Saturday, 31 January 2009

Orchids, Woodpeckers and Cold, Cold Weather

There`s been no more crash, bang but a bit more thud and ouch since my last entry! The new oven glass will be here in a few days and with luck I`ll manage to slide it into the door in one piece. I sincerely hope so because I can`t afford any more disasters this! The thud and ouch refer to Thursday when I decided it was time to water the orchids...all eleven of them. Most of them are kept on the bedroom window sills until they come into flower. Then I bring them back downstairs and keep them in the living room. It just happens at the moment that none of them are in flower so all of them are upstairs....and there lies the problem. I thought,in my wisdom, that it would be a good idea to carry them all downstairs on a tray saving me the trouble of several journeys up and down the stairs. It was a VERY bad idea. !) there were far too many of them and 2) when orchids are dry they are very, light and therefore top heavy. Can you see where this is going? Anyway... as I was walking downstairs one of them started to wobble on the tray, I tried to balance it but it had knocked over another, and another resulting in a domino effect. I could only stand and watch as one by one they tumbled down the stairs spilling their compost. My stair carpet resembled a woodland floor and so after checking that the orchids weren`t broken I set about clearing up the mess. They were more than fine, in fact there wasn`t even a broken leaf between them and when I`d finished cleaning about half and hour later I set about repotting them all. The finished result was they looked better than before they were thrown down the stairs but I can assure you that I won`t be doing THAT again soon. Next time I`ll bring them downstairs in carrier bags....why didn`t I think of that before!

Oh yes, and the ouch bit was when I was demonstrating to Danny how the oven glass broke. I placed my hand on the hob where I laid the glass last week but it was still hot from where Jim had recently used it...and yes I did say OUCH! But I have to say that I haven`t really been in the wars all week. The orchid incident is just one of those things that happen to me. I have to say I`m safest when driving (work that out!) sitting down or! and no I don`t sleep when I`m!

Changing the subject, its getting much colder again after the last few mild weeks. They are forecasting snow on Monday and Tuesday with a bitterly cold easterly wind blowing in from Siberia. Well I don`t know where its blowing from but I`ve not long come in from walking Jake and it was seriously cold. I`m quite a fast walker and I usually get warm while out walking but not today, even though I was dressed in my warmest clothes I was glad to get in the warm again. I think Jake was too as he dashed in as soon as I opened the door.

This morning I saw a large Green Woodpecker feeding in next doors back garden. I`ve never seen one this far away from woodland before. I took lots of photos and spent ages watching it through binoculars. I just hope the people in the house opposite don`t think I was watching them. They always get dressed in front of windows without ever closing the curtains first. Its not a case of me looking but you can`t exactly not see them. Obviously they aren`t particularly modest but if you were getting dressed in front of a window and saw someone looking through binoculars from the house opposite, what would you think? lol!

Not the best photo but it gives you an idea. His red is bright red and its a pity it doesn`t show up better here. I couldn`t believe he was ground feeding for so long, easily 20 minutes. Mind you he kept looking up to have a good look at his surroundings. Yesterday at work I saw a Red Kite with part of his wing missing. It didn`t stop him flying and he seemed oblivious to it. I wondered what might have caused such an injury to such a large bird of prey.

The other day Kerry told me that after telling Roman off for some misdemeanor he told her that he wanted to "Live with Nana"! She told him that she would help him pack his suitcase which helped change his mind, bless him. I had visions turning up on my doorstep with his little suitcase in hand...hehehe!

Anyway my friends, Ill say goodbye for now. Have a lovely evening and keep warm. :o)

Monday, 26 January 2009

Crash, Bang and Ouch!

It`s been a beautiful day here today with lots of sunshine, it made a really nice change after the wet weekend. Thanks for your kind comments about my mood swings/depressions. I`m on already on HRT so my hormones are more or less under control. They are most probably linked with the dreaded menopause though I do wonder what age I have to be before they subside.

This weekend started really well with me cleaning out kitchen cupboards before moving on to giving the oven a long overdue clean. I soaked the glass door and the shelves in the cleaner that I use and when they were practically spotless and washed and dried them and prepared to put them back. Then it happened....the glass door exploded showering me and the rest of the kitchen in shattered glass fragments. Well you must have been able to hear my scream a mile away and I just couldn`t stop shaking. I just stood there as I watched the door continue cracking apart as if it had a life of its own. Then it hit me that now I couldn`t use the oven without the inner door and it would be expensive to buy another, that is if I could track one down. Just what I need....more expense. Anyway after clearing up the mess I went online and after looking at several sites I found the right door for my model. The cost? £105...almost $200! I call that very expensive indeed. I just wish I knew what caused it to shatter like that, its the same thing that happens when a windscreen breaks so there must have been a flaw in it somewhere. If I had dropped it at least I would be certain what the cause was. And then, it couldn`t have been more than 20 mins later I was minding my own business when I walked right into the corner of the open dishwasher door...I now have a dark blue bruise the size of an egg on my leg....and it really hurts!
Thankfully after all that drama the rest of the day passed relatively peacefully. I managed to produce and good meal without the need of an oven. I must admit that fried chicken made a tasty alternative to roast though I`m sure it was not the healthiest of options. Yesterday Kerry, Slava and Roman were here for dinner and I had bought a nice shoulder of lamb for our dinner. Of course I had no way of cooking it apart from microwaving which I decided not to do. I made a huge shepherds pie instead and everyone told me that it was really tasty. They always thank me for dinner but my humble shepherds pie delivered the most compliments. Perhaps I should make it every time they come for dinner, it would be a lot! I gave Kerry to take home for their dinner this evening....she told me that she`d think of me when she ate it....sigh!

I`ve had a sore throat all weekend so I think a cold is brewing. I suppose I`ll just have to wait and see what happens. I don`t mind a cold, not even a bad one but I`m really hoping it won`t be flu, I`ve done so well the last few years and I don`t want to be ill now.
Remember I told you that I had a secret but couldn`t say anything? Well, I can tell you a little bit of it, just a very little bit. Danny and Salina have found a flat and will be renting it from the second week in March....sorry can`t say anymore for the time being but when I can you will be the first to know.

Roman`s spots are back and much worse than when he came back from Russia. Kerry is taking him back to the doctor and is going to ask to see a skin specialist. He has a history of excema and even though the spots don`t seem to be related to it his skin is very dry and scaly. If the doctor doesn`t know what it is Roman needs be seen by someone who does.

This morning I had a routine hospital appointment and can you believe I left work at 9.50 and was back again by 10.25. In fact I was in the hospital for less than 20 mins because I didn`t get charged when leaving the car park. You are allowed 20 mins short stay parking. My boss couldn`t believe it when I got back to work so soon.

Anyway, I`m going to make myself a nice cup of coffee now. I hope you all have a lovely day and take care. Bye Bye. :o)

Friday, 23 January 2009

Pain and Analysis

Ouch....I fell down stairs a little while ago and now I`m starting to ache a bit. I was carry a bundle of washing and had almost reached the bottom stair when I tripped over a sleeping Jake. Well you should have heard the rumpus. I screamed out my best Anglo Saxon as I dived headlong and only saved myself by grabbling hold of the bookcase in the hall. Jake yelped and ran away as all the washing hit the floor. I wasn`t hurt at the time and I worried that I`d hurt Jake but it turned out he was more frightened of his crazy owner attacking him and throwing washing all over! Now my left ankle is a bit sore, my right thumb feels as though its come out of its socket and my shoulders feel as though they`ve been twisted, well they were actually but you know what I mean. It had been such a good day till then too. The weather had been appalling, windy with heavy rain all day but I was in a really good mood despite getting soaked several times at work.

Which brings me to a subject I`ve wanted to write about but kept deciding that I wouldn`t, until now. My good mood follows a week where I`ve been feeling really down. From time to time I feel really happy about life, elated almost without any particular reason. Then without exception I feel terribly depressed for a few days. I feel everyone dislikes me and are talking about me and I`m so tearful, its ridiculous. At least now I know that its not serious but have come to accept it for what it is. I`ve not really looked at it too deeply because I know I`ll feel better soon. I don`t know what causes it though I wonder if perhaps its a form of manic depression. Whatever it is its a part of me and just a cross that I have to bear...sigh.

I saw Kerry on Wednesday and we went shopping together which is something we do very little of these days. Her pregnancy is in its 30th week and all is well with her and the baby. Roman was in a lovely mood and whilst we were walking along the street inWindsor when he turned to me and said, "Nanna, I love you," So I said " Well I love you too darling," I was so happy I thought my heart would burst, bless him.

Bye Bye for now and have a lovely weekend. :o)

Thursday, 15 January 2009

A Bit Of A Letdown

Oh dear, I got home from work today to find a letter waiting for me. It was from the owner of the little cottage in Dorset where we stay every first week in September. We won`t be able to stay there anymore because she has moved in and is working locally...sigh. She has however given us the option of staying at `Whitehaven` (see above). It is owned by a lovely lady who used to look after the cottage but after her husband died she moved to a smaller place in the nearby village. How family still stay there when they visit but I`m not sure whether I`d like to stay myself. It`s a large house and is more isolated than the cottages, and they are quiet enough as it is. I`ll have to ask Jim what he thinks when he gets home from work. I`m going to miss out little bolt-hole in the country, it was like a home from home as it would have been our tenth visit this year.

We originally stayed there because we wanted to take Hannah with us. She loved it there and throughly enjoyed bounding through the fields, sometimes coming across a rabbit that she could chase and never catch. Each year she enjoyed as much as the first until her final stay when she was terminally ill and only had a couple of weeks left. Despite her illness she still paddled along the edge of the sea wagging her tail and looking at us for assurance. It was a bittersweet time because we knew she would never come away with us again but still she seemed happy to be there, and that made our stay happy too.

Then of course Jake came with us, doing the same things as Hannah but in his own leisurely way. he`s far more laid back and his attitude to life is, `Oh yeh, I liked that....right, can I have a sleep now?` Hannah`s was " That was TERRIFIC! Can we do that again, well can we????"

Anyway, we are going to go back there somehow or another so if we don`t stay at Whitehaven we are going to have to find something else...soon.

I`ll say goodnight now and I`ll let you know what we decide.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Spots and Cheese

It seems that Winter has taken a back seat for the moment and the temperature has risen since my last post. I must admit that it is nice to have a rest from the cold despite my love of the freezing, frosty days.

Well the news is that the central heating was fixed and for two days it was running better than ever. Then it reverted back to how it was before the the engineer repaired it. It is still better than it was but the boiler needs several things done to it which is going to cost a LOT of money, more than we had hoped but less than the cost of a new boiler. Now we are waiting for the repair to be done but it`s not a matter of urgency, we have heat and thats all that matters right now.

Kerry, Slava and Roman have returned from Russia safe and sound. They brought us presents and Roman brought home spots....lots of them. In fact he was very proud of them and wanted me to see them as soon as they arrived at our house. Kerry was worried that it might have been measles but the doctor here had no idea and could only guess that it was an allergy or perhaps viral. Whatever it was it didn`t give him a fever and he was as cheerful as usual though a bit itchy. He was given piriton to relieve the itchiness and all thats left now is very dry skin. Kerry and Slava captured some good footage of Roman sledding downhill in the snow. After a few runs with Daddy he wanted to do it all by himself. Even though the hill was quite steep and he is so little he didn`t fall off and had several more goes before they eventually went home, it was -17 which is too cold to stay out too long. Kerry said he didn`t once say he was cold though his little ski suit must have had something to do with that. I`m going to try to get the video footage on to You-Tube and see if I can upload it onto here.
Poor Jake has been very unwell the last few days. He ate some turkey fat mixed with seed on Saturday that I put out for the birds and by the end of the day he was very, very sick. On Sunday morning he was still unwell but I wasn`t at all surprised. I starved him until Monday morning when I gave him just a small amount of food and each further meal I give him a little more each time. He`s much better now and had a long run this morning in the woods. In future I`ll make sure any bird food is right out of his way, mind you I didn`t think he could reach the turkey fat....daft dog!
There`s a lot happening here but as I`m sworn to secrecy I can`t tell anyone about it just yet. I made a solemn promise and I`m won`t break it though when the time is right I`ll tell you all about it. Watch this space!

When I arrived at work today there had been an attempted break-in. After a search there didn`t seem to be anything stolen but they got into the staff room and my locker had been opened. Thankfully I don`t leave anything of value in there and now the lock is all but broken I won`t be doing so again. Hopefully now they know theres nothing worth taking they won`t be back.

I should have spent the afternoon shortening some new curtains to hang in the dining room but I feel really tired today and will leave them till Saturday when I have all day. I think January is a very sleepy month now that the Christmas and New Year festivities are over. Now that is in the past I can look forward to the birth of Kerry`s baby in April, the time will go quickly now, perhaps not for Kerry but for me it will.

I want to thank Antonella for the two awards, see below:

I think its lovely that someone likes me and my journal enough to give me an award, thanks so much Antonella.

I must do some nominations of my own in the next posting.

I`ve realised at this advanced age that New Year resolutions are only made to be broken so I haven`t bothered this year. The closest I`ve come to making one is to give up chocolate and I`m still working on that. Also to eat less cheese but its more likely that the chocolate will be the first to go. I love cheese in very shape or form and it will be the very last food I ever give up. In case you`re about to tell me that too much of it is bad for me, I know though I try not to think about!

Anyway, on that savoury moment I will take my leave of you. Take care. :o)

Monday, 5 January 2009

Winter Days

I have a confession to make...I, love Winter! I like the chill morning and the hard white frosts and fresher air. I don`t even mind the shorter days when we have what I call a REAL Winter.

This is why:

I like watching the birds at the feeders eating seed and drinking fresh water.

I like to see my garden plants resting and preparing themselves for the new growth that will begin in Spring. The buds are already on the magnolia tree as are the daffodils pushing there way up through the frozen soil

I like wearing Winter clothing and wrapping up warm when I go out. I have my many pairs of boots, scarves, hats and gloves. I can`t wear them in warm weather now can I?!

I always feel better in myself when we have a proper cold Winter and not a miserable wet and mild one, like the last couple of years when I never thought the rain would ever stop.

I like walking on the hard ground when out with Jake, who might I add, seems to prefer cold weather too. Well labradors did originate in Canada where it`s not unknown to be a bit on the chilly side!

And I like the sunsets, like tonight for instance when you can usually tell if tomorrow will have a frost or not. I think we will by the look of things.

So there you have it, I`m a Winter girl. Mind you, I love all the seasons for different reasons. Am I the only one who actually likes the cold weather I wonder?

This evening we have a heating engineer coming to look at our central heating boiler. It has been behaving badly the last couple of days and I want it looked before it gives up the ghost. Much as I like cold weather I don`t want the house to be cold and I definitely can`t go without hot water. What happens is the boiler doesn`t start properly so I have to do it manually. It doesn`t switch off either so I have to do that manually too or it overheats. I don`t think its the thermostat but more likely something mechanical. Hopefully by this evening I`ll know what needs doing.

I think I`m getting a cold. At least I have a sore throat and painful sinuses but I`ve been having these symptoms on and off since Christmas. If I`m going to have a cold or whatever I just want to get it over and done with. I hate colds, viruses etc. The last BAD cold I had was November 2007 and I remember feeling dreadful and getting sympathetic looks and remarks from customers at work. The favourite comment was "Do you have a cold?" ........ Me ", I always look like this!" I didn`t!

Jim is organising another sea-fishing trip for May. Apparently the owner of the boat they usually go out on has bought a newer model which takes more people. All the usual suspects are going along and many others want to join them. I just hope there will be enough room for them all.

We were given another Christmas present from friends of ours today, guess what? Another box of chocolates...oh well, they can go in the cupboard with the others and will be eaten in due course. They also gave us a lovely wooden photo frame. It has room for one photo about 6" by 4" and three little ones. I`ll have to take a really good one of Roman or wait until the baby is born..or perhaps I`ll put photos of them both in there.

Right I`m going to make our evening meal now as the heating engineer may come at any time. Have a nice evening and take good care. :o)

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Russian Snow and Car Trouble


Well it`s 2009 now and Christmas seems long gone. Most of us are back to work after the holidays and life is back to normal. The only thing that hasn`t changed here is the weather which is still very cold, quite unusual after the last two mild and wet years. I must say I prefer the cold frosty days to constant rain. It`s easy to put on another jumper and turn up the heat if necessary but the rain just makes me feel miserable AND my arthritis flares up too.

Kerry called to say that they all had a great New Years Eve playing in the snow until 4am with Roman who throughly enjoyed himself. He had been asleep in bed but woke up at 11.30 and wouldn`t go back to sleep so she decided that as it was New Year that it would be a good idea to go outside as is Russian tradition. Apparently everyone was outside in the snow, children included. Even though it was -7c nobody seemed bothered. What a wonderful way to celebrate. Dan on the other hand took Salina to the London Eye to see the fireworks. They got there early and all along the embankment people were sitting drinking champagne just waiting for midnight. As it was bitterly cold they went to a restaurant for something to eat before coming back to try to get a good viewing position. The whole area was packed with people by now and eventually they found a little back alley where they could see but wouldn`t get crushed by the throng. The only problem being was that quite a few other people had the same idea. The fireworks were brilliant though and they really enjoyed themselves. the problems started when it was all over. Dan said there were fights breaking out and people were shoting and swearing at each other as they all tried to leave at once. In the end it took them nearly three hours to leave the capital and they eventually got home at 6am and they didn`t even get a celebratory drink. Something tells me that they won`t go there next year.

Oh yes, I was asked a couple of times why I was given two pairs of boots for Christmas. Well, the thing is that I had boots for Christmas last year, I have many, many pairs as I really don`t like closed in shoes and am far happier in boots. I think they feel more comfortable and look better too. But I digress. Last years boots were just what I was looking for and I was delighted when Jim bought them for me, but when I unwrapped them I found that the decorative leather button was missing from one of them. Jim said as the shop we had bought them from was not local he would buy me another pair if I found some I liked. I told him not to worry as I liked my new ones, with or without the button and forgot all about it. This year however when I asked for boots again for my present I found a really nice pair...AGAIN...but this time they were in a sale. Jim said he was going to buy me another pair to make up for last year and after protesting, perhaps not hard enough, he bought me yet another pair! Now I have nine pairs and I wear all of them....though not at the same time. One thing though, I won`t have boots for Christmas next year, or the next or the year after!

I`ve had car trouble this week, in fact I thought it was going to blow up at one point. It all started on Christmas Eve when after I started it in the morning it felt very shaky as the engine ticked over so I vowed to get something done after the holidays. However on my first day back to work (Monday) I had terrible trouble starting it and once it did all this black smoke come out of the exhaust and the smell of burning was very strong. Also while driving to work it seemed as though there was very little power in my once speedy little Clio and the engine light was showing yello on the dashboard. Our mechanic Steve had a look in the afternoon and immediately knew what was wrong. Something called a needle coil needed replacing as it was causing the engine to only fire on three of them and I had almost no power. He got the part and fixed it right away which only cost me a fraction of what a garage would charge, I was so relieved as I feared something far more serious.

Anyway I must run and cook some dinner. We have lamb chops and I`m getting really hungry. Bye Bye for now and have a great weekend. :o)