Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Summer Holidays

We've finished school for the summer today although I succumbed to a bad stomach so I missed the last day of school. I was sad because two friends were leaving - Andrea is moving to Bristol having been a teacher in our school for the last two years. I stitched a sampler of all the people in our department and also those she helps in other activities like the Duke of Edinburgh award, and then we decorated a box with some shells on the lid from the earlier fieldwork trip to Littlehampton, Andrea was delighted with her gifts.
My other friend who was leaving today was Meriem, she has only been with us a short time but has made many friends, so we got together and bought her a vase which she loved.
Today (Thursday) Em and I are feeling much better so we are off to visit my parents for a few days with plans to go to the beach etc. We are still waiting for results from the hospital! but have discovered that Em can't eat any dairy products at the moment either. Happy Holidays back soon Jane x

Sunday, 13 July 2008

Gardening and Knitting

Today as the weather started so warm and sunny I decided to do some gardening whilst Tony hoovered and washed his car. Em hopped in and out between us chattering all the while, I cut back the climbing Hydrangea as it was headed for the roof! Trimming it to 8ft tall. Today was a good time to prune as it has just finished flowering so it now has the chance to set some flowerbuds for next year. My next victim was the climbing rose that is just showing in the upper left corner of the photo, It was planted by my father-in-law Peter when he and MiL moved here in 1985. It was a cutting from a plant in the garden of their previous house, I think it may be called Excelsior. There was a lot of old wood which needed removing and some new shoots needed tying in. This afternoon with Tony's assistance I attacked the Pyracantha as it had become too large and unruly. After a bumper year of berries last winter it hadn't flowered at all this year so I'm hoping the prune will also help it to think about flowering next year.
Last weekend whilst visiting my parents my mother gave me a doll of mine which she had found, her name is Matilda and the jacket and bonnet she is wearing was my very first knitted garment. I learnt to knit in primary school, we started on a scarf each and gradually learnt different stitches along its length made in grey wool. When I finished my teacher decided I should knit a jacket for my doll, this was a big jump as I had to learn to do moss stitch and understand garment shaping. I had a lot of assistance from my Gran but I managed it and I knitted a bonnet too, it still looks ok and it's approximately 34 years old. Jane x

Sunday, 6 July 2008

Em's smiling again

Tony and I are happy to say that at last Em has her bounce back, it returned today almost un-noticed at first and then with a giggle and finally a full smile and laughter. Hoorah for being gluten-free!

We have had our dark moments this past week, Em had a violent reaction to the biopsy the following afternoon which lasted all week and meant she missed more school. But I think the biggest problem I have had is me! My friends at school have been very understanding and supportive through all of Em's illness and this week more than ever.
Until last week I have been positive (I usually am) I was looking forward to the biopsy as the goal to reach so that afterwards Em would be gluten-free and she would recover gradually, be able to return to school and see her friends. Em has missed them a lot over the last few weeks, they have rung and chatted and were delighted to see her on the odd days at school.
Em is easy to cook for as there isn't much she dislikes, but my problem was shopping for food (I dislike supermarket shopping) we haven't had the final results yet so we are still on our own. I spent lots of time researching Coeliac/Celiac on the web which helped, but when I went to the supermarket each trip took nearly three hours instead of one because I had to read each packet, tin and box I picked up. Each visit left me feeling tearful and upset - why? because all the things Em used to love she now can't eat e.g. croissants, biscuits, cakes, brown sauce, etc and yet I wanted to find her new things to try, food she would in time enjoy. (I also kept coming home with only half the shopping done)
So on my third trip to the supermarket I decided to try a different approach. I put a hand basket on the front of my trolley with the goal of filling it with gluten-free products for Em then I could make sure I had things for her as well as us. It worked wonderfully as I found some G.F soups, bread, cakes, biscuits, gravy mix, brown sauce, pasta and flour. I filled the small basket up to the top and then some of the items had to go into the big trolley. Hoorah!
Life got even better this weekend when we were visiting my parents in Dorset I dropped into Waitrose - Gluten free heaven for Emily. I found croissants, crumpets, honey nut maize flakes, chocolate chip muffin and finally a chocolate cake mix which I made up for tea on Saturday as we were celebrating my Dad's birthday. Everyone loved the cake and we all agreed it tasted as good as home made. We won't know until later this week what Em's results are, but I do now feel more positive that she can enjoy similar food to us (It just costs double, ouch!!!!!! )
But the best thing is Em feeling much better she is laughing and smiling again and her very infectious giggle is back, we had both missed that very much.
In my last post I mentioned the baby blanket I had made, I finally managed to take a photo. It doesn't do the colours justice but I'm sure you get the idea, It has cream, pink, blue, light blue/aqua, green, peach, purple, yellow.
I also treated myself to a new compact camera but in a week it galloped through four sets of batteries, two sets were rechargeable and the other two sets were not and each set only lasted for 10-20 pictures each! so I took it back and asked for a refund. Ho hum - I'll stick with the old Sony 4mp compact for the moment or my Sony DSC-H2 which takes beautiful pictures but just doesn't fit in my pocket.
I hope you have a good week, happy crafting Jane x