"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...

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Our Special Gift...

Alan wrote this poem for Emily's Twelve Birthday, and he presented her with a copy of it on the day.
Writing poetry is not something he does - he would say he is no good at it.
The words came to him within minutes and for me there is no better poem than one from the heart :-))

Our Special Gift...

It happened one mid February night in 1999,
a call that changed a couples lives.
A speedy drive brought us together once again. 
One hour later we were three.
the joy, relief,happiness and marvel were complete
the first time we saw thy face.
A tearful drive home.
A love that stretches from the ground to the stars.
What a wonderful night.
Our union became you....

On the drive back home from the hospital after Emily was born Alan heard - The first time ever I saw your face by Roberta Flack - on the radio, hence the tears :-)

Emily's birth story...

My Darling Emily.

Yes,what a difference in 23 days!!You are here with us and what a story to tell..

A week ago tonight on 16.02.99 a Tuesday at 10.25 you were born by cesarean section in an emergency operation.I had preeclampsia,a serious condition that endangered both our lives.A special scan called a Doppler scan found that you were experiencing trauma, so it was decided to get you out as soon as possible.
Daddy had just left the hospital at 7.30 and I had to phone him at 8,30 to tell him the news.He rushed back,not having any time for tea.The preparations for the cesarean were well under way.I have to say I was in shock when I was told you were to be delivered so soon.I was worried for you and I just felt so unprepared to have you .Another worry was how ugly a scar from surgery would be. A lovely midwife called Julie talked with me and realised I was getting myself worked up.She set my mind at rest by pulling the curtains around me and showed me her scar!! It was just the perfect thing for her to have done,we laughed and my mood changed from fear to a sense of excitement and anticipation.
I went into theatre with your Dad holding my hand and we were able to laugh and joke with the doctors and midwives.
It is a very strange experience, I felt no pain at all when they gave me various injections even though I am a notorious coward.Then the big one into my spine!
Could I be brave?
I sat on the table with my spine bent, leaning over towards your Dad who was rubbing my hands and talking calmly to me.
I never felt a thing,just a slight pressure.
Then I was put onto the table til my legs went numb and the operation began.
They had squirted ice cold liquid down the length of my body to ensure I couldn't feel anything but I had to work really hard not to panic as I tried to imagine when the first cut was made,just waiting in case I felt pain.
Of course I didn't.

I was talking to the anesthetist about the fact that we had no names picked out and he was telling me how he and his wife had their son and picked Seth as his name even though they had never contemplated it before they saw his face.

Daddy held my hand and watched everything.He told me when you were coming out,all I could feel was a rummaging feeling and a slight sucking sensation.I will never forget the look on Daddy's face as he saw you and we were told you were a girl.I felt that I had just given him the best gift ever.
I couldn't see you straight away,they had explained the procedure was to get you out and on to special care as soon as possible and we obviously knew that was a priority.After a while they brought you over to me,you were wrapped in a blanket crying lustily and I joined in!!
I have been known to have a good cry before,but that was the most emotional experience of my life!
Daddy went along to special care to see you settled in.He was like the cat that got the cream.When we were taken back to my room we had a little time on our own before we heard from the nurses that Uncle Tony and Auntie Elaine were coming over.
Daddy went out to see you twice whilst I got my breath back.The nurse brought me two pictures of you and later I was wheeled down in the bed to see you.

When Auntie Elaine and Uncle Tony arrived I was so happy to see that Auntie Paula also came with them and brought a card from Uncle Charles who had to stay home and look after Alex.
I want to hold on to the memories of that night,the strange calm feeling even through all that was going on.The relief that you were crying.The feelings of love I had for you and your Dad.The laughter and joking in the theatre.The prospect of a new life with you.The sight of your Dad ,so cock a hoop and happier than I had ever seen him.Auntie Elaine barging slightly tipsy through the door into special care even though she wasn't allowed!The unexpected sight of auntie Paula and the joy that she had also been able to come.

I don't remember saying goodbye to your Dad.I don't remember going to sleep.I can remember worrying Daddy hadn't had tea and that he didn't want any food at the hospital.I can't remember any pain that night.I remember experiencing an emotional special life changing night and I hope I can always remember that feeling.
Talk to you again soon my darling.
I love you Emily xx

Taken from the post Baby Diaries


Friday, 25 March 2011

Sparkly start to my day...

I came into the living room this morning to this.

Can you see the light on the ceiling ?
It looks like I have a glitter ball on...

The sun was shining off the mirror glass base of the lamp, creating this wonderful effect :-))

Thought I would show you some pics of the finished Kitchen.

I love this wall.

I also love this wall.

Just not sure about this area...

I love the colour and it is so cheery to look at - just seems to clash a little with the cupboards...Maybe just taking a while to get used to it instead of the white....

Acceptance of what is....

Sunshine... again! In my head I have cakes I want to bake, gardening I want to do and a pool I want to visit. After a busy couple of days my body is saying NO!!
Ah well, maybe I should leave the baking til tomorrow and sit in the garden rather than work in it and maybe just maybe, later on I will feel up to the short drive to go to the pool and use the sauna, steam room, jacuzzi and lay on a lounger with my book instaed of swimming.

This image is called Acceptance blue butterfly...

"Imagine the whole of your life changing to such an extreme you are unrecognizable at the end of the transformation. Mind you, this change takes place in a short span of about a month too (that’s how long the butterfly life cycle is).
Herein lies the deepest symbolic lesson of the butterfly. She asks us to accept the changes in our lives as casually as she does. The butterfly unquestioningly embraces the changes of her environment and her body.

This unwavering acceptance of her metamorphosis is also symbolic of faith. Here the butterfly beckons us to keep our faith as we undergo transitions in our lives. She understands that our toiling, fretting and anger are useless against the turning tides of nature – she asks us to recognize the same."

"Acceptance is a person's agreement to experience a situation, to follow a process or condition (often a negative or uncomfortable situation) without attempting to change it, protest, or exit."

Negative, wishful thinking will not change how things are for me today. I embrace the chance to take things slowly and relax......

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Sofa saga and refurbishing old furniture.

Home ed group today.We actually managed to get to it this week!! It has been AGES since we made it to a meet up with the group - various reasons have meant we just haven't managed to get there.
A new to home ed family were there and it was nice to continue the chat over more tea at M's house after group ;-)
Milly was tired - group starts at ten thirty and as she likes a long time to 'wake up' she asked to be woken at eight forty five. I know, not early by some standards, but in our house that is a very early start :-0
We made it home about two thirty and she headed upstairs cheerfully exclaiming she was "going to daydream" :-)
Whilst she did that I set about waxing a piece of furniture I have been painting.
It was pine and was very scuffed and chipped and had been crying out for some paint for a couple of years. Finally got round to it ;-)


I then started a marathon cooking session. I was making oven roasted Mediterranean Lasagna for tea tonight. As I had been unable to get Aubergine I doubled up the peppers and added some sun dried tomatoes in. Very tasty indeed....

I also wanted to get tomorrow nights meal cooked. My sister and her husband are coming to eat and I always find it stressful cooking and socialising. Since my brain function has diminished significantly ( Menopause!! ) and I tire so easily, it is not a good mix to be distracted, trying to be the hostess with the mostess and attempting to create something edible to put on the table ;-))

I had a cuppa with Al when he came in before starting on it.
Milly wanted to go to the park in Cockernouth and Al was going to take her whilst I cooked.They went off with instructions to call me when they were leaving so I could have Milly's tea ready - I knew she would be starving by the time they go back.
An hour and half later they returned and she was indeed ravenous :-)
She wanted to watch TV and eat. We sat in the Sun Room and chatted.
It was so enjoyable to have the door open with a slight breeze and savour the evening sun - could have been a summers evening...

We then ate and I washed up - again! They walked Beauty and we are now settled for the evening.I'm on here til Masterchef comes on, they are watching Midsomer Murders.

The painting is all finished in the sun room and I just have one more piece of furniture to paint up.I bought it yesterday from Impact housing.

Bargain at £3.

Bit scratched and bashed but non the less a sturdy piece. A coat of white satin wood paint will make all the difference.

We have needed a coffee table in here for ages.
I managed to get some baskets from Dunelm that fit perfectly on the shelf to hold the Wii bits and bobs and a basket of pens and paper to keep handy for Milly.

When we started the big declutter nearly two years ago I really wanted a sofa from Ikea but we just didn't have the funds, so we dyed the covers on our old sofa and it has done fine in there since.
. We came into some money a couple of weeks ago - courtesy of Premium bonds - and decided to get a three seater sofa to give more seating in this room.
We could have had it delivered for £35 by ordering it on line. I wasn't sure about the style of the sofa or the colour of the covers and really wanted to see it in the flesh. The other thing that was encouraging was that Emily ( remember her anxiety and aversion to travelling ) had said she was keen to go if we hired a van, one like we had last time we went ( it has three seats in the front. She didn't come with us last time and has wanted to travel in one since then ) So - thinking this would be another opportunity to have a really positive travel experience for her - I persuaded Al it would be a good idea ....

The day dawned bright and sunny and we set off early in good spirits. Milly was very, very excited and the journey went really well. When we got to Ikea I had expected Al to park away from other vehicles ( the transit was a long wheelbase one and not the easiest to maneuver ) to make it easy for himself. I was incredibly surprised when he turned in almost immediately, to a space near the trolley park ( a tight angle even in a smaller vehicle ). We heard an almighty scraping noise and the van wouldn't move forward - it took us some moments before we realised what had happened - the metal pole of the trolley park and the van had come into contact and the pole had won :-(

Alan then panicked and kept trying to put the van into fifth instead of reverse.
It was awful - Milly sat with her hands over her face and eventually Al stopped trying to move the van and got out to have a look. I was very conscious of the big red sticker on the dashboard saying £500 EXCESS!! He got back in and managed to find the gear and we moved far, far away into an empty bay.....

By this time I had had chance to talk to Milly - she wasn't upset it had just been the shock of the noise and not knowing what had happened that had worried her. She was marvelous and we both worked hard to make Alan feel better. He said all the way down he had been thinking he wouldn't park near any vehicles but he saw the space - realised he could go straight through to an empty bay in front of it and be facing the way we needed to go without having to reverse the van and decided in that split second to park there.

After a big cuddle went to have lunch and again Milly was marvelous at talking to Alan trying to make him feel better and being very philosophical about it.
We light heartedly decided we would accept collective responsibility. Me - because I had wanted to to to see the sofa and wouldn't order off the Internet - Milly, because she said it was her fault because she wanted to travel in a van and didn't want to do the journey in our car and Alan - well his part was obvious really :-))

We didn't really have the heart to shop much. Milly had taken a clipboard and pen and spent a while going round all the room sets and planning her furniture for her house and recording the names of the pieces she liked. I decided the sofa I had seen online was perfect, as was the cover I had liked and we ordered for us to collect later at the pick up point. A brief look round and we all decided we had had enough and wanted to pick up the sofa and head home :-(

The journey home was uneventful and after unloading the sofa Al took the van back and filled the tank up.
The good thing to come out of this was ( drama aside ) Milly had a positive journey and we didn't actually have to stop at services at all on the way home and she now has that two and a half hour journey to look back on, if and when, she feels anxious again about travelling - just another tool in her box of coping tricks...

The damage is likely to cost in excess of two hundred pounds ( still haven't had the call to confirm the amount ) and a tank of diesel cost £62 on top of the hire cost! 
So a financial disaster of epic proportions. But - as Emily quite rightly said "it could have been worse" . It would be very easy to get into blaming or constantly re-living it and what if's, non of which is going to change anything or help at all. We could waste more energy regretting and wishing things were different - but they aren't and we now have to move on and do what needs to be done to put it right.
We will have to tighten our belts significantly to cover costs, but it is not the end of the world and we do have a rather lovely sofa.

The fact we could have bought two with the money we have had to spend is irrelevant!!
The thing we say to each other to lighten things is " it would have been cheap at half the price" :-)

Monday, 21 March 2011

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Do you fancy a walk through Lanthwaite woods to Crummock Water?

It is a mood lifting, sunny spring day. But don't be fooled, it is windy and likely to be bitter at the lakeside.
You'd better layer up:-)
There are tree's and walls to climb.We are following the lower path, which consists of wonderfully gnarled and intricately patterned roots, so sturdy footwear is a good idea...

Are you ready? Off we go...

Nice to have your company - hope you enjoyed it:-))

Daily guidance card...

Life purpose...
The purpose of your life is to serve in a way that brings great joy to yourself and others.
Don't worry about finding your purpose.Instead, focus upon serving a purpose, and then your purpose will serve you.

This card comes as a reminder that you needn't struggle to find your life purpose.Don't worry about how to make good money in a meaningful career.Don't concern yourself with quitting or starting jobs or professions. Instead follow the path of your natural desires, talents, and passions with the full intention of bringing joy to yourself and others.Your life purpose doesn't need to be defined or pinpointed. It is a process, not a category.

Additional meanings..
Give all worries about money or career to God and the angels.
You are on the right path towards your life's purpose.
Focus on one step at a time with respect to your life's purpose, and release fears about the future to the angels.
What you're doing right now is part of your lifes purpose.

Saturday Snapshot...

Sounds this sunny, Saturday morning..

Alan, sanding a peice of furniture ready for me to paint.
Sounds of the Sixties on the radio.
Bacon sizzling in the pan.
Buffy slaying Vampires :-)))

Happy Saturday to you. xxx

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Flash back ;-)

I wrote this post 3 years ago!
I was just looking back over the blog and found it again...
I enjoyed reading it. I remember the time so well - I was sooooo close to implementing structure so I could 'see' Emily's learning. Silly woman ;-))

I am no closer to knowing what it is Emily is 'learning' at any given time.What I do know ( and now have more faith in ) is that she can't fail to learn and she will continue to do it in her own inimitable way ;-)

I enjoyed reading the comments too. One of the many reasons I continue to blog is the connection with others out there going through the same situations/emotions :-)

Wednesday - things taking a little longer than expected!

In the plans we had for this week of Alan's hols we - this is the royal 'we' as it is Alan that is doing all the painting - ably assisted by me in any way I can ;-)  - had hoped to be finished! Things have taken longer than we had expected and there is still quite a way to go in the kitchen.

The kitchen has been antique white for about 4 years now and I had intended to do it the same again. It is a lovely big room and is the center of the house which is great, but it is quite a dark room ( even when the sun is streaming through the sun room ) . I had taken a picture of Emily last week and in the background of the shot I noticed a towel drying on the radiator, it was a deep aqua and the shot of colour inspired me to paint some accent walls with an aqua colour.

I love it!
I can't wait to see it all finished.
Alan - who is a perfectionist and takes his time over things - says I am impatient - can't see it myself ;-)

The rest of the house in still upside down - doesn't seem much point tidying when stuff has to be moved out of the way and then other stuff gets left in other rooms because we can't get into the rooms where the stuff has been piled!!

We are looking after A (Milly's best friend ) who is off school with a virus.The two of them are in Milly's room - hopefully not tiring A out with too much activity!!!!

A beautiful sunny day and the outdoors is calling, but after a very busy day shopping yesterday, I am just going to sit amongst the chaos in the sun room with a herbal tea, chat to Al and look out at it :-)