Saturday 27 October 2018

Project 365 week 43

My room after an emergency admission to my place of work.


It was a loooonnngggg night staring at the ceiling. I have done a blog post on my ordeal if you want a read.


Somebody missed me while I was away and spent the night on my knee.


Bob was to have his synacthen tests today, the ones they cancelled the other week when DD1 had not stopped his medication. So there was an emergency babysitter on standby in case I had been kept in yesterday. So Spud and I walked down to the fishery and met up with hubby and dog for a walk round. Hubby and Spud had lots of fun playing chase and chucking leaves at each other, a blog post will follow. 


Went in to speak to a GP as during the day I had had two bouts of it going black,solid and cold but he could not advise me on what to do as he did not have in the test results. So I rand the ward and they passed a message to the consultant who phoned me back and said he did not think it was serious and not to worry. I am sure that will look good on top of my ashes. 

A walk round the park in Ayr, a bag of chips and then a walk along the river. Spot the dog amongst the leaves, need to paint some white stripes on her. 


Nothing much doing. Catching up on housework and walking the dog. Down to babysit the kids while DD1 picked up Bob from gymnastics. His dad is on back shifts for the next few weeks so he dropped him off on the way to work.

There has been a lot of swan aggro on the ponds this week. Two of them ganging up on a third. Here is one attempting to get away but it was followed.


I have always been a shallow breather, but this was suggested to me to strengthen the lungs and to improve my breathing so going to give it a go.

Friday 26 October 2018

My unusual black thumb

I work in a hospital, I usually work two shifts mine and an overtime shift, with a ninety minute break in between. Last Sunday I picked up my bag that I use to amuse myself with in between my shifts, contains my kindle on which I have an audiobook as well as some cross stitching and lately some colouring as well. So walking along the corridor I felt what I can only describe as a sharp pain, like a sting, had I been out for a walk I might have thought I had been bitten or stung. Anyway time I had got along the corridor to the canteen to meet up with the others on the same break the top end of my thumb had gone black and was very swollen, from normal to discoloured, sore and swollen in less than two minutes. My colleagues did not like the look of it and by now my thumb was cold. They sent me down to see the supervisor and to let her know I was going to A&E to get it looked at - just meant I might not be available for the overtime shift depending on how long I was down there.

Sadly just because you are dressed in an NHS uniform you do not get any sort of priority! So I reported to A&E, got triaged within about fifteen minutes and then sat and waited. Two hours after getting there, and I was informed by the receptionist it was a quiet afternoon, I got taken through to minors. The Dr looked at my thumb and thought it was a blood clot. She really did not think there was much she could do and planned on drawing round it telling me to come back if it expanded anymore. Ten minutes later she came back with another Dr who agreed on the blood clot answer but decided they needed it seeing by a Vascular Expert but he was currently in surgery and they were hoping he would be pout for 8pm. They decided the best bet was to admit me until I could be seen.

By now it was nearly 6 o'clock and I had had nothing to eat since 11.30. I knew that time I got further into the hospital system all that would be available to eat would be a sandwich or a salad, neither of which are any use to me due to my food allergies. It is at times like this knowing the system and the staff comes in handy, so somebody went and got me a hot meal as I knew what was on the menu.

So after I had something to eat the Dr came back for blood samples. Before I got moved into the Clinical Assessment Unit ( CAU) I had my blood pressure and temperature taken, blood pressure was ridiculously high at this point. This is a fairly new part of the hospital and apart from being a maze that is hard to find your way round it is also painted in some vivid colours. So I got settled into my single room. This real appealed to me as I hate the heat and had my window open. At this point I was still not sure what their plan was for me, whether they were keeping me in or not. I had been keeping hubby up to date and there was no point in him bringing in a bag until I knew I was staying.

There is free wifi available in the CAU so I made the most of it and downloaded a new audiobook and four episodes of  Criminal Minds. I did not think this would be available up the stairs so I was making sure I had something. I was happy to amuse myself with colouring.

By 9pm the surgeon was still in surgery and they decided they were going to keep me in overnight. So DD1 and hubby brought my stuff up via McDonalds.......hubby did not want one he had eaten half a packet of cream biscuits for his tea!!!! Various members of staff  popped in to say hello.

A member of staff came in and did an ECG, which was normal, and took my blood pressure again which by now was back to normal. Just after 10.30 pm they decided that they were moving me upstairs to a ward. I had been hoping to stay downstairs but no luck. Hubby and daughter went home at this point taing with them bits and pieces I had I did not need. Up the stairs I was put into a six bedded room with elderly ladies. I had not expected to get much sleep and I was not too bothered as I knew that the ward would be busy overnight. I was not wrong, Some the the people in the large room were amputees and so needed to buzz for commodes over night. I spent the night listening to my audio books, watchung various downloads on my kindle and colouring.

The next morning I managed to get a roll and jam for my breakfast. It was a waiting game to get into the bathroom, but then I was going nowhere quickly so it did not really matter. I have to say having had no sleep overnight, and not much on Saturday night either thanks to the granddaughter crying, I was not in the best frame of mind. I was sitting cross stitching with my headphones on while I listened to my audiobook. But the oldies wanted to talk and I was not really interested so I was pretending I did not hear them, so they would come over in their wheelchair and tap me on the arm and talk to me.....really irritating, and I have to confess to wanting to tell them to bu**er off and leave me alone. I am not one for small talk at the best of times but I suppose these ladies had been in for four to six weeks and I was a new face.

Anyway just before lunch the Vascular Specialist came round and looked at my thumb. By now it had spread to my whole thumb but was more gray than black. The specialist was trying to convince me I had bruised my thumb with some sort of trauma, I think I would have noticed. All my blood results were normal. He decided at this point to send me for a duplex scan to check for a blood clot but I could not get this until the following day. When given the option to stay until then or go home and come back I decided going home was the best option.

Unfortunately the scan did not show anything. I have no furring of the arteries, no plaque anywhere and nothing to cause a clot. Twice on thursday  my thumb flared up and went cold and black again. Something is going on, this is not normal and today my whole thumb is grey. The plan had been if it showed anything I was to be readmitted straight back to the ward.

The next stage is to go for a heart scan and to have a 24 hr blood pressure monitor on. Hopefully should not be too long.

Another case of the NHS being great at the point of the emergency.

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Helping Other Mums – 5 Things You Can Do

People, Women, Friends, Family, Walking, Road, Green

Pixabay You’re stronger together.

Mums should stick together. Always. If you’re going to embrace the help that’s on offer to you, however, it’s vital that you return the favour. Thankfully, helping other mums is a far easier task than you imagine.
There are several instances in which your support, knowledge, and mere presence can have a telling impact on another mums life. Consequently, here are five of the most effective way to do your bit for the collection of mothers.
Take Care Of Their Kid
  We all need an opportunity to handle other life commitments away from the children. You can help a fellow mum by babysitting their child after school or organising a carpool to free up some valuable time in the mornings. Many of these efforts will be repaid. So, when you have a big group of mothers rather than a one-on-one friendship, you should find that it works very well for everyone involved. This is the perfect microcosm of the give and take philosophy.   
Support Them Through Illness
  Suffering from an injury or illness is never easy. However, it can seem infinitely tougher when you have children to consider too. Helping a friend through these situations with love and care can be hugely beneficial. In many cases, it can help speed up the road to recovery while preventing the child from being around illnesses or seeing a parent at their worst. Nobody deserves to face those battles alone, so make sure your fellow mums don’t have to.    
Educate Them
  Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. By pulling your skills together, you can all discover that knowledge is power in a very clear manner. Whether it’s teaching other parents about internet safety, a new child-friendly activity, or ways to stay on top of house chores doesn’t matter. For every skill you teach them, there is another skill that they can teach you. Once again, you can take this even further by working together as a group. After all, education isn’t only vital for the kids.
Support Them Through Breakups
  There’s no need to poke your nose into people’s business. When a close friend is going through a tough separation, though, your support can be very comforting. This can range from pointing them to the best family law experts to being there to provide emotional support or share your experiences. If nothing else, knowing that they needn’t face the battle alone can prove to make a huge impact on their mindset as they take on the many challenges ahead.
Provide Motivation
  Every mum is happy to put their children first. Still, this can lead to reduced confidence and other related issues. Sometimes, then, the best thing you can do is inspire another mum to be her best. From being her competition in the bid for fitness to giving her a daily text message to tell her that she can do this, those little steps make a big impact. When you’ve got her back, she’ll have yours. Together, you can both accomplish truly wonderful things. Embrace it.

This is a collaborative post.

Letting five grandchildren loose with Little Brian paint sticks

I have never been a lover or messy arts and crafts playing, even when my own children were young. Yes I would allow it in the garden but not really in the house. Maybe because I was never an arty/crafty child myself. I would happily let them make a mess with baking stuff and would have baked with them all day long - so I allowed them to use their creative flair in other ways - though back then this terminology was never attached to children and what they did with their day.

So when I saw an opportunity to try some Little Brian Paint Sticks I thought why not, sounds like the sort of thing I would allow them to play with in my house.Their website has ideas and hints and tips on so worth a look if you are buying some and each box came with hints and tips in as well. I feel their website is slow to load but worth the wait.

I received three packs, Mini paint sticks, metallic paint sticks and chalk sticks. The website describes them as:
A fun, clean, simple and very convenient way to paint, Little Brian Paint Sticks have fast become the latest must have toy for any art or craft fan! They can even be popped into a travel bag to keep the children entertained on holiday too!

So initially we tipped the two boxes of paint sticks onto the table having got out paper for them all to use. We used white paper as well as coloured to see what sort of effects we could get. Now two of the children using these paints are under three but they were all closely supervised.

The first thing we noticed with them was they all struggled to get the lids off of the mini paint sticks. Minky, who will be five next month,  decided he would use his teeth, and then take it out of his mouth, so Dinky and Spud copied, Ziggy did it the easy way and asked. Have to say we were not keen on the size of the lids as I would imagine it could be quite easy for a child to swallow one of these small lids.  We decided to remove all of the lids from all of the paint sticks and pop them in a bowl up out of the way of little fingers and mouths.

So the children all picked up a paint stick or two and started creating masterpieces. The term masterpieces is used loosely, but they were all happy pieces.  The five children varied from two 2yr old, the twins at nearly 5 and Fifi at 15. Fifi is currently doing Higher Art at school. The first downside we came across with the mini sticks is they all look the same, no way of knowing which colour was which. It might have been a help had either the outside wrapper or the bottom of the stick been colour coordinated the same as the metallic sticks. Anyway this did not detract from their pleasure at being creative.

the metallic paints, all coloured so easy to choose 

the mini paint sticks, the cases are all the same colour

The twins with Spud watching on

Dinky's man with headphones over the ears 

Minky's walking house 

Minky's house with a lamp post 

trying out textures and their first drawings. 

even the two two years old joined in and had fun. 

Minky did a snowman and flowers and then put a purple jumper on his snowman 

Fifi felt it was like painting with glue sticks, she felt they dragged a bit making it a harder to get an even covering that you would get with a paint brush. The younger ones did not notice this and painted away quite happily.

Fifi did a baby sea turtle by layering and blending with the metallic ones 

a halloween house that was also blended and layered. 

We found with so many of them picking them up and putting them down willy nilly they were rolling off the table so possible a triangular shape would have worked better from that point of view. The plus side was how quickly they dried, with five children painting finding drying room would be difficult. I remember my son use to come home from school with paint on the paper thick enough to crack once dried as he loved to layer it on thick.

I see from their website that you can use both the paints and the chalks on glass, a great idea for decorating your front window for Halloween or Christmas.

Then we moved onto the chalks with the older four, the two younger ones had moved off to read books.

These gave a different effect and were thinner in diameter, more crayon thickness. We did find that heavy handed 4 yr olds managed to break a few of them.

Fifi did a unicorn with the chalks 

We did do a bit of painting on the mirror with them, could not get it to photograph, not sure how easy it came off as I did not attempt to.

The chalks were great as there was no dust from them and they did not smudge across either the paper or their clothes. We did not try them on a chalkboard but used the on paper, they worked well.

 This is Minky taken the other week when he had been using his chalk board, rubbing off what he drew with his hands and wiping it over his face and down his tee shirt.

The paint sticks are currently available in a lot of the Tesco stores, check your store here 

Our verdict -

  • a great idea and would be fab for travelling or at a grandparents house where opportunities for messy play may be limited. 
  • work well with nice vibrant colours
  • dry quickly with no smudging across paper or clothes
  • more expensive than normal paints but great as an alternative
  • lids difficult to remove for little hands, and small enough to pop into little mouths.
  • rolled off the table, maybe a different shape would be better
  • opportunity to be more artistic with water and a paint brush

We were sent these items to try out but the findings our are own. 

Wednesday 24 October 2018

Helping a Loved One Through Injury or Illness

There are certain situations in life where we take on direct responsibility over another person.
Generally speaking, these will be close relationships where one party commonly cares for
another. The most common situation like this is a parent’s care for their child until they are
a grown adult. However, there are situations when tables turn and you find yourself having to
look after a parent, or when you find yourself having to look after another relative or friend.
Most of the time, they would generally be able to take care of themselves, but no longer can due
to some sort of illness or injury. This can be a difficult and confusing scenario to find yourself
in, as it isn’t generally one that presents itself to everyone. However, there are active steps
that you can take to ensure that you help your loved one to the utmost.

Visiting in Hospital

If your loved one is in hospital, make sure to visit. Hospitals can be relatively lonely places, even
if there are lots of medical professionals and other patients around. A familiar and friendly face
can make all the difference! If possible, you might want to ask whether the patient needs you
to bring anything to make their stay more comfortable. While they will receive the basics,
there may be some home comforts that they’d like brought along. For me it is my own pillows, cant
stand the plastic wrapped ones the NHS provide. Something as simple
as a pair of comfortable slippers or a better quality shampoo than what is provided can make all
the difference to their happiness. Just make sure that what you intend to bring is permitted by
ringing and asking a nurse on the ward first. Some items are prohibited and will not be allowed.

Consider Respite Care Services

If you find yourself caring for someone, you are bound to need a little time off or time to yourself every now
and then. While it is extremely rewarding, it can also be a draining commitment. This is where
respite care services can come in useful. These are professional services that see qualified
medical staff or carers take control of your loved one’s care while you take a temporary break.
This can give you time to relax and recuperate yourself, ensuring you are refreshed and ready
to return to your caregiving role.

Arrange Activities Where Possible

If your loved one is bed bound, they may quickly become bored. It’s a good idea to try
to incorporate as many activities into their day as possible. Try offering them a book,
playing music, sitting nearby for a good chat, or incorporating a game into their day. The
distraction can do them the world of good and keep them occupied, helping them to feel
productive in one way or another. One of the common items I see popping up these days a lot is adult
colouring books. I had mine in with me over the weeknd. You could also arrange phone calls or visits from other loved ones who they would be glad to converse with or see.

These are just a few different ways that you can really help a loved one through an
injury or illness. Sometimes it’s the small things that really make a positive difference!

This is a collaborative post.

Six cousins go to the park

Last week when Ziggy was down with her mum and dad none of them were feeling particularly well and so on the Friday when SIL wanted to go into the town and get his hair cut and DD2 wanted to go back to her bed I took Ziggy down to DD1's and we all went the park.

DD1 lives a two minute walk from the park. The twins wanted to take their scooters and Spud and Ziggy decided to take the scuttlebugs. So we decide to go round the park the long way rather than taking one side of the square we went round three sides. But half way round they decided to head off across the grass. Unfortunately Spud could not manage the scuttlebug on the grass and abandoned it as Fifi was helping Ziggy with hers.

Dinky has never been the most adventurous child and was excited to show me she could go up the big slide. She will be five next month but only started going up it this week.

On the other hand Spud has been following Minky up there since she was about 18 months old.

So having them all with us means we had the older ones to help with the younger ones.

All of them like to use the bigger swings but the rule we have is you can only go as high as you can push yourself

Though Ziggy did ask to go " up the sky" and the answer was no top her as well.

Dinky has also started venturing up the ropes as well, does not quite make it to the top but higher than she use to go.

Proud of herself when she kept going up.

Fifi was amusing the two younger ones but nearly fell off backwards at one point as she is bigger then them and unbalanced the spring wobble roundabout.

Minky on the other hand was having lots of fun playing on the rest of the pieces of equipment and must have gone down the fireman's pole  dozens of times. A few times he did mange not to get the best hold and slide down rather quickly.

Dinky was quite happy to play at Ziggy's level. She is a much younger two than Spud and it notices when you have them together. But then Spud has older siblings to learn from and copy.

Dinky is getting incredible brave and playing on more things.

But Minky has no fear.

Ziggy had wanted on this swing as Spud had been on it but she was not quite big enough to manage to hold on so Bob went on with her and held her hands and pushed her. Love the way she is looking at him.

Back on the big swings, Spud on her tummy as she can move the swing this way.

She is even getting brave enough to climb over the bonnet of the truck.

She has been brave enough to jump,across the mushrooms for a long while and of course Spud copies her.

The twins went back to the swings but the younger two decided at that point that they wanted on them and they both had a strop.

Spud decided to strop on the slide.

Fifi decided to try surfing on the see saw, that I have to say DD1 and I had been playing on earlier.

But once the twins had finished on the swings Spud and Ziggy went back on.

Heading home

Dinky decided she did not want her scooter at one point so Spud went on it instead. Which meant Dinky started crying to have it back.

Pulling the scuttlebug was Ziggy's preferred mode of transport on the way home.

This photo just sums up our morning.....lots and lots of family fun and laughter.

Back to DD1's for some lunch and then we did some painting, but that is another blog post.

Country Kids linky