Sunday, 23 October 2016

So Much For Sunday

I'm frantically trying to get the lower floor fit to be seen as bear's awesome maths tutor comes to teach him tomorrow at 4:30.  It's a big deal.  Now she has a car she is likely to be coming to us instead of us going to her which will be an excellent reason to keep things sparkling.  Obviously I have to get things sparkling first, but I can aim high.

I forgot to mention that bear had a parent's evening last week.  I took away two things.  The first thing was that bear's teacher is scared of me (and I've actually been very moderate with the school).  I suspect that part of the issue is that I use reasoned arguments and put things in writing.  The second is that bear is not really trying.  I've asked the teacher nicely to push bear.  The teacher seems to think that bear is engaging just fine and he is top of maths.  Unfortunately I suspect that bear could do a lot better but is happily coasting.  I would say that the evening was a moderately to limp awesome.  Bear is doing well but he is not putting in the effort that he should.  To be honest, I don't really blame a teacher that has to look after thirty pupils of varying abilities including at least two pupils that have serious issues.   I'm just trying to keep bear up to the mark.

I also want to say that the teacher is very awesome in general and gives up a massive amount of their free time for the school, and bear will be benefiting from the football club he will be running.  I suspect, however, that bear is getting away with, well, if he isn't getting away with murder he's at least getting away with loitering with intent.

By the way, bear is not just advanced in maths.  This afternoon when I suggested that he put his clothes away I got an eye roll that was up to teenager standards.  I'm not looking forward to the full show!

I found this on Facebook.  Unfortunately it was on the page that I do for father's church so I couldn't really share it on there and I haven't been on either of mine, so I thought I'd share it here.

I want one.

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Saturday slips by

It's been an okay day.  I surpassed myself - I ended up getting a Tesco delivery and then going to a Tesco store straight afterwards.  I'd bought a vacuum online for 'click and collect' as I wasn't sure when I would be in.  I'd ordered it when uncle was in hospital.  He is now safe in the care home.  DH very kindly gave me a lift to the store and I walked in, picked up the vacuum plus one pack of bacon that I had forgotten to put on the delivery and nothing else!  It's the only way.  If I don't focus then I would spend a fortune.  Shopping online can save me serious money.  I can look at the total and then remove anything unnecessary.

On the other hand, I bought the wrong vacuum.  I had a choice of two in the shopping basket and I deleted the wrong one.  As I said, it was when uncle was in hospital.  The very nice man on the helpline said it was okay to return it.  This means that next Saturday we will be once again going to Tesco, probably after having a delivery from Tesco.

The rest of the day I spent hanging out with DH and watching Sleepy Hollow.  It's sort of okay if you don't mind someone making a theological dog's breakfast of the Bible, a plot with more holes than a string vest and the sense that they had found a cheap forest to film in and some smoke machines on clearance.  There were some very good lines, some interesting history and an occasional inaccuracy.

We had cheese soup for dinner tonight and bear checked in the pan to see if there was any leftover (there wasn't).  I need to do more soups.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Stealth Postman

We have a new postman who is not used to my little ways.  If he sticks around then I'm sure he'll get used to it with my eBay habit, but there you go.

The first time I realised that we had a new postman that wasn't used to me was when he pushed an oversized packet through the letterbox with such force that it broke the little draught excluder thingy on the inside of the door.  Then it got stuck so I had to go to the door anyway and he raced off with a furtive expression.

The next incident was a week or so ago.  I was waiting in for a parcel and was downstairs in the dining room, facing up to the awful truth that is the sewing machine.  The layout of our house is unusual in that there is no back door, but there is a top door that goes into the porch which has another shut door before going into the living room with the study off that and a bottom door on the floor below that goes into the kitchen and the dining room is the room off that.  I can't always guarantee to hear the top door being knocked if I am in the study or kitchen, especially if the porch door is shut.  I have no chance of hearing the kitchen door being knocked unless I am in the kitchen without any appliance going.  Knowing this, I left the bottom door open so I could hear anyone trying to deliver and so the postie would see the open door and hopefully know to call down.  I heard some rustling and left the sewing machine (I hadn't even plugged it in at that point) and found the postie writing a 'we tried to deliver' card after gently tapping at the top door.

I know that postmen don't have much time so it's easy (I suppose) to miss a wide open door and some people don't notice as much as others, so I just politely asked him to ring the bell next time, I'm usually in the study, and told him that I hoped the weather held up for the rest of his round.

Yesterday I was in the study when I heard a clunk at the door.  The stealth postman had (apparently) tapped on the kitchen door and was now writing a 'we tried to deliver' card.  I opened the door, took the parcel (socks for bear), smiled nicely and demonstrated the doorbell.  I may have demonstrated the doorbell several times.  He was very hurt as he had remembered to go to the bottom door this time.  I smiled, said I could be at all sorts of places in the house and he could use the doorbell.  The doorbell would wake the dead and I can definitely hear it all over the house, but the postman has to press it first!

I also had a hermes driver grumbling because he couldn't deliver my parcel yesterday as his van was being serviced.  'That's okay,' I said, 'no problem.' 'Because I don't send out the emails,' the driver with extreme grumpiness.  'It's not my fault.' 'Absolutely,' I said, 'Stuff happens.' I just kept nodding, smiling and holding my hands out for the parcel (yarn) while he ranted away that it wasn't fair that I was complaining (I wasn't).

I'm considering buying less online.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Looking Up

It looks like uncle will be going back to the care home soon.  The tummy infection that was sorted, the warfarin settled and he's eaten stuff.  That is a load off my mind as the bus situation has been driving me crazy.  He's still sleeping all the time, which makes me worried, but at least he's happy when he sleeps.

Of course, it is never that simple.  Almost exactly four weeks ago I had an operation to remove a rodent ulcer from my nose and to graft skin over the hole that was left.  Today I start with one of those colds.  I get them now and again.  If DH or bear are out of sorts they get tummy problems.  I get a runny nose, and when I say 'runny nose' I mean, 'a snotfest that gets through a large box of tissues in less than twelve hours'.  I have never blown my nose so carefully in my life!  It's doing okay, though, and I'll wait for the first flush of infection to go and then take anti histimines.

And in other good news, the covers I made for the sofa cushions on the back of the sofa fit.  I haven't got the fastening on, I thought I would just go for it.  When I feel ready, I'll glue on the velcro.  Until then, they're fine.  The fit is baggy, but that's better than too small and it's done.

Overall, I would say that today was pretty good.  Tomorrow I am going to rest my aching bones (feel quite poorly), knit and catch up with tv.  

Monday, 17 October 2016

And That Was That

Today should have been a chance to attend a writer's circle.  I sit uneasily between professional (I have books on Amazon) and amateur (they're self published).  It had taken all my courage to sign up.  I have had some tough experiences.  However I thought it was important to do something for me as I gave up the chance of the sewing course when father became so ill.

I rang the hospital.  They said he was just sleeping and that they couldn't tell me anything unless I came in person.  Due to various constraints, mainly the care of bear, I could only visit at the same time the writer's circle was on.

As I stood at the bus stop I honestly didn't know which stop I would get off at.  If I got off in one place I would get to the writer's circle.  If I got off in another I would visit uncle.  If I visited uncle then it was extremely likely that he would sleep through the visit and not remember I had been there.  Last night I was told he was just sleeping and refusing food and drink.  It didn't sound like much change.  But do I really deserve to indulge what is a 'want' when my relative is in hospital?

It didn't matter.  The bus I needed to get to make the timings of either the circle or my uncle was cancelled.  A lot of the local buses have been cancelled over the last few weeks.  There is a service where you text the number of the bus stop to the area transport authority and it tells you which buses are due.  It brought up the buses for the next few hours and three were cancelled.  It's making life interesting.

I'm going to look into alternate buses.  There is a bus almost direct from the nearest bus stop to the hospital where my uncle is, but if that isn't running then I am going to have to work out different ways of getting there.  It's possible.  It just needs a little planning and I hope that my uncle will be discharged shortly.

Edited to add - the one day that I really want to get into Leeds to attend the lunchtime communion service is Thursday.  I may not be able to take part in communion (gluten issues) but it means a lot to me.  This Thursday the roads that take the buses that I would normally get will be closed.  The following Thursday I am unlikely to be able to make it as it is half term and bear is not keen on church.  I'm beginning to feel a little grumpy at the buses.

Saturday, 15 October 2016

It's On the Label

In my cupboard there is a spray bottle containing some green liquid and labelled 'weedkiller, poison'.  It's sort of true.

I was dipping into Astar's Place YouTube channel and found this.  She mixed white vinegar and lemon juice and used it as weedkiller.  I found this intriguing.  I am nervous around 'proper' weedkillers.

As I was looking at the video, another one came up in the list at the side, and I had a look.  It was a video from Revolutionary Gardens comparing home made weedkillers to Roundup in a scientific way, link here.  It was quite interesting and it showed that actually Roundup probably was the best but white vinegar wasn't too bad.  So I got one of the stash of spray bottles (they were on offer from Approved Food and I bought a load) and filled it with white vinegar mixed with a serious dollop of washing up liquid (dish soap).  On Thursday I went out and had a spray.  It's rained a lot since then, but the weeds are definitely looking battered.  Even the dandelions are looking sorry for themselves, and they are robust.  I had another spray just now as it was looking clear.  It has, of course, started to rain, but I'm hopeful.

I think the vinegar squirting, if it works, will have a lot of advantages.  I am pretty confident that the vinegar will do no permanent harm to the garden, which is a state anyway (washing up liquid has strict rules about how quickly it has to break down).  It is relatively inexpensive, especially if I can get five litres for under £3.  Also, while it smells a little peculiar in the garden, it will keep the local cats away.

I've labelled the bottle 'weedkiller, poison' to make sure it's not squirted around.  A blast in the face would be unpleasant.  Besides, while it isn't the same as cyanide, drinking a glass of vinegar and washing up liquid probably wouldn't be very good for you.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Plans? What Plans?

Thank you so much for all the kind words for bear.  I am so proud of him.

Bear has the most vicious upset tummy today, so I couldn't send him to school.  It was grim.  So my plans for today have been shelved.

Also uncle is in hospital.  It may be something or nothing.  He's had a bug of some type and now his kidneys aren't as well as they should be.  He must be terrified.  He has vascular dementia and can't remember what country he's in at the best of times.  He's going to be so confused.  I'm waiting for DH to get home and hopefully I can visit.

I am sure it will be alright.