TOTS 100 - UK Parent Blogs

Monday, 30 January 2012

Poem entitled "Crabby old man."- Anonymous

This is something that was shared on Facebook and i felt the need to take it and share it on my blog. If anyone reading would like to do the same to pass the message on then feel free.

When an old man died in the geriatric ward of a nursing home in...
North Platte , Nebraska , it was believed that he had nothing left of any value

Later, when the nurses were going through his meager possessions, They found this poem . Its quality and content so impressed the staff that copies were made and distributed to every nurse in the hospital

One nurse took her copy to Missouri . The old man's sole bequest to posterity has since appeared in the Christmas edition of the News Magazine of the St. Louis Association for Mental Health.. A slide presentation has also been made based on his simple, but eloquent, poem.

And this little old man, with nothing left to give to the world, is now the author of this 'anonymous' poem winging across the Internet.

Crabby Old Man

What do you see nurses? . . What do you see?
What are you thinking . . . . . when you're looking at me?
A crabby old man, . ... .. not very wise,
Uncertain of habit .. . .. . . . . . with faraway eyes?

Who dribbles his food . . .. . . . . and makes no reply .
When you say in a loud voice .. . . . .. 'I do wish you'd try!'
Who seems not to notice . ... . the things that you do .
And forever is losing . . . . .. . . . . . A sock or shoe?

Who, resisting or not . . . . . . .. . . lets you do as you will,
With bathing and feeding The long day to fill?
Is that what you're thinking? Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, nurse . . . . . you're not looking at me .

I'll tell you who I am . As I sit here so still,
As I do at your bidding, . . . . . . as I eat at your will.
I'm a small child of Ten ... . . . . . with a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters . . . ... . . . . . who love one another.

A young boy of Sixteen . . with wings on his feet
Dreaming that soon now . . . .. .. . . a lover he'll meet..
A groom soon at Twenty . my heart gives a leap.
Remembering, the vows . . . . .. . that I promised to keep.

At Twenty-Five, now . . . . . . . . I have young of my own.
Who need me to guide . . . . And a secure happy home.
A man of Thirty . . . . .. . . . .. My young now grown fast,
Bound to each other . . . . . . . With ties that should last.

At Forty, my young sons .. . have grown and are gone,
But my woman's beside me . . . . . . . to see I don't mourn.
At Fifty, once more, babies play 'round my knee,
Again, we know children . . . . . . . My loved one and me.

Dark days are upon me . . my wife is now dead.
I look at the future ... . .. . . . . . . shudder with dread..
For my young are all rearing . . . . . .. young of their own.
And I think of the years . . .. and the love that I've known.

I'm now an old man . . . . . .. .. . . and nature is cruel.
Tis jest to make old age . . . . look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles .. . . . . . . grace and vigor, depart..
There is now a stone . . . .. . . . where I once had a heart.

But inside this old carcass . . a young guy still dwells,
And now and again . . . .. . . . my battered heart swells.
I remember the joys . . . . . . . . .. I remember the pain.
And I'm loving and living . . . . . .. . . . . life over again.

I think of the years, all too few . . . . . gone too fast.
And accept the stark fact . . . . . .. that nothing can last.
So open your eyes, people . . . . . . . . open and see.
Not a crabby old man. Look closer . . . see ME!!

Remember this poem when you next meet an older person who you might brush aside without looking at the young soul within . . . . we will all, one day, be there, too!

The best and most beautiful things of this world can't be seen or touched. They must be felt by the heart.

Saturday, 28 January 2012

What a beautiful day

Friday was a lovely day. I went into town with mum to collect the now fixed overlocker. Luckily it was only a small thing and dind't cost too much. Following that we went and sat outside a cafe and had a Tea and hot chocolate. This was the view we had.

It was so nice the sun was warm, the breeze not too bad and we could see the sea. We chatted and watched the world go by.
From there we went and collected my car from the garage. Collected the youngest from school and went home to prepare for the school fund raising quiz. What an interesting night that was. Good fun, but boy some embarrasing parents there. 3 of the governors got drunk, were shouting and swearing and then when we left they were shouting and singing outside in the street. What a way to behave! And how does that make the school look when important people to the school can't behave in a decent manner. I bet they would be the first to complain if drunk loud people woke their children up by shouting in the street late at night. Anyway, i will be letting the head mistress know what i think when i get chance to talk to her.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

The Sutleress

I thought it was probably about time i explained the title i have given myself. Lots of people ask me what is a Sutleress, well there isn't a definitive answer in a dictionary.
In the 16th century she would have been the camp cook and wife/woman of the kitchen overseer in the Landsknecht army. These were Germany mercenaries, very flamboyantly dressed. They would have had slashes over their clothing and big feathers in their hats.
In the 18th and 19th century the sutleress would have supplied the soldiers with liqueur for a few coins, she may have been involved with the food side of things.

A few years ago in our re-enactment group i got involved with our camp cooking and i ended up doing all the organising and planning of the meals. Over a weekend we feed the groups members eating with us breakfast lunch and dinner for both days. Someone gave me the nickname of Sutleress and it has stuck. Considering i had called myself History Fan for my actual blog it made sense to also use my historical name for everything else.

 This was a cold spread banquet i organised at one of our individual events.

This was a show where we cooked with 5 fires and did 5 different flavoured ravioli. All authentic recipes.

So that folks is a little insight into my interest in history. Although its not just the food. As i have said previously i make costume too, and love finding out about the daily lives. Just as well i love reading!

Monday, 23 January 2012

My Lovely afternoon

Monday has come round all to quick again. But i had the most lovely afternoon yesterday. While the children went out to play i sat and did some of my latest costume. This was followed by a nice swim to loosen up the muscles. I haven't been in such a long time, and although the water was cold and i only stayed in for about 20 minutes, i managed to do 4 lengths. Now before you all say brilliant. The pool belongs to a local special needs residential school and is not as large as a public pool, but for me 4 lengths is an achievement considering my mobility and fitness status.
The best part of the afternoon however was something so simple- The walk back from the pool to my mums. Although only a few minutes, passing through the school grounds there are many trees and we left around 5, it was getting dark and the birds were settling down for the night.

We could hear various different species all saying goodnight to each other and all vying to have the last chirrup. It is always such a beautiful sound, and because the trees were between us and the road we didn't hear the cars. The wind had dropped and it was peaceful.

If only life could be that calm and quiet all the time. But then if it was i guess we wouldn't appreciate times such as yesterday. And believe me i certainly do.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Check out Tesco Competion for trip to New York

a luxury 3-night trip to New York. There's 5 runners-up prizes to see Ghost the Musical in London too!

I've entered.

Kids Bedrooms

I decided this week that i'd had enough of the dumping grounds that are my childrens bedrooms, so today was D-Day and the big clearout. I've been making them do it with me and i've given them each an hour of my time helping and getting them along the right track. I'm now taking a break and writing this.
I've noticed a significant difference in the sexes. My son is 12 and he won't throw anything out except for clothes that are too small- and even some of those he wants to keep. My daughter is 9 and is throwing out lots of toys, but keeping all sorts scraps of paper with strange scribbles on. Why do girls feel the need to keep pieces of paper? My friend has said her daughter is the same, but her son keeps all his toys.

Luckily they have been brought up to understand that some children don't have toys or clothes and its good of us to give our non played with and too small things to them.

Getting them to understand to keep thing tidy in their rooms is another thing altogether. Now they have been threatened with "The black bag" if i find anything on the floor or out of place. Don't get me wrong, the people who know me will agree i'm not a tidy freak, but its got to the point that when the cleaner or myself can't get in the room to hoover and change the bed! That is too much, and i feel that it is long past the stage where they should be sorting their rooms and looking after their belongings. They know that i can't do much in the way of cleaning because it hurts me too much, so at least helping keeping 2 rooms in the house tidty is good.
I have also explained to them that they then don't have to be downstairs when their friends come round, and i don't get relegated to my bedroom for some quiet from the boy/girl talk.

We'll see how long it takes to get sorted and more importantly how long it lasts.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

School astronomy meeting

We went to my sons Astronomy evening and had fun making a constellation, looking at moon dust under the microscope and testing the effects of size and weight on the type of crater they make. This was followed by a talk from the local Astronomical society. For those of you into stars its Stargazing live this week and this was connected to that. At the end the speaker asked for Questions. My 9 yr old daughters hand shot up "How many stars are there in the universe?" They couldn't answer that one. A couple of other people asked questions, then my daughter had another one "Do stars have a core like the earth?" Where does she get these questions??? Then my son pipes up "Is there and equivalent to Polaris the North star in the south?" That earned him a few credits.
Now not only do i have a budding scientist in him, and his interest in stars has expanded greatly, i have a budding Astronomist in my daughter. I think i need to win the lottery- University is going to be very expensive if these 2 get their chance.
Its amazing they are able to do such things and that there are people that are willing to give their time for nothing to develop their interest. My son now wants to join the East Sussex Astronomy Society, and luckily they meet up monthly only 5 mins away from our house. Good luck to both of them, i'm immensely  proud of them both
My latest aquisition purchased for my Victorian collection from Morgaine-le-fey antiques.

I love it, once ihave made the costume and collected a few more artefacts i will be able to go to my daughters school and help on their Victorian project. We will be taking a trip to Preston Manor in Brighton and the chikdren will will find out what it was like upstairs and downstairs in a Victorian household. I'm really excited about this as it involves a great interest of mine- History.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Lovely day today

As a rule Mondays are normally not particularly nice, but in this case it was. Cleaner came as normal and we managed to get lots done together, the house looked not bad til the kids came home. Now it looks like we never touched it.
Anyway i digress. I then spent a lovely few hours with a very dear friend. She was my Volunteer carer for a couple of years until she went to do her MA at uni. Now we see her every so often and believe me its never enough. She's recently been very ill and being 9 hours drive away there was no way i could get to see her. All i could do is send Healing and text her regularly trying to cheer her up. But today i finally saw her and we had a long chance to catch up. I heard of all the nightmares that the hospital she was in caused, she heard about my mishaps, we had lunch together, and generally chatted. Then all to soon it was over and she had to go. As i hugged her goodbye i felt very emotional, it will be at least another month before we see her, and although that isn't very long in real terms,we are used to seeing her once a week for 4 hours and i miss her dreadfully. She has become part of the family. I have all of this thanks to the Young Carers in East Sussex.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Tesco Competition

Win a two-night spa break in a Suite at The Brooklands Hotel - Tesco Magazine I've entered! Fingers crossed.
It sunday afternoon and i'm sat wtching tv after having a good hour sorting and clearing paperwork. This weedekdn has me my time without the children. I've had the day with my mum yesterday. We went to Reiki share and theni the evening my friend came round and we talked shop, watched dvd, talked crafts and then more history. Finally went to bed at 4.30am. A fun night was had.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

TOTS 100 - UK Parent Blogs
Right i've been igven this code to put into this blog address and then told to press activate button on tots100 site but am blowed if i can figue out where this code should go.  so maybe som-one will see this post take pitty on my and take me out of my misery PPlease???

Friday, 13 January 2012

A Kenyan adventure

As noticed on Tots100 (through a friend) they are offering the chance to win a holiday with Al Fresco Holidays if you write a blog about a memorable holiday. I have been very lucky that as a child i had lots of holidays with my grandparents- one of the benefits of living in Belgium while they were here in UK. but i have chosen Kenya in 1997 as my memorable one.

I had always wanted to go there and do a safari. So since i was married that year it seemed like the perfect honeymoon, it was very expensive and at a mere 21 took us 18 months to save up for. But eventually we made it and were off. The travel was horrible since we had a stop of 6 hours in what was basically a tin shed with no bottled water of packet food. But i was excited as we were at least on Kenyan soil. The first part of our trip was disappointing, i knew the area would be poor, but i was naive and didn't realise how poor. And to my embarrassment i was sick. The day after we got there and were heading out to the safari i came down with a migraine. My loving new husband very nicely said he wasn't asking the driver to stop in the rough part of town and to open the window of the bus and stick my head out. Some of you may laugh- this is exactly what i had to do. I missed a poor Kenyan man by inches as we drove past him. (to this day not many know this so you are very lucky). We arrived at Tsavo National park a few hours later and got our first look at where we would be staying. The lodge was fabulous, made from wood and other natural substances, it had a thatched roof and huge open veranda that looked down the cliff to the park. At the edge of the gardens was a patio area with thatched open sided shelters and some telescopes you pay for 5 mins viewing. The view was breath taking.
We had all sorts of visitors to that patio from spiders, lizards right up to the monkeys who would beg for food. they would even sit on the telescope and copy us by trying to look through them.
we were on safari for 3 days, we saw female lions, one was no more than 5 feet away, she was young so we were told. We laughed at Giraffes bending their long necks down to drink at the water hole- they almost had to do the splits. I took a wonderful photo of a mother and baby elephant coming over a slit incline in the terrain. We chose later to have this enlarged and put on the wall.
My favourite part and in a way most shocking part was seeing the elephants climbing the cliff face in the evening to get to the lodge. I never realised or thought that they would be able to do that. Initially the noise of them crashing through the trees was scary- it sounded like people attacking (and we were out there at a time of unrest), but once explained to us we had a good look and through the darkness there they were, determined to try and reach the top. The staff had to chase them away for our and the animals safety.
Seeing a black panther climb a tree for food has to come a very close 2nd to climbing elephant. The panthers come out at night to eat, and sitting on the balcony of the 3rd lodge we had a perfect view of one. I was in awe. They have been one my favourite animals since, and one i frequently see in dreams.

Once the safari was over we went back to a hotel where they had upgraded us to a nicer room, we had a bottle of champagne and a fruit basket as a gift and spent the rest of our time lazing around the pool. We had the chance to eat buffallo- this was very succulant and tasty. I gave the crocodile a miss- more because i was too lazy to walk to the other side of the hotel and go to the BBQ there. I also had my 1st taste of indian there compliments to the honeymoon couple. As a rule i can't eat chillie or curry- it makes me very ill. But for me they made whatever i wanted and left those spices out, what they didn't tell me is they compensated for that with extra pepper. My poor mouth!

Having heard all about our holiday my son now wnats me to take him there to see the animals in the wild. He believes as me that they look happier- their expressions are different to those we see in Zoo's. I know many will disagree, but i firmly believe animals such as the ones i saw should be protected in their natural habitat. One day i will take my son and daughter to Kenya, and i will show them all the things i fell in love with there. I can honestly say that although my marriage failed, this was one of my best holidays so far. I only wish i had some pictures on my laptop to share with you all. But alas that was the daysbefore digital and i haven't had the chance to scan and save all my proper pictures to disk yet. One day i will, and i will share some pictures then.

And if telling you all about it gives me a chance at winning a holiday, then it was a pleasure to share and remember. If you also want this chance then please go to Al Fresco Holidays Wish me luck.


What a lovely day today, the sun was shining but the wind wasn't so nice- its left me with a headache. However i spent a lovely day with my mum. We had an early lunch in a cafe, then went onto look at some craft things. I managed to get a skirt in a charity shop that will be recycled into a bag, and various knitting wools that will be made into scarves. The nasty overlocker has gone to the sewing machine dr who will call next week and give his verdict. So everyone keep fingers crossed that its simple and and cheap to repair. I do love that machine, depsite it being infuriatingly difficult to thread.
Son came home with his friend again today who stayed for dinner. I sometimes think he'll be moving in soon! They did some homework and then played on the wii. After taking him home we went to get a birthday present for son's friend on sunday, only to end up helping move some bits from a garage locally to another. that was a change to the plan, but then that is the story of my life. And as my mum so eloquently put this morning- "We don't have plans, we have ideas." Its less structured and still fun.

This evening I signed up to , and asked if i could contribute a days comment to the story. The project was the idea of  @Dave_Kirkwood on twitter, to ask members on twitter to sign up to a day in the year and to contribute the length of a tweet to the story. The webstie has a section where you can see the story so far and also to check what days are still available. It is in aid of teenage cancer, and the story is raising money for them daily. I think this is a fantastic thing to do and am hoping i get chosen to contribute. Please keep fingers crossed.

Now it is time to catch up on what all my lovely friends are doing/have done today x
I love this site for costume material ideas

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Last years garden produce

Just found some pics of my Potato's from last summer. I'm hoping that this year i will get just as good a batch. The Christmas ones didn't do anything- just as well i wasn't relying on them for Christmas dinner :-)  Once weighed out this batch was more than 7 kilo's! And they were so nice. So this year i'm also doing onions, cabbages, carrots (not successful last year), beetroot (i got one huge one last year), pumpkin and melons (they all dropped off in the dry weather) and a few other salad bits. Photo's to follow as they all start to grow. That is obviously once they get planted!!!


After checking out lots of other blogs i am in awe at some of them, i'm still trying to work out how to add pictures and get other sections to this one. I have to admit i am not very technically minded. I guess i will learn eventually.
Today i have finally got into the garden and planted my onion bulbs. So late? Some may say... yes because is so nice in november and then dec was spent sorting my sons birthday and me being ill for the most part, and then of course all stops for chirstmas. So they are finally in and marked out. It took me almost an hour and i didn't get that many in. I tried to sort my strawberry's out- You see i moved last summer so they spent the year in pots, now i want them in a sunny patch in the border, but after the onion it was too much for me. I had jelly legs and my back was awful. Rest time it was, i spent that looking at blogs to get an idea of how others have layed theirs out. That leads me full circle to the start of this.
I am now awaiting the children and wondering how their day has been. Also what shall we do for dinner, and i really should have got more done today.
I never got the overlocker sorted and will have to persever with my stuff on the normal sewing machine, not ideal, but needs must. The nets have been waiting since July.
You might be thinking what has the photo got to do wiht the blog. Well nothing really i just felt like adding a summer picture to this dreary day. This is The beach not far form my house. I can actually see the sea while sitting up in bed with a cuppa. Its a wonderful view.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

I already had Facebook, 2 e-mails and MSN. Now i have Google+, Twitter and this Blog site. Add that to the fact that you can get everything you need on the internet and delivered to the door- I never need leave the house again! In fact i could spend all day just Social Networking. What a thought...

Anyway on with my story. In addition to my interests i have two wonderful children, who naturally make me laugh and cry. I find it very hard work at times as i'm a single mum and have disabilities. So i don't get out that much and when i do its not always easy. I'll get the boring bits done with. I have had migraines since i was 14, over 20 yrs now, so severe i would get one as soon as another finished if i wasn't on preventer tablets. Now they reduce the amount but not the severity of them.  I also have a condition called Fibromyalgia. Its becoming more understood and well known, but for those of you who don't know what it is- "Fibromyalgia, which has also been referred to as fibromyalgia syndrome, fibromyositis and fibrositis, is characterized by chronic widespread pain, multiple tender points, abnormal pain processing, sleep disturbances, fatigue and often psychological distress. For those with severe symptoms, fibromyalgia can be extremely debilitating and interfere with basic daily activities" Taken from the National fibromyalgia association website. As with many people suffering constant debilitating pain i also have depression. I've lived with this recognised since i was 21, and with careful management of my pills it is pretty level at the moment. Basically i'm a walking disaster,, but i don't give into it. I do what i can and push myself sometimes over my limits.
Throughout my blogs i'm bound to moan on about these problems but if there is anyone out there who suffers the same i'm happy to chat sometime. And with that i'm going to bed! Night

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Hi all. Been trying to think of where to start this and have no idea. A friend advised me to write about what i like so here goes.
I have a big interest in History, particularly the Social History side of things, and am currently branching out from Medieval and Tudor to Victorian. I have just started experimenting with making a crochet Victorian Purse.
My interest in history started when i was introduced to re-enactment at the age of 14 (many years ago), I love showing how people have lived. My main interest is Medieval and Tudor, but i have also taken part in Celtic, I'm getting the kit together to do Napoleonic. And this has led onto the Victorian era as well.

I love reading- just as well for the history. I have such an eclectic taste in music that i have too many to put on my profile, my favourites tending towards the soft rock and folk styles.

I have recently discovered crafts such as knitting again, and have started weaving and traditional forms of crafts. As i make new things i shall be posting pictures and would love any feed back from other enthusiasts.

Well i think thats it for my introduction, i shall leave it there ready for another day.