Rossendale

Organisations for four of the above museums have applied to take over the running  and the council is hoping negotiations will soon end with the view to make the transfers by the end of the year. But I don't know which ones they are and it still means that two will be gone forever.

Also on the list of closures are 2 Youth Centres (1 of which is in my area), the one and only Youth Offending Centre (in my area also), old people services and diabled services.

On top of that 14 Childrens Service (once know as Sure Start) one of which is in a raural area are to close. (Luckily our one is not closing) And 40 out 74 Libraries.  The buildings that are owned by the council will be sold off. So may job losses too.

So many organisations rely on voluteers so that they can continue delivering the sevices we need. I worry what will happen when people say enough is enough and people stop vlounteering.

My local library is affected by the closure, where I go to a craft and chat group and will close at the end of September. However there is a group who are negotiating a new proposal with the county council and local council in a bit to take over the library, run it with volunteers, and bring in other agencies who will contribute to the cost of running the building and the county council will give £5,000 towards the set up costs. I'm not sure if other areas are also considering this way forward too.

A number of years ago our police station closed and the building sold off. It was knocked down and a block of flats were built in its place. Then gradually the 3 banks move out.  All the while our village (almost the size of a town) has been expanding with more and more property being build on old farm land. (Currently only 2 working farms left in the area)  Even now there are plans in with the local council to build over a 1,000 homes (with strong objections) on some farm land close to a very congested road. There are only 2 roads out of Thornton and both are congested mornings and evening and as there are so few jobs so most people have to commute.

I wonder how other councils are affected in this way and how the residents are coping?

Carolx



Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Show Time

The other week-end it was our annual Flower, Art and Crafts Show. I did take loads of pictures on my tablet and they've all deleted themselves. This tablet has a mind of it's own and I can't use the main computer as that is so very slow since it came back from the menders. I realy think we need a new one but it wil have to wait.

Anyway back to the show.  In the past I've not entered many exhibits. It was a case of if I had done something I would enter it. However it was a different story when it came to Laura, she had many exhibits and came away with one, two or three trophies. But now she is too old for those catergaries and possibly too young for the adult sections due to her inexperience and with this in mind we decided to give this year a miss.

Two weeks before the show we changed our minds and we found 14 things, between us, that we could put into the show.  There was the painted canvas Laura did for her GCSE, some painted pebbles, that looked like cactus, in a pot, some baking, and some crocheting.

I won 1st for my crochet jacked and 2nd for my marmalade and that was it for me and Laura didn't win anything.
The chocolate cake wasn't chocolatey enough but was very light.
The victoria sponge, not sure what was wrong with that. I felt it could have been lighter.
Scones, well they were a disaster, very much like rock buns. Won't use that recipe again. Will stick to the Bero ones.
One of my jams was disqualified because I forgot to put on a wax disc. oops!

We want to knock Miss Winner (not real name) off the top. We have our work cut out but at least we have a year to practice.

Carolx

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Results Day

Laura was up early today as she wanted to be at school for 9:30 to get her GCSE results. I dropped her off and waited in the car park. I had every confidence that she had done ok although she was anxious and worried that the results were not going to be good enough for the course she want's to do at collage.

Earlier in the year she'd had eight weeks off school recovering from her operation and was worried that it would have had some impact on her results. The year head had already told us that if Laura's exam results were not as good as she needed that they would contact the collage and explain the situation.

Anyway, back to this morning. She did really well and did much better than she anticipated.  2 A's, 3 B's and and 2 C's.  Two very proud parents (dab the soggy eyes). She has done so well despite the set backs. Tomorrow we are off to register her into college and then off to Preston do some collage shopping and have a nice lunch somewere.

Carolx

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Lurking In The Freezer

Our chest freezer really needs defrosting so I've done an inventory of everyting in there in order to use things up. It would be easy to just get some boxes and pile everything in them and then put everything back, but it dosn't acheive much. So that's my mission. Last night for tea I used up a half jar of Tikka (from the feezer) and poured it over our pork chops (from the freezer) with rice.

In the bottom of the feezer was some fruit. 1st was some blood oranges from earlier
in the year. I love blood oranges so bought quite a few. Some to eat and some for (shredless) marmalade. I didn't have time to make the marmalade streight away so into the freezer they went until this week when I made three jars. I only have a small pan and we don't eat a lot.
Next I made some summer berries jelly jam  (another three and a bit jars) with bits of left over fruit like strawberries, blackberries from the field at the back of us, balckcurrents and red currents from the garden and yellow sticker raspberries from the super market. It takes forever to strain the fruit but it's worth it to get rid of the little seeds the will stick in our teeth.
I also made some lemon curd, not from the freezer this time.
You will see some of the jars have celephane tops and that is because I want to enter them into our annual Flower, Arts and Craft show next week.  I have a problem with them jars though. The celephane tops were sealing well until they were cold and now the tops are wrinkly. I don't know if the judges take this into concideration but I'm not happy. Is there a solution to it now or advice on how to prevent it happening next time? please.
The left over have been tried and tasted and are delicous. Fingers crossed.
Do you find that after making your own jam and you have to eat shop bought jam that is has so little flavour and is very sweet.

Carolx

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Bubble and Squeak

I'm not making Bubble and Squeak but I would like to introduce you to our latest foster doggies. They are brothers and inseperable, where one goes the other has to follow, and are 31/2 years old. The boys are a cross between a pomsky and chihauhau.  These two are so funny when they play together chasing each other through the house to outside leaping over the door step as they go.  Turfing each other out of bed when playing a rough and tumble games.
Due to the pomsky in them they are very fluffy and malting like crazy and love lots of cuddles especially if you are wearing black.

Today they left us to go to a new foster home in Halifax as the charity we are connected with have too many dogs at the moment and need to move some on and these two little guys where part of the movement. I'm missing them already but they were not meant to be.

Carolx

Friday, 8 July 2016

Prom

Last night was Laura's prom.

Here she is stanging at the gates of Mains Hall at Singleton. She had a fantastic night and felt relaxed enough to dance most of the night. The theme was casino (in other words glamoures). All the girls but two were in long evening gowns that must have cost a fortune, but they did look lovely. Laura was one of the two who opted for a shorter dress. Her whole outfit including her hair all came to less than 100 pounds (pound sign dosn't work on this keyboard). Laura thoroughly enjoyed her night without parents.
and heres a family photo.
Carolx

PS. the computer went to the menders yesterday can't wait for it to come back I don't like this tablet for writing blogs.

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Miniture

Sorry I've not been around for a while but you know how it is when you're just doing and enjoying what you're doing.

Here's what the painted plant pots became. It was for a competition that we didn't win. It was a joint effort. Laura did all the painting, Martin made the sails, I bought the posts, made the bunting and came up withe the idea with lots of input from Laura. At the moment it's sitting by the front door but will soon move into the back garden.

This past weekend we went for a little trip to the lakes. We ended up past Grange-Over-Sands on the way to Flookburgh to visit the Lakeland Miniature Village and Oriental  Garden. We took lots of pictures but they're on the main computer and it's not internet freindly at the moment (need to go to the menders) and so  I'm writing this on my tablet. Here's the link though, hope it works, www.lakelandminiaturevillage.co.uk.  The village is set up in the back garden of the builder, Edward Robinson and his wife. You walk up the drive and ring the bell and pay a small entrance fee and follow the path round to the back and be prepared to be truely amazed. It really was a miniature village with all kinds of buildings depicting cumbria's old houses and farms all built of slate and stone with wonkey slate roofs. There are over 100 incredible buildings some famous and some very old hence the wonkey roofs. One of the fams has animals for children to play with.
It has taken over 23 years for Edward to create these small buildings mostly from memory and some from photos. I'm in awe of his wonderous careative talent. It makes Blackpools minature village look shabby and dull in comparison.
As we arrived Edward was working on a larger construction of a bridge which has been commissioned by Hayes garden centre at Windermere.
The oriental garden was good but not as impressive as the village but in all well worth a visit if you get the chance.

Carolx

Friday, 3 June 2016

Half Term

So far the weather over this half term has been absolutely glorious and whilst Martin has been working Laura and I have been enjoying it.



So far this week we've been prom shopping and eventually we found what Laura was looking for but that's to be a separate post. Laura has been painting stones and pots, but you will have to wait and see what all that was about. And we've had a couple of evening walks on the beach. I was lovely and relaxing away from all the exam stress. I like it when the tide is further in and you can sit and listen to gentle waves against the stones.
I've even done a bit of gardening too.


We've been baking scones again and some profiteroles this time. There was so many bun that the extra went in the freezer for another day.

Tomorrow is the start of our gala season at Poulton-Le-Fylde so tonight we rebuild the float and make any necessary repairs after the sides being stored over winter. Then Sunday Laura has been invited to present the trophies at our local Gala Horse Show and then next Sunday (changed this year from Saturday to Sunday) is our gala, Thornton Cleveleys, where Laura will be uncrowned and the new queen, Ashley, will be crowned.  

Hope the weather stays nice for you all for the rest of the week.

Carolx

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Liebster Award

I've been  nominated, by Pam from A New Life In Wales, for the Liebster Award. She has asked 10 questions and then I'm supposed to nominate other blogs and ask 10 different questions.


1) Most hated domestic task
Ironing - When I hang washing out on the line I will hang t-shirts and shirts on coat hangers and peg them onto the line so they don't blow off. Sometimes they still need ironing.
2) Knitting or Crochet
I enjoy both for different reasons. I'm a neater knitter for garments and I like to do sleeves (and fronts) at the same time so that they match. Crochet grows faster and I like the action of crochet.
3) Favourite film genre
t the moment it's comedy. Life is to serious so it's good to laugh a lot also it's a stress reliever. (GCSEs for Laura at the moment)
4) Best place that you have been
Up to date it has to be when we went to Jamaica for my younger brother's wedding a couple of years ago. Very exotic for us.
5) Jewellery wearer or not
I like to wear jewellery but as a work in a kitchen and it's not allowed I just wear it when I go out.
6) Book or E-reader
Book. I like the feel of a book, turning the pages and using my book worm book mark
7) Adventurous cook or plain and simple
I used to be quite adventurous when I had the time but I'm turning to plain and simple now
8) Walking or gym
Walking - lovely fresh air and country views, can't beat it
9) Pets or not
We have recently started to foster homeless dogs who are waiting to be adopted. At the moment we have a female Staffi cross who has a wonderful calm nature and is so loveable. We also have 2 birds - a red rump cockatiel and a budgie.
10) Fresh oysters or no way Jose
No way. Never tried then and don't want to.

I'm not going to nominate anyone because most of the people who read this blog have already had this but, if anyone wants to join in here are my 10 questions (please tell me if you are going to do them so I can visit)


1) Are you a summer or winter person?
2) Do you like to take holidays and if so here or abroad?
3) Was you ever a girl guide or boy scout?
4) have you kept in touch with any of your school friends?
5) If no-one was looking, and you was in your wellies, would you jump in puddles?
6) Ever met a famous person and who was it?
7) Favourite musical film, series or show?
8) The challenging thing you have made and most proud of
9) What do you think of dogs wearing clothes? (other than a coat in winter)
10) From Laura - Spotty or stripy socks?


Carolx










Tuesday, 3 May 2016

From Curvy To Straight

Last Friday we were up at the Manchester's Children's Hospital for Laura's 4 month post op check up. All went well and she's recovering well although she feels it's too slow as she wants to get back to normal. But like any other major surgery it takes time to heal and build your strength back up and she realises she has to take things slowly and her body lets her know when she's done too much.
On the left is Laura's spine before her operation. Very curvy. There wasn't much to see on the out side except for her right shoulder blade area was larger than the left but her clothes and long hair hid it very well. On the right is the x-ray the hospital took a couple of days after her operation. It's amazing how straight the surgeons got Laura's spine. We were told that the spine would only go as straight as the spinal cord will allow it. It's almost straight. An x-ray was done on Friday and her spine looked a bit straighter but that's not possible as the rods just don't bend. Laura had a lot of muscle pain as they were stretch back into shape. They still bother her now and again and if she's done too much study her neck aches so has to pace herself with her revision for her GCSE's which started today.
I still can't help looking at the after shot and thinking what an amazing job the surgeons have done. The spinal nurse says she can start and do some power walking now and then after the next appointment she could start to do a little swimming and then in October she could go back to her dancing but taking it easy.


The weather is suppose to be good again this week so hope you all have a good one


Carolx

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

The Good, Bad, and.....

.......Yummy.


On Sunday afternoon Martin went to Archery. Laura misses going as she's not allowed to yet after her spinal surgery so we did some baking.


Laura made two lots of scones - Chocolate chip and chocolate. They were good. My favourite is the chocolate chip. Laura enjoys baking but nothing else. Food hold no interest for her. It's just a means to an end.

I made some fate fee and sugar free oaty biscuits. They were bad, really bad. I forgot to add the mashed banana. I tried dusting them with icing sugar but it just didn't work so some went out for the birds. They don't appear too impress either.
There's a park at the back of our house (waste ground now the council took away the play equipment) and if I chuck them over the hedge the seagulls will eat them. They eat anything. 

We also made strawberries dipped in chocolate, now they were very yummy. So very nice that we made some more on Monday. We used milk chocolate although, for me, I feel dark chocolate would have been better and a little less sickly.

Sometimes after Christmas or Easter and we have lots of chocolate left over we make a large fruit platter of whatever fruit is in the fridge and melt the chocolate to make a dip. Laura then eats a variety of fruit including the ones she doesn't normally like. The strawberries were fun but I think we'll stick to the mixed fruit and dips in the future less indulgent too.

Carolx


 
 

Monday, 11 April 2016

Easter Break

The Easter break has come to an end for us and Laura has gone back to school for a few weeks then the GCSE's begin. Laura's first exam is on the 3rd May and she's getting worked up and stressed about them already. Over the holidays she did  a lot of revision preparation but r we made her take some breaks to have some family fun.
Some of the things we did was walking on the beach collecting sea glass and eating ice-creams. We had a picnic at Lytham by the windmill and hot chocolate in Ashton Gardens in St Anne's. Snuggled up on the settee in front of a nice warm fire watching films and eating pop corn, baking chocolate chip scones and marshmallow and chocolate cake with sprinkles. They were good.


Whilst Laura was doing her revision I was job hunting and applying for jobs because things have changed at School I'm not needed in the kitchen until September although I'm free to do the exams. I need a proper job now that Laura is slowly getting fitter and I need to think about my future now. I've had an interview with the Civil Service again. It went much better than the last one I had. Fingers crossed this time.


We've been attending some gala "At Home" parties which have been fun for the children and it was nice to meet up with all the parents again. in a couple of weeks it will be our "At Home" with all the queens and their retinues that we've been a guest at.


Time for a rest I think


Carolx

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

How Things Change

I've been having a bit of a play around and decided to have a bit of a change of background.


Things have changed over the past couple of weeks. I've been doing some invigilating, for year 11 GCSE mock exam, at the school where I work in the kitchen. It's only a few weeks before they sit the real ones.


Laura has been back at school for a week and a bit but only part time. Her muscles are aching  with the extra walking, moving up and down stairs and writing.  It will eventually settle down and then her hours will increase. Whilst Laura was at home recovering the school provided lots of work to keep her busy and she managed to do some of it but she was able to take lots of rest breaks as and when she needed to but not now. After finishing school at 11am she has a good rest before doing her homework.


Martin also went back to work, part time, last week and is doing ok. He is still waiting for hi 8 week check up that should have been at the beginning of February. Poor Martin is still getting pain in his back and pins and needles in his leg and foot. Thing are obviously not right and I hope this long delay has not caused any lasting damage.


That's all my news for now.
Carolx



Monday, 15 February 2016

Crafty Bits?????

Hello friends







I've been given a bag full of craft bits and pieces to pass on which some have. However there are some I can't. I don't know what they are and what they can be used for. There are no holes in them for threading. Made of hard plastic.
I'm hoping that some of my crafty readers may be able to help.
Some look like they should be in a peg board but there are too many. The colours are so pretty it would be shame not to use them in some way. I thought of tying some fishing wire around the stems and making something that hangs but they'll just fall through as there is nothing to hold on to. 
There is quite a lot here and many more.
Any information or ideas would be much appreciated.

Thanks

Carolx



Sunday, 7 February 2016

National Libraries Day

Hello everyone.


A quick update on the invalids. M appears to be at a stalemate where his back is not getting any better but neither is it any worse. This coming week he should have a check up at the hospital but no date has arrived as yet and when he phoned last week the neuro secretary was very vague and unhelpful.
L had a check up at the hospital on Friday and she is recovering well. We got all the answers to our questions and advised to change our routine with L's pain relief to get more benefit from it. We do have some photos of L's spine on M's phone and waiting for him to email them to me and will do a post on them soon.


Ok back to the heading. Yesterday was National Libraries Day and I was asked by our local library if I was available to do a table with the Twiddle Muffs. Of course, I said yes. It also gave me a chance to escape for a couple of hours. Our library is quite small but there were 18 tables promoting different things mostly what goes on in the library at various times.


Here's my table next to Helen's. Helen runs the Home Library service, for Lancashire County Council, and over the last few years has become more  involved with dementia. She has some amazing picture books from different decades and each page is dedicated to one subject. Also on her table she has a box of men's collars, a wooden box with a brush attachment for sweeping crumbs off a posh table, smelly soaps like Coal Tar and Camay.  She also makes up memory boxes and hires them out (like books)

I gave a few of my twiddle muffs away and what I had left I gave to Helen to pass on.

These couple of ladies are local authors and were doing book signings. The lady in the black and white top is Hannah Emery (her MIL comes to our craft club). Hannah's first book is called Secrets In The Shadows and is set in 1920's Blackpool. I got one and so looking forward to reading it. She also has a second book coming out, in the spring, called The Secrets Of Castle Du Reve which also sounds good. Hannah is on twitter @hannahcemery.
The other author is Katherine Ann Angel and she has three books which sound interesting. her books are aimed at 13 - 93 years. She has a website www.katherineannangel.com. Katherine will post out her signed books, gift wrapped and postage free.

Some other tables at the event was a lady doing flower arrangement's where you could have a go and then keep what you made. She comes to, the library, do demonstrations about four times a year.
 Jewellery making from a couple of ladies from craft club (meet each week at the library)
 
There was a scrabble game going on where anyone could join in. On Saturdays there's a group which play board games, aimed mostly for the children to encourage them away from their electronics. It also encourages real communication.

The Windmill Payers were there promoting their latest production but doing little sketches. As I was taking this picture a gentleman had got up and bellowed very loudly, and making everyone jump, that he was the owner of the local windmill (Situated a few yard from the library built in the 1700's). The Windmill Players was established 75 years ago and put on about 2-3 big productions a year and a few little ones around different locations. They also do Murder Mysteries at the library which are fun. 

Every Saturday a group gets together to play War Hammer. It looks very complicated but the boys were well into it. If you click onto the picture it should go bigger and you will be able to see the set up. Under the tables there were more figures and trees, buildings and things. The guy who runs it was at the side painting some other figures.

Other things going on was a lady promoting energy efficiency and how to keep warm during the winter, A lady doing French braiding, kids crafts (they meet in the library once a month) an IT man who was there to help with any IT problems/solutions either in the library or at home. The local sports centre had a table too, promoting healthy lifestyles.

The morning was a great success with lots of visitors however the library needs all these people to come back and borrow lot's of books to keep it open as it's in danger of being closed.

Carolx

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Back Home

L's operation went well and is now recovering at home.

For me and M it has been a difficult time seeing L in such pain and discomfort but,
almost everyone involved with L's care at the hospital were wonderful and tried to make her as comfortable as she could be.

Small adjustments have to now be made at home whilst L continues to recover, like sleeping and sitting positions using pillows, cusions and/or rolled up blankets. Also she's  learning how to adjust her movements with a rigid back.

The next six weeks will see L slowly recover week by week and then returning to school. At the moment that feels like a long way off in her recovery.

M is recovering well with his back whilst still wearing his back brace he's not using his crutches as much. A few more weeks before he's back at work though.

Thank you for all your messages on my last post I passed them on to L who also says thank you.

Carolx

Monday, 11 January 2016

Hello friends.
At this moment in time M and I are sitting in the, very comfortable, day room of the Ronald McDonald house at Manchester's Childrens Hospital.

L is finally having her operation. We came over yesterday and stayed in a Travel Lodge, behind the hospital, because we had to check in at 7:30am. The room was very comfortable.

L was not to have any food after 2am so we tooks some snacks to have a midnight feast mostly to get through the starvation later.

Phones had their alams set so we didn't sleep in. Seep in!!!  You have to go to sleep for any chance of sleeping in. None of us slept all that well and awake well before the alarms went off.

This morning we arrived on the ward fifteen minutes too early but that was ok. After a twenty mnute wait we were called into the waiting ward and L's nerves were really starting to kick in. Just about had enough tissues.

the surgeon came to see L and put his makings on her back and a little later the neuro......... something or other did some nerve tests and markings and then there was a long wait. The operations manager and surgeon came to see us to tellus that the aneathetist had called in sick and the two others were on leave and there trying to get hold of a fourth.  After an hour or so the aneathatist came to see us had a chat and then thngs started to move.

Finally an hour and half late she finally went down to theatre and here we wait until  approximatly 8/9pm when the operation is complete.

I will let you know how she gets on.

Carolx

Friday, 1 January 2016

New Year

No reflections on the year just gone but looking forward to a good year with hope and new challenges with better health and more fun.


Happy and Healthy New Year
to
all my followers
and readers 

Hope 2016 lives up to your expectations

Carolx

Scamming Season

 Last week I was almost caught by a scammer on email and I thought I would share my experience with you so that you too don't get caught...