Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Hello Everyone!

Hello everyone,

I know it`s been a while since my last entry but it`s better for me if I don`t post too often now. I find I just don`t have that much to say of interest anymore but I don`t want to stop altogether.

I want to thank all of you who expressed sympathy and support when we lost Jake. It was a real hammer blow losing him so soon after the diagnosis and was all the sadder given his age. I can`t believe that on Christmas Day it will be a whole month since we lost him but I think what with work and the build up to Christmas has been thr distractions I needed to get through the sadness of it all. I still miss him terribly but I can now look forward to the New Year when we will get a new furry companion to share our lives. I have already spoken to the Labrador Lifeline Trust and they told me to call as soon as we`re are ready and they will find us a dog. They found us Jake and I know there will be another labrador in need who we will welcome into the family.

To change the subject, Jeannette kindly nominated me for a Valued Blogger award which I was honoured to accept. Now I have to nominate between three and five people who I value the most out of all of you, well that`s the theory. I actuall value you all but have decided after much thought to go with three people who have been there for me since the start. So here they are.

Jeannette of

I know Jeannette nominated me but I must nominate her back. She helped me when I started on AOL blogs when I had no idea what I was doing and have never looked back. Over the years we have become friends, exchanging emails, IM`s and phone calls. We even met in person once when Jim and I spent the day with her and her lovely husband Mike. So I just couldn`t leave Jeannette out of this however I look at it.:o)

Then of course I have to nominate Angie.

What can I say about Angie? She has a wonderful sense of humour in everything she writes. She comes over as very warm-hearted and is the sort of person I could be friends with if I only lived in Yorkshire! She has disabilities but never seems to let them get in the way of living her life to the full. If you haven`t read her blog, go over and see what I mean.:o)

And last but not least I nominate Ally.

Ally joined AOL blogs not long after me and I`ve always enjoyed her stories of the area she lives in, her family of course her two Jack Russell terriers who have special personalities of their own. Ally will often email me and ask after myself and my family which is a nice gesture. I always think the little things count for a lot don`t you? yep, Ally deserves this award. :o)

This is the Valued Blogger award for you to collect and place in your sidebars.

All you have to do now is nomate your own three to five Valued Bloggers. :o)

Life has been very hectic here. Work has been fast and furious with customers buying Christmas trees, wreaths, crackers and decorations. It had been fairly quiet but the last week it has really picked up. As for me I finished the majority of my present shopiing some time ago and its all wrapped and put away. The only thing I haven`t done is write out mt Christmas cards in time. I will apologise to all my American friends who usually recieve cards from me. I`ve decided that I`ll send ecards instead because I missed the last post for the USA last week. :o( As for my British friends you`ll all get your cards in the next couple of days if the Royal Mail keep up the good work. Fingers crossed then!

Last evening Jim and I attended Roman`s school Nativity play in which he played a sheep. He is one of the youngest pupils in the school and I think he did really well. Of course Roman was the most talented of them all and if you ask me it takes a lot of skill to be a really convincing! The eldest children in the play were only seven and the youngest, like Roman only four. Considering it was 6pm when it started they did very well seeing as they were all very tired at the end.

Sophie is 8 mths old today and is such a lovely little, well not so little girl.

Enjoying her dinner just like her big brother!

Anyway my friends, I can`t go without wishing you all a wonderful Christmas and a very Happy New year. Bye Bye for now. :o)

Love and Hugs

Sandra xxxx

Friday, 27 November 2009

Sad News

Hello Friends,

I`m sorry to have to tell you that we had to have Jake put to sleep on Tuesday evening. He has been getting worse over the last two weeks but not too bad, he certainly wasn`t in pain but had started to eat less and less and was sleeping more and more.On the Tuesday morning he had worsened drastically since the day before. he didn`t even raise his head when I got up in the morning and when he did he didn`t even attampt to move from his bed. I hand fed him some chicken wish he took slowly but gratefully. I knew he was just too weak and I knew it was time. I don`t know how I managed to work that day but somehow I got through the morning without making mistakes but couldn`t wait to get home to my precious boy.When Jim got home we had that difficult conversation, we talked and cried for an hour before the vet called us with Jake`s latest blood test results. They were as bad as its possible to be so it made the decision easier to make. We said goodbye to him at 6.30pm Tuesday 24th November. His head was on my lap the whole time and I`m not even sure he was aware of anything. I stroke his head, kissed him and told him that I loved him and he just slipped away. Our gorgeous boy....we miss him so much it hurts. I know it will get easier, today is better than yesterday, but it will take a while. One day soon another dog will join our household but for the moment it feels as though Jake is still here...maybe he is, who can say...

Run free precious boy, chase those squirrels and jump over fallen trees. Be happy. Thank you so much for being our dog, you enriched our lives. Love you always.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Jake`s Progress

I thought it was time that I updated you on Jake`s progress. he`s actually doing really well and doesn`t look ill at all. Last weekend he was a bit under the weather, refusing to eat all his food and bringing all that he did. On the Monday morning I was planning to take him to the vet but all of a sudden he was back to normal with no sign of illness whatsoever. I think in a perverse way if he looked ill and acted ill then I could accept that his time is short. I keep having to convince myself of the words of the lab report, @prognosis guarded to poor" and the chest x-ray that I saw with my own eyes, the tiny white dots in his lungs that look far from sinister but of course are just that.

HOWEVER.....Jake is with us and doing well and if I have anything to do with it he`ll still be here in a years time. While Jim was out with him the other day an elderly lady stopped to stroke Jake. he told me that she just kept saying how beautiful he was and what a lovely dog, Jim didn`t have the heart to tell her he isn`t well. How could anyone?

Everyone here is well, I say that because I haven`t posted for ages about any of them The only downside is that Danny has finally ended his relationship with Salina after 6yrs together. I won`t say anymore about it because it`s a deeply private mnatter between the two of them. At least now a line can be drawn and Dan can get on with his life. I want my son to be happy more than anything else whatever life throws at him.

Roman and Sophie are really doing well. Roman is in full-time school and loving every minute. He`s usually the first to get there and the last to leave. On Wednesday and Thursday last week he was given two "Teacher`s Helper" awards, the second one with a gold star, he was so proud to get them and so are we. :o)

Sophie is almost 7 mths now and is has been sitting unaided for a while now. She is totally fearless and nothing seems to bother her. Roman can be unintentionally a bit rough with her, as older siblings are at times but all she does is laugh in his face. Kerry says she`s much tougher than Roman ever was and that she`ll soon be wearing the! She even grabs hold of him sometimes and he calls to his mum that "Sophie is hurting me" lol!

Sitting in my living room.

Ready for his first day at school.

The garden centre is gearing up for Christmas and our display is all in place. Mind you, Christmas isn`t that far away now. I`ve done quite a bit of my Christmas shopping already because I can`t stand the crowds and I worry that I won`t get everything in time. I love shopping for the grandchildren because its such funny choosing toys that I know they`ll like. I know Sophie is only a baby but she loves her toys, especially those that make loud noises...poor Kerry and! And of course there are the clothes to buy. There has always been more choice of girls clothes so I am going to be in my element. I loved buying for Kerry when she was a baby but now there is even more to choose from, where will I start...? :o)

Jim has bought me a really good pair of secateurs for Christmas. He asked what I wanted and even though he thought it a bit odd that was what I wanted. With the amount of gardening I do I need good tools. I never thought I`d get excited about secateurs, perfume, clothes!

Anyway my friends, I`ll say goodbye for now. take care and have a good weekend.

Love and Hugs

Sandra xxxx

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

My Gorgeous Boy Jake

Hello friends,

Many of you will know by now that my gorgeous boy Jake is very poorly. He was diagnosed with cancer last week after he having problems with his front leg. We thought he`d just pulled something or maybe a touch of arthritis, alas it wasn`t to be. Our lovely vet Stella did a needle biopsy on one of his lymph glands as they were swollen and unfortunately it was the worst possible diagnosis.

The cells found were secondaries and even now we are not 100% sure where the primary tumour is. Most likely it is buried deep inside his armpit, out of sight and spreading its poison around his body. He had been doing a lot of things slower of late but then in dog years he is middle-aged and of course it seemed a natural progression.

The limp started just a couple of weeks ago on a Saturday. Come the Monday Jim was at the vets. The only thing that DID worry us was a couple of times while he was sleeping he let out a scream, not a yelp, but a blood-curdling scream of pain. Perhaps we knew it was serious but then you never want to think the worst with a beloved pet.

Jake has been given just 3-6 mths, such a short time left to spend with our boy but my goodness are we going to enjoy every minute of it. he`s on an excellent painkiller which has completely changed his day to day life. He has boundless energy now he is free from pain again and he`s eating really well again. The only thing is I`m making sure he doesn`t overdo things. I won`t let him lie on the grass in case he gets cold, the vet warned me about that. I have to watch out for any changes at all in his health. Last evening he coughed for the first time, just a soft, slight cough but still a sign that the tiny tumours in his lungs maybe growing. I knew they were there because I saw his chest x-ray but I had hoped they wouldn`t trouble him just yet.

After the initial shock and more than a few tears I decided not to get too upset yet, they`ll be time enough for that later. I will stay upbeat for Jake`s sake, if he sees me upset, (which he has done in the past) it`ll will upset him and there`s no need for that. I did get upset this afternoon at the park, watching him running around. How can such a healthy looking dog be so ill? Is the diagnosis wrong? Was it mixed up with some other poor dog? Somehow if he looked ill I could accept it easier, but he doesn`t. His coat is as shiny as ever and his eyes as bright. His labrador exuberance knows no bounds. Oh dear, what will I do without him?

Now I AM crying...........

Thanks especially to Jeannette and Frances, my dear friends. Jeannette for your support when we talked on the phone, you`ve been there and understand completely.
My thanks to Guido for putting an entry on Call for Support, many friends have rallied round because of it.
Thanks also to all of you who have offered up prayers and kind words of support for Jake. You are all so kind, bless you all.

For any who would say, all that for a dog. I say...absolutely!

I will keep you all updated as to Jake`s condition. next time I`ll most likely write about what`s been going on in my life.

Bye Bye for now

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

I`m Still Here!

Hello, it`s me!

It`s almost a month since my last entry and I`ve done so much in that time. The only problem being that I can`t remember exactly what, at least in the proper order of events that! Anyway, I`ll do my best and try to update you before my mind goes completely blank. I apologise now for the randomness (is that a word?) of the entry.

Right, since Roman`s birthday we have been to a theme park, Paultons Park in Hampshire. Perfect for young children and their famillies. None of the rides are really scary and Roman was able to go on most of them. Paultons is set in beautiful countryside, well away from main roads etc. There is a small zoo there, pretty gardens to walk around too. I would thoroughly recommend it to any of you who would like a nice day out with the family. We had a fantastic day there and Roman was in his element.

A few days after the trip to Paultons I had a weeks holiday from work and went to stay with Kerry and the children. Jim was working most of the week and I didn`t want to spend my days doing nothing, I just have to be busy and at Kerry`s there`s always something to do. I left strict instructions on what to do each day in the garden, what to water and when and to watch the tomatoes for signs of blight. As it happened the garden was to be the least of my worries but back to that in a minute. I enjoyed helping around the house, doing the gardening. Poor Slava`s tomatoes had the dreaded blight and we had to throw the whole crop away as it was too far gone to save. I put some new plants in as slugs had had a feast on the marigolds and they had little Summer colour left. We went out every day and I got to know Sophie much better and we came to an understanding. We were friends at last and she did me the honour of smiling for the whole time I was there. Somehow I think we have seen the last of "grumpy Sophie" and "happy Sophie" has replaced her for good! I managed to convince her that I, her Nanna was a nice person who would always be there for her the way I am with my Roman. While we were there Kerry showed me Roman`s school uniform that he will wear to big school in September. I must admit it brought a lump to my throat seeing his brand new grown-up boys clothes. When did my darling little boy become old enough for school and where did the last four years go? I just don`t know, he`s seems so grown up though he still enjoys a cuddle, though not quite as much as he did. Sometimes I say to him teasingly that he is still my baby. He says very forcefully, " No I`m NOT a baby Nanna, I`m a big boy now!" That told me didn`t!

My big boy playing footie with Daddy and Uncle Dan

Of course I mentioned the garden being the least of my problems, well you`ll love this.

What happened was on the Saturday, the day before I was due to come home I had a phone call from Jim. He had been calling every day but not first thing in the morning. This time he sounded worried.

JIM: I`ve been stung by a bee!

ME: Are you sure it`s a bee and not a wasp?

JIM: Well it`s lying dead on the floor and it`s furry so it must be a bee...oh and I pulled the sting out of my neck.

ME: But you`re ok?

JIM: Yes, but it hurts, where`s the AfterBite?

ME: Top shelf in the wardrobe.

JIM: Thanks, I`ll see to that first then I`ve lots to do this morning, I have to get the suitcases out of the loft for Kerry and Slava. See you tomorrow afternoon.

ME: Ok Love, take care, Bye!

Well Kerry and I went out for the day with the children and I thought no more about the phone call. We spent the day at Beale Park, a small zoo with a few kiddie rides set in lovely surroundings by the river Thames, there are some lovely places near to Kerry. Anyway, after the day out we went for a meal in a nice family restaurant, again set in beautiful countryside...Oh dear, there I go! By the time we got home it was 7.30 and almost as soon as we got in the door the phone rang...I just knew it was Jim and there was a problem.

Jim: You won`t believe what happened to me.

Me: Do I need to sit down?

Jim: laughs...No but I have to tell you I`ve had a bit of an accident.


Jim: Erm...well, when I went up to get the suitcases, the ladder collapsed on the way down, taking me AND the ladder with it....down the stairs...erm...I`m a bit bruised, well no, make that VERY bruised...and a bit battered...and I`ve sprained my ankle and my neck and shoulders are really sore....

How on earth did you fall?

Jim: Er...I didn`t tighten the ladder properly and it just gave way.

Anyway, this continued until I was convinced he was alright and he didn`t need me to come home, Kerry would have brought me home right away but he insisted I stay. I made him promise not to do anything even slightly dangerous until I was home again. He promised and said he was going to bed, the safest option in my opinion.

I spent half the night tossing and turning about his accident and what could have happened. He could have been seriously injured or even killed and he was on his own, it didn`t bear thinking about what the consequences could have been. The next day he arrived and I was shocked at the state of his injuries. He was covered in black, red and purple bruises. His ankle wasn`t sprained after all but was really badly bruised. Roman thought his grandad looked wonderful, a real hero. Not everyone`s grandad had bruises like HIS!

Over a fortnight on, the bruises are still there though faded somewhat, they are still sore and Jim hads decided to have a loft ladder an expert. There`s no way I will allow him up that ladder again...ever!

I myself had some blood tests last week. I`ve been having these waves of fatigue for the last few months and I`m fed up with them. One minute I feel absolutely fine and the next I feel completely exhausted. The exhaustion passes after about 30 mins but I want to know what`s going on. The doc says I might need some more vitamin B12 injections, oh great, they are really painful. Or maybe vitamin D, common in older people he says...thanks Doc! Or maybe diabetes. On a serious note, I really hope not. Either way, I will know for sure by Friday, I`ll let you know.

Kerry, me and Salina with Sophie...she weighs almost 16lbs now!

Kerry and family are in Russia at the moment and will be home on Monday evening. Kerry has called me a couple of times but has to call from her in-laws home so she can`t say to much. I asked her if she was enjoying herself. Her exact words were, "Oh you know!" In simple terms that means she`s not. Oh dear, I had a feeling she wouldn`t, she`s going to tell me all about it when she comes home. Anyway, after this long, rambling entry I`ll say goodbye before you all fall asleep!

I`ll be visiting as many journals as possible this evening and will comment too. I hope you are all well and having a good day. Bye for now. :o)

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Happy Birthday To Roman

Hello Everyone,

Today is my darling grandson Roman`s fourth birthday and I`m finding it hard to believe. Fours years old already! Mind you, if you could listen to him he sounds like a mini adult at times the things he comes out with.

Last Saturday week was his birthday party which was a great success. The weather stayed fine all afternoon and all his little friends enjoyed themselves. They were all very good which was a bit surprising considering there were eight 4 yr old boys in attendance. I took some great photos of them altogether but for obvious reasons I can`t publish them on here.

I can however show you some of Roman at his party,

The "Roary" birthday cake made by his Auntie Beryl

Attacking me with his inflatable!

Looking cute

Today Kerry and I took him to Windsor to feed the ducks. As we walked along the river he told me all about his presents and the new school he will be attending full time in September, and his girlfriend Connie! He is so proud of the new scooter that his mummy and daddy bought him and of course the turbo-charged, super-dooper water pistol that Kerry thought was a good idea. He told me very matter of factly that he intends to shoot daddy with it....I wouldn`t want to be in Slava`s! Jim and I gave him his presents at the party but held one back for today. He`s always wanted a fire engine so that was what he got today, he loves it and it was a joy to see his face when he opened it. He`s just so grown in so many ways but to me he`ll always be my special boy! I know many of you have watched his progress from birth so I hope you will join me in wishing him a very Happy Birthday. :o)

Saturday, 11 July 2009

A Saturday Catch up

It`s been an odd week. I`ve had news that three friends are very unwell with potentially serious conditions. To preserve their privacy I won`t go into details but it`s very worrying. I don`t see any of them on a day to day basis but I wish them all well and hope they all recover quickly.

I haven`t been feeling 100% myself if I`m honest. It`s most likely nothing more than a virus but this morning I awoke with a painful throat. Hopefully it will come to nothing as it usually does. Also I have had a small painless cyst on my bottom lip for a few years. When I first noticed it I had it checked by a doctor just to be on the safe side. I was told to forget it and so I have done until now. Yesterday evening it became very painful and swollen and I look as though I`ve been in a fight! I`ll see how it is on Monday and if it`s still as bad I`ll make an appointment to see the doctor.

Roman has his 4th birthday party on Saturday 18th. It`s not his birthday until the 28th but Kerry has decided to have it early before any of his friends go away on holiday. We are hoping for good weather because there are a lot of people coming and she only has a small house so we need the space in the garden for all the guests. In case of rain we have a gazebo to keep everyone dry.

Today Kerry went shopping for Roman`s school uniform and spent what amounted to a small fortune. Of course she had to buy everything with the school emblem from the official school shop which always makes it more expensive. On top of that there are still the new shoes, socks and plimsolls/sneakers to be bought. I told her that I will buy the coat and Jim will get the shoes at the end of the month. I still find it hard to believe that Roman is old enough for full-time school but he just can`t wait to go. For such a young child he is frighteningly independent and so unlike he was just a year ago. There was a time when he shied away from other children and now he makes friends wherever he goes.

Sophie has had a dreadful cold but is over it and back to her usual self. As Kerry said, " I know she`s feeling better because she`s crying again so that everyone knows she`s there!" Oh yes, that`s my Sophie...quiet and laid back is just not her! She is beautiful when she smiles though, it`s just that I don`t think smiling is her style at the moment.

I`ve noticed Blogger is very quiet and many of my old friends just don`t post as often as before, and I thought I was the only one. I don`t know if it is the AOL journals effect or just that real life is getting in the way of computer time. I know I`m in no position to talk as I know I don`t post much these days, but its just an observation. I won`t stop posting altogether but it`s a lot different to how it used to be. I don`t know if I`m the only one but at the moment I can`t change the font on my posting as the tool that you change it with has disappeared, so has the colour change too. I just wonder if Blogger know about it and are they doing anything about it?

I`m not busy at work now the planting season has passed but I`m happy to be able to spend some more time in my garden. The runner beans have provided us with enough beans for several meals already. I`ve had ripe blueberries and a couple of tasty tomatoes and I`m hopefully for lots and lots more. Since the heatwave has been replaced with cooler, more overcast weather it seems to be slowing everything down in the garden, even the weeds which I`m happy to say I`m on top of. At the moment we are planning the extension to our patio and the further alteration of the flower beds. I`ll never be happy with my garden as it is and constantly feel the need to change it. I suppose though that a garden is an ongoing thing which really is never finished whatever you do to it. I just hope I can stay healthy so I can work outside for as many years as possible.

Anyway, I`ll finish now as it`s time for my evening meal and despite feeling a bit under the weather my appetite is good as ever. Take care all of you and have a great weekend. :o)

Friday, 3 July 2009

I`m Still Here!

Me at RHS Wisley

On the beach at Boscombe

Roman having fun on a bouncy castle at his cousin Charlie`s birthday party.

Isn`t she gorgeous?

Hello everyone,

I thought I`d better post an entry as it`s been weeks since my last one. I suppose with one thing and another, ie; real life and probably a bit of laziness thrown in has something to do with it.

Anyway, I`m here now so I`ll quickly let you know how we all are.

I`m fine, very busy at work and in my garden. Housework is taking second place to the garden but I`m still managing to get everything done eventually, at the expense of computer time and even watching TV. Jim is also very well. he`s been doing some fishing, including his much awaited sea fishing trip. To my displeasure he gave all the fish he caught to Danny and Slava...hmm...its not as if they didn`t catch anything either...Oh well, its back to fish fingers I!

Roman and Sophie are really thriving. Roman had his last big school visit today and Kerry was introduced to his new teacher Mrs. Andrews. Kerry was relieved that she seemed very nice and was surprised to find Roman had met her previously. It all sounds very grown-up and Roman can`t wait to go. The only downside for him is that his best friend Toby lives in a different catchment area so will be attending another school. Luckily Toby`s mum and Kerry have become friends so they will still see each other regularly. They are inseparable and think the world of each other.

Sophie is 12 weeks old now and is 14lbs. She hasn`t been the easiest baby, temperament-wise but she seems to be settling down a bit more now. Up until recently she cried whoever picked her up, including ME, her devoted grandmother (that never happened with Roman!) Lately though she seems to be mellowing and hopefully will be as laid back as her big brother. I must admit I have enjoyed buying pretty little dresses for her though she grows so quickly I tend to buy cheaper ones now. She is wearing clothes for a size 6-9 month old baby as 3-6 is just too small now. The way shes growing she`ll be bigger than Roman before she`s a year!

As you will know if you live in the British Isles, many of us have been sweltering in a heatwave the last fortnight. I love Summer, but Oh my goodness, it`s just that bit too hot for me at the moment. A slight breeze would be nice, just to cool things down a degree or too along with some steady overnight rainfall because I`m fed up with carry watering cans up and down the garden night after night. My arms are so long now I`m starting to resemble an Orangutan!

A few weeks ago I had a weeks holiday, if you can call it that. I think I was busier that week than when I`m getting paid for working. On the Monday I went out shopping on my own, a rare treat. I think the best bit was sitting in Starbucks with a cappuchino and some fruit bread, reading a magazine and just relaxing...perfect. That was the last leisurly day though. On Tuesday we took Roman to Boscombe in Dorset for the day. We`d never been there before but I`d read that it was a lovely place but quieter than it`s neighbour Bournemouth. Well we had a wonderful day there. The car park was just a few yards for the beach, which was sandy and very clean. The whole area was very well kept and with the weather also being excellent we couldn`t have had a better day. Roman loved making sand castles and was a very good boy all day. We had a lovely lunch at a nice restaurant overlooking the beach. In fact it was a perfect day for us all.

On the Wednesday Jim and I did some work in the garden, he`s been painting the fences and putting up some new trellis`s for me. We really did work hard all day and I really pleased with the progress in my garden. We have plans to extend the patio and widen and reshape the flower beds. I know once its finished it will look really good, though it will probably take ages to do, which of course is all the fun of gardening. I must admit that evening we DID have rather sore backs though a good night`s sleep took care of that.

On Thursday we visited the Royal Horticultural Gardens at Wisley in Surrey. It was another lovely day though a bit cooler, just the way it should be when there is a lot of walking involved. It was a thoroughly enjoyable day out but very tiring and hard on the legs. They had some lovely plants that I had my eye on but when I visited their plant centre the best ones that I wanted had all sold out...sigh. being me didn`t let a little thing like that stop me from buying a `few` new plants. Oh no, I spent an hour and a half selecting some new specimens to add to my borders. Poor Jim, who was pushing the trolley for me kept reminding me of how long we`d been there. Yes I know his feet DID probably ache...but so did mine but the plants were more! ;o)

On the Friday it rained so I decided to use that time doing housework, very boring but necessary. It might have been a week of but I was relived to get back to work for a well earned!

Do you know, despite not writing for so long I can`t for the life of me think what else has happened over the last few weeks. Well of course I HAVE been watching tennis at Wimbledon and this afternoon watched our own Andy Murray lose to Andy Roddick. I`m disappointed but he`s very talented and only just 22, he`ll be back next year that`s for certain.

Anyway, my friends, if I`ve got any left that is! I hope you`re all well and do have a lovely weekend. Take care. :o)

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Happy Days and Lost Chocolate

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Hello Everyone,

I thought I`d pop by and say hello seeing as I haven`t posted for what seems like forever...almost three weeks I think.

I`ve been working longer hours as its the busiest time of year in any garden centre and I must say I`m glad of the extra money too. The only problem being is that by the time I get home and have had some much needed lunch I have to catch up on housework and then I`m out in the garden tending to my plants. I think most evenings I have no more than an hour and a half computer time, not much when I think of the time I`ve spent on here in the past. On Monday we went to Kerry`s for the afternoon when I managed to get home at the usual time. I do enjoy being able to see them because with Roman at school and with them living further away I don`t see them as much as I used to. But then I think it`s not that bad, Roman`s Russian grandparents only see him once a year and in future it`s most likely only going to be every other year, air travel for four doesn`t work out cheap.

Speaking of working late I am always ravinous when I finish and the other day I bought a nice tasty chocolate bar, a Bounty to be exact. I ate one piece straight away and put the other piece on the passenger seat of my car so I could munch on it when I was driving along. As I was turning a corner my beloved Bounty slid onto the floor out of reach and I actually cried out "Oh no!" I waited until there was somewhere I could pull over and quickly retrieved it and ate it before I lost it again. Never has a simple bar of chocolate tasted quite as good as it did!

Last week my nephew Adam turned 18 and we attended his party in the evening. he`s such a lovely lad, though he`s hardly a lad now. he`s 6ft.5" and still growing and he`s broad with it so he looks much older than 18. I`ve always had a soft spot for him as he has the nicest nature and it was nice to spend the evening with him and the rest of his family. Next year its his younger brother Ryan who is 18 and I`m looking forward to the party!

Kerry had Sophie weighed today and she`s already 11lbs.4ozs, not bad for 5 weeks old. She is doing really well and some of the clothes she is wearing are size 3-6mths! I was looking at some of Kerry`s baby photos the other day and I was amazed at how alike they were at that age, though Kerry was much daintier than her little girl. Kerry thought that Sophie resembled ME when I was a baby though the only likeness I could see was the thick dark hair that we shared. I suppose different people see different things in one another and of course genes are passed down the generations.

The last time I posted I mentioned Roman`s conjunctivitis. His poorly eyes soon got better much to Kerry`s relief. He didn`t like the eye drops and each time they were due he had to be held down making it very difficult for Kerry, especially as she was still very sore from the caesarean. She is totally recovered now and despite a blip when she was feeling a bit depressed she is doing really well now. She decided it would help her recovery by going for walks each day and walking further afield as she felt better. The women she talks to at the school were amazed how well she was after a difficult birth. I think that she takes after me when it comes to illness or incapacity, neither of us are good patients and will do all we can to recover by any means necessary. The one thing I can`t fight completely are the aches and pains of advancing age, of which I have too many at the moment. :o( Mind you, I do curse them and it seems to help at!

Talking of ailments I have a mysterious problem. About a week ago I woke up one morning and I couldn`t open my right eye. It wasn`t sticky as with conjunctivitus but it just wouldn`t open until I did it manually. Anyway, it`s the same every morning and I know there can`t be anything too serious because I had my eyes tested the other week and they said they are healthy and they couldn`t see any abnormalities. I have noticed in photos for a couple of years that my eyelid droops a little bit this never happened before. The thing is my eye is fine all day and it only happens when I`ve been asleep. I suppose I`ll have to see the doctor if it continues though I`d rather not. I have to have a cholesteral test in a fortnight so I might just ask the nurse and see what she says.

I`m posting this in ordinary text because I have lost the colour and font change facillities on my journal, has this happened to anyone else? I must have a look at my Facebook because I haven`t been there for ages either, I don`t want to lose touch with everyone.

I really want to thank Antonella and Barb for the beautiful gifts and cards theyhave sent for Sophie, it was very kind and I know Kerry really appreciates them. She was really cynical about me having online friends but the response she has had has changed her mind completely. She thinks its lovely that people she has never met have been so kind and thoughtful....and of course she is right!

Tomorrow Jim is going on his annual sea-fishing trip with his mates from work. Danny is going too but Slava couldn`t get the time off of work this time and he`s disappointed to be missing out. Jim spoke to the captain of the boat and the weather forecast is good. Hopefully I will be able to stock my freezer with some tasty fish tomorrow evening. The one thing that is always at the back of my mind is their safety though I know the captain is a very experienced man and knows the waters like the back of his hand. I`m just glad when I get a phone call to say they`ve had a great days fishing, then I can relax at last.

Anyway, my friends, I`ll say goodbye for now. I promise I won`t leave it so long before I post again. Take care all of you and have a great weekend.

Bye Bye for now. :o)

Saturday, 16 May 2009


Many apologies, I was just practising and somehow I didn`t cancel the entry properly, please ignore this silly!

Love Sandra xxxx

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Photos and Updates

5 days old

With my gorgeous grandchildren

Roman practising his reversing skills

In our garden on Sunday, the weather was really hot and sunny.

Later that evening

Looking over daddy`s shoulder, can you see the likeness with Roman?

Roman "repairing" his car tyre with Jim`s spanner. He has conjunctivitus and his poor eyes are all swollen and sore.

No grandad, I am NOT amused!!! Do you like her pretty little pink dress?

Hello everyone,

I`m sorry I`ve been so long posting another entry, I don`t know where the time goes just lately. If I haven`t been working extra hours I`ve been at Kerry`s or she has been here. I think recently I`ve only had about an hour online per evening. Sophie is doing really well as is Kerry now. Kerry is on iron tablets which have certainly given her a boost and you would never guess she`d had a difficult c-section just 13 days ago. Sophie is getting bigger each time I see her and I can`t believe how different she is from Roman at that age. She is very laid back but so alert, she holds her head up really well and is always looking around to see what`s going on, almost as though if she doesn`t she will miss something important. Kerry is feeding her herself anymore and her midwife agreed. Because Sophie is so big she is very hungry and is now on a special formula for big babies. She sleeps really well at night and only wakes for her feeds and sometimes she sleeps through them too. Kerry is really enjoying motherhood second time around and I`m sure its because she is more relaxed having done it all before. Roman has conjunctivitus and has very sore, swollen eyes at the moment. Kerry tried with drops from the pharmacy but after a couple of days she had to take him to see a doctor who prescribed antibiotics. Getting the eye drops in is almost like a military operation. Roman refuses to let anyone put them in so he has to be held down by Slava while Kerry administers them. Its not that he`s scared of them because he laughs and runs away, its just that he refuses point blank even though he knows they are to make him better. It is just one of the things he has taken to doing since Sophie was born. He really loves her and he doesn`t say anything bad about her but his behaviour has changed towards Kerry and Slava. He`s fine with us and he gets lots of cuddles as always. I think its just an uncertain time for him while he gets used to Sophie being a member of the family after being the centre of attention for so long. He`s a happy little boy usually and I`m sure he`ll get there in the end.

On Sunday evening we took charge of Marshall, a German Shepherd who belongs to friends of ours while they go away for a few days holiday. In the past Roman was a little afraid of him being such a large, if soppy dog. This time however he spent ages playing in the garden with our friends two children and Jake and Marshall following them everywhere. It was lovely to see Roman playing with a couple of older children (9 and 6) who he hardly knows and having a great time....he`s really growing up now.

On Saturday Jim and I visited a garden centre that had been recommended to us. I only wanted to look around and see what their plants were like but, oh dear, I came away with a beautiful Japanese Maple (Acer) which cost a fortune, but I don`t begrudge a penny and will be going back for another when I`ve saved up for it. My philosophy is, I don`t smoke, drink or gamble, I pay my bills and take care of my family so I will spend my money on what makes me happy...and that of course is my garden. Jim has put up a archway across the path near the end of the garden and put heavy-duty trellis on either side cutting off the bottom of the garden from the main area. The point being that the bottom of the garden is where the greenhouse is and where I`ll be growing vegetables. I`ve planted the Acer in front of one side of the trellis and the one I`m going to buy next will go on the other side. I have so many ideas for the garden this Summer that I can`t wait for the good weather. I have so many young plants to go out once it is warm enough and I`m hoping for some beautiful flowers from them all. I`ve planted runner beans and three different types of tomatoes this year and I`m hoping they will all thrive and bear fruit.

Anyway dear friends, I`ll say goodbye for now and hopefully will be back to tell you more of what`s been going on of late. take care and I hope you are all well. Oh yes, and I`m trying to catch up on all your journals too! Bye Bye. :o)

Friday, 17 April 2009

Photos of Sophie Louise

The first photo we took yesterday when she was about 4 hrs old

She was sleeping all the time we were there this afternoon.

Roman sitting and watching his new baby sister.

Thank you so much for all your congratulations and good wishes on the birth of Sophie Louise, our brand new granddaughter. I was thrilled that so many of you have taken so much interest in the new baby, be sure that there will be many updates and photos in the future! Jeannette, I gave your love and congratulations to Kerry and Slava and of course I gave Sophie a big kiss from you...THAT was very easy! Both Kerry and Slava are very grateful to you all for your messages of support.
As you are all aware Kerry was booked into hospital for Friday. I made arrangements to have the day off work but when I arrived home on Wednesday afternoon Jim told me that Kerry had phoned to say her midwife had a cancellation (?) and had changed her appointment for Thursday. I had to change my holiday dates and I decided not to alter my journal entry so that I could surprise you with the birth announcement. It was certainly that.

After an examination the doctors decided that there was no way a natural birth was going to happen so Sophie was born by caesarean section at 11.30 on a rainy Thursday morning, weighing, as you know, 9lbs.15ozs. She`s going to be a champion at Shot Put or perhaps a wrestler laughed Kerry this afternoon, " no one will mess with her," she!

The section was an ordeal for Kerry this time. It took an hour and she felt very unwell afterwards even though she had an epidural and not a full anaesthetic. Apparently her blood pressure had gone up and her iron levels were down which had contributed to her feeling so poorly yesterday. I must admit I was quite worried about her. Sophie was fit, well and thriving but poor Kerry was completely drained.

Today however was a different matter. Kerry looks much, much better today and is out of bed and walking around. She is on a course of iron tablets and her normal healthy colour has returned for which I am much relieved. Sophie slept well last night as big babies often do. I enjoyed dressing her in her pretty pink and white babygro yesterday and I was amazed her strong she is. The doctors have said she has excellent reflexes and her head and neck are very strong for a newborn.

Roman was a bit shy of his new baby sister but he has come around today and I when he thought no one was looking he kept stroking her face really gently. He told me that she feels "all soft and warm" but he doesn`t like hearing her cry or "her smelly nappies"! Hopefully with care he might not be too jealous but its something that we`ll all watch out for. He`s already told me that she can`t play with his toy!

How could I forget to mention how Slava is with his little girl. Kerry said he can`t take his eyes of her and even though he adores Roman it seems the `little girl and her Daddy` scenario has already started. Mind you, her grandad is a sucker for little girls too, just ask my Kerry!

Anyway, after a couple of days of driving up and down motorways and not having a moment to ourselves we most probably won`t be going to the hospital tomorrow. If all is well Kerry will be going home tomorrow so it won`t be as far to drive each time. We will visit her at home tomorrow and most likely will have Sunday off to catch up with some sleep ourselves. Its been a busy few days and I think we need some rest and the little family can spend some quality time together.

Anyway, thank you all again, have a great weekend and I`ll most likely be posting with some more photos very soon! Night Night. :o)

Thursday, 16 April 2009

The Big Announcement!

Hello everyone,

Just thought you`d like to know that Sophie Louise arrived this morning at 11.30 by caeasarean section. She weighed in at.........wait for it, 9lbs. 15ozs! and is doing really well. Kerry is very tired and has low iron levels but after some treatment she should feel a lot better. She is an absolute darling and Jim and I have fallen completely in love with her. I tried to post a photo but Blogspot won`t let me. I`ll be back tomorrow with a more detailed posting but for now its` been a long day and I`m tired out. Night Night. :o)

Love and Hugs

Sandra xxxxx

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Latest News on Kerry

Hello everyone,

Just a quick few lines to let you know that Kerry saw the consultant today and she is to be admitted to hospital on Friday for a planned caesarean section. I can`t really go into detail why on here but its unlikely that labour will start naturally so this is the only way to go now. We`ll be collecting Roman on Thursday afternoon and bringing him here to stay with us until whenever Slava thinks best. Please think of Kerry on Friday morning as she is very apprehensive as you can expect and so is her mum and dad! I`ll be sure to let you all know when there is good news. Night Night. :o)

Monday, 13 April 2009

Monday Working Hours

I hope you have all had a nice Easter, I must say it`s been just like any other day for me though. Jim has had to work all weekend and I`ve worked Good Friday and today. Not that I`m complaining though, it was so busy at work today that either myself or my colleague were able to leave the tills all the time we were there it was that busy. Luckily the weather improved drastically today after a wet and miserable last few days, which of course meant that peoples thoughts turned to their gardens which was good for us. I eventually left work at 3pm instead of my usual 1pm and to say that Im tired is an understatement. One good thing about the change in the weather has meant that the customers were cheerful which helps when you are so busy and despite it being the 13th today it all went without a hitch. On the way home I sipped at a coffee and I munched on a hot cross bun as I was ravenous. The coffee was the best I`d ever tasted despite being made over half and hour previousand the two day old bun tasted!
There is still no sign of Kerry going into labour so we`ll just have to wait and see what her consultant says tomorrow afternoon. Watch this space for the next update.
I took these two photos of one of the Acers in my garden. This one is over ten years old and would be much bigger if I`d let it. At this time of the year when the foliage is fresh and new it always looks beautiful I think.

By the time the Autumn comes around the leaves will be bright red for a while before they finally fall.

Last night, or should I say the early hours of this morning a house party along the road spilled out into the street and the noise was dreadful. There were girls screaming just for the sake of it and young males shouting and swearing. There was no way we were going to tell them to keep the noise down as we would only have got a mouthful of abuse and next door has got a skip in the drive full of old house bricks, somehow I didn`t want one of them thrown through my window. I decided the only way I was going to get any sleep was to decamp to the spare bedroom on the other side of the house. Hopefully it won`t happen again tonight but you just never know....sigh.

I`ve decided not to take anymore antibiotics as they are making me feel really ill, something that didn`t happen before I started taking them. My stomach has been quite upset the last couple of days and it has been badly affecting my acid reflux causing me a great deal of pain that I just don`t need. I only have a couple of days left to take so I should be okay. My throat is fine and my voice is almost back to normal and hopefully so will my stomach by tomorrow.

I`ll say goodbye now and I think I`ve have just a little piece more of chocolate egg before I read so more journals. Take care. :o)

Friday, 10 April 2009

Good Friday Blues

Hello everyone,

Well the baby still isn`t here and by the look of things she isn`t in any hurry either. She was due on Tuesday and according to Kerry`s midwife is most likely quite happy to stay where she is, warm, fed and comfortable. Of course Kerry is NOT at all comfortable and is thoroughly fed up with her pregnancy and just wants to get it over and done with. The thing is that because of her previous caesarian section she can`t be induced the same as someone who has had a normal delivery. She has been told that if she doesn`t start labour by Tuesday she will see the hospital consultant who will probably recommend another caesarean. I have to say that she is very unhappy about this but I have told her they wouldn`t do this without a very good reason and her health and the baby`s comes first. If they say a section is the way to go then so be it. She wants to experience childbirth the natural way but I reminded her that if she had been born 100 years ago neither she nor Roman would have survived the birth as he was lying acrossways and could never have been born naturally. A terrifying thought but true nonetheless. I must confess that secretly both Jim and I hope that Kerry has the section because even if she does start labour she has been warned she is a high risk and we are both very worried.

We saw Kerry and Roman yesterday and he told us he really missed us and that he hadn`t seen us for ages....actually it was last week but I suppose thats a long time for him. He told me that he "loved me and that I`m his very best friend ever" Mind you last week he said that to Jim!

Even though its Good Friday I had to work this morning. The weather is wet and a lot cooler than it has been of late, not at all what a garden centre needs on a Bank Holiday. Mind you it hasn`t stopped a lot of people coming out and buying all they need for there gardens. The plants we are selling are especially good this year and many customers having been complimenting us on our stock and the latest layout in the plant area. I always tell them that a great deal of work goes into it to make it as good as it is and its all down to our outdoor staff which numbers no more than more that four on a good day. Most days its just two.

My own gardening efforts are reaping rewards but some of the seeds I planted have failed. We had a sale of plug plants at work and for only 80p I bought lots of them and transferred them into pots when I got home. Now I won`t have to buy any bedding plants and at this rate I`ll have lots left over. At the moment nearly every window ledge in the house, and many shelves have seedlings on them. When its warmer at night they can all go in the greenhouse and I can have my house back again. We have bought some new fence panels, some trellis and a garden arch for the garden as I`m turning the area around the greenhouse into a raised bed for veggies. It won`t be very big but just big enough to grow some nice fresh produce. As it is I`ll be growing my own runner beans this year.

The last fortnight I`ve had a really bad cough and a painful throat. I thought it was just a virus but it just didn`t seem to improve at all and by the 11 day I`d had enough and saw the doctor. He said my throat had become infected from what was most likely a virus to start with. After taking antibiotics for just over forty eight hours I feel so much better and my cough has almost disappeared. My throat doesn`t hurt at all though my voice hasn`t come back properly and is still a little squeaky. I more or less felt alright by day but at night I just couldn`t sleep for coughing so its a relief to sleep easily at last .

Anyway my friends, I hope you all have a very Happy Easter and that the weather is good to you. Take care.