"Although I speak from my own experience, I feel that no one has the right to impose his or her beliefs on another person. I will not propose to you that my way is best. The decision is up to you. If you find some point which may be suitable for you, then you can carry out experiments for yourself. If you find that it is off no use, then you can discard it." Dalai Lama...

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

An unscheduled DVD fest.

After feeling so positive last Thursday things took a nose dive and I haven't been dressed for 3 days.Watched all the Lord of the Rings trilogy plus other DVDs and have been incapable of much else.

A little person who was also feeling under the weather,wrapped up and listening to a story tape.

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Could this be the beginning of something Big?

What a fantastic day today has been:-))

Emily came down around 8.30 (after going to sleep at 7.30 last night)She had got to sleep around 1.30 am on the Tuesday sleepover but they had both slept in til 10 am which wasn't bad but she was still tired obviously...

After reading some of The Golden compass she went to watch the Golden compass on DVD for the second time in two days,while I threw the vacum around. She got part way through before we needed to go out.Just as we got to the front door my sister arrived,she knew we were heading off but had popped in for five and to see our new veggie area so I willingly showed it off and then we had a natter and headed out.

We spent the morning at the food coop as usual.Milly played and I chatted whilst packing up the fruit, setting up and the packing up takes approx 1hour and then from 11 til 12 we just chat and drink tea and chat to the folks coming to collect their bags,not a bad morning eh;-))

Home for a quick lunch,and more of the Golden compass DVD for Milly then at Milly's request(very unusual for her to actually request to go out)we went off to Trotters World the local animal park.It was a pleasant afternoon weather wise and we had a great time.Emily was in fine form and was funny and great company to be with.We got to see the Lynx being fed and it was amazing to see it in motion and jumping up to get the piece of venison on a rope, as we only ever see it sitting on the rock.I was probably more interested in it than Emily though,she had found a "good" stick and was more interested in prodding that in things and wondering what would happen if she were to touch the electrified fence with it and whether sparks would be visible.At one point she was walking around with the stick behind her neck like a yoke with her arms hanging over the top of the stick and her head hanging down limply and the story was that she had been a robber and she had had a stone thrown at her as punishment and had died and she was hanging on the tower of London for all to see as a deterrent!!!

We very nearly got a fantastic close up of the peacock,it was in a marquee and Emily got within stroking distance and went to get her phone out(not too sure if I blogged about the mobile? She got it for 19.99 from Argos, long story as to the whys and wherefore's but she paid for it herself and after initially texting a couple of Aunts and her friend who has one and pretending to be on the phone round Tesco's etc it has hibernated in her bag just as I suspected it would,but gets taken out to take photo's now and again) as she was about to take it out the bird screeched so loudly we both shot back,Milly is not good with loud shocks and I thought she was going to burst out crying which would be the usual situation,she held it together but did not want to take the photo at all and just wanted to get out of there.Pity though cos it would have been a great shot.

In the car on the way home we heard that Mcfly are coming to Carlisle this summer and Milly is keen to go so it looks like I will be getting to see them too;-)) Her first live gig and my first open air one too.My good friend M and her daughter E (who is the one responsible for introducing Emily to the boy's) will also be going with us.So at nine sharp I will be on the phone to try to get tickets,fingers crossed....

Back home to make tea and I was flagging but had arranged to go to a Hypnotherapy course and it was the first night.Rezwanna who does my massage ,reflexology etc was running it.I was quite excited as it promised to be a really healing series of workshops and I was looking forward to it but it involved going out at 7.00 and not getting back til 9.30 and I am not good in the evenings as my energy is so low.I suppose the other thing holding me back was the fact there would be people I didn't know there and I am not good in new groups but on the plus side a couple of the girls I meditate with were going so I talked myself into going and I am so glad I did.We sat in the garden (which was a little nippy but it was nice to be outside) there were around 15 of us and I think it is going to prove be the most exciting thing I have done.It is about healing yourself physically ,mentally and emotionally and empowering yourself using hypnotherapy techniques.It seems to bring together so many elements that I have been reading about and attempting to practice over the last few years in a very easy and workable way.Can't wait for the next one.

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Planning department failed to plan, causing major wobble...

One of the things that I had a hard time dealing with when we were deciding whether to take Emily out of school was the fact she was an only child and I felt that by taking her out of school we were condemning her to a lonely life without all those kids in school to play with.

As it turns out Emily was very lonely at school even with all those kids to play with and eventually that concept lost any validity. However over the last 14 months there have been days when the worry about her being lonely is overwhelming.
Most of the time I think we have a good balance of being with friends and having the down time that I know she needs,but sometimes the balance is off.

I think the nicer weather has been a trigger for her feeling left out and lonely.Her best friend A lives at the other end of the village and on the nights she is staying with her mum (parents split up and she stays 4 nights with mum) she has children who live near her and they spend time playing on the allotments, this happens spontaneously and last week Emily expressed a wish that she had friends nearby to play with in that way.Now the rational side of me accepted the fact that quite naturally she was feeling a little lonely and that I had not been as proactive in arranging play dates etc and that we could work on ways to ensure she see's more friends. Then within a short space of time (after watching her swinging on her own in the garden looking,in my opinion,sad) the totally irrational side took over and blew it up out of all proportion,all the old fears came back and I felt so responsible for her sadness.

It took me a while but I let the irrational thinking go and looked at it for what it was without projecting all my own fears and assumptions.Emily does like company but she also needs her own space and it was simply that the balance was off and thankfully this week we had things planned that have allowed me to see a more balanced view.

Monday she had a play date,Tuesday she was with her cousin,then had a sleepover with E ,today was Home ed and she made some new connections with a couple of the boys there.A friend they normally play with wasn't there and they were more involved with the other children and Emily got to play with them both at group and later when we went back to my friends house for a cuppa, so a stronger connection and the possibility they would come to play means another couple of playmates in the future.Tomorrow she will have 3 hours playing with two other home ed friends,some weeks they are great mates some not so great but generally a good experience for her.Friday best friend A will be here for tea.Things don't just happen, her friends don't just live up the street and it takes work to plan things,her group of friends has taken time to evolve but is still growing.I just let things slide a little in the planning dept and had a wobbly few days because of it.

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Friends of all ages.

I have taken five to blog so I don't have a whole week to catch up on again;-))

We had one of our home ed group friends over for the afternoon yesterday and Emily and her little six year old boy got on really well, as the weather was nice they spent most of the time in the garden.It was not warm enough for us to sit out so we sat in and chatted which was very pleasant indeed and we got to know each other a little better.We had made some cookies and luckily there was nothing in them that E was allergic to so he managed three of them;-)) We had made some fresh play dough up as well but that wasn't required so I must remember it is in the cupboard and get it out sometime before it goes off!!

Alan went off to his Tai chi and in past weeks Emily has waited up for him,however she came in from playing in the garden at 7.00 looking really tired,I said I was going in a bath and would she like to join me and she said she would and then go to bed.We had a giggle in the bath,we really need a much bigger tub now she is growing so much!!! Into bed to read The Golden Compass (We had started it some time ago but had not got too far into it and it was put to one side,listening to the end of the trilogy on story CD had sparked her wanting to pick it back up again) usually when I say I am going to stop reading she asks for more but tonight she just said "goodnight" and gave hugs and kisses and rolled over and got settled and was asleep quite quickly.That's two nights when she has decided to go up early.She didn't wake til 9 this morning so is obviously needing even more sleep than is usual for her, and she is a girl who likes/needs a lot of rest.

Tonight is definately not going to be an early night as we have E here for a sleepover.We picked her up around 5.30 to come back here for tea.One of the things I love about her is that although she is 14 she really likes to role play and the two of them like the same stuff so tonight has been a "game"(for want of a better word) involving Spiderwick and Golden Compass characters.We lit the chimanea(logs are drier so no smoke and pleased to say we are not smelling like a bonfire)played a game of pass the pigs and a couple of card games before coming in at 8.30, them to watch some primeval on DVD and me to wash up and tidy round,Al finished watering the veggies and then sat in front of the fire in the garden having a well deserved five minutes quiet thinking time.

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Weekly catch up....

This week has flown by.We have enjoyed the weather and spent lot's of time in the garden both working and relaxing.Milly has requested lot's of reading and when possible I have managed to read whilst lying on a lounger catching the sun;-))

I had a blip over the last couple of days as my period finally arrived and after feeling loving and giving for quite a while,changed overnight into the fire breathing dragon with murderous mood swings and severe irritability.Not too proud of myself on occasions and feel guilty about my lack of patience and the burning need to be left alone.I hate that this keeps happening and that Emily ends up being the one that suffers,well actually not just Emily ,the relationship between the two of us also suffers....

Things we got up to this week.Or at least the things I can remember!!!

A nice quiet day at home on Monday, spent mostly in the garden.Milly has been really into story tapes and re reading the roman mysteries series and has turned down many suggestions to do other things,TV has played a very small role this week there have been many days she has not watched any at all. I have read a lot of one Roman Mystery book and when I have been unable to read for whatever reason she has put on the CD story of another roman mysteries tale and listened to that whilst swinging outside.

I went to my monthly meditation meeting on Tuesday.
Had a good natter and a short meditation, we really should meet more often then we might not have quite so much to talk about, what am I saying we would probably still spend the time chatting:-)) Emily spent time with Granny and Granddad and then we went to look after my nephew after school.

Home Ed group for a couple of hours on Wed lunchtime we took Milly's teenager friend with us while her mum and brother stayed home and then went back to her house with some of the others for a chat while the kids played in the garden.

Thursday I was due to have a tooth out but woke with a migraine probably brought on because I was panicking about having the tooth out!! Anyway I cancelled and will now have to wait till July to have it removed.Milly and I spent time in the garden when the headache had eased off a bit.Milly was very needy and kept asking me to read as we had got to an exciting part in the story, I was in a p***y mood and was not as kind as I could have been and we had a tetchy day.

Luckily feeling a little better on Friday, as we had arranged to go out with a friend and her two to The Heavy Horse centre. I drove and after a detour into town so we could both get some cash(both very unorganised people who often get places without a penny in our purses!!)we arrived in time for a carriage ride, not a heavy horse pulling this one but a nippy little pony in a small carriage, we loved the ride but it was even better when we got back in to the barn and it took off and cornered at speed, great fun!!!!Lunch in the cafe and the kids enjoyed playing in the playground and looking at the pigs, guinea pigs, rabbits and birds that were around there. The pigs were so cute and really chatty with lots of grunting;-)))
The proprietor then gave a talk as the different breeds were brought in to the barn. There were clydsdales,Shires,Percheron,Ardennes and the rare Suffolk Punch. They are amazing horses and the guy was a real character, so very entertaining. Then on to a large carriage pulled by two Clydesdales and the kids loved it. We then had a cuppa and a chat to the staff while the kids played in the park just outside the cafe.Back home in time for Emily to meet A off the school bus to go for tea at her house and then I went off shopping.

On my way back through the village I noticed some boys in the field behind a wall and as I passed they threw a large balloon filled with water that banged into the windscreen and burst,I was scared out of my wits and it could so easily have caused an accident, I pulled in to our drive ,they had obviously gone but had they been around I am not too sure I would have been able to contain my anger at such a stupid and dangerous stunt.
I was going to call the police but it would serve no purpose as I had no identification and they had gone from the scene.

Some time ago a family was moved into a local housing authority house and we heard real horror stories about drug dealing and stealing and the sons carrying knives . There was a village meeting to see if the decision could be reversed but it was too late as they had already been given the keys.At the time there was a lot of talk about giving them a chance.It has taken a few months but the behaviour of the two sons and their influence on the local teenagers has become a real problem and alongside drinking in the park til late at night playing loud music and leaving bottles etc strewn around, sleeping out in the play park and setting fire to the bandstand in the kids play area, they are terrorising people who have called the police out due to their anti social behaviour .It is getting out of hand and our small village has gone from a quiet and friendly place to one where you never know where the next damage is going to happen.I am going to report what happened but after attending meetings with the local community policeman we really are fighting a loosing battle,these kids are streetwise and know what little the police can actually do,it will just get added to the growing list of anti social behaviour that is being reported.

A couple of people in the village who work with youth offenders have set up a youth club type meeting on a Thursday evening and hope that through forming a relationship with them they will feel part of the community ,not victimised as they said they felt, because they were getting blamed for everything that went wrong. I think some of the teens involved may have got out of their depth and would be glad to step back from the trouble but the two boys with the alleged drug dealing father may not be as easy to persuade that being part of a community is a good thing to be. Time will tell, all I know is that as the lighter nights have arrived their presence on the streets has increased and the cars speeding through the village have also increased.

I had planned to take Emily out to a local small animal farm on Saturday but woke with another Migraine, I asked if she wanted to go and she said she did but wanted what was best for me, bless her. I had a bath but felt no better so had to get in to bed.She settled me in and got me extra blankets and pillows and decided she would get my lunch,it was 11.15 by now.She made her speciality toasted cheese sandwich,a mini flake, a bag of buttons, a bag of crisps and half an apple which she had cut and cored herself.I have to say as I was lying there I did debate whether I should go down to ensure there was no blood shed but decided that would do more harm than if she did cut herself!!! She did nick her finger but she was so proud of herself for looking after me. She apologised that it wasn’t the most healthy meal but I said that didn’t matter a jot and ate the lot.Al came home from work at two and I finally managed to get up at tea time and sat to watch Dr Who with them.

Today we went over to my sisters to meet Buttons the donkey, it was a family affair we drove my other sister and nephew over and Mum and dad came for lunch as well. Buttons is adorable, a chocolate brown colour with a white muzzle and so calm and placid.,Meg has softened toward him and now lets him sleep in the stable and will stand near him outside. My sister made a great lunch, then out near the donkey's in the field, to play badminton and Boule I had a game of Boule with Al ,then Emily and I had a game but she spent most of her time either with the donkeys or sitting on a high wall talking with Pan ( her daemon) she is listening to the Amber spyglass story tapes of the final part of the Northern lights trilogy and daemons are playing a large part in our lives again,not that they ever actually went away!!! She has not heard the second book yet but doesn't mind at all and said she will just get it from the library and either listen to tapes if they have them or we could read it to her.

Monday, 12 May 2008

Seeing red....

Over the last week we have had a bit of a garden makeover.
Another makeover has involved Emily and her hair colour.She has been talking for ages now about dying her hair red and I got some cheap wash out sachets and kept them in the bathroom but she never wanted to use them when it came to hair washing and they sat there for over two months until last week when she decided it was time to give it a go.

She loves the colour and says she looks like Ginny Weasly now;-))
I am going to get a natural henna dye to do it in future as the sachet we used washes out after three washes,I would much prefer not to be putting all those chemicals on her head, just need to do some research about henna.It will probably turn out to be more of an actual red shade than this is.Milly would like to go black but I will have to work up to that!!Strange that I find red hair easier to go for......

Sunday, 11 May 2008

What a week that was.....

This has been a great week helped in no small part by the fantastic weather.Alan choose the right week to have off and he has enjoyed spending every day in the garden,however this has been no lounging around week,he was a man with a mission and never one to give less than 100% this is what he achieved in a little over 5 days.

This was the before picture looking from the side of the house around a month ago

Here is a similar view from the side showing the new table area and the border that has been cleared to make way for more veg to be planted.The fence has another rung on it as we wanted to make sure Beauty couldn't leap over at all, there is an area of the side garden that is not fenced and she has escaped over there once before when the gate was left open,and "surprised" a lovely couple and their Bishon frise....

How it used to look,a view from the shed across to the border.

Here it is now,there is Jasmine climbing up the tripods, parsley growing in the pots alongside lavender.Coriander and basil seeds freshly planted today in the silver planters.in the beds there are red onions,I will be sowing spring onions in between the rows, cut and come again lettuce,broccoli,parsnips and leaf beet.Netting over the top to stop my cat and others from"visiting".

This is what the view from the fence up into the garden used to look like.

Here it is now.The raised bed has beetroot and carrots in with space left to sow a few more in a couple of weeks.In the large bed( Alan had so many stones to dig out and had to barrow in 15 loads of compost/soil to get it looking like that) we will have peas,sugar snap peas.Green beans,a nice yellow bean my brother in law gave me to try,squash,sweetcorn,courgette,cucumber and aubergine,which are all at present doing great in my sun room.

And last but not least my rhubarb in a cosy spot at the top of the garden.

This all looks fabulous and Alan has been amazing to get this landscaping done.I have thoroughly enjoyed planting and sowing but the test will be exactly what will be produced by this novice gardener by the end of the growing season????
Fingers crossed;-))

Alongside this major job life has gone on at a frantic pace and Emily and I have been busier than ever.I will try to be brief but you may need to stock up with tea and biscuits if you are keen to read on;-))

Milly and I got the bus into Cockermouth to go to the Georgian Fair that's held every year.We used to travel by bus all the time before I started to drive again and we used to really enjoy our journeys,on this occasion I got off at the other end green and non too well.We had to nip in to our favourite pub for a rest and to order a bar meal,which I really enjoyed once I had had time to get over the bumpy ride.

Quite a few people dressed in the period and dancing and acting sketches going on in various parts of the town were quite interesting but overall I found it a little disappointing this year.

A lovely day at home with Alan,some gardening and Al and Emily took Beauty for a good walk.

My sister and husband were away in Lanzarote and had asked us if we could spend some time with Meg as she was finding things tough without Strudle around,we jumped at the chance and decided we would go over to Carlisle and visit Tullie House Museum and go to the Spring fair in the park as well before going to see Meg and stay at my sisters overnight. Fabulous time in Tullie house, we went to lunch first and Emily choose to sit near the open french doors and was just in time to have a go at holding Meg the Harris Hawk.

We spent ages in the museum and enjoyed the natural history and animals(stuffed obviously,but very life like displays)in the section on the water life in Cumbrian rivers and other wildlife displays.We didn't have much time left to see the exhibition about Carlisle history and the roman display amongst many others so we had to rush around a bit so we could get to the park before the time was up on the car and my time was up in the energy dept...
We will have to visit again,yeah a museum Emily wants to spend time in!!!
On to the park and we missed going to the spring show as at the play park, the water park and huge sandpit took preference......

When we got to my sisters Meg looked so sad and she just went wherever we did and when we sat on the bench in her field she just stayed with us:-( We gave her far too many carrots and Emily groomed her to within an inch of her life:-)) Meg loved the attention, even the chickens seemed to sense her loneliness and never strayed far from her side.There were three sheep in the field with her that their farmer friend had put in for company as well. Luckily the weather was fabulous.We spent the night and then the next day the vet came to take some blood from Meg and Emily was fascinated to see the process and the lovely young lady vet talked her through what was happening.Meg is getting a new buddy on Monday, a sprightly 19 year old male called buttons is travelling up from the donkey sanctuary in Devon on Monday,fingers crossed they like each other...

Back home in the afternoon for a visit to Rezwanna for Emily.She had a Massage and reflexology,along with some Angel healing and fell in love with Rezwanna.I was also shown some massage techniques to help clear Emily's sinus's, she is having a lot of headaches because of the congestion.
Nice to be home and relax...

Got up in the morning and was having a leisurely breakfast at nine thinking about getting things ready to go to home ed group at 12 when I suddenly remembered we were going with the group to a clay workshop over near Keswick and would have to be there around 11!!! I had not received an e mail with the directions though so had to contact a friend, who was luckily still at home, and got them then set about throwing a picnic together and heading off.
Great place, making things with clay outside under the shade of some trees, picnic in the field near a river where the kids played,fabulous and we get to go back in June to glaze them :-))

Usual day today helping at the food coop,Emily and two other home eddded friends had a great time playing in the sunshine and then home in the garden for the afternoon.

Alan and Emily went off for a picnic to Mirehouse which has great gardens with a play area with assault course type equipment and lots of lovely gardens and walks.Back home for tea and play with best friend A,whilst I went shopping.

We had a family day out to Muncaster castle and had a picnic and a walk,I did some of the walk and then sat out in front of the Castle with fantastic views and Heron flying around, it was very relaxing.

We were due to go off to Rannerdale to see the Bluebells but I was exhausted and we decided to stay home and after a lazy start set too on the last little bit of gardening to finish in the side garden.Emily was a little under the weather and subdued and found it hard to find things to keep herself amused so I would read to her for a bit then head off and give Al instructions before reading a little more.I got to do a little sunbathing as I was reading and I was lying on the lounger so can't complain too much;-))

Phew back on track,not keen on marathon post writing so will attempt to post as usual each day but realy did not have any time or inclination last week.........

Choices choices choices

Hello again,I have been sooooooo busy I have had to make choices where to use my limited energy and unfortunately blogging came at the bottom of the list....

I hope to do a post this evening to catch up on all that has gone on,if not I hope things will get back to normal tommorow when Alan goes back to work;-))

Friday, 2 May 2008

Good friends,playdates,fall outs and garden bliss.

I have finally managed to spend some "real" time in the veg garden.Since I last wrote about the plans we have to turn the whole of the side garden over to veg and fruit over the next couple of years, the weather has been terrible and on the dry days I have always been doing something else and had no energy left to start in the garden.

Well today everything slotted together nicely;-))

I was hanging my washing out this morning and I heard Milly saying hello to someone,my initial instinct was to dive into the shrubbery,I had just got out of the shower and my hair was fluffy and spiky without the aid of wax and I had no makeup on and the oldest and baggiest pair of joggers I own,so looking really good the last thing I needed was to have to talk to someone, but that was exactly what I was going to have to do:-(

Luckily it was my good friend and her kids walking past and she was in a similarly elegant state.She had her hood up to hide the fact her hair hadn't yet been washed and she had no make up on so we made a great pair.We chatted for ages while the kids sat at the front and played,and then they invited Emily to go round to play on their allotment for an hour after lunch,which is just what she did.While she was away I decided to have half an hour in the garden,oh what bliss to be out in the sun with my hands in the soil.

I was due to go and meet A off the school bus with Emily and then stay at her house with them till her mum got home from college.Just as I was about to set off L my friend rang to say she was back early and had seen Emily at the allotments and she could stay with her and I didn't need to go to the bus stop. YAHOOO, I then managed to plant seeds,carrots,beetroot,cut and come again lettuce, fill some tubs with parsley and lavender, plant some thyme in the gravel area and prepare another raised bed for planting,and sit in the back garden for 15 minutes just day dreaming listening to the birds and loving every minute.

Alan came home from work and after a quick breather set about clearing a large bed in the side garden of very established herbaceous planting, a really tough back breaking job,necessary though as that is where our sweetcorn,pots, rhubarb,beans,peas, and broccoli will be going.We managed to have a row over where he should put all the plants( we have tried very hard to give them away but no takers)he was piling them up at the top of the garden, behind some trellis that started off 9 years ago as our compost area, but rapidly became a hellhole with any crap from the garden dumped up there.In my mind not the best thing to add more crap up there,I voiced my opinion and narky pants took offence and downed tools and took the dog for a walk......

Whilst he was gone I sorted the problem,and when he got back explained that we could pile it in the side garden and take it to the tip next week when he is off.He had to question whether they would take it at the tip of course,then admitted it was a sensible idea,so back on speaking terms again we carried on;-))

We got a lot done and by the time Emily got home at seven we were both on our last legs!!!!But oh the sense of acheivment,I love our garden.