While I may not agree with how this was written, it is true. The truth needs to be known, which is why I have chosen to re-post the article. Charlene
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My train ride from Oxford to Stroud, the nearest station, included one change at Didcot Parkway. So I disembarked happily; and was left standing alone on the platform. Oops! I found a strange object saying HELP. I pressed “dial” and it rang, and rang, and rang. I glanced anxiously at my ticket which told me my train was departing in about 3 minutes. There were 2 trains at platforms other than mine. The HELP object continued ringing as I began to feel somewhat more anxious! The operator was all concern and sweetness when she answered and said, run for it, but I’ll let the conductor know you’re coming. So off I hobbled, with my giant 25kg suitcase, little suitcase and handbag! Down the lift, along the corridor, couldn’t see my WAY OUT at first. But finally went staggering up a very long ramp, regretting every item in the case! The conductor smiled broadly and helped me aboard, wishing me a pleasant journey. It was lovely! The countryside entranced me, especially the quaint villages we went through! We seemed to be travelling through a series of valleys and the views were lovely.
Finally, it was my stop! I approached the train door wondering where I would find Jax with all 8 carriages discharging passengers. Would you believe she was standing at the right spot, right at my door! It was wonderful to finally see her face to face and give her a big hug! We talked non-stop! It was as though I hadn’t seen her for a while and we were catching up like old friends do! Comfortable, natural and wonderful.
We took the scenic route to her home, stopping at the high point to view the countryside all the way to Wales! The farms and villages looked like miniatures. I couldn’t believe the vibrancy of the green! Or the multitudes of trees!
Arriving in her village was amazing! There were flags and bunting strung across the streets and from one building to the next. Cheering people lined the streets waving flags. I was told there was to be an open-topped bus with a brass-band oompahing soon. No, not for me, alas, but for their very own 2 x Olympic Gold Medallist, a rower from Team GB. We decided to walk down and cheer along a little later. Jacky’s parents live over the road from the Town Hall where the Bus ended its tour. We saw the young Olympian close-up and we even made it on to BBC World News later that night! Exciting! Yes, wonderful and simply the best!
The other Minxes, and their hubbies, were invited for a fabulous dinner party that night. Jax pulled out all the stops and served up masses of fabulous food, wine and 2 really excellent puddings. We all laughed, and ate, and laughed, and drank, and laughed some more. I brought out the beautifully sequinned, feathered and netted, bright red, mini-hats and the sparkling, jewel encrusted Minx brooches and issued my challenge: To Cardiff and the Minxes Roar Tour! Purple tops, red hats and minx brooches de riguer! The hats and brooches were promptly donned in all their feathery finery and glittery glory, Then, because the boys felt awfully left-out and rather under-dressed, Jacky produced some wacky wigs which went down a treat! It was a magical, perfect night!
4 month old Miss Binky made us laugh even harder with her kittenish antics. She challenged herself to several circuits of the L-shaped sitting and
dining room. Without touching the floor!! She was into everything, smelling the wine, attempting to taste it. Wanting the nibbles before and after dinner, sitting on everyones lap, so none were offended. Mandy is her favourite person in the whole world and she disappeared up Mandy’s trademark maxi dress a few times, amidst much squealing and giggling! She and Skye the Westie eventually curled up together in blissful sleep.
It was the most awesome night! I felt completely relaxed and at home. Certainly none of these people were “strangers”. Amazing since it was the first time I’d met any of them!
This year I have decided to devote time to what this blog was created for – crafts! I have been rather neglectful of that, getting side-tracked by all sorts of other things. Not unworthy, but not what the blog was created for .
It took being non-weight bearing to get me back to my love of crafting, specifically crochet. Having to keep my foot above hip level, meant I couldn’t sit in my craft room with all my supplies around me. So crochet it was, and since Christmas was here, thst’s what I concentrated on. I thougt I’d continue on in holiday fashion and do Valentines, then Easter, etc. Once again, I got side-tracked! By so many gorgeous patterns! I decided to crochet for my nieces new baby girl first. Especially as she has been ill in her first 2 months of life, poor little mite! So I’m making her a gorgeous dress and bootees. I hope her mum likes crocheted clothes, I didn’t ask, as she’d be polite anyway.
I am loving the creative process of crochet again!
I wish you all wonder and delight, love and peace, joy and happiness, health and wealth, safety and security, fun and laughter, dreams come true and success, and may this extend to all those you love! XxX
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I “sprained” my ankle 14th August 2012, just walking with the Grandies, and paying our respects to the bull. Little K wanted to climb through the fence to pet said bull, and I hurriedly went to grab him! Promptly tripped over a tree root. It was agonising! Big G ran to find his uncle, while I lay on my back trying to stem the flow of curse words backing up against my firmly bitten lips – Little K was sitting next to me “kissing it better”, I couldn’t let him be privy to what I was really wanting to say. I was only weeks away from my Dream Trip to England, Wales and Ireland. I knew I had hurt my ankle quite badly and was devastated!
Husband immediately said I’d have to cancel my trip. I haven’t been accused of being stubborn just for fun in the past, I walked! Well limped anyway.
I did go overseas 4 weeks later, after an xray a week before I left because of swelling and pain. Nothing showed. It was painful, and very swollen. It steadily got worse and worse.I just stayed on the various bus tours everywhere, and hobbled to and from the trains.
The Orthopaedic Surgeon diagnosed a fracture on the Talar Dome with the aid of a CT scan. 11 weeks after my fall, 1 November, he operated. It was a serious fracture, the bone and the cartilage was exploded into floating bits, so it was all removed, the bone scraped back until it bled, then holes drilled to encourage blood to flow into the area to heal and hopefully rebuild some new cartilage. Then he did a synovectomy to release the torn and inflammed tendons, fortunately the torn ligament was healing itself, so he left that alone.
It is now 8 weeks since surgery. I am in a moonboot and on crutches and still only partially weight-bearing. My patience is being tested to the limit! I still have a fair amount of pain, and am very irritated! However, with another overseas trip planned for April, Italy, England and Ireland this time, I’m trying very hard to suck it up and follow my physiotherapist’s instructions. Just to add spice to the mix, I have adhesions at both incisions! Joy!
Oh well, I’m past the halfway mark for recovery, 6-12 weeks it is said. We tried losing the boot and 1 crutch at 6 weeks, but it swelled and the pain was fierce! So at 9 weeks I return to therapy and we’ll try again. Wish me luck please!
Wishing you all a very blessed Christmas and New Year.
If you celebrate Hannukah may your year be light-filled and miraculous.
Whatever your tradition or belief is, may you be blessed with joy and peace.
So an update on the other post.
Mil left hospital for 5 days, and went back for 3 days with a blockage. My heart bleeds for her, it is painful, her dignity is compromised with a baggie and catheter. She has been moved to Frail Care, sharing with a stranger, but she’ll quickly befriend her. Poor old lady!
I saw the surgeon again today. 3 weeks post-op. My foot has mobilized really well, bruising is almost gone too. There is an adhesion I have to massage everyday – NOT nice! The prognosis, though, is painful. He says it will not heal significantly, and arthritis WILL set in. I will need an ankle replacement within 10 years. They’re not terribly successful yet, so unless they come up with something new, I will have my ankle “stiffened” to prevent movement. That was something of a shock. A big one!
I see him again in 2 months. I must start trying to put some weight on the foot, and be walking unaided when I see him. Foot and physio will guide me. I also had a cortisone injection into my other hip for a bursitis I’ve had for years, but has been very well-behaved for months. With all the strain it has had to take in the past 3 months, it hurts like I’ve been skewered with a red hot poker! Only problem is that I don’t sleep for 24 hours after one of those!
I’m now looking for a recumbent trike to ride around the farm on. I have an even bigger incentive to lose weight now! It will keep my injury from worsening fast. I can’t ride yet, but am hoping by Christmas? That’s if I find one here! Otherwise we’ll have to make it ourselves! I’m banned from a bike, from doctor, physio down to my 5 year old Grandie! They all say I’ll fall off! I keep falling off my own feet, so I suppose they have a good point. Anyway the tummy, bum and back work harder on a recumbent, which is just what I need! Wish me luck finding one!
Thanks for “listening”!
My life is a Soap-Opera
It really is!
As a result of the facial and eye injuries in my accident 5 years ago, I developed cataracts in both eyes. They encapsulated six months later and I went back for the corrective procedures on both. At the end of July I had a quick procedure on my good eye because my lens was encapsulating, again! This is not normal.
A week later I had ganglions in my left wrist surgically removed, along with the repair of the mangled nerve they caused. I also had to have a piece of dead bone removed from my wrist, the culprit or the victim? Anyway, I was in a splint for 6 weeks. Plus a temporary one for another 3 weeks.
Mom-in-law had been rather ill for weeks, nothing very serious, however, at 87, you don’t bounce back quickly. Suddenly it turned serious, pneumonia! Off to hospital where it was really serious for days! I postponed my holiday by 12 days. Mom came out of hospital just days before I left.
I had bookings with 3 other friends that we could not get postponed or refunded, so we decided I’d go for that time regardless of things at home. So I rebooked. Finally getting my ticket a few days before I left. It cost an absolute fortune in cancellation and changed booking fees! Could have bought an extra ticket!
A week after the wrist operation, I took the Grandies for a walk and fell over a root. Agonising pain in my ankle, but when hubby said I’d have to postpone my Dream Trip for the 2nd time, I got up and walked! The hobbling it actually required, I only did when he wasn’t looking. Xrays three weeks later didn’t show a thing. Oh well, painkillers, anti-inflammatories and gritted teeth it was going to have to be it.
My son moved into the attached flat on the farm, to take over management of the farm. My hubby is very involved with a mentorship programme that requires huge amounts of time and concentration. Hubby is enjoying the job, and it brings in good, steady income. This also means that the Grandies stay put here at the farm, which I love! Problem is he moved in, the night before I left for UK! NOTHING, except some of my clothes, had been moved out of the flat yet. It had been a storage area for 9 years! Oh well, my motto is, if you haven’t used it in a year, get rid of it. So I wouldn’t miss much. Apart from ‘saving’ the special catering size dishes we use for when lots of visitors come, I said use your discretion.
My UK trip was fantastic! My ankle gave me a fair amount of grief, and I was pretty much stuck on buses and a Thames River cruise or a punt in Cambridge. I never got to see the inside of any place. But I had the most fabulous time with my girls! Two weeks into my trip. my father-in-law passed away very suddenly. He was 90 years old. I cancelled my next 2 weeks in Ireland, and got home as fast as I could.
We had a completely upside down house to try to shove under beds, into cupboards etc, to accommodate 6 extra people for the funeral, the family from UK. But we did, and everyone was pretty comfortable. Besides they’re family, and understood. It was really tough. Not all of us could get flights at the same time from UK. We had three different flights in 3 days. The farm is 2 hours from the airport, so it was lots of driving too. It also meant the funeral was only a week after his death, and that is hard. Too much time to dwell on things.
Two days after the funeral, a very dear friend of mine went missing. He’d gone for a jog, cellphone and work clothes on his bed for later. Just gone. A Private Investigator was hired to try to find out what had happened.
He and his twin were abandoned as babies. His twin died soon after. He grew up in an orphanage for most of his youth. We, his friends, are his family. The outpouring of grief, fear and confusion was immense. 9 days later the police eventually allowed us to see footage of the ATM, where we knew money had been withdrawn from his account at the main station in the city, the day he went missing. We had found this out by the 2nd day, but couldn’t get info on what it showed. It was him! Looking perfectly normal, and with two bags with him. He withdrew the money and was seen on other security footage boarding a train!
Now the confusion really hit. This is a man who cares deeply about his friends; and who is adored by them in return. WTF! 3 days after that, his ex-partner, also my friend, contacted me to say he is safe. His story is a confused one of abduction, robbery, threats and physical violence; and he is in a terrible state mentally and emotionally, but physically ok. He is receiving therapy, and is staying very quiet. I still don’t know what happened, most of us don’t. He just lets us know every few days that he is doing better.
Anyway, my ankle was getting worse, to the point where I could barely walk at all. Back to doctor, more xrays showing nothing! My GP referred me to the Orthopedic Surgeon who was doing a final follow-up on my wrist the following week. In the meantime, crutches and non-weight-bearing instructions.
The Ortho sent me for a CT scan. It showed a serious fracture of the ankle, right inside the joint, which is why nothing showed on xray. Operation booked for a week ahead. Non-weight-bearing for 2nd week. My wrist was taking a beating from the crutches, but just bruising and pain. Part of the instructions was to keep the foot above hip and heart level, so lying down was the only intelligent was of doing this!
My son, now at the farm, lost his hard contact lens. This is a major problem for him. He has Keratoconus, and had a corneal transplant 5 years ago. He wears a hard contact lens in that eye, and it is the only real vision he has. The other eye is so destroyed that he cannot keep a lens in it. The Opthalmologist insisted it was time to fix the bad eye. 12 days ago he went in for the procedure. It was absolute agony for days afterwards, and the sad thing is that it is really too late to make a difference in his eye. Very sad, and hard for him to reconcile to.
The same day, ma-in-law underwent emergency, 3 1/2 hr life-saving surgery. Her large intestine twisted; 40cm had to be removed, and she now has a bag. She was in ICU for 10 days, very confused and hallucinating for a while. But she seems to be recovering. At 87, you don’t recover fast. She is still in hospital, but we don’t know for how long. Or how well she will recover.
The next day was my turn. Doc showed me the photos of the damage inside the ankle joint. The Talus dome had a large medial fracture, with the whole shoulder of bone crushed and fractured away. The cartilage was simply pulverised and non-existent. He debrided and excised the fractures and removed the bits of bone and cartilage, leaving a perfectly empty space between tibia and talus. He drilled microfractures into the now bleeding Talus dome to stimulate healing, and hopefully give me back some cartilage to keep bone from grating on fractured bone. He also did a tendon synovectomy due to tears and swelling of the tendons. The ligament wasn’t torn very badly, and that had actually started healing on its own, so was left to continue! He cannot believe I went overseas on this foot. Well, neither can I! I didn’t have unbearable pain until the bandages came off and drain was removed the next day! Physio and sisters went looking for my splint/moon boot order, but couldn’t find anything. My doc had gone away for the weekend. Nice. I was warned to stay in bed, not to let the foot touch the floor when going to the loo, and be patient.
Finally doc was back and said, NO-weight-bearing on the foot until the stitches came out a week later. That was Friday. Now I’m in a moon boot, which is very heavy, hot, cumbersome and I hate it! I’ve been for 2 physiotherapy sessions, where the foot is mobilized, ankle ultra-sounded, my spasmed calf is massaged, trigger points triggered until I want to scream for mercy and all around tortured! This is to prevent excessive scar tissue forming inside the joint as it heals. Rehab comes in about 6 weeks! Till then patience. This type of fracture only occurs in less than 1% of ankle fractures I’m told. Yeah, I like to be different! Btw I am the first patient with this fracture either my Orthopedic Surgeon or Physiotherapist has treated. Small towns can be soooo exciting!
Little Grandie has been very ill over the weekend, with the tummy from hell! I managed to catch a bit of it too. Not good when you are on crutches and can’t put your foot on the ground, but need to get to the loo NOW! Anyway, Dad wasn’t here, he was best-manning at his best mate’s wedding, hours away. Grandpa went to a school reunion, where they are saying goodbye to a friend with terminal cancer. He had to stay over because of distance. My eldest and youngest sons were roped in to babysit mom and nephew. The other Grandie went to his mother.
We have a Land Claim on our farm. Not the Homestead which has nearly 100 people living on it, is half marshy/unusable land; but the the piece of land my father-in-law bought from the Methodist Church in the 50′s. The farm that allows us to keep farming. Ours is the small piece where there used to be a village and (still is a) burial ground for the people who had lived there. This is now part of a Land Claim affecting 10 farmers. The Government particularly wants the very large rectangular portion of which ours is the centre. The court case started Monday last week. The outcome affects the rest of our lives; where we live, our day to day finances, pension, old age and that of our farmer son.
Well folks, That’s all for now. TV series producers, contact me for all the inside scoop. You better believe that there are things unsaid. Just too, too much to be related here. Who the hell said Truth is stranger than fiction! I want fiction to win!
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Well an update is called for:
As some of you know the last three months have been very eventful and extremely stressful for me. I’ve had 4 surgeries since the end of July. Fallen down 3 times. Been overseas on an undiagnosed broken ankle. Seen my ma-in-law get very ill, be hospitalised twice, undergo emergency life-saving surgery, be in ICU for 10 days, and she is still in hospital. Bury my father-in-law, have other issues that I haven’t mentioned that are life-changing and far-reaching. Too much too soon.
Anyway, I’m done with the challenge for this year. What I added to my WIP was so different from what I’d already written. I got out 6003 words, and realised I was doing myself a disservice. The book is light and fun in parts. My NaNo contribution was little more than dry facts and uninteresting.
Such is life!
May the Lord bless and keep you and yours safely in the palm of His hand. All those facing the superstorm, may it be a little storm in a teacup. Be safe x
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Well no wonder! I saw the Orthopedic Surgeon today, about my sore ankle. He saw a fracture on the xrays I had last week (2nd lot I’ve had) and sent me for a CT scan. Fractured Talus dome, torn cartilage and torn ligament. Certainly not good for walking and touring on overseas! Darn it. I’ve done some damage!
So surgery is scheduled for Thursday next week. It’s been 10 weeks already, I wonder how much longer it will be?
It has been a whirlwind, bumper car, roller coaster, loop de loop couple of months!
First Ma-in-law became ill and just got worse. After 3 weeks she developed pneumonia too – not good for an immobile 87 year old. We thought she’d be leaving us any day. I postponed my Dream Trip. She rallied round and I finally left 12 days later.
The costs involved in changing flights, tours and hotels were enough to have bought a 2nd airticket! No, I didn’t have travel insurance! NEVER again!
7 weeks before I left I had surgery on my left wrist for huge ganglions. The nerve was entrapped in the mess and necessitated a second incision to repair. Bone had become damaged too and that had to be removed, so it ended up being far more than bargained for! However it was successful, and I’m recovering well. I had to wear a removable splint to drive, and during travel with my suitcases, for protection.
A week after the surgery, I fell while taking the Grandies for a walk around the farmstead. I thought I’d broken my ankle. I was devastated at the thought of cancelling my trip, and put on a brave face. It was a bad sprain. I had very little time to rest it and it just swelled and hurt badly. I finally had xrays 2 weeks later, relieved when no fracture was found. RICE I was advised: Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate. I managed Compress ok, but little of the other 3. The night before I left, I fell over a keyboard that jumped out of nowhere. Agony! Hubby said to cancel, I gritted my teeth and insisted I was fine! I’ve waited all my life for this!
Two flights and a bus trip later – 32 hours after leaving home, I lay down on my hotel bed and sobbed. My ankle looked like a rugby ball! I laid a cold damp towel over it and elevated it by putting a pillow on my case. 2 hours later I went to get anti-inflammatories; and a bigger ankle support from a chemist. I’d pulled the other off about 8 hours before, my foot was starting to go blue. They advised me to have it seen to. Hmmmph, yeah right!
I spent the next two days on the open-top tour bus trying to see as much as I could.
The next 2 1/2 weeks were fabuliciously fantasmagorical! I refused to allow my foot interfere as far as possible! But it did, and some days had to be cut short due to swelling and pain. But it was glorious (posts to follow!) and better than I’d hoped!
Tuesday, the day before my 10 day tour of Ireland, was spent packing and resting my foot. I’d managed to fall down the stairs, and my foot was going crazy again!
At lunchtime my Father-in-law passed away. My husband messaged me to say he’d gone to sleep after breakfast and when they came to rouse him for lunch he had virtually no pulse and was only taking a few shallow breaths. They pushed Mom-in-laws bed next to his and helped her hold him in her arms. Hubby and our youngest son were there when he stopped breathing a little while later.
The rest of the day was a frenzy of cancelling my tours, hotel, trains, ferries, letting people know, arranging a flight home, etc.
I could only get there on Friday, and we went straight to the home so I could see Mom. The funeral was on Monday.
The family and friends were wonderful, and it was good to see so many of them, despite the circumstances.
The next week was a mixture of being with Mom, trying to RICE the foot and move.
My son, Daddy of the Grandies, and his new love, moved home to manage the farm the day before I left on my trip.
There was mixed-up everything from one end of the house to another! We also had another 6 people in the house for the funeral. 12 people in total, amidst moving chaos! Aarrgghh!
The biggest challenge was linen, I just threw stuff on beds and apologised that not everything matched. Being family, they didn’t care.
Sunday following the funeral 5 went back home, making things more manageable.
Sunday morning I also received a phone call from a dear friend to say his ex-partner, a very close friend of mine, had been missing since Thursday at 7am. P-H had gone for a jog, leaving his work clothes neatly folded on his bed.
I was devastated, it was all too much, too soon.
My brother-in-law went back to England on Tuesday night. Terribly hard to say goodbye, he and the family plan to come for 10 days over Christmas, but will they see Mom again? She is so frail now, she can’t move at all, and has to be helped with everything. We thought she’d go first. What a shock. Even at their age, you are not prepared when one dies.
We finally had a break-through with P-H on Wednesday. The police had informed us that 3000 was withdrawn from his account at Cape Town station the morning of his disappearance, but they would not release the security video for some reason. Finally after some hysteria they allowed his housemate and ex-partner to see it. He withdrew the money, bought a train ticket and boarded the train carrying two bags! WTF!
Nothing could surprise or shock any of us more! It appears he has opted out of his life! Will we ever know why? Or why he deeply hurt so many who love him dearly. He was brought up in an orphanage, WE are his family! It’s so far beyond our collective understanding!
Wednesday, I went to the doctor. To say he hauled me over the coals … More xrays, thank goodness no fracture. It’s either torn ligament/s or tendinitis. I’m seeing my Orthopedic Surgeon next Thursday for a final check-up on the wrist and I am to give him the xrays and my story.
I chose not to be put in plaster of Paris – it is hugely hot right now. I’ve opted for crutches and rest. Absolutely no weight-bearing on the foot, and the crutches hurt my wrist anyway. I’m essentially in bed.
I can’t think of a place I’d prefer to be.
Does anyone else have a fairground life? Yes, of course, so many of you do. But I’d really appreciate some boredom and nothingness for a good long while!
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Actually, I don’t feel light-hearted about this at all. The oldies, my in-laws, are 90 and 87. They both suddenly became ill this week. Ma is so weak she can barely sit up. Her cough is that of a drowning person. She is really ill. As ill as the old man is, he’s fussing and concerned for her, trying to encourage her to drink her tea, etc. We are really worried!
My youngest (23), had his 4 wisdom teeth out a week ago. He’s been doing really well. Friday night he didn’t feel well. Saturday morning it was slightly sore throat, ears, coughing a bit. He must have picked up my germs – I had pneumonia last week. Or he got it from the Grandies who had bronchitis, and are still coughing badly – they arrived Monday.
All in all, not a healthy household this week.
Well hubs took youngest son to hospital at 5 this morning. He’s been throwing up, shivering non-stop and tonsils are on fire! Poor thing. Now, I’m impatiently waiting to hear what they decide to do with him. His throat is gross!
I’m an unhappy bunny
Yucky. That’s what my Grandie calls these growths.
Doctor calls them ganglions.
They attach to the tendon which gets excited and balloons up.
Often an old injury, yeah,
like 5 years ago in my tangle with a motorbike.
They are not so attractive,
They’ve snagged the nerve,
and wrapped and squeezed it good and solid;
So I have two and a half dead fingers too.
Tuesday afternoon I’m having them removed!
No more Yucky!
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My father and mother met in Primary School. He apparently came home and
told my Granny that he’d found his wife. She had red hair and was beautiful,
and Granny would have grandchildren with red hair, like she’d always
They were star-crossed lovers, and called Romeo and Juliet by everyone at
school. He was rich and Jewish, she was ordinary farming folk, and Irish
Catholic. Every afternoon he’d ride out to visit her at the farm, and pay his
future brothers-in-law to wipe out his bicycle tracks with a leafy branch.
At the ages of 17 and 16, their plan to be together forever produced a
planned pregnancy. They were finally allowed to marry just weeks before
their daughter was born. She died almost immediately.
Theirs was a happy marriage and produced 3 live children; myself, my sister
and brother. I was born 2 years after Charmaine, and we share the first part
of our names. We emigrated to South Africa when I was about 7. Terrible
tragedy struck in February 1969. My 27 year old mother was brutally
murdered at the front door of our home, by an unknown intruder. My father
came home to find her lying in the entrance hall, while we were asleep in
My father was accused and arrested for her murder, and refused bail while
awaiting trial, as a “flight risk”. My Granny had taken us home with her to
Zambia. Meanwhile, the truth was witheld from us. We were told our mother
had suddenly become ill, and been rushed to hospital. Shortly later, that she
had died. We were told our father was selling our home and belongings and
would be with us soon.
Dad kept a diary in prison. Strictly forbidden, and very carefully hidden for
all those months. In it he recorded daily prison life; stories of other awaiting
trial prisoners, visits and visitors, letters and news, lawyers and advocates
advice. He wrote of his intense grief at not simply losing his soul-mate, love of
his life and mother of his children; but of the anger and fear and horror of
being accused of killing her. He wrote of their love and reminisced. 43 years
later I am still trying to shape it into the book he wanted to write as a
testament to their love. It is still so painful.
After 9 long, tortuous months of fear, confusion, grief and cruel separation,
he came home. The Verdict was that she’d opened the door, thinking it was
him. Instead, her jaw was broken by a punch, and she was stabbed 14 times;
so viciously, that the wide-bladed knife snapped in two. It was a huge relief,
but still so sad, so awful.
Dad was a complete madcap, in many ways a child at heart, always
laughing, always playing and teasing. He loved children, especially his own.
He never tired of playing board games or cards, making up stories or, our
favourite, reading to us. When Mom died, he was reading Lassie to us. Every
night we would all climb into an arm chair in the lounge. A tangle of arms,
bodies, heads, legs. All dreadfully uncomfortable, but enthusiastically leaning
over, turning a bit, whatever was needed so all could see the pictures, and
Dad could see the text. Mom would curl up on the floor and lean against his
legs and ours, her head on a lap or knee, arms entangled with ours. And he
would read until someone started nodding off.
We tried it again when he came home. But everything was wrong. Our chair
was gone, we’d all grown, our book with the pictures was gone. Mom was
gone. It hurt too much and we just hugged and cried for a long time.
Dad remarried, and I did not get on with my step-mom, Val. I was angry that
she’d usurped my mothers’ place. I was angry that my father had betrayed
my mother’s memory by marrying again. I was a typical teenager, rebellious
and angry, and made everyone’s life difficult. The only bright spot was the
birth of my half-brother. I adored him.
Soon after that, we were sent to boarding school in South Africa. I hated
every second of it. We went to my uncle for mid-term break. My step-mother
was visiting too. I ran away from home. My uncle was in the police force,
and one of the neighbours, a cop in his unit, saw me sneak out. I was under
observation before I left the house! I flew home alone. Dad and I sat down
and had many heart to heart, no-holds barred talks that week. I opened up
completely to him, and he treated me like an adult. I needed to know what
had happened to my mom, the truth had never really come out. I’d heard
bits and pieces over the years. He gave me the transcript of the trial, with
descriptions of her injuries removed, as well as the photographs. He also gave
me his diary. From then on, my Dad and I were very close. It was a very
good thing in the end. I was 15 years old.
The whole family, Granny too, emigrated back to South Africa when I was
almost 16. Dad was almost immediately transferred to Botswana. I did not
want to go with the family. He and my step-mom were having problems, and
I didn’t want to be there. We discussed it at length, and with family living in
Johannesburg, and he agreed to let me stay.
He came through once a month, and we’d spend the weekend together.
People watching over breakfast, having great fun at their expense! We’d
always go to a bookstore, browsing around deliciously. Dad always had 3 – 4
books on the go at once, I’m the same! We’d read bits out to one another and
leave with new reads for the month. We’d visit friends and family. We’d see
movies, eat out, talk and laugh and be delighted to be together.
The marriage eventually broke up. 4 years later Dad moved back to South
Africa, about 2 hours from Johannesburg. My sister went home to finish
school. He married again, to a woman with two children.
3 months later he died suddenly. He was 39 and 1 month. It was 33 years ago
today. I love you and miss you so much Dad. X@
At 2am lasr Saturday night, my middle son MG, went to his kitchen for a drink of water. On his way back he realised there were men in the open plan living area, trying to untangle the TV from it’s wires. They ran out through the open patio doors. The frightening thing is that he’d walked past them to get to the kitchen, but they simply carried on! They took his wallet, the days takings and cellphones. Really scarey! Thank heavens the children didn’t fall asleep in front of the tv that night!
Last night, my eldest son HJ, spent the night at a friend. His flatmate was also away for the night. Their house was broken into, the security gate actually pulled out of the wall! They took both the flat screen tv’s – my son only got his about a month ago. All the audio equipment, all the video equipment, games, and other electronic equipment. Two laptops, all their suits, and that is what they’ve accounted for till now. The police say they know this gang, they are heavily armed, and not afraid to kill. They are very lucky young men!
I am so upset. I keep dissolving into tears, and I wasn’t even there. I thank the Lord that nobody was hurt in either case.
I’ve been working on a project, when I have the time, with great excitement!
But first a little background. July 18th or 67 Minutes for Madiba is a national Community Service Day in South Africa. Nelson Mandela served 67 years of his life for the world, and its our way of extending that in his honour.
This year we celebrated with cakes and cooldrinks at 3 parties. The Farm Primary School with 50 children; our 34 Farm Workers; and 20 older folk, caretakers and tots in our farm village. As part of the celebration the children got new winter school uniforms and shoes, and the littlies got tracksuits.
One of the mums came with me to buy everything. Betty is great. We talked about the young women in the village, I have wanted to teach them to sew, knit and crochet for their children particularly, but also as a means to earn money. Betty is thrilled and says she’d be happy to be translator and co-teacher. We also talked about a preschool for the littlies in the village. She will teach if I help.
I’ve invested in a Home School Program, and stocked up on supplies. Some things will be made by the villagers. We need a playground, a veggie patch, a hen house, and certain supplies like bean bags, dolls and soft toys, blankets, curtains, aprons, etc will be made by moms as part of the Adult Learning Program. There is also a need for Adult Literacy lessons.
We have a large Hall used for Church, Gatherings, etc which will be used for both projects.
We were supposed to start this week, but I’m confined to bed!
Drat! I’m excited!
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- Nelson Mandela turns 94, South Africa celebrates – CBS News (cbsnews.com)
- LEARN: 67 Minutes (bethechangekenya.wordpress.com)
- Public service marks Mandela’s birthday – CNN (edition.cnn.com)
- Nelson Mandela’s 94th birthday celebrated in South Africa – video (guardian.co.uk)
- Nelson Mandela International Day (datadiary2012.wordpress.com)
- Six Inspiring Nelson Mandela Quotes. (elephantjournal.com)
- Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s legendary leader, is 94 today (latimesblogs.latimes.com)
- Happy Birthday Nelson Mandela: South Africa celebrates former president’s 94th (standard.co.uk)
Today, 5 years ago, I had a clash with a motorbike. Pedestrians come off very badly, so do NOT try it! I landed on my face. Necessitating reconstruction: I am now bionic, I have titanium in my face! 15 new teeth: and they’re straight and fine! But, by far, the worst injury was to my eyes. I’ve now had 11 ops/procedures to them. I was told only 30% of injuries like mine have any sight at all. The left eye necessitated a new lens, I got a distance lens in that eye. The badly damaged right eye has been a real challenge, and had 8 of the procedures. One of the problems is that I have a blown pupil, and the new lens was meant for reading, crafting, computer, ie close up. The eye just will not cooperate! I suffered some brain damage, this is one area relating to that. My right eye should be seeing well, but my brain won’t let it!
Anyway, after 4 1/2 years, the healing and stability of vision meant I was finally able to get reading glasses that allow me to see better close up. Problem is, if I look up with my glasses on, I get seasick! Weird. The Optometrist also picked up that the left lens was becoming encapsulated, causing my distance vision to become blurred. I had to have a laser procedure to remove that, before I could get variefocal lenses for glasses that stay on all day. Yesterday I had the procedure. It went brilliantly! I can see clearly to a really good distance. In 3- 4 weeks I’ll go for new variefocals! That’s the good news. Great news! But I have a chronic infection in both eyes, and need treatment for 6 months with antibiotics, drops, gels etc. Not good!
I also went to the GP because I have a “yucky” wrist according to my grandson . I have had a ganglion removed from this wrist before, and have two more popping up looking yucky. Another one is internal. I have no feeling in 3 fingers. Off to Orthopedic Surgeon today. Bad news.
I’ve had asthma for a long time, pretty well controlled. Jan/Feb this year I had pneumonia twice, and have been having problems since. Doc sent me for chest xrays. Pneumonia again. Sheesh! Bad news
From there son and I went to dentist. I was going for a refill in a tooth I keep grinding the life out of, and to fit a new crown on a tooth that was only slightly damaged in the accident, but had been “porcelained”. I cracked it open. The dentist was delayed by an hour. It has never happened before, but between an emergency and the lab being late delivering, it was chaos. So we waited and had lunch. My son went in as planned, I had the next app. But I felt so sick, my app was gladly postponed, bring in all the next apps to order. My son is having all 4 wisdom teeth out under sedation later today.
He has abscesses under 2 of them, fortunately draining. Bad news.
Oh well, we’ll undergo our ops/procedures and come out better.
I won’t be crafting for a time, nor blogging much. My eyes need rest!
Other good news, the Grandies are coming agin over the weekend! Woo hoo!
I saw the Orthopedic Surgeon today. Once again I am among the rarest of people! Ganglions do not occur where mine are. I also have nerve impingement. He has taken blood for an arthritis profile. The bone beneath the ganglions has holes in them, so there is something else going on he says. Depending on the results next Tuesday, he may operate Thursday. Why must everything be a Big Production in my life
My son had his 4 wisdom teth extracted a couple of hours ago. No problems. He has a fabulous sense of humour normally, but we’ve been in hysterics at his loop-de-loop mutterings and observations as he wakes up.
These are a few books that I think all women should read.
They may sound similar, but are not.
The wisdom contained in them
Is priceless and profound.
I loved them
A Year By The Sea by Joan Anderson – Empty Nest Syndrome – Joan Anderson does something totally unexpected – She takes a year’s sabbatical – from her marriage and her life. “Thoughts of an Unfinished Woman gradually evolved. I didn’t run away to write a book. I was too brain dead to do that. I ran away to get rid of the clutter in my life and listen to what my heart was trying to tell me. My two sons were out of the nest, my husband was pursuing his dreams, and I needed to ask myself some hard questions without relying on the input of others. So I retreated to our Cape Cod cottage (off season) and gradually– as I walked the beaches, ran into a fascinating mentor, and took a job in a fish market–came up with some unconventional answers for a new life.”
An Unfinished Marriage by Joan Anderson - In this moving sequel to her national bestseller A Year by the Sea, Joan Anderson explores the challenges of rebuilding and renewing a marriage with her trademark candor, compassion, and insight.
A Walk On The Beach by Joan Anderson - “One thing I was not expecting, nor looking for, was a mentor—someone who would guide me and yet not have a stake in what I became. Joan Erikson’s life cycle logic has become a part of what I share with women who also are in search of their strengths. Understanding the phases of a woman’s life and how vital we are until the end, are gifts that Joan Erikson would have me pass on. In fact, the book is written so that the reader is mentored by Joan Erikson and then mentors others.”
The Second Journey by Joan Anderson – “We are born to be ourselves—in need of upgrading the gene—to look back again and again and befriend that person you once intended to become. Life, like a beach, is always rearranging itself. The trick is to welcome and then work with, not against the changes. We are in a constant state of metamorphosis, experiencing conflicts for which we must find resolution and in doing so deepening our innate strengths. Knowing, acknowledging and celebrating the phases all women go through—how we’ve risen above our angst—respecting our very determination—that is the fodder needed to continue our independent journeys. The goal is to come of age in the middle of life rather than live out our days lacking purpose and energy. It’s all about rearranging our lives in our own image.”
A Weekend To Change Your Life by Joan Anderson – “It is no easy trick to unravel a self, to drop old habits and climb out the box. When I looked back on how I managed to change my life during that year by the sea (and then develop a workshop program that would help other women do the same) it all boiled down to the six R’s. A woman would need to retreat, retrieve strengths from her past, repair the worn parts of her body and soul, regroup by getting rid of unnecessary baggage, regenerate by taking new paths and having adventure, and then (and only then) return to her old life as a new person!”
You’ll be glad you did.
I swore I wouldn’t begin yet another hobby!
But when Grandie #1 made an appearance!
Well you have to showcase the most beautiful Baby in the World!
When #2 came along!
Well the most brilliant, gorgeous, funny, clever, children have to be documented!
Besides, it incorporates all my other crafts,
so it isn’t really new;
it just requires lots of supplies
masses of room
a new camera
a photo quality printer
Sewing for little boys means thinking out-of-the-box.
So, I came up with making them Ragbooks.
These are like my Playmats,
Tactile, Auditory and with hidden surprises!
Softies: Handmade quirky, qute and quddly soft toys for qute widdle babas!
I have sewn lots of softies for the Grandies.
Here are a few.
Most of these were part of the Playmats I made.
One day (!) I’ll get some patterns up!
I simply haven’t touched sides in the last two months!
I need 36 hour days to get things done, the way I want to!
We had the Grandies come and visit for a month.
Then had 4 young 2nd-cousins for 2 weeks of school holidays.
I’ve also been my own travel-agent
Booking my trip to the UK on-line!
It has all been booked and paid!
I’m going to spend loads of time with family and dearest friends.
A bit of Wales,
And I’m touring Ireland too!
My son and 2 Grandies are moving back to the Farm.
But that means I’m having to move out of the flat attached to the main house!
No easy task!
Yeah, reallllllly busy!!!!
My Craft Room was a tandem garage.
It is now an ordinary sized office.
It was a hodge podge of hand-me-down furniture,
Cardboard boxes, revamped whatevers for storage purposes, etc.
Not a pretty sight!
I’ve done a refurbish, renovate, repurpose and
Totally made-over my storage.
We painted everything white – it’s a dark room.
I covered, labelled and re-packed (getting rid of little!).
It looks really great!
So there’s been crafting, painting and decor involved.
My new Craft Room is in the centre of the house,
It has a large window facing the garden
And I love it!
I hope you will forgive my absence.
I know, I missed this one, and a few others!
I hope you don’t mind if I play catch-up.
When I stand before God at the end of my life,
I would hope that I not have a single bit of talent left, and could say,
“I used everything you gave me.” Erma Bombeck
I love going to Craft Markets, hobby and Craft Expos, and Craft Shops. I am inspired to try new things, or have “ah-ha” moments when solutions to problems or “crafters block” suddenly appear. Crafters and hobbyists are such open and friendly people and most of them are eager to share their knowledge and skill. It’s unbelievable how much talent there is out there, and how many different products!
I became a Granny 4 years ago, to another boy! And two years ago to yet another one! When my 3 sons where little I had to steer myself into creating things they’d be interested in, quite challenging! Boys don’t like soft and cuddly things when they get older!
They’ve been great teachers!
However, one of the sewing projects I hit upon for them has turned out to be a real success. It has grown and changed and developed differently over the years too. I started out designing linen for their bedrooms, placemats to encourage them to eat, playmats when they were babies and when they were bigger and had cars and airplanes to land. With the two littlies now, I’ve come back to Playmats, Rag Books and Softies.
The Playmats are tactile, audible and fun; with Softies attached to teething rings; crinkly wings or ears, or blocks; there are squeakers in tummies, wheels and other places; bells too; things to lift up and find surprises hidden below; textures and lumpy bumpy things; stretchy and bouncy doodads; and all kinds of themes.
I’m designing a girl’s range too; Sugar and Spice and All Things Nice; teddies, cupcakes, dollies, and all kinds of girly things.
What joy! I hope you enjoy my offerings…
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Create (klling.wordpress.com)
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Create (thekindnesskronicles.wordpress.com)