Wednesday 27 August 2014

Memory Loss & Panic

Hi Folks,

I had the weirdest telephone conversation yesterday.  A woman rang the landline and asked for me by name, she gave her name and then proceeded to ask if it was ok to change her shift at the café to have Mondays off.  Café?...what café?   She named it and also gave me the name of the person who had passed on my home number, which she quoted perfectly.  Now I was getting a bit worried as I do not and have never ever worked in a café!  The poor woman was embarrassed I think, but it made me go and ask my hubby if I was going mad.  Had I forgotten I worked in a café?  Had he heard of this place?  His reply was simply 'don't be daft, woman!' but it got me thinking about people with Dementia.  At what point do they realise something is amiss and how frightening it must be for them and their families when real life starts to blur.

 My mother lived to be 92 but the last 5 years of her life were increasingly difficult to cope with for all of us.  She lived alone in a 3 bedroomed house, ultimately becoming unable to climb the stairs and being confined to one room (there was no central heating).  For the last 2 years of her life I went in alone two or three times a day to bring food, make her a cup of tea, do a bit of shopping and tidying, collect her washing, sit and chat etc. My Brother worked full time and my Sister lived too far away to help.  Mum wouldn't let strangers into the house to help.  It was quite literally killing me. Many a time I put her to bed, closed the door then sat in my car sobbing my heart out before driving home in the dark alone.  Her memory began to fail and she would 'forget' to eat the lunch I left for her.  I would pop in after work and the food was left uneaten beside her.  She 'forgot' to drink too and became dehydrated.  We tried 'Meals On Wheels' but she would wrap the meal in newspaper and put it in the bin. In the end it became too much even for two of us (my dear Brother had to share much of the strain for the last year)  She spent her last 2 weeks in a nursing home not really recognising the family and the night before she died she thought I was my Sister.  I sobbed then too.  To see my lovely caring mum become a stranger was the hardest thing to bear and my heart goes out to anyone trying to cope alone.

On a happier note:  my Small Treasure today is that now, after 5 years, I am able to look back to the happy times we shared and the fun we used to have.  I can get out the photographs and smile instead of sob.

Yes, I know I have already posted this photo but my mum loved flowers and these make me smile.

Thank you for reading this x

Saturday 23 August 2014

Incompetent Cook Strikes Again!

I told you at the start what a rubbish cook I am and I wasn't kidding.  There's almost a week to go until the end of the month and we were totally devoid of cake yesterday so I had to do something.  A quick rummage through my folder and I attempted to make flapjacks and Fat Rascals.  Here is the result...

Both recipes have been gleaned from the back of my Tricia Ashley books (I love that woman! Sheer fun and escapism written in a style that keeps me reading, bless her)  The flapjacks should have had mincemeat in but I hadn't got any and had to improvise (see what I mean about being a rubbish cook?)  There were actually 4 Fat Rascals, each measuring approx. 4" across but they smelled so yummy that DH and I ate one immediately, warm and buttered straight from the oven.  Oops! although we did both have a brisk walk afterwards to burn off the calories.  In reality they are not as pale and uninteresting as they look in the photo.

Now my Small Treasure for today was these...

I sleepily opened the living room curtains this morning to be greeted by these lovelies.  Wow! They are a beautiful colour; a kind of apricot centre with pinkish/peach on the tips of the petals.  My cheap supermarket flowers at a cost of £3 had the power to give me a spiritual lift to start the day. Worth every penny.

Thursday 21 August 2014

Crafty Question...Is it too early?

Hi Folks,

Yesterday I took a trip to a large shopping centre.  I went to window shop & browse with my thoughts turning to shhh, I'll whisper it...Christmas.... I was not the first to think of it as the card shops were overflowing with Christmas cards and decorations, wrapping paper etc.  It seems to come earlier with every passing year.  Now my son was born on Christmas day, I know, I know, bad planning, and each year I have struggled with getting a nice birthday card so close to Christmas so several years ago I decided to make my own.  Rarely do I now buy cards as people kind of expect a handmade one and get a bit miffed if I send a bought one.

Here is one I made for my Granddaughter's birthday.  Her name is at bottom right but I've covered it up as I'm not ready to share that :-)  I stamped and coloured the image to make the card in one of her favourite colours...

I made all my Christmas cards last year.  They don't work out especially cheap (around 40p each) but they are unique and seem to be well received.  Some have even been framed for keepsakes.....

I really must make a start on my cards and gifts for this year.  It really helps the budget if I begin now and buy the gifts one by one....

Does anyone else begin the present shopping yet? Or have you already done it and put me to shame? Perhaps you find it cheaper to buy everything on Christmas Eve? Do you make your own gifts? I don't have a sewing machine so can't make anything else. Any tips much appreciated. I know there are lots of thrifty people out there!

Thanks for popping in x

Tuesday 19 August 2014

Small Successes and Smaller Failures

Hi folks,

Well, I pulled some parsnips for lunch on Sunday and they were ok really, a good size and no tough core.  I hope they are all like that but we'll find out as the weeks progress because I only want to take them up as required, from container to table in an hour would be great.

We have had a bit of a failure with our strawberries this year.  There are two plants in pots which we brought with us when we downsized 4 years ago and they have produced very little this year.  Someone said that plants cease to be productive after a few years and you should propagate them but up to now we have had no runners to propagate from!  Anyhow, I discovered yesterday that I have missed a couple of beauties but the slugs haven't....

I did find this one tucked away amongst the foliage  and enjoyed it sliced up on my cereal topped with a dollop of yogurt ;-)

Has anyone else had a problem with strawberries this year? Any tips much appreciated.
Thank you for popping in x

Sunday 17 August 2014

Home grown beauties

In my quest to stretch the food budget I decided earlier in the year that we needed to try to grow something edible.  Now, bearing in mind that I'm a rubbish cook and an even worse gardener that wasn't going to be an easy task!  However, somehow these beauties appeared....

The seed potatoes cost £1 and the bag in which to grow them was also from one of the pound shops (this can, of course, be re-used), the compost is multipurpose from a bag bought last year for some flower pots.  There were enough potatoes to feed two of us for about 4 weeks.  As an experiment it was a pleasing result.  At the moment I have another bag on the go with a mix of carrots and parsnips in.  I wasn't sure if mixing the seeds would work but they appear to have grown happily side by side.  We have hardly any garden so container growing is our only option.  I intend pulling some young parsnips for dinner tonight so will report on those later.

If anyone actually reads this post I will be thrilled :-) but if matter...I am putting my thoughts down on 'virtual' paper.

It's OK.....

  Angie 💓 xx