Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Mini Kats is done

I have been updating this every so often and here is the finished piece:

I am really pleased with this one and have thoughts of framing it with a simple black frame, but so far I am undecided about whether to use a mount. I guess it will become clearer when I get to it as there are many in line waiting to be properly finished and hung on the wall.
This week has been a bit hectic as there is last minute preparations for Christmas to do but we are all ill. Mum and dad have a bad cold and mine is a nasty virus which left me with joint pains. I did think it might be a reaction to an antibiotic but that's not looking so likely now and I will try that drug if it's needed again under supervision and stop it if any of the symptoms recurr.
The main side effect of us all being ill is we missed our planned visit to take our presents upto my brother and family last weekend. Benjamin is too small to be exposed to anything at the moment so we hope to be as well as possible when we go up. Our next aim is Saturday but it's still up in the air at the moment so fingers crossed we get there.
I had to cancel a drink up with a friend yesterday and hoping that I will be well enough to meet another on Friday. I value this part of christmas and Friday is especially important as for various reasons I have not got to see too much of Jane and her husband this year so really want to get there. They now live further away and are up in Bristol for Christmas and we have a contingency plan if Friday doesn't work out, but they are not here long so the window of opportunity is very narrow.
Inbetween I have also been busy with my course work and due to being so busy I am slightly behind but have a bit of time tommorrow to catch up.
If I don't make it back here before I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Still busy

I can't believe how busy life is at the moment and time is just flying. I know it is usually busy in the run up to Christmas, but what with studying, hospital appointments and having fun time is becoming stretched. But that is part of life and it has taken me along time to start relishing it and embracing all it brings.
The studying is going well and I have just completed the latest assignment but unfortunately doing so puts me behind so I need to catch up a bit before Christmas. They have given us a whole week off and what appears to be another disguised as a reading period. But really that will be a catching up week but I do hope not to get too far behind anyway.
The hospital appointments are just routine clinics and seeing the psychologist. But I did have to have an endoscopy again which I had this week. It showed nothing serious and the results were better than the last and the small problems I have will be fine with some tablets I had previously been given, so that was good news.
The having fun part comes down to several things. I attended a stitcfhing class with Gina-Catsize and it was a Christmas themed one with a lovely Buffet lunch, crackers and some gifts. I don't think it is wrong to say we both had a super day at this one, but whether our table mats which the class was based around will be ready this Christmas is a debatable thing lol.
I have also been to several Christmas places such as garden centers and the Bath Christmas markets. I have to finish getting my gifts this week especially for my brother and his family as we are exchanging gifts next weekend. I have most of their stuff but just need to pick up a few more things to finish it off.
Finally on Thursday I had lighter colours put in my hair and it has taken awhile to get used to them as there were far more than I expected. But I am starting to like it now, especially as it has toned down a bit as at first under flourescent lighting it looked scarily like Barry Manilow. Here is a picture taken on the day. Enjoy:

Friday, November 24, 2006


I am so busy at the moment but thought it was time I attempted to blog again. I tried to write up my weekend away earlier in the week and it wouldn't let me add any photos. It still isn't doing that so here is the write up and I will try and put my photos in an album and then post a link to it.
The weekend started after dialysis on Friday as we left on the train up to London. I catch this train a lot to Swindon so we were able to dash around to the correct platform at Bristol with no problems. We got up to London early Friday evening, had a snack and then lounged around as we were all tired, the weather was foul and we were waiting on a phone call from my brother as my nephew was having emergeny blood tests that day, because he is still jaundiced. They have to go back to get the results but they are pretty sure it is down to a lack of calories when he was first born and it should be ok and they are pretty sure nothing serious was going on.
One of the things I must just write before I talk about Saturday is that an Iraqi looking man joined our table at Reading on the train and he had a holdall with Iraq all over it and also a phone which had rather an inordinate amount of wires coming from it. Now I and my mum can be rather paranoid at the best of times but tried to act cool calm and collected as we speeded towards London. However as she later told me she had been busily looking at all his wires and I had been checking out his shoes and do feel mean for doing this. I guess these people have to put up with this and although it isn't fair I and I am sure many others can't help questioning it if something looks rather iffy.
Anyway onto Saturday: After the most fabulous breakfast we headed off to Selfridges in Oxford Street and it was the most overwhelming shop and we could have spent all morning in there. There was a rumour flying around that Fern Britton was in there but as she is doing a charity ride in India it obviously wasn't her, but dad reckoned he also saw her father the actor Tony round there too, so maybe it was lookalikes doing the rounds. We left Selfridges empty handed and checked out the rest of the street but in the end we didn't buy much, but I got a lush leather handbag and mum bought a Christmas present too.
Then after a brief lunch we called in at Harrods to see how the other half live and were pleasently suprised to see they had a gift shop which had reasonably priced items in it and we all got some gifts in there and then went round the rest of the store. The things we saw were an astronomical price and after lifting some crackers with china masks off the shelf-just for a look I nearly keeled over at the price-they were £499. I am just glad I didn't drop or break anything.
After Harrods we went back to the hotel for a rest before heading off for dinner and a look at the Christmas lights. This was the only slightly sour part of the trip as the hotel opposite don't serve dinner at a weekend!!! and the lights were really not that good. The traffic was also abisimal and after a Macdonalds as there was literally nowhere decent to eat unless you wanted to pay an exhorbitant amount we got the tube back and picked up a taxi for the last leg. As we were approaching the hotel a commotion seemed to be going on in the street next door, with police guarding the road and a group outside one of the buildings. The taxi driver told us it was where Michael Jackson was staying and we hadn't long been in the room when screams and alot of noise was heard. On rushing to the window a stream of black cars and vans pulled out with lots of flash photography and screaming people chasing them. They went in the other direction so I didn't get a proper look but I think the taxi driver was probably correct-or at least someone obviously very well known was there. We then vegged in front of the tv and had an early night to prepare for getting up the following day.
After another breakfast which was gorgeous we went to the London eye and for us all this is the highlight of our trip. As I said yesterday the picture taken of me was on the way up and also included all the wheels' mechanism but there were excellent views from all sides. Then it was time to grab a bite to eat and head back to get our train home.
I have to say that although not going to Lanzarote was a huge disappointment it was well worth it to experience this weekend. The London eye was a particular highlight and if we go again we are going to try it at night next time.
I have alot on in the next few weeks leading upto Christmas so this year the festive season will hopefully give me a chance to recharge my batteries. I have an assignment due in the week before Christmas and then we do get some time off from the course. I got my first assignment back today and it wasn't exactly what I wanted but it was a good pass so I am trying not to dwell on it too much.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Haloween finishes

I have finished two Just Nan Halloween Whimzi's the past couple of days. The first one is this years limited edition called Horriefied. I love the little frames these come with and it makes finishing it professionally a doddle:

The next is the freebie chart from last year which is called Poor Jack:

I have ordered the frame but something in the order is out of stock so I am still waiting. Oh and before those who know I am on the wagon shout this was all legitimate spending. It was an order from mum for my birthday and I added some finishing items for my stash projects in there-there was a sale on so technically I actually saved money lol.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

What a day!!

What a wonderful day this has turned out to be. I nipped into town early to buy cards and gifts for the new arrival to our family and then we all made the trip to Birmingham to see them all.
For those who don't know I became an auntie for the first time on Tuesday and I am utterly smitten with my new nephew Benjamin James. After all the problems throughout this pregnancy it is just wonderful that he has made it safe into the world and is completely healthy and content.

Then waiting on the mat when we arrived home was my university certificate which finally means I could use letters after my name if I wished. I think it is a bit pretentious so probably won't do this, but it is nice to get confirmation that despite the adversity of the last year I did achieve something major.

All in all an absolutely fantastic if busy day.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Knitting finish

After a big disaster I have finished knitting a hat for my friends daughter. The stripey one I had previously knitted was also for her and the tension seemed ok. However this time it came out so big I could almost have worn it myself. So after dropping down a size in age and needles this is the finished product:

I am really pleased with how this one turned out and the colours work really well together. I haven't so far got any more knitting projects lined up and I am busy trying to get my stash down to a more acceptable level. The problem with this is that most of my stitching consists of big projects so it is going to take awhile. For the moment I am also stitching small stuff inbetween to try and get some stash down.
There is no other real news at the moment. I am just going along as usual doing my course and all my hobbies and am enjoying it all.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

A finish

This is the piece we did as a class project with Zoe at the recent GTG. It isn't perfect by any means but for a first attempt it isn't bad:

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Mini Kats update

Another row done and the end is in sight. Which means we are also getting towards the end of another year which is slightly scary as time just goes too fast now. Anyway here they are:

I have also pre-ordered the last two and have to say that I am not at all sure about October's as it is slightly strange. It isn't at all what I would have envisioned but I will do it as I think it fits with the main theme of the piece and will probably fit in overall.
Otherwise life carries on but it's not so good at the moment as the virus is still with me which is making me feel pretty rough. Dialysis is also not as easy as it could be with alot of blood pressure drops and general stuff going on. They can make me feel rough as well, so that and the virus together can mean I feel pretty grotty at times. But I can stitch and knit a little now so am able to do some stuff to keep me out of mischief. It is also a good job I got ahead with my OU stuff so I wouldn't be rushed when I came back from Lanzarote as at least I don't have to worry about that whilst I recover.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Had to share this

I got this through the post today and it really cheered me up. It is innovative advertising at it's best:

Seeing as at this moment I should be sat on a plane heading for Lanzarote I am a bit down in the dumps. I also feel pretty rough as it is a bad virus that has stopped me going. Although it has been touch and go for the last couple of weeks with every conceivable problem hitting the family. We have decided this wasn't meant to be at this time and will look at a weekend away later in the year. C'est la vie. :-S

Friday, September 15, 2006

Two finishes

I managed to finish Angel of the morning yesterday:

And today I finished knitting my first pair of socks:

These were knitted in Regia Canadian colours Montreal which was a gift in the last exchange from Danni and they are beautiful. They are going to mum as they are slightly big for me, so have worked out what to reduce and where next time I knit a pair of socks.
Things are ok here but it is a bit mad and as yet no firm arrangements have been made regards my uncle's funeral except that it will be in this country. We are not making any firm plans about whether to go away or not either at the moment because a couple of other things are being thrown into the mix too. Taffy is still not well although after being bought some proper gourmet food he is eating better today, but the question of what to do with regards putting him into a cattery remains. Also my expectant nephew could well make a very early appearance, possibly the end of the month and as they are giving steroids to mature the lungs it is definitely quite likly. This of course would also fall around the time of the holiday so it does look like a conspiracy is afoot to stop it lol. All we need now is for me to get a call for a transplant and we will have everything thrown into the mix. Although this is unlikely it would make for a very busy time with everyone needing to spread themselves thinly. I hope it doesn't actually happen until some of this is all sorted as we all have enough on our plates without another thing on top.
I am rather disappointed today as I looked up the trains to Birmingham for the knitting and stitching show and for some reason I can't fathom it means a bus has to be taken for a good portion of it. Reluctantly I have had to pull out from going as it would take a very long time and I think it would be too much for me, plus the connections can't be guaranteed either. It is a shame as it is a new show for them and I was looking forward to seeing what it was like. I have been to the London equivalent before and it is usually very good and although I had decided not to go to that one maybe I will think again but it really depends on how my course and other things are going.
Anyway for those who do go I hope you have a super time and sorry good old British rail has deprived you of my sparkling company this time. But I will make another and for my bank managers sake maybe it isn't a bad thing.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Sad news

We have today heard that my uncle has passed away whilst on holiday in Canada. It is a bit of a shock to say the least as although he hasn't been completely well, it never seemed that serious. There has been a bit of difficulty getting news today because they initially didn't have our details to hand, but some very kind friends and family got word to us it was serious and then we chased it up from there. What happens now is a bit of a wait and see game as we don't know what the law is out there and where everyone will return to. They lived in Spain but all family is here including my cousin who has flown out this week. Also because it maybe prolonged sorting it all out we may have to cancel our holiday. Mum doesn't want to do that necessarily but we can go again whereas with this sort of thing if she misses something important she could regret it.
In other news, today has been weird with this going on as me and mum were at my psychologist appointment and returned home to the news. Then whilst waiting to hear how things were in Canada the transplant co-ordinator phoned to say I am being put on the list today which with all this has taken a back seat and I have hardly thought of it.
Taffy is also going around like a pirate at the moment as he has one eye closed due to something or other and is off to the vet tomorrow. He turned very skittish on Saturday and was frightened of everything even us doing everyday things around him and has eaten very little since. So dad made an appointment for the vets in the mean time, but when he came in today he had a mucky eye which appeared to be on his nose too and he can't open it properly. He also appears to have some fluid from his nose too today and although I am hoping it is only a simple infection I am concerned it could possibly be something more.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

An up and down time

It has been fairly busy here the last couple of weeks and alot of it hasn't been too good. I seem to have crashed down badly in my moods again and although I try to remain positive it isn't always that easy.
Last week I found out a lady I used to dialyse with had passed away. She had a multitude of problems so it wasn't a total suprise. But it brings it home and this is extra sad as she was a single mum with a young son who now hopefully will be looked after how she would want.
Then this week I found I wasn't actually on the transplant list. I hadn't heard from the co-ordinators so decided to get it looked into and they had handed my details to one who was on holiday. She is adamant we must meet before she pushes the magic activation button and is hoping she can visit me at dialysis tomorrow. However it isn't certain this will happen and alot of stuff was said that didn't make sense. In the end I rang my consultant to complain and he rang me back and said he will look into it. Unfortunately given my history and the nature of the situation everyone has to be happy and know where they stand so it is perfectly reasonable to stick with what the co-ordinators want for the moment. It is just so frustrating and seems never ending but I suppose we will get there eventually.
I did however today get my first lot of course materials for the next one and I bought a lap top. I hadn't originally intended to get one today as such. But there have been several good buys in Comet's and whilst in town I asked mum if we could stop off. I am now the proud owner of an Acer Aspire with very good specifications with a whopping reduction well withing my price range. My computer expert of a brother even thinks it is a bargain so it I am more than happy. I have checked it works and set it all up but for the moment it is away until I buy my desk next week. I must admit the course materials look very intresting and I can't wait to get stuck into this one. I will be starting a bit early as the course officially starts as I go on holiday at the end of the month so I don't want to drop behind.
Finally I am booked every weekend this month with various stitchy things and as summer finally comes to an end I can satisfy myself that it has been action packed and I did loads. Then the hard work starts.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

An eventful few days

What a busy few days it has been and involving a real roller coaster of emotions. Last weekend I enjoyed a GTG with some stitchers from a board I frequent and I can honestly say I haven't laughed so much in a very long time.
Some of us met for a meal the night before where amongst other things we were taught how to brew tea properly. They turned up with the teapot but weirdly also a timer set up ready to go off when the tea was brewed. It wasn't a mega posh place either and I have never known anything like it. Most people peer in the pot and stir but it was an experience that I won't forget in a hurry.
Tuesday I went to see my consultant and agreed to go on the transplant waiting list. I am not as estatic about it as I might have thought as I am still not sure I can actually go ahead if the time came. I am hoping the psychologist will help with this and sometimes I think what the hell I will do it and other days I get panic attacks about it all. My consultant has said because of many factors it probably won't be for a good while-although you can never tell on these things and is happy for me to decide at the time. Whether I accept the organ will depend on several things and it will be the match, my psychological feelings about it among other things. One thing that came to light was that the reason I was refused should never have been a complete bar without further investigations, which is why they have been working so hard to try and sort it all out. I was originally told that my vessels were full of calcium and I would haemorrage as soon as they clamped them to stop the blood flow to graft the kidney on. A scan proved that they were not like that but this surgeon still won't have anything to do with me and it has been noted by a new one that he is usually the one to say yes where others say no. I really don't know what has happened or why, but he will not be considered to do the operation now and my consultant has clearly put it on the computer that he won't do it, not that I refused to have him which is great. Apparently alot of patients can have this calcium build up and I still could have but the scan proved it was not enough to cause a problem. I got rather freaked when I found out I could have it anyway and wondered why we had gone through all this, but this is when my consultant said that they can still do it because they can tell at the time if it is safe to go ahead. If not then they don't do it, but it is unusual that this is the case as there is often some way around it. This floored me somewhat as that definitely means that I should always have been considered for the list and had more tests to make sure not to forget that by shutting the door on me the vessels could have got worse anyway. I am so very cross about all this and just glad this surgeon won't be the one doing it as I would either thump him or run out the door.
The major risk for me now is the success of the thing because it could be difficult to get in and attach as a previous transplant was there so they have scar tissue to contend with. Also being a patient who never does things by halves my blood pressure could stop the kidney working as it would mean reduced blood flow to it and especially so if the kidney works well and I get dehydrated. So my consultant has said I will need to go to ICU after so that I can have some very good drugs that will help my blood pressure stabilise in the first crucial period after the operation. This scares me a bit but apparently it isn't a big deal and if all goes as they hope I would be awake and aware of what was going on just in a place that can give me the drugs easier.
It is early days and at the moment I just feel relief that chapter has closed and all the uncertaintly gone, and am trying not to pressurise myself on deciding what I would do at the time. After all it may never happen but at least now if it does I have all the information at hand to make an informed decision.
Today I am chilling out and stitching and later off to the retail park to look at laptops. I am considering getting one to do my course and as I get a fair bit of financial help it is feasible. I found that last time using the desktop in the hall made it difficult to concentrate at times and me and mum both wanted to use it so one or other of us had to come off it. I am reckoning that a fairly cheap one just for course stuff shouldn't be too hard to find, because I would still do all my leisure surfing on this one, so I don't need to spend loads on this as it is only for one thing. I also need to find a smallish desk for my room as I did all my work on the floor before and that really isn't ideal long term which this committment will be.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Finished White Satin

Today I finished the clss piece that me and Gina took at Judy Dixons. I am really pleased with how it has come out as although I have stitched similar before this is my first go at such an intensive piece:

Saturday, August 12, 2006

A finish

Just as Big Brother is drawing to a close I finish the first piece that I have been stitching whilst watching it. It is by Margaret Sherry and is called Home is...

I stitched it on Silkweavers desert sky lugana and left off the whiskers as they didn't show up.
I also started my first pair of socks with the Regia wool I received in the exchange and so far so good, but I have yet to turn the heal lol.
Rotation wise I am still mulling it over and even though I have started another round I may still change it again, but am so far not sure how, so am carrying on as usualy until I stop procrastinating.
Other than that I have been a bit under the weather with a cold and tummy thing so had to cancel the OU celebrations of last night. I do feel better today which is good as we are off to my brothers tomorrow for the day and I wouldn't want to pass anything on.
Thats it for now, off to grab lunch and to stitch the afternoon away.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Rotation news

I have decided to leave my rotation as it is for the moment and to do my obligation pieces as breaks from it. I do have a couple of things to finish before I can start the obligation pieces but none of them have a dead line as such, as long as they get done.
In other news I have just signed up for my next OU course and have printed all the forms so will start filling them in soon. It starts whilst we are away on holiday, but hopefully if I receive the materials in time I can do a bit before we leave. I don't feel as nervous this time around either as the studying is such a positive experience and did so much good that I can't wait to start again. I am also meeting with my old tutor group on Friday for a celebration of finishing and passing this course. At least one of them is going to be on the next one so it will be good to celebrate as well as chat about what we are all doing next.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Lovely stitching gift

I took part in a Christmas in July exchange on a bulletin board recently and today my gift arrived. First of all I got this absolutely exquisite box which may or may not have been made by my partner:

Then inside was some sock wool and some ribbon and apparently there is more to follow but it is winging it's way from further afield:

I have also today ordered a full sock kit as so far I hadn't got the needles and it was a good offer. I chose Opa Rainforest wool in flamingo so now will all being well have 2 nice pairs of socks this coming winter.
Other than that I have been sorting my room out as I want to get a proper work space sorted for my future courses and I am getting alot more storage space already, with more to follow when I tackle the other corner.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

I passed!!

Yes folks I passed the course and got a better grade than I could ever have imagined. I am so pleased and over the moon with it at the moment and think some stash shopping is in order. Also there is no better excuse than the fact that several of the online places I shop at have sales too. Bring it on!!

Monday, July 31, 2006

One final bout of stalking

I went into the main message board for my old course at the weekend and stumbled across the news that our results are coming early-this week in fact. On investigating how true this is I found out it is listed on our student homepage so it is supposedly gospel. Eeekkk. I really hadn't thought anything about it as it was too far away to worry about but now it is looming I want to keep stalking the page where it will say. I also wish they hadn't put the word 'by' when giving us a date as now I feel it could be anytime up to then. If we had just been told it will be on this certain date I could just go and check it on the day concerned. Yes I am being cagey I know but I feel like it is tempting fate if I tell anyone which day it is-even may family don't know.
Stitching wise I am getting near to a number of finishes and still can't work out what to do about a new rotation, so for the moment I am having a break and stitching on the Margaret Sherry when Big Brother is on, my mini kats piece and the class piece I took with Gina which I have nearly finished. It would be great to have a number of finises together but the downside is that it will be ages before I have any more significant ones if I don't stagger it. Which brings us back to what to do about a rotation. Hmmm.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The red arrows

They have just put on a spectacular display on the seafront and although we live a good couple of miles away our house is perfectly positioned:

The beginning:

The starburst:

And they also did their turns to go back over us this year. It is pot luck whether they do this or not and this year it was a real treat:

This is my favourite picture as two of them came screaming overhead, before being joined by the other two in the above picture:

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Nearly there

I don't usually post many wips but felt I had to show how close I had got to finishing Angel of the morning this rotation round. I actually only estimated I would get the wing finished and possibly a very tiny part of the halo. So this progress means I will finish it in the next round, which won't take that long as I am changing my rotation to get some obligation stitching done. I have to think how the rotation is going to work but for the moment here is the Angel in all her glory:

Friday, July 21, 2006

Half way through Mini Kats

I am now officially at the half way point and can honestly say I am really enjoying this piece. Although they are not necessarily designed to be stitched on one piece of fabric they are blending together well at the moment:

Good news

At long last I have some good news to share and today seems to be overflowing with it. I seem to have got my fluid balances under control and my blood pressure is more acceptable, plus I am no longer anaemic. This alone was enough to put a smile on my face but when I got home the postie bought a letter from my consultant. Apparently now they have done all they need to do to satisfy themselves that I can be put on the kidney transplant waiting list. I really can't say how I feel at the moment as it means a very long hard slog is over but it also signals that the surgeon was wrong and I have been living under false pretences the last few years. I am obviously relieved that I am in better shape than I was told and that at long last the wrong has been righted but I do know that the anger will kick in again at some point.
I also saw the psychologist this week which sometimes brings it all back so the two combined will probably affect me at some point. However it is part of the process and at least fingers crossed I can look forward to more peace of mind. I actually think she may have known when I saw her as she said some stuff which in hindsite could mean she did. However it wasn't for her to tell me and whether she did or didn't the session was helpful which is all I can ask for really.
This weekend I intend to stitch and lounge in the garden, but I could also be buying stitching supplies as I happened to mention I would be intrested in a stitch along on a board I use. Even though I don't actually have the chart or anything else to stitch Mirabilia's Stargazer lol I may well be tempted to join in with them when it starts in a few weeks. Which also means as it's not an immediate start I have time to buy the supplies lol.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

It's a scorcher!!

This week has been one of the hottest that I have ever known. On our way back from a hospital appointment on Tuesday the temperature guage on the car hit 37 C. We usually go to The Mall afterwards but it was so hot we had a quick wander then left to visit Hobbycraft. This was beautifully air conditioned but for once I didn't spend anything. I think with the heat I just felt too worn out.
The heat is also affecting my fluid balance and combined with my low blood pressure it is causing a few issues. I need to drink to keep my blood pressure up but don't want to drink so much that dialysis can't remove it so working out the right amount of fluid to drink at the moment is not so easy. All the other patients are having similar issues but as low blood pressure is unusual in kidney patients they haven't got that worry on top. Don't ask me why it's so low as I have no idea except that it always has been low but just reached new depths a few years ago. I am on a tablet which supposedly pushes it up but at times I wonder whether it works all that well. Maybe I would just be on the floor without it as I once was before being given the tablet.
Because it has been so hot I have done very little stitching but did manage to finish my rotation slot on The Castle and start Angel of the morning today. As it was cooler I got quite a bit done on her today and I am sure that I will finish this rotation round this month, at which point I am going to change it so that I can finish up some stuff. I don't know how I am going to change it but I do want to see what I can finish up this year.
One piece of slight excitement is that when the weather cooled yesterday a terrific wind came from nowhere. It blew over the standard lamp in the lounge which missed my mum by inches and would have got me if I had been sat stitching. Then the doors on my wardrobe were blown open and the ventian blind in the kitchen knocked the plants of the sill. Our poor Basil plant had already been eaten by a couple of caterpillars this week and now this. Today another bigger caterpillar was found chomping on it so I think it's days are numbered-we suspect the caterpillars are in the actual soil, so not sure the other one in the greenhouse will fare any better. It's a shame as I love the smell of basil and hate to think we can't save the plant-how soppy is that??
I also forgot to blog that Taffy went for his check up last week and although he seems as healthy as ever he has lost some weight. I saw him come in the door yesterday from a different angle and his haunches looked more wasted that before. I know he is an old cat but it bought it home to me that he won't be with us for ever. He has been around now over half my life and I love him dearly so I try not to think of the day we will part for good as hopefully it is a fair way off yet. He may have lost weight a few months ago when he didn't eat very well for several days but then I would have expected it to go back on, it could be the heat or an age thing. Lets hope it is something simple and he certainly appears healthy as even in this heat if he gets a fright he can bomb up the garden as normal.
I think that is all for now and Taffy is here for a pet so will be back soon.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The shadow of the wind

This was a really good book and I throughly recommend it to all. It is set in Barcelona and spans several decades and is a mixture of historical, romantic, thriller and as one reviewer said gothic horror. All these are true but the gothic horror is stretching it a tad because it isn't really very gory or blood thirsty but I do see why they said that as it involves creepy mansions and other slightly dark topics.
Without giving too much away a young boy is taken into the cemetry for forgotten books and asked to choose just one and that decision changes his life in every conceivable way. We find out so much about the boy and his subsequent development into a man as well as the parallels of life he ends up having with this author.
As well as suspenseful it is also thought provoking as you work out why there is such an intrest in this book he has hold of and the fact that choosing this one book has shaped his entire life. There is also quite a bit of humour within the book and literally nothing is left unanswered even down to a ridiculous promise being fulfilled in the most unlikely way.

What a weekend

What a truly fantastic weekend I had at the GTG. It was just brilliant from start to finish and only a couple of things marred it-more on that in a moment. The Friday night staying with Gina was really great fun as we chatted and stitched and fondled Gina's stash and then went to bed fairly early so we could hit the road the next day at a nice early hour. The drive up was incident free and we then met up with Pat at the B&B and duly Amanda and daughter Kathryn arrived and then bringing up the rear was Joy-no offence Joy. ;-) Then we all set off to Kate's and had a fabulous time eating, stitching and presenting Kate with her baby shower basket which she was really overwhelmed with it all. There was also plenty of time to see other's works both in progress and finished and my wish list has expanded again lol. Then in the evening after watching the gorgeous David Tennant in Dr Who we all went to the pub for a lovely meal and a good long gossip session. Unfortunately there were too many of us to have tables together so once everyone had finished eating we ended up in a cosy corner having a really good chin wag. Then the Sunday saw us head off to Wye needlecraft in Bakewell where I was quite restrained. I bought:

Shepherd's Bush's Apple kissed autumn
Drawn Thread's Forget me not
Indigo Rose's My Michelle
A set of bellpulls with dark wooden acorns on the end for MVII

Then we adjourned to the pudding shop for lunch and afterwards it was time to set off home. The journey back was ok apart from the usual roadworks but after Gina dropped me at Swindon station things got intresting. There was a delay on the next train so I sat down to read and was almost too tired to do so and when it came got into the family carriage as I thought it would be good for a snooze. Unfortunately the guy who was diagonally across from me was high on drugs so I did all I could to avoid his eye and was relieved when he got off at Bristol. However as he left the train I saw my suitcase follow him too and ended up hoofing it down the train calling "That guys got my case". As luck would have it his friend who wasn't high stopped at the door and he then gave the case back to him-once he had waved it around a bit. I put it back in the luggage rack and told him he would look really stupid in my clothes-even more so than now and sat down. However I was concerned he might nip back on for it so went down to check it again and then realised that I could have been hurt or stranded at Bristol by tackling him but instinct took over. If I had lost my bag only my digital camera would have been worth anything monetary but I also had some stitching in it too as well as other stuff of sentimental value. Weirdly when I was packing at the B&B I thought I ought not to put my prized stitching in there even though there was room-premonition I wonder?? I had everything in a tote bag on the way up as food for the GTG was in the case but as I had room I thought I would leave room in my tote for the Wye shopping spree lol and put some stitching in the case and although I wouldn't want to lose anything stash wise I kept all my wips that are nearly done exactly where I could see them. :-)
So I got home around 10 that night and this was the second incident to occur which very slightly marred the weekend. I had already received a text to tell me that someone from the group was posting about Sara's death in several places and told me as I asked for gossip and as a warning. Now it always hurts when stuff is being said about her but some of it was so blatantly untrue that I got angry. This person had obviously telling people he had been with her when she was desperately ill which is so not true and was making out that they were best friends and he was absolutely there for her whenever she needed it. I know people's perception of events are different so the last one I could let go but I was NOT happy that he was suggesting he had supported her in hospital, especially when he never actually asked to go. One of the other men did however ask several times to see her as he had a real soft spot for her and I knew when he read it that being the person he is would believe it. So on Monday I caught him on msn and explained it wasn't true in any way shape or form and he got quite upset over it all and I ended up emailing the following day an apology for upsetting him as something I said about the group was also taken the wrong way and, unbeknown to me he had already sent me a text. This one said that he saw the other guys sign on name on msn which also referred to it and had got upset but wasn't going to say anything to make the situation worse as he had also been through alot. That is so far where it ends but it was difficult as it was someone I haven't been in touch with for a long time but didn't want him thinking something that wasn't true. Maybe I should have left well alone on this but maybe I also needed to talk to someone who understands how overt public stuff like that can upset us. I seem to have a nurturing bone inside me that wants everyone to be ok and not upset too and although it is probably not taken as it should be it's a part of me I like. I do like to be able to help other's and I am proud that I do even if my world is not great at the time and a part of me wonders if that was the right thing to do.
Since then I have chilled out as the last few weeks have caught up with me as they have been very busy. But I did manage to finish Shadow of the wind today and will write a review in a minute and I am also getting along with some stitching stuff and slowly getting out of my slump.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Off again!!

Another weekend away beckons and this time we are at Kate's house. I am leaving tomorrow and staying with Gina so we can have an early start on Saturday morning. There will be another big crowd at this weeks and today I have been packing and sorting out what I am taking with me. I have got my camera and going to endevour to use it this time lol at both Kate's and the visit to Bakewell on Sunday.
Then next week I have nothing in my diary and for once a clear weekend so I will try and get back into my stitching as seem to have got into a slump. When I was doing my course there was only a small window in the day I could stitch and now I am free to do so I am out of the habit. I guess this is no bad thing as I have a chance to do other things but I also want to get on and finish some stuff before my next course starts.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Back from the weekend

This weekend I attended my first Judy Dixon class with Gina and I really, really enjoyed it. So much so we both signed up for another hardanger class later in the year. We are also booked in for an embroidery one in September and I am already looking forward to them. Gina has been to Judy's classes many a time and I have a funny feeling I may have found another designer who's designs I could get attached to. I think the way Judy runs the classes has as much to do with the whole experience as it was just so relaxed and it was just like stitching at home.
After the class I now feel alot more confident about drawn thread and hardanger and I think alot of my problem in the past is my bull in a china shop attitude-I tend to charge at things without taking due care. So now I have a feeling I am more likely to consider some of those designs I had previously ignored because they looked too tricky. I have also been looking at Cottage dreams by Judy for quite some time now and bought the kit off her on Saturday which was the cherry on the cake for me.
On Saturday evening we met Maria for a lovely meal and a good old catch up and I can honestly say I enjoyed every moment of the weekend. Gina was a fantastic host and her family were a delight to share time with and without sounding majorly gushing I can't wait for next time.
As things often come in three's this weekend brings the final stitching weekend for awhile. Kate is holding a GTG at her home and a trip to Bakewell the following day and I am very much looking forward to it.
I haven't got much planned for the week as I am relaxing so that I am ready for the weekend, and it is just too hot to really feel like doing anything very much. I will try and get some stitching done at some point but I think in truth it's more practical to just lounge around and try not too wilt. Hopefully the weather will break soon and it will become a bit cooler.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Baby news

My brother and his girlfriend had the 20 week scan today and all is fine. We now know that we will have a new baby boy in the family and I am really chuffed. I didn't mind as long as it was healthy but out of all the babies born I know of lately they have been almost exclusively girls. The radiographer was apparently absolutely definite that she had this correct as she described my nephew to be as having 3 legs. I now have weird mental images of what this poor chap is going to be like but I am sure that is a gross exaggeration lol.
It seems weird to think I will be an auntie this year but I am going to start looking for things to knit and sew soon. I think I may change my rotation after this round as I am building up a collection of obligation pieces that need to be done:

A baby hat for my friends daughters birthday in October.
The same little girls birth sampler.
A birth sampler for my nephew.
Something knitted-maybe another hat or mittens for my nephew.

I did think about getting the new Patons kit for the last one as they do one now which has new born essentials containing hat, mittens and booties. This would also be a slight learning curve for me as there would be a bit more shaping and twiddly bits involved in it. I am still very much a novice so can't go mad but think this could be a good start.
I am also off for the weekend again and this time me and Gina are taking a Judy Dixon class. Gina has been several times but this will be my first experience. This one is in drawn thread and hardanger, which I have done haphazardly so I would like some expert input. Then on Saturday evening we are meeting Maria for dinner so it's going to be a fun packed and busy weekemd.
Finally I am again away next weekend but I will blog about that in the week and then my social life will quieten down a bit and I can gear up for the next ones.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The downsides of Get together's

Is that they never last long enough and that my credit card is severley rattled at all the things I now have in my wish list. Not only did we have all the beautiful wips and finishes on show but Karolines house where the GTG took place is crammed full of samplers which are just to my taste. Some I have here in my stash and other's will probably get added at some point but for now I need to keep my wip count down.
It was so nice to see everyone again and have a good old chat and catch up. This is the furthest I have been to a get together but it wasn't as bad travelling as I thought and apart from falling asleep in front of Big brother Sunday night I haven't realy had any extra tiredness from it.
So now we gear up for the next one a week Saturday, again up north but not quite so far and this time Kate is the host. There is also a good needlework shop in the area and we will probably visit that on the Sunday. That time I will try and take pictures as I forgot to take my camera out for this one. I think everyone was the same as so far only one group picture has been posted.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Off we go a wandering

Tomorrow I am off to my first overnighter stitchers gtg. I am really looking forward to it and a much needed break. It will mean an extremely early start tomorrow but thats not a bother and I have camera charged so I can share lots of pictures afterwards.
In other news everything is ticking along ok and this week I had my second visit to the psychologist and I have to say she is fantastic and has made me see things on so many other levels and this time I haven't had that awful after effect either. The sessions have also made me evaluate things we haven't discussed and some of my anger and distress over the group are now starting to make sense too. I still know I am a long way from total peace and not sure such a thing is possible when dealing with a chronic illness but I know the brave step of asking for this help was worth it.
I don't seem to have alot of news at the moment to blog about, but I have a busy summer coming up so I will be able to post lots of piccies of happy times. :-)

Monday, June 12, 2006

I am in the clear

After a very long tiring day I am much relieved as everything is fine and I have no serious abnormalities. I do have a small cyst but apparently they are very common and shouldn't cause me and problem. I think the one stop clinic is an excellent idea but that waiting after all the tests are done is not so good. This clinic sees everyone and sends them for appropriate tests and once they have gone through they start on calling you back for the results. I have to say most came out with smiles but one has to have further investigations and another was admitted straight away. Given the statistics that's probably about right but statistics mean nothing when you are the one who goes the wrong way. It really does show how precious life is and it can turn both good and bad on an axle and really living for the hear and now is possibly the best attitude.
Anyway onto other stuff. The OU reunion was absolutely superb on Friday night and I don't think I have laughed so much in a very long time. Several pictures were taken and one even showed our tutor with a shiny halo above his head. I don't know whether it was a trick of the light or something on the wall but it was rather amusing. I got back quite late but felt really good considering I also dialysed that day. The following day I went into town and then stitched with the England match on in the background.
It has been so hot this weekend and I managed to relax and chill out in the garden with my book and generally this is something we are not used to in this country. The weather broke early today with a big thunderstorm and lots of rain, but it looks like the good weather will be back in the next day or two.
Finally can you believe that tomorrow spells a year of blogging? It doesn't seem possible really and I haven't kept to my goal of blogging every day but it's fairly regular and I hope at times of interest to read. I have found it very therapeutic when coping with the problems of this year and I hope that my upset's have been countered by the good stuff.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

What a great suprise!!

Yesterday I received a suprise package in the post. I got Tocatta number 1, the fabric and some Vicki Claytons to stitch it with. I think I know who posted it, but whether it was on behalf of someone else or from them I am not sure. It was on my wishlist and it was a fantastic suprise and I am thrilled to bits with it. Whoever you are many thanks once again and it was a lovely thing to receive.
Today is dads birthday so we have been out for a lovely lunch and generally having a chilled out day, but I think on the whole he is enjoying it. Tomorrow I have my OU reunion which I am looking forward to but I just hope I feel ok after dialysing. Lately I have been very tired and Friday's are worse so I have my fingers crossed that it will be ok. It is taking place at one of the students house in Bath so I will be going up by train, but getting a lift to and from the station. It is also an evening thing and I don't think it will be a mega late night.
One piece of bad news is that I found a tiny lump in my breast a couple of weeks ago and my GP has referred me to the specialist clinic. He is almost positive it is nothing but they have a protocol that if they can feel it you must go to this clinic. It is a one-stop place and you get the results on the day and I go straight after dialysis on Monday. I only got referred on Tuesday so that isn't bad going. At present I don't feel too concerned but of course there is that inevitable niggle in the back of my mind, but my GP was so reassuring that has helped alot with how I feel. I so don't need this extra concern at the moment but at least it isn't going to be a drawn out business.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

It's been awhile

I have not blogged for awhile as I have had alot on since finishing my course and much of it has given me food for thought. As I said in a previous post I requested to see a psychologist as my head was all over the place with the transplant saga. I really did not want to go when it came to it but decided I couldn't carry on the way I was so I took a deep breath and off I went. I was expecting it to initially make me feel worse as stuff got dredged up but I was not prepared for the onslaught of emotion it has bought about. One thing it did do was clarify some of my thoughts about things I needed to find out to help make a decision and what the core issues were. So having worked out the former I went in to see my consultant the following week for my routine appointment and I asked him the questions that had been niggling-some of them unconciously. What transpired was that what I had feared that I had been living a lie for four years was mostly correct. I could have gone on the transplant list then and would never have had to live with what has come to be seen as my core issue. It took quite awhile to come to terms with not being able to ever have a transplant unless some miracle occurred but the most difficult thing to get my head round was the way the surgeon delivering the news went about it. He gave me lots of time scales as to when a transplant would be an emergency and then they would consider it but I would have to be aware that it was 50/50 it would kill me. As I had gone to the appointment with the idea that I was going to be listed for a transplant but wanted all the risks outlined this was the last thing I was expecting. Further more he ranted about how he would have to live with it if the worst happened as well as my family and friends if they did a transplant then when dialysis was working well for me. It has to have been one of the most traumatic moments of my life and for some reason it was an appointment I went into entirely alone as I had a strong feeling I should do so-don't ask me why as I always have someone there but I digress. So this is the core of my distress that I came to terms and coped with something so traumatic and now the anger and upset has kicked in knowing this should never have happened and where we are now we should have been then. I can't even think about the lost time and what my life could be like now as that is pointless but it makes it all the more clear that doctors have to be so careful in the way they say stuff. I actually think if I hadn't had some of these other things said to me at that time then I wouldn't feel like I do now to such an extent.
During the session we also touched on the loss of Sara and the psychologist said that is two massive things to have happened and she doesn't know about all the other awful things too. It is a good job that there doesn't seem to be a maximum number of sessions as there are in some places as there is alot of material to cover. Although I don't think I can completely tell her everything that happened especially where the kidney group is concerned but that is slowly resolving itself anyway.
The group is so far removed from what Sara envisioned now with so much back biting and poison going on I am glad to be away. It no longer feels like what we all started and certainly the idea of patients being supported is at best laughable. The only thing that has the capacity to upset me now is the veiled references by the members left of how important she was and how hard it has been for them all. I totally agree with that and of course I am feeling it too but I don't need to publicly write it on message boards and more over IF they felt bad why can they not see that I did too and treated me better. But to be honest I get the sense it is used when it suits others to do so and to make a point which is too complicated to go into here. I am no longer in touch with any of them and although I thought there was at least one who would stick by me it turns out that this is not to be. I hope we can still be friends but they are now being very distant and I feel completley abandoned. But then maybe starting again is no bad thing when it comes to it.
Anyway onto the good stuff. I am stitching quite a bit and really enjoying having a bit more time to do so. I started my big brother marathon and after two weeks I am making good progress on my Margaret Sherry design. I also finished part 3 of MIX and I am a few hours away from finishing this entire rotation round. Angel of the morning by L&L is the final piece and she is nearly there. I am certain she will be finished this year and hopefully in the next few rounds and I am just in love with the piece. I also only have May on my Mini Kats to do before I order the next two and that means excellent progress has been made there too.
I am also deciding which OU course to do next and keep wavering at the moment. I thought I had made a definite decision yesterday but on thinking carefully about it I saw some flaws in the plan so I am re thinking again lol. We are having a tutor group reunion in Bath next Friday so maybe talking it over then with the students and our tutor may help. This evening is going to be an informal celebration of the course finishing and as I have to work out the logisitics of travel I came clean and said I am not being awkward but have medical issues. They were all fantastic about it which put in stark relief that there are good people in the world who are prepared to help and understand. It is what I expected of people in the same situation so when it didn't happen that was a shock and made me wary of coming clean, but it goes to show that if people are basically decent then it is not an issue.
There is also something else I have been keeping to myself for a long while now and that is that I am going to become an aunt in November. We knew right at the beginning as my brothers girlfriend had quite a few problems so he rang my mum for advice. But she is coming up for the last scan so all is going ok now. It is exciting but hasn't been without some problems here as mum adjusted to the idea, but as she has got her knitting out I am sure it is fair to say she is pleased. :-) Whether they decide to know the sex they don't know yet but as mum is knitting in white it will be fine.
Finally we booked a holiday in Lanzarote for the end of September. The place looks really nice and the dialysis unit has good machines and is staffed by many English nurses and has apartments attached. These apartments are next door but separated by a garden so we won't be right on top of the unit, has a pool and each one has a terrace or balcony. I have dialysed away from home before but never abroad so it should be an exciting experience. In fact I have never been abroad or on a plane before so it will all be very new and I am looking forward to a good break. If anyone has been and knows of some good things to see and do that may not be in the guide books please let me know.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

A small finish

This was a SAL with Scully and Deb and was great fun to do. I never knew how easy the Whimzi frames were to use:

I am feeling a bit lost now my course has come to an end and after being on a high on Thursday as I posted the last paper, had a hair cut and bumped into an old friend I crashed yesterday. I didn't have a good dialysis but it was one of those days in general. I feel ok today and have pottered round town, put the picture together and done some stitching.
I think there is only Dr Who I want to watch on tv tonight as it is the Eurovision song contest which I don't really enjoy. Oh yes there is also Big brother and I started my Margaret Sherry cat design and am only stitching it when settled in for this progrma. There maybe some time before or after of stitching but so far it's going well.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

I bit the bullet

And now my course is officially over. I am still hanging around the forum to cheer the rest on and out tutor group may well meet up again for an end of course meal. The unseen assignment went ok but not as well as I hoped. We knew it was going to be 4 questions on either Art History, Literature, Music or Philosophy. The first 3 are my strongest so I studied those as I hate philosophy and although I get it my grasp isn't as good on it. We only had to answer 2 subjects so as the first two were my strongest I revised music as a back up. The Art History question was ok and the picture easy to define and talk about but the next two were and I either panicked or couldn't get my head round it. So I went for philosophy with no revision as something in me told me it was ok and the only one I could reasonably do. So that part at the end was a bit waffly etc but I am hopeful I have done enough and we do only need 30% to pass the course.
So I am keeping everything crossed I have done enough to pass this course but have a tense few months to wait until I find out. However I really enjoyed almost all of it-even the parts where it stressed me out something chronic. I am pleased and proud of myself as I rose to the challenge in a year that was full of stress and upset and still kept going. I think it was a sort of saviour for me for much of the time but I wonder how I am going to be now it's over. But alot of the problems are reaching a sort of resolution now and my renal clinic referred me to a psychologist in the unit just to talk over some of my feelings. I requested the service on the back of the transplant situation and that I was just generally making myself ill with going round and round everything that was going on. Although I am in a better place than I was when I asked for it I am going ahead with it as I still have a fair amount of anger to work through and try and deal with. My first session is next week and then the following week I am back to see my consultant to talk everything through. He was actually at the unit for his monthly visit last week when I was and I received a letter in the post a couple of days later telling me my injection was increasing. I take EPO which is the banned drugs runners use but it is fine for us and for some reason my haemoglobin is not going up too well at the moment. It is most likely that I have had alot of niggly viruses which can knock it down, coupled with the fact that my iron stores went very low which also plunges the haemoglobin. So although my iron is fine now the viruses have probably stopped it coming up properly. This letter came from the people who deliver the drug so I was annoyed no one had told me, but I remember the consultant had been lurking by the scales when I was. I didn't say anything as assumed he would say something if he needed too. I was busy talking to the male nurse as we thought my weight was a bit odd but still in the end the message got through which was the main thing.
So now I am free to stitch alot more so I am likely to tweak my rotation a bit and have decided to go ahead with the big brother idea and will start another small kit on thursday as the new series starts. I have pretty much decided to start a Margaret Sherry one of a cat in an armchair which is gorgeous and I have been itching to start for ages-any excuse eh?

Just one hurdle to go

I checked online this morning and my assingment was there. Not suprisingly it is the worst mark yet at 62% but we only needed 30% to give us a fighting chance of passing the course so now it is the final hurdle. I have been checking online at what else I now need to pass and as long as I get 3o% in this last timed assignment I am home and dry. What pass level I get depends on how well I do but if I pass it will be level 3 or 2. But at the moment I have that last hurdle to jump which will be this week and as I feel well today I may bite the bullet and do it-got a phobia about being ill at the end and it going pear shaped.
Then later today I am going to start a piece called March hare by Just Nan which I am doing as a SAL with Scully and Deb is also going to join us. I love this piece and I am looking forward to a small easy non demanding piece of stitching.
Talking of Scully I feel sorry I missed chatting online to over the weekend and missed wishing her happy hols. So hope you have a good one and enjoy your rest and relaxation and talk to you soon.
Have a good day all.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Was one of those weeks

So much has happened this week and yet none of it I particularly want to blog about as it isn't so easy to do that. But one of the things was finally sorting out the stitching gtg's I am attending this summer and thanks to some great people I am lucky enough to be able to go to the ones up north this year. They are something I am very much looking forward to as I get to see all my online friends again and escape from here for a night or two. It is ok here but sometimes a break to recharge the batterires is no bad thing.
I am on email watch again for the last assignment to be returned and soon I have to sit down and do the timed assignment. I have penciled in next Saturday morning for it and then that's it the course is done and I will probably feel a bit lost for awhile. It is already winding down and I find myself at a loose end even now, but I am sure once I pick up my needle I again I will get lots of stitching done.
Talking of which I am having a crazy idea to do a big brother stitching marathon, in that I have got obsessed with it so why not combine the two. My idea is to pick a project and to stitch that whilst watching big brother and if I finish it I start another. I thought it maybe a good way of getting my stash pile of little kits down and reckon in the 3 month run I could get quite a few done. The series starts on Thursday and this week I am doing a SAL with Scully on Just Nans March hare so might make that my first big brother project. Watch this space folks??
Other than that it's been crazy this week and is starting to settle a bit now and I am off to chill for a bit before tea. Then it is the usual dance fever programme and swooning at David Tennant for the rest of the evening. I wonder if he will wear those glasses again lol lol.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

What a glorious day

The weather is absolutely beautiful here today!! Its just such a shame I have been stuck inside and not able to enjoy it. However I have finished and sent my assignment-took wayyyy longer than I expected but it's done and I am having Saturday off to celebrate. I also managed to clean and tidy my room so I can have an evening and a few days of guilt free stitching.
I was quite down last night as had a succession of phone calls bringing not such good news and I expect another one in the next day or two to tell me how last weekends meeting went. I actually don't feel a great need to know so I finally feel I am healing-taken long enough lol.
So for now I am going to chill and catch up with what you have all been up to, then go and stitch for a bit.

Monday, May 01, 2006

First Mini Kats picture

I have finished the first row of the Mini Kats wall hanging and these are the first three months of the year. I have made very few changes except on March's cat where the stems of the flower were white and in front of the cat. I thought it looked really odd so decided to go for the cat squashed at the front of the flowers look instead:

My weekend turned out to just be all about the assignment but looking on the forums everyone is having the same bother. Its a good job that we email our assignments as it gives me a few extra days, but I will have to remember that I won't get that luxury next time lol. Anyway I am now getting there and will have a good go at it tomorrow and hope that by Thursday it will just be a case of tidying it up and sending it off.
I hope to have an update piccie of MIX soon but it won't be an up to date one-I am about 2 and a bit months behind but its awhile since I put a picture up so will add another one soon. I am planning on doing a couple of hours on it tonight and it should be ready for the picture by the end of the week.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

A quick thank you

To all those that commented on my last post. Your love and support mean an awful lot to me and it does help me to stay strong.
I have had a breakthrough in my studying today and also in the last 24 hours have had even more proof-as if it was needed that to leave the group was the best thing possible. I am not even upset that they are having a meeting soon and in actual fact I am relieved that I am not going as it is brewing up and every little update suggests more and more tension in the ranks.
This week is going to be a busy one with sorting out this assignment and hopefully getting some stitching done inbetween and I am aiming to get some new pictures up by the end of the month. Watch this space folks. :-)

Sunday, April 23, 2006

I got THE brown envelope!!

Which contains my last and final Tma which has to be done under exam conditions. There is a desclaimer in it to say it wasn't opened before hand and was completed in a room on your own and in two hours. Its all becoming very near and final that we are at the end of this course. I still have the final Tma to go into my tutor at the beginning of May and then it's a couple of weeks of looking back at the course this last times Tma and thats it folks as they say.
Just after the course officially finishes I am back in clinic again and may well have reached a decision by then. Some things are becoming pretty clear anyway in that the original surgeon who refused me is not someone I trust enough with this complex operation. The juries still out as to whether he will agree or not and although I don't doubt his actual surgical skills most of my trust in him has gone which considering the circumstances would make the whole thing far more stressful. So I intend to tell my consultant that if I go ahead I want it noted that I won't accept him-unless he can explain his actions in a justifiable way which I don't think he will.
This whole thing has thrown up quite a few feelings this weekend and made me realise that with what he told me at the time I have been living a kind of half life. It was only a few months after this that I met Sara and helped set up the group which gave me meaning and purpose back into my life as well as someone to share the ups and downs with. So it kind of feels now we have come full circle except it's not we its just me and I hate that as she should be here now and have had her transplant and be doing great. Her death took some of the gloss off my world and as it was not exactly brilliant white at the time anyway and since then for a time it got very dark indeed. I feel I have come through everything that has happened since quite well all things considered and although it's taken me longer to heal than I thought it would I can feel the process is taking place. Sure I will always miss her ringing me up just to laugh, cry or moan about the lazy boys and I miss not being able to just pick the phone up to do the same and thats never going to change. But alot of the guilt over me leaving and not making it work for her sake has gone and some memories of the happy times have returned. I will always miss my buddy and in some ways the group as it was a life saver at a time I needed it, but ultimately it could have ended up destroying me and thats the part I will always feel sad about.
However I am still here and it hasn't destroyed me and I have started a new chapter in my life, which brings us back to the OU. I am definitely signing up for a further course and have almost decided which one it will be. I keep flitting between two but I am slightly more drawn to one called 'Exploring the Classical world'. I really loved all the bits of this course which focused on this era. We only touched on the Roman gladiators and Colleseum and one Classical play-Medea so I would love to learn much more. I really want to find out how they lived and worked and everything really so its pretty sure it will be that one I go for. It only has one start date a year which will be February next year so a nice long break filled with stitching, gaming and reading is probably just what the Doctor ordered.
So whats happening stitching wise? Well I am still sticking to the rotation and so far its still working well but as not all pieces are possible on a dialysis days I am stitching my Mini Kats wallhanging and simple parts on MIX on those days. I have nearly finished February of Mini Kats-January is done around a week ago and MIX I have finished part 2 and about half of 3. I have said before keeping up is not a priority and it isn't but the Medieval town one is getting more and more wonderful and I may have to squeeze it in. I have got to errr part 1 lol which is finished but obviously I have alot of catching up to do on that one. I may also get my knitting needles out again as I still have a baby hat to do for my friends and would like to knit more for them in the future.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Got myself that treat

After my great exam result I treated myself to A-ha's greatest hits album and as it was in the sale for half price the Rayman game for my DS.
We were up the mall today after my surgical appointment and had a little wander and as I decided to see if they had the album I checked out the rest of the stock too. I also wanted to get some slim bootleg jeans but so far haven't foudn any that are quite right so thats for next time.
So what about the appointment? Well we managed to get parked easily and prepared ourselves for a long wait as these surgical clinics are usually heaving, but on arrival there were only a few others there. We didn't have to wait long but it was all a bit disjointed as he kept looking for old test results and being sure he had everything in order as he was also concerned something was being missed. So echoes of the other surgeon creep in again as he is so well respected they all wonder how he got it so wrong. But got it wrong it seems he has so now I wait as he chases a couple of old tests up and decides if he wants anymore. He was going to do an abdomen x-ray but when I said I had one in November he ripped the form up lol and will check on some other things before deciding if I need any more investigations. However as things stands he is pretty positive that a transplant should be technically possible He acknowledges it could be impossible due to scar tissue as the others have already said but he thinks the chances of success are pretty good and quite alot better than the last surgeons opinion.
When I got home I had a little stash parcel waiting for me in the shape of the next two Mini Kats for the wall hanging-why do I call it that when I will probably frame it, with the variegated threads needed and also two spools of Kreinick for TW's Castle. I did a glittery conversion and have run out of how many spools I have used but this time got an extra one which 'should' be enough.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Obsessive email checking over

And would you believe it I got the highest yet at 80%. Yay!!!! In the end I emailed my tutor as it seemed something may have gone awry and indeed it had as I should have got it 8 days ago. DOH!!!! However you have to allow them at least two weeks from the cut off date so I would have felt like I was hassling before that. I even apologised for being cheeky in my email and asking but boy am I glad I did lol.
I have popped into town today and then did a good few hours of study-enough so I can have most if not all tomorrow off. So the rest of the weekend is going to be stitching and general chill out time.
Starting to gear up for my appointment on Thursday but am expecting nothing as such as it could go anyway. Whatever scenario I work through in my head a different one will happen so I am just trying to quench my anxiety, which is not easy as I am quite stressed out at the moment in general.

Anyway Happy Easter all.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Easter decorating

As I wasn't in the mood to do any blog decorating at Christmas I am doing some Easter things instead. I haven't gone overboard but I quite like the smiley guys I have used.
This week has been a busy one as I am trying to get ahead with my studying and also had a couple of beauty appointments today. I now feel pampered although not exactly beautiful lol. I also finished my stitching rotation so am about to embark on round 6 tonight. I am so happy with it at the moment that I am going to stick with it for awhile yet and I can see real progress on all the projects in it.
Yesterday my consultant was on his monthly visit to the unit and I had already left a message asking if something had gone amiss with my surgical appointment. I had to leave a message as its rare that he is there when I was but yesterday he was and on his way out he came over and had a quick word. He said that the appointment had been chased up and it would be next week and to await a letter in the post. Just as I was thinking it was a good job I checked the letter arrived today and had been written earlier this week so it was in hand anyway-but its reassuring to check. He then asked how my foot was and I gave him a brief overview-although Sister may already have said something. However he is happy to leave it as its causing me no problems at all and agrees with the others that it's not worth messing with it if essentially it isn't affecting my life. Which is fair enough by me and one less thing to mention at my next clinic.
I am still obsessively checking my OU email and nothing so far to report but it should literally be any time now. I have also managed to get ahead so I can have Easter day itself off and as my appointment is a very late morning one next week I don't have to have the full day off then either.
The stitching show at Shepton Mallet is coming up-I think its next week but so far I can't decide whether to go or not. I don't need anything but its nice to go and see pieces in the flesh and there maybe the odd unmissable bargain too. I was thinking maybe I couldn't spare the time as it would mean another day off from studying but I have got ahead and now the appointment won't take a whole day away I may still go.
I hope you all have a lovely Easter if I don't blog before hand and a relaxing time is had by all.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Ok maybe I really shouldn't be on this wagon

I am a total failure at staying on the stitching wagon and just keep seeing more and more stuff I like. So far this week I have fallen for 2 Chatelaines which is no suprise I guess, and this time it is Mini M and Persian Iris Garden. I am tempted with the mini one as its the next series of gemstones and as I did all the others then I kind of want to stay in that vein. As for Persian well its a Mandala so that pretty much says it all. My resolve is not helped by the fact I have a couple of sizeable GC's to be used as well which could cover a big portion of both of these if I didn't get the whole kit especially for the garden.
I also started my mini kats wall hanging and finished the January one in around 3 days so that was good going and they are hopefully going to be good fillers inbetween my rotation.
As well as the above I have a few things on order-mostly stuff needed to finish things in progress or stash but to make shipping worthwhile a few other things may have entered the mix. But when theres a sale on whats a stitcher supposed to do?
Other than stitching I am having fun with my DS and picked up the out of stock game which I got with my package-Sonic Rush yesterday which is just WOW undescribable. I am so happy with all 3 games I got in this package and love them all. This is one hand held I won't get bored of easily.
But I still need to concentrate on the OU stuff as we are on the downward slope of it now. You wouldn't believe how stressed that makes me feel and I know its because I really don't want it to go pear shaped now. I am willing my body not to become ill until after so I know I have done it and haven't wasted months of work to come out with nothing. Actually scrub that last sentance I am willing my body not to be ill at all lol. At the moment I am waiting for the lastest assignment to be returned and as it comes via my OU email I am clicking the link oooh several times a day but it should be soon now.
Dialysis is pretty much ok but I didn't blog about the problem of last Monday. The main water filter broke and it was hours before we could actually dialyse and even then we ended up doing far less as it was evening by then and the staff just made us safe until we returned on the Wednesday morning. Other patients were transferred elsewhere and for awhile it was quite stressful as we could have ended up anywhere dialysing. The situation wasn't helped at it was Monday so we had all just had our longest stretch so really couldn't go much longer without dialysis, if there were to be no knock on effects. However the staff were fantastic at getting us all sorted and kept a level head and ensured patient safety first and although its not something that is desirable to happen it was handled very well indeed.
Right going to grab a cup of tea and a biscuit and see whats going on elsewhere. Might just go and check the OU page again!! ;-)

Saturday, April 01, 2006


I received a lovely stash parcel in the post today. I needed some threads that I couldn't find anywhere so on Paula's recommendation I went to Down sunshine lane. As it would have been crazy to buy just two threads from the USA I also got some Cougar scissors which have been raved about and if any good are a fantastic price and a scissor fob as I am a bit of a collector of them. So here is the stash:

And a close up of the scissors and fob. The charms are all stitching related and the soveriegn has I love cross stitching on it with a heart and something else I am trying to make out on it and it is just fabulous:

For now after my recent splurges I am firmly back on the wagon but had to show you this as it is so pretty.

Friday, March 31, 2006

If I am not around much

Its because I have a new toy. Today I got a Nintendo DS, which I have been wanting to get since Christmas. I kept wondering if I would play with it or really like it but decided what the hell-lifes too short. I have been researching packages and nearly got one in Argos this week but then today online it said they were out of stock again. So as mum was going into town to the hairdressers and as I was feeling ok after dialysis I decided to go and check it out for myself in case they were wrong online. As I was doing a recce of the shops I came across a fabulous deal in Game which had the exact 3 games I wanted with some accesories for a very good price indeed. It was more than Argos but overall it was too good an offer to pass up and when I was speaking to the guy in the shop and he was pointing out what was included he said it was a very good offer indeed. They were out of one of the games so I am having one reserved in the next delivery for collection sometime next week.
I always feel guilty buying stuff for myself but I had always intended on using my £100 lottery winnings at Christmas for one and have a very healthy bank balance at the moment and with my stress levels and feeling so down I felt it was time to treat myself. Ok I have bought quite a bit of stash lately too but nothing huge or ridiculously exspensive and now I am on the wagon for a bit. But I am in a devil may care attitude at the moment and I want to just relax and have fun-something that hasn't happened for awhile.
So I may not be around for a bit as I will be busy playing the games I have and hopefully destressing-but thats obviously inbetween the OU work lol. Which is one of the reasons I got it today-guilt free as I don't study on a dialysis day. Tomorrow I would have been torn on which to do first lol.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

It's all happening this week!!

Phew what a week and it's only Wednesday. Firstly I have a HD of another knitting piece. This time its a scarf for mum which is in Patons Whisper again, but this time is in the Nutmeg colour. Not sure where they got the name from as I thought nutmeg was more orangey/brown than this but its nice anyway and mum is chuffed to bits-good job she chose the colour by look rather than name though:

Secondly I am trying to get my 7th assignment in-can you believe we are on number 7 already? Where has the last 6 months gone? Anyway its going well but I am becoming obsessed with tweaking it and its becoming a bit ridiculous. I am not saying anything else, just changing the way I exspress it so maybe I should just read it through and email it. I think this time I am a bit more nervous as this one is 15% of the final grade which is the highest so far as all others have been 10%. What am I going to be like in 4 weeks when the 20% one needs to be put in. Arrghhhh.
Thirdly although I am not going into details here major things are going on with the group and none of its pleasent. I am just so relieved to be out of it, but unfortunately a few people are under more stress now trying to put an impossible situation right.
Right anything else? I think thats it-just seems like a jumble of stuff all happening at once but most of it is good stuff and the bad-well can stand back and just wait and see now.
One more thing I have just remembered is that I have finished Labyrinth by Kate Mosse. It was quite a good book, but in some places I got a bit confused as there were alot of characters spanning different centuries and as I am a slow reader I did get lost at times. Anyway for those who like a mystery with a twist, or archaelogical stories its worth a try. Mum is borrowing it next, but get in contact if you want to borrow it after. I have now started The Da Vinci code and that is promising as I am flying through that and it looks to be different but every bit as good as Angels and Demons.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Good day

Today has been a really good productive day. My friend Jane from Cornwall was in the area this weekend so she picked me up this morning and we went into town for a spot of shopping, tea drinking and a gossip. I managed to get two nice tops from Next. One was a sporty white long sleeved white top with a bright pink sleeveless hoodie over the top which came as one piece but will be a great mix and match set, for spring, summer and autumn. The other was a crinkle long sleeved top with embroidery and applique on it. Also good for the 3 seasons but will be cool in a heat wave too because of its material. I am trying to find some light long sleeved tops this year as I don't like showing the arm where I have dialysis as its pretty yucky but also don't want to boil in cardigans. So I am getting stuff when I see it as so many times I lose out thinking it will still be there in a few weeks.
I got home earlier than I thought so managed to crack on with my essay and have made huge in roads into it, so I don't feel as panicky as I did about getting this one in on time. Its weird because although I have sort of seen a slow upward climb in demand on this course it really has suddenly changed pace, and I can see how its preparing us for a course at the next level. Its quite subtle and also very manageable as its been very well structured that its not until you have done it do you realise you have gone up a gear.
Then tonight I stitched on MIX-I finally finished part 1 last night and as I have been stitching part 2 at times along the way I am not far off finished with that either. Now I can see the textures coming in its starting to look good and even though I have been cussing and swearing with the perle stuff its been well worth it.
Then to round off my day nicely I won £10 on the Thunderball lottery and I am trying to remember how much I have won this year but can't-but also didn't report the £5 won last week so I am doing ok.

Hope you are all having a good weekend too.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Good/bad fracture clinic news

I am back and a bit confused but its starting to make some sense. Apparently its not healed and probably never will be. :-( But as it has plenty of fibrous tissue supporting it then no long term harm will be done. So the plan is to leave it unless it starts causing problems in the future and I have an open appointment for 12 months so can go back easily in that period if it causes problems. Not that I was oppered one but, I think on balance the risk of an operation with complications of bleeding and infection compared with the fact its not presently causing a problem with every day life this is the best step to take-no pun intended lol. I may think about asking my consultant to refer me to someone in Bristol for a second opinion as I know how frightened my local hospital is of kidney patients but I would refuse to have the operation there anyway for just that reason.

So lots to muse on and think about but I think the result could have been worse.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Another week gone

I am getting lax at thsi blogging lark but the truth is I just seem to be so busy. Thats not a bad thing as it means I don't have to think too much about stuff as when I do my anxiety kicks right in again.
So what am I busy with? Its mainly study and more study as the last few blocks of this course are really intensive. We are already at an end of block 6 and now in reading week but I am playing catch up and will probably have to work very hard at getting this assignment done. This one is non-substitutable and has a higher threshold-its also worth the most so far at 15%. We have until the 31st but when you factor out 6 days for dialysis it leaves little time to finish the block and write the assignment and fit in life around it. Tuesday I have the fracture clinic again lol but luckily as its early in the morning it shouldn't have too much time to get behind but depending on what they say depends how much study I feel like doing. I know almost instinctively that its not healed but I am hoping that my feeling of progress is not wishful thinking. I really, really don't want a bone graft and have a deal to broach with them lol. When I went in December they wanted my calcium higher and my consultant immediately changed my drugs which made only a small difference and its only 3 weeks ago they they have been more radically changed. So I am hoping that they will hold off from the bone graft and from what I gather if its even improved a bit they will just keep seeing me until its done.
So then I have Thursday free to study and Saturday my friend Jane is in the area so we are going shopping and having a girlie day-much needed but probably no study time lol. She has 2 family weddings to go to this year and we are going to look at some outfits and generally have a catch up.
Craft wise I am doing bits and pieces-finishing mums knitted scarf, little amounts of MIX and some of my rotation. I want to start several things and can't decide whether to or not. I haven't really got time to stitch too much at the moment but it would also be nice to have a few smaller pieces on the go. Although yes they are smaller but I want to make them into a bigger picture such as Bent Creek's Winter Snapperville. I am going to do this with the border and as one big picture-so four small charts becomes quite big lol. I am also wanting to start my Kats by Kelly year long wall hanging. They release two monthly themed Mini Kat deigns every other month or so which again are small but there are 12 of them lol. I also have to count these as a wip until the entire thing is done the same as I do with the Chatelaine mysteries so my wip count just increases. But they also make for some quick designs and a good thing to stitch after dialysis.
Anyway think that is that for now but hope you are all ok and will try and post on Tuesday with the news from the fracture clinic whether that is good or bad.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Tutorial and small HD

I went to my first tutorial yesterday and the 3 hours just flew. It was great to meet everyone and put names to faces as we have studied for around 5 months on a message board together but most of us had never met. There was a tutorial right at the beginning of the course but I and most others didn't make it for various reasons. I didn't feel like the fish out of water I was worried about being and now have more confidence both personally and with the course.
Then yesterday evening I finished up the square that is going to be part of a quilt in memory of Laura from the stitching community. Laura sadly passed away last month and it has been organised by some of her friends as a gift for her family so they can appreciate how well thought of she was. I chose to do the square that Teresa Wentzler adapted for my 30th birthday quilt last year and I stitched it in Laura's favourite purple colurs:

Out of courtesy I emailed Teresa to check it was ok to use and she was honoured to have its conclusion in the project. I felt it was appropriate as its something that defines me and my place in the online stitching community as well as being designed by someone whos board Laura was part of.
Today I am pretty tired after yesterday's busy day but finished up the next piece in my rotation plus a few minutes more to finish a thread lol, and have also completed my studies for the day. So for the rest of the day I plan to chill out and knit, stitch or surf.
This week is looking fairly quiet so far with a short appointment Thursday morning and getting some more study done inbetween.