Sunday, December 21, 2014

Happy Christmas!!!!!!

Today I want to think about happy things.

Christmas has always been a wonderful time for me.
All bright lights and the scent of pine and cinnamon and citrus in the air.

Chocolates in the stockings, the bright look of happiness in the childrens eyes as they open their beautifully wrapped gifts piled under the tree.

The smell of new plastic/rubber  from the baby dolls Santa brought.  The squeals, the laughter.

The Mistletoe taped to the top of the doorframe or hung from the chandalier. The silly Christmas sweaters. The crackling fire. The Holiday movies- all the classics- It's a Wonderful Life, Christmas Vacation, Christmas Story, White Chrsitmas, Elf, Miracle on 34th Street, Home Alone, Charlie Brown Christmas, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer, A Christmas Carol, Scrooged...the list goes on and on.

Eggnog in the fridge, Christmas cake on the kitchen counter, Fruit and nuts in a bowl on the buffet table, Wine chilling in the fridge or on the counter next to the Christmas cake. The Christmas Snow Village twinkling and glowing on the entrance table.

The tinsel and shining ornaments on the tree.......sparkling from the window for all that go by to see. Some of the ornaments full of sentiment from Christmases gone by....some bright and shiny and new- ready to soak up the Christmas spirit and making themselves special to someone as time goes on. The hugs, the kisses, the smell of snow in the air.

Christmas carols....does anyone go Caroling anymore? I used to go when I was young and went to church regularly and it was lovely going house to house seeing the smiles at peoples houses as they heard us and looked out their windows and then came to the door.
Sadly, they never had any figgy pudding, tho.

Reading the "Twas The Night before Christmas" on Christmas Eve.....and the production of putting  out the plate of nibbles and cuppa hot chocolate or glass of milk for Santa and a bag of carrots for the reindeer before racing off to our beds.

The excitement of waking at 4AM and trying to sneak into the living room to see if Santa had been or if you had to go back to bed because he hadnt quite made it to your house yet.
The glow of the Christmas lights from the tree as you peeked carefully around the corner of the door and saw indeed- SANTA HAD BEEN!!!! The squeals of happiness and running to your parents room to wake them and tell them the joyous news of Santas arrival and hoping that they would get up and not make you wait until the sun actually came up to see what was in all those bright shiny packages so gayly wrapped under the tree!

Grabbing the stockings and eating chocolates and nuts and fruit for breakfast...the one day of the year when our parents indulged us by letting us eat total rubbish for Breakfast of we wanted. (I think it was because they had been up all night putting toys together and wrapping gifts for under th tree and probably hadnt benn in bed a half hour when WE woke up and saw Santa had come and come to get them to open said gifts from "Santa" and were so exhausted they didnt care what we ate that one meal of the year.)

And you need to remember the good times. Every Precious Memory you can. Bring it home. Write it down. Make memories. Do things you have never done. Try things your loved ones want you to try- just to make them happy- and make memories for them.
 Be silly. Be happy. Be Loved.
 Because at some point- y'all will be glad you have all those lovely memories to look back on.
I know I am.

Happy Christmas to All

....and to All a Good Night!!!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

I'm GUTTED........Heartbroken.....Christmas is RUINED!!!!!

Well, as you can see I'm starting to feel a bit more like myself.

I just talked with my mother in law. Asked her what time we were expected on Christmas Day and if there was anything I could bring.

She replied if we could find a non- alcoholic wine.....???? I think that's called grape juice, maybe?That we can do........

I told her I was really looking forward to her Christmas Cake this year...I mean literally DREAMING about it.
Y'all know me- I'm a chocolate kinda girl...or an all white kinda girl....I'm not big on fruit cakes. The kind of fruit cakes I was used to are the kinds that everyone re-gifts year after year that finally end up being used as doorstops because they taste so hideous.

Yeah...my mother in law's most certainly is NOT like that. She spends a month or more making it. The fruits and nuts in the lovely cake...baked then doused with that lovely spirit sauce daily..or weekly- or I don't know what she does but it's the most lovely explosion of mixed flavors in your mouth......Like a big Christmas Celebration on it's own. Absolute Heaven. You know it has to be for her to convert this girl to not just liking fruitcake- but LOVING it and having dreams about it in the weeks leading up to Christmas.

But this year due to the new weight loss plan her and the Dad in law are on(I'm supposing I don't know for sure but this is my theory) she has decided to forgo the tradition and she went out and BOUGHT one.
Oh the shame!!! The disappointment!!!! The heartbreak!!!!!

It's just too much for me to bear. Christmas is ruined.

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Yes, I'm fully aware I can be a bit of a Drama Queen at times. THIS once is TOTALLY justified tho.

 I cant wait until NEXT Christmas. Maybe I can get the recipe from her......it definately won't be the same- but I could TRY it.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Thanksgiving was CANCELLED.

Sorry....I see it was the night before getting sick that I last posted.

On the 14th I felt okay....ish. Early morning of the 15th- I suddenly felt like I was going to throw up....after forcing myself to do a few necessary errands- I came home and went straight to bed....and remained there with projectile vomiting,  (sorry for the following description but there's no other way to say it) explosive diarrhea, horrible stomach cramping and an on and off fever. For three days I didn't get out of bed except to run to the bathroom and I honestly don't remember much of the weekend at all.

Monday morning, I was no better, so instead of going to my job, I called off work and called my doctor for an emergency appointment. None to be had- they said I would need to try again the following morning...I said no way.
So I took a taxi to my nearest hospital walk in centre.....Manchester Royal Infirmary.

They examined me- did a urine sample- and brought me directly to the A & E(Accident & Emergency) for admission.....they brought me to an isolation room and hooked me up to an IV drip. That was at 10:30AM.........at 8PM they came in and informed me that I wasn't hydrating sufficiently and as I couldn't keep food or water down they were admitting me to the hospital proper and would be going upstairs to a real bed in short order.......
I finally made it up there to a ward at 10:30 PM. I was on a ward for exactly 3 minutes 45 seconds. The nurse came in- looked at my chart- and practically RAN out of the room. 30 seconds later- they are whisking me down the hallway to the end of the corridor to an isolation room.  One of the ones with two sets of doors- with a scrub station and gloves and bio hazard suits.
I was so sick it didn't really register at the time...but a few days later it clicked from a comment the doctor made while in the in between station that I probably wasn't meant to hear.
They actually thought it might be Ebola when I was first admitted.
Luckily it wasn't...but it was a really nasty gastro-intestinal infection.
I was hospitalised in the isolation room for three days- then moved downstairs to yet another isolation room for another two days. During that time I went thru 4 or 5 bags of IV fluids a day. My veins kept collapsing and they had to move the IV needle 7 times in the first 4 days. I lost a stone...(14 lbs). I had to be injected every day with a medication into my stomach to keep me from getting blood clots. My arms and hands and stomach had huge bruises on them...I looked like a junkie that had been beaten it was so bad.
Then the doctor came in and informed me they had finally been able to identify what the problem was. Unfortunately- or fortunately- the worst of it was over at that point and the rest was just that...rest and recuperation for a further 7-10 days.....until the symptoms had disappeared completely for 48 hours.

They gave me my meds and a doctors note-(eventually)...I called my husband- and we came home. But the coming home was provisional.
I had to pretty much stay either in bed- or on the sofa. No gadding about......no going out in public at ALL until 48 hours after the symptoms abated...and no work til then either. I had to eat regularly, and most importantly, I had to drink and stay hydrated. water, juice, coffee, tea, milk(altho they cautioned me to go easy on the milk as long as I still had symptoms)- it didn't matter- just fluids, fluids, fluids......So I did as the doctor ordered and was finally allowed to come back to work on December 1st.

So we had to cancel our big Thanksgiving Celebration Dinner we had planned.

I'm back to about 80% until about 11AM....then it goes down to about 65% for the rest of the day. This week, I've come home every afternoon and taken a nap....Monday it was a two and a half hour nap- Tuesday it was an hour and a half- today it was an hour and 15 minutes.
So things are looking up- but I'm thinking its going to be around the first of the year before I'm close to 100% again.
Hubby's Parents have invited us to their house for Christmas Dinner, so that means I won't have to worry about cooking a big Christmas meal either- altho I do plan on bringing something yummy to contribute to the Christmas Dinner.
Bless my husband who has taken wonderful care of me during my convalescence and barely let me lift a finger to do anything...He has cooked- cleaned,  and whatever needed doing to get me well.

I learned a few lessons along the way...but for now- this is going to have to be it for the blog post.
I'm exhausted again.

So Good Night- and I hope you all had a wonderful holiday!!!

Friday, November 14, 2014

I'm Stressing Too Much....Again.

Yes, Thanksgiving is fast approaching.

 Thanksgiving is the time of year when you don't give gifts.....you just join together and give thanks for all you have in your life.
I didn't celebrate Thanksgiving for 3 years when I first got over here in England. They don't celebrate it- and why would they? I missed celebrating it with my family and friends. So when I met Julia who was a "Mercan" too- she hadn't celebrated Thanksgiving in 10 years,since moving away from the states, so we decided to get together and celebrate Thanksgiving together.
It was wonderful being with someone who knew the traditions behind the holiday, and we spent the day together cooking and chatting and making a few new memories. It was lovely.

So we decided to do it again this year as well. But somethings changed.  This time it seems like walking thru treacle(Molasses) the entire way.

I've scouted out new holiday dishes(China no less so it's usable on different holidays). I found(and then LOST AGAIN) my special linen tablecloths from my mama's linen closet she gave me. I've bought battery operated candles to use on the table so we don't set of the fire alarms with REAL ones. I bought silk maple leaves and a couple of other decorations on the Internet so the table will be lovely. If I can find my tablecloths I'm going to make napkins out of the smaller one and fit the linen one to the size table we have.

I've bought specialty foods from a company that imports from the states.

Dinner parties don't just happen- there's a LOT of thought and work and love goes into these events.
 You have to take every ones tastes and allergies into consideration. You have to think of every ones favorite dishes and try to have that one thing that makes it special for everyone who is invited. You have to make sure you have  dishes and chairs and table space for everyone who shows up. You have to think about overnight guests sometimes. You have to think about how much food is needed- and how much wine....you don't want too little- but at the same time you don't want to have an overabundance of it either.  You have to think about cleaning- and cooking- both the day before and the day OF the dinner. You have to think about storing leftovers. You have to think about music- or entertainment- ....do you decorate the Christmas tree? Do you put on a crackling fire video? or do you watch a Movie or play board games. Or do you just talk...or any combination of the above. If you play music- you have to consider your guests taste in music.......You have to decide the degree of formality the dinner party will be. Black Tie? Sunday Best? or Comfy Casual?

Everthing has to be timed so (hopefully) everything that's hot comes to the table hot- and everything cold stays cold til it's ready to be served.
It's all about timing.

And This year I've come to a decision.......I'm not doing Thanksgiving every year anymore. Maybe every other year Julia and I can get together and celebrate it together- but Not every year. As the words of the great Danny Glover once said- "I'm getting too old for this" It's taking too much out of me. Instead of it being calm and relaxing holiday- I get stressed out to the max because the Southern Hostess in me wants everything to be just PERFECT. Not "close enough"- I want perfection.

Julia told me today she doesn't know what she's doing...as in cooking for Thanksgiving dinner.  I about had a panic attack at my desk. Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away. We've known we were doing this since last year- and been talking about it and planning (for my part) for the past three months!  This year Thanksgiving should be interesting to say the least.

Next year- I'm doing a small Christmas Drop in Mid December for the holidays instead of a big Formal Thanksgiving Dinner. A couple of hours in the evening with Finger foods galore.....and no alcohol. Except a bit of Brandy in the eggnog.

Quiet, simple & low-key. Much better for my blood pressure.





Sunday, November 09, 2014

In Progress...

Well, Preparations for The Holidays are in full swing now.

I'm looking for my linen tablecloths I found a couple of months ago. I have a lovely cream linen one my mama gave me and also a sage green one that she gave me that matches the design in the cream one. I'm planning on making  the smaller green one into linen napkins. I'm also going to take the excess off each end of the tablecloth(it's SUPER extra long) and make linen napkins out of those too.
I bought new dishes I found at a charity shop here in town for a SONG!! The set has dinner plates(5 settings), breakfast plates(6 settings), dessert plates(6 settings), bowls(6 settings), and cups&saucers(4 place settings). So basically what's missing is 1 dinner plate and 2 cup&saucer sets....An odd mix, but it will work. The girls at the shop even gave me a couple of etched wine goblets I was admiring since they had been there so long and no one took them....




 I bought some silk autum leaves to scatter on the table...a blown glitter wicker ball, and three remote control cream colored candles. I figure I only need a platter for the turkey and I'm good for the Thanksgiving table settings.



 Here are a few photos of elements I'm going to combine for the tablescape....







 also......

I will have my snow/christmas village done in time for Thanksgiving Dinner. I've been working on it most of today. I finally got around to getting all except one the houses off the wooden bases. I'm still trying to decide if I want to keep them in color or if I want to paint them all white. I'm leaning towards the all white look with some green  and red trim.

I got a blanket of snow and LED tealights to put inside the houses, but then I realised that to do that I'm going to have to drill some holes in the  "windowpanes" of the houses.....





I'm also planning on cutting out a circular grove in the middle of the bases, painting them black, then adding a thin layer of cork to the insides of the grooves to make some posh coasters. I like upcycling things if at all possible and there is RARELY anything I CAN'T find another use for.

I love this time of year......

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Thoughts for pondering....

Okay, so it's been a crazxy couple weeks.

I could give the details but I'll spare you- it's depressing enough to me without bringing YALL down too. Okay?

I have a couple of things to talk about tho.

First of all, Thank goodness Halloweeen is over. Everyone's trying to rush me into Christmas because they know I love it so much, but I sayno... one holiday at a time, please.

There's a progression....First, you have the run up to Halloween. I dont really decorate much for Halloween, in the states it's really big, but not so much over here. Over here it seems just an excuse for women to dress like sluts and I'm not big on slutty women. I'd go so far as to say I'd just as soon throat punch them as look at em. Yeah- that's my redneck coming out, I reckon. but it is what it is.

Paul and I went shopping the week before Halloween- and I got really pissed off. The big shops were already decorated for Christmas. - Now yall know me- I'm probably one of the biggest fans of Christmas ever- but having it shoved in your face for a third of the year is just riddiculous. It takes away the specialness of it, dont you think?
First Halloween...then Thanksgiving(if you're an American). For me as soon as I see Santa arrive in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade-& ONLY then is it "The Holidays!!!!!".

My weight has been yo-yoing in the past couple months. I cant figure out what the problem is other than eating bread again and a couple of family issues I can do nothing about but am worrying about constantly.  Hubby even commented on my health recently. He asked when was the last time I used my eliptical machine and I told him it was Saturday. I use it about 4 days out of the week- try to use it every other day generally. He said I was sounding out of breath when we was walking back from lunch. I also said quite honestly that since I bought the elliptical I had gained about 12 pounds. He laughed and asked if I was blaming the machine for me gaining the weight. I told him certainly not- but in a way- I think it puts me in a different mind-set. Before getting it- I would easily turn down sweets and bread when offered it. But having that machine in my house makes me think- well, if I HAVE this- I can just work out a bit longer next session. But we all know me and two hours later if I've completely forgotten about the extra calories I've just scarfed down...do we honestly think I'm going to remember them at 5AM the following morning when I climb onj that machine to do a workout? The answer is HELL no. The only reason I workout first thing in the morning to begin with is because I'm still 3/4 asleep and wont even remember most of it after I'm finished.
Yeah- I hate excersise like that. ....Put me outside with  a lazer tag gun in my hand and I'm effing GI Jane, but inside, on a piece of equipment- it's BORING as hell and I detest it. Even with music blasting in my ears- it's just bareable. I do love to dance tho...if only I could get my husband to go with me I'd be over the moon. I just gotta buckle down again and as the Nike advert says- JUST DO IT...or as the PSA advert says- JUST SAY NO.
Either/or.

Anyway. Haing my bezzie and her sugah over for Thanksgiving. We also have invited Pauls Buddy to come. He lives in Northern Ireland, so I hope he makes it. Our little party is getting bigger every year! Maybe the year we buy a house we can host a proper Thanksgiving Dinner with ALL our friends invited. 

I'm buying a few more Holiday Decorations......I say Holiday because the biggest part of the few things I've bought has been for Thanksgiving. I bought a cute brown glittery orb.....and some silk fall foliage for the table
. And some cream color, vanilla scented remote control LED candles!
 I know right? Remote control candles!! But no worries about setting off the smoke alarm with those!! 

Then I also bought a blanket of snow and some led tealights for my snow village houses. again- no worries about anything getting hot enought to catch anything on fire!

I also bought another Set of four Santa Hat Chair covers.
 Only I'm not gonna use them all for that. I think I'm gonna use two of them as window decorations. That way I have 6 chair covers, and two for other uses. :)


Anyway, so thats where I am and what I've been up to lately. 










Sunday, October 19, 2014

Update-

Sorry, I know it's been ages since I was on here or my other blogs, but I've been quite busy


....but now-A wee update on the Ghostie situation....

I've been asked by my sweet friend, Michael, if I ever found my coffee mug?

In a nutshell- I did.

Less than 30 minutes after losing my cool and threatening to sage the house and banish the spirits from it- I opened the microwave to heat some soup- and it was sitting in the microwave oven. The same microwave oven I had used several times to reheat food in for the past week and cleaned every day when I was washing up after supper.

Now, hubby thinks I put it there and forgot about it......which I think would be a perfectly sound, logical and reasonable explanation....except for the fact that 1) I never just leave my cup in the microwave when it's reheating my coffee. I stand and wait on it to reheat because face it- what can you do in 15 seconds it takes....nothing. Not for me with my OCD anyway..... and 2) it was empty...no coffee in it to reheat anyway. Matter of fact it was spic and span clean. And our clean coffee cups go in the drainer next to the sink so they are easy to get to to make another cup of coffee/tea. OCD.

I'm happy I found my mug, Paul's happy his glasses didn't get broken. And I think I've figured out what caused the wee bairn to be a bit upset.

We are using the room where the photo of the image in the window was taken as a study/exercise room/ spare bedroom/occasional Photography studio. Well, I've been wanting to get my book(s) finished now that cooler weather is now upon us(Thank GOD!) and so when we bought a bigger TV for the living room- I requested the old one be put in the spare room so I can listen to my classical music when I'm writing, and watch my exercise videos on it or watch movies and such when Paul is gaming on the one in the living room that the Gaming console is hooked up to. We thought about switching them round- but the study is just a wee bit smaller than the living room......well not really- they are the same length but the living room just SEEMS bigger with the huge bay windows in it as opposed to the tall narrow windows on the flat wall in the Study.....anyway I digress...

So I had to move a few things around in there to accommodate the new TV. And to make matters worse, I relocated the desk so I could use it as well. Paul had  the desktop all set up with a printer on it and all manner of things but he rearranged things and got a few things off the desk so I could use my laptop on it...but since the desk faces a wall, it made me extremely jumpy to have my back to the door and the rest of the room(Law enforcement habit-always have  a viewpoint of everything that's going on in the room you are in so you don't have any nasty surprises.)Now, all I did was move the desk three feet to the left so I could sit at the end of it in the old office chair and use my laptop there......but apparently, wee bairn doesn't like change any more than I do and (s)he has been playing tricks since. (S)He hid my new amethyst bracelet the same night I received it as a gift and it turned up the next morning on my pillow. (S)He has moved Paul's glasses from the spot he puts them every night to the top of the fridge.(S)He has even moved the bathroom tissue roll to the top of the wardrobe-in the room where the photo was taken- obviously- by my estimation, the ghostie has claimed that room especially as it's territory and is trying to make a point.

I don't even bother telling Hubby half the things it's doing anymore. He's CLEARLY not a believer in the supernatural or the paranormal and he usually ends up saying- well, you had to have done so and so and just forgotten about it- which drives me INSANE and pisses me off and causes arguments. So no- we just won't go there anymore.

As long as the wee ghostie keeps things simple and isn't malicious I will allow it to stay. I really don't mind the company. But as I said- I will not hesitate to sage and banish if things get mean or hurtful.

Fair play, right?