Wednesday, 24 January 2018

I have been struggling all day trying to upload this blog post. I use Open Live Writer, a 3rd party blog editing application which normally works just fine, but every now and then Blogger plays silly-bloggers with it and it refuses to upload the post, particularly if it’s got photos in it. I did a test upload earlier and that went up fine, but after repeated attempts, this post will NOT upload, despite my trying all the usual fixes. I am now having to resort to the simply awful Blogger editor which messes up all the formatting so I apologise for the messy appearance. If I can get it working again later on, I’ll edit it and re-upload it. There were things I really wanted to do today and I feel I’ve achieved nothing. Earlier this evening I completely lost the plot again – just too much stress in my life at the moment.

At last I have something real in my studio to show you!

This week, for the first time for simply ages, I’ve been able to spend some time in there, working on a new (secret) project, for which I’ve made some backgrounds using my new Distress Oxides. I’ve had these for months but have only just been able to open them up and try them out. I love them.

As well as the Distress Oxides and the backgrounds, on the left of my desk you can see a pile of lace which I’ve pulled out of my stash. I am going to use some of this in the project too but haven’t yet decided which ones to use.

This is the first pair of Distress Oxide backgrounds.

Yesterday I made the second pair (I need two sets for the project).

I’m actually happier with the second pair, which are more interesting because I built up some layers a bit better.

I’m afraid I can’t show you the secret project until it is finished because the person it’s for sometimes visits my blog. Sorry to keep you in suspense but hopefully it won’t be for too long because I’d really like to get this project completed before I go into hospital.

Health Update
Tomorrow I have got my pre-assessment appointment at the hospital, in advance of my upcoming operation. It’s at 1.15 p.m. and could take up to two hours. I remember the one I had before my first operation – they were very thorough indeed, and by the time I eventually went in, they had everything set up for my particular needs – an airflow mattress and foot pumps to prevent DVTs etc. I have started making a list of things to mention, including asking for a PICC line from the outset, remembering what awful problems I had this time last year, when every single cannula failed (and I had quite a few!) because all my veins have been shot by the chemo.

I can’t get this operation done soon enough now. Things have gone from bad to worse recently and I am now changing my stoma bag every day (and on a couple of days last week, twice in one day) as the stoma keeps retracting and causing seepage which produces skin damage. I have also had several days when I’ve felt very uncomfortable, with some pain and quite a bit of irritation and discomfort, and I am conscious of it most of the time now, whereas in 2016 when everything was absolutely fine until I developed the hernia, I could forget all about it most of the time.

My hubby has an appointment at the fracture clinic in the morning. We are hoping that they will be pleased with him and possibly even take the plaster off.

Mum’s Memorial Service
Last Thursday was Mum’s memorial service, and it all went very well. My hubby was very naughty with his broken leg and on several occasions I saw him walking on it without the crutches – he was told last time at the fracture clinic that he could put partial pressure on it, but NOT that he could walk on it!!! I really told him off and got shouted at for being “bossy” – I told him that if he jiggered that leg and we had to go back to square one again, he wouldn’t be out of plaster by the time I had my operation and then we’d really be up the creek without a paddle. My surgeon has told me that I am on his “urgent” list and this can’t be delayed much longer.

Anyway, we all contributed our various “bits” for the service and my singing went well – I got some very nice feedback afterwards, and it really meant a lot from two people who are both accomplished singers with a lot of inside knowledge of vocal technique etc. (one is professional). The organist from our church came and accompanied me, and played the hymns during the service, and he and I are planning to do it again in our church at Easter, if I am in a fit state after surgery!

I kept my piece about Mum fairly short and light, and made them all laugh when I recounted all the funny things Mum used to say! When we were growing up, she would often ask, “Are you wearing a vest?” (She was still asking me this when I was 40… lol!) and how she would never want a whole one of anything, so when the four of us went on a picnic, she would buy three Mars bars because she didn’t want a whole one, which of course meant that nobody else got a whole one either! She always used to mix up her metaphors and came out with hilarious malapropisms, for example, “This home-made wine has a lot of sedative at the bottom,” and “these shoes fit like gloves.” Once, she said, “I couldn’t do that, not by a long cheese,” and my favourite was when I was just starting out in adult life and not sure what I wanted to do, and she said, “It’s high time you settled down and got your teeth into something concrete!” Ouch!!!

I made a display on a table at the side, with a lot of her favourite things – some special books, photos, her binoculars for bird watching, a favourite hat… We put the portrait of her in her WW2 Women’s Land Army uniform on an easel, and I found her music college graduation certificate and some favourite music books.

Throughout the service there were musical interludes which I’d put on a CD – favourite Schubert songs, a Chopin Etude played by Alfred Brendel, her favourite pianist, a song by Thomas Arne which she always used to sing at our annual musical weekends, and some madrigals. One of the hymns we chose was the popular harvest festival hymn, “We plough the fields and scatter…” – an inspirational choice by my hubby, to celebrate Mum’s Land Army days, which were such an important part of her life. He also read a lovely poem about Land Girls and the service they provided this country while all the men were away fighting.

Afterwards we all gathered at the back of the church for sandwiches and cake. I was thrilled to see all my cousins there – one had only returned from Australia the day before and was still jet-lagged! People had come from as far away as Yorkshire, the other end of the country, and the little church was full. We all felt that it was a happy and uplifting occasion, and we came away satisfied with a job well done.

My hubby is continuing, in his immobile state, to deal with all the paperwork associated with Mum’s death. Now the service is over, and he’s done most of the work required by the solicitor, and hopefully his leg is on the mend, we may be working towards getting our normal life back! I’ve no idea when my operation will be, or how long it will take for me to recover, but at least we are moving in the right general direction on all fronts now, and we can see some light at the end of what has been a very long tunnel over the past couple of months.

Today, our babies are eight months old! Can you believe it? I can’t. How fast time flies, and how much they have grown in the time we’ve had them.

Early days (9 weeks):

and now:

They are still extremely playful and naughty. The other morning I came down to find this:

Lily had knocked over the kitten food box and pulled the pouches out and managed to open one and eat half the contents!!! She is very bright, and remembered that box was the source of all that deliciousness, and despite not being able to smell anything through the sealed pouch, she showed great determination in opening it! The open box of pouches is now being kept in the cupboard. Hmmm.


  1. I am so glad that the service went well - but after your meticulous planning, of course it would have done; and that your singing spot went well too. I did smile at the tales you shared with us! Gotta love a mum quote! I hope the pre-assessment goes well and the op isn't too long away - it really does sound like it needs to be sooner rather than later. Naughty hubby though, walking on that leg! Take care... Helen #1

  2. Hi Shoshi, I do hope they get your surgery done quickly- the waiting is the worst part, isn't it? I suppose it's not helping with all the flu cases being admitted. The service for your Mum sounds like it was a wonderful celebration of her life. Fingers crossed that the plaster does come off! Love & hugs to you both, Shaz XxX

  3. I like the colours in your backgrounds Shoshi, it's nice to see you crafting again. I'm so pleased that your mum's service went so very well, you did some lovely things to remember her by and her malapropisms made me smile! Fingers crossed you hear about your surgery soon.
    Hugs LLJ 13 xxx

  4. The backgrounds look great, you get a slightly different look when using the Oxides which I like, gentler and softer. I'm looking forward to seeing what you do with them - it all sounds intriguing!
    I hope all goes well for you with your pre-assessment and hopefully you'll get the op done very soon - it sounds like they need to get moving quickly with you, I'm sorry to hear you are feeling worse with your problems.
    Well I did laugh at the food pouch - what a determined little kitty you have there, and clever too. I would love to have seen her having a go at opening the pouch, what a shame you don't have CCTV!
    Good luck to hubby, hope the plaster comes of with no complications,
    Have a good week,
    Diana x

  5. I am probably the only person on earth that hasn't got distress oxide (yet)your backgrounds look all 4 great. I am going to check out that open live writer thing as I sometimes are also very annoyed with the blogger layout, have a lovely week, Vicky#9

  6. Happy Belated WOYWW. So glad the service went well, and great to see that you are back to some crafting. I have only got 2 Distress Oxides 'so far'. They are lovely to work with. Naughty kitty - not sure if I could cope with a young cat again. Our Milky is 10 now and is mainly well behaved. Ali x #28

  7. I really like the look of those background papers and hope we get to see how you use them. Your kitties are nobodies fool. If they are hungry they just help themselves! Hope everything goes well for both of you. Happy belated woyww, Angela x17x

  8. Your expression "up the creek without a paddle" made me smile! I must add that to my vocabulary! My hubby sometimes does silly things as well and gets told off - usually for his own good! Sounds like the service was a wonderful celebration of your mum's life - you've certainly put on quite a show for all those people who attended! I like how you made it so personal and light-hearted. It's been lovely to see your kitties grow and change in the past few months - how clever (and naughty!) of Lily to help herself to some food!

  9. Oh Shoshi, I had to laugh out loud at the kittens antics with the self help! Perhaps they were trying to be helpful as you have so much on your plate. It sounds like such a lovely service for your mum and I can't wait to see how your secret project turns out. Having read your pre op post too it sounds as if they are really thorough and attentive to your needs and wishes. It was a good idea to go with a written list of questions. I'll be keeping everything crossed for a speedy and successful outcome and that you will be far more comfortable after the procedure. Hugs and meows to Lily and Ruby. Sarah #18


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