Do that thing!

You know that thing, when you stop doing something you once did. You stop doing it for so long that it becomes almost impossible to start again, yet you want to start again but for what ever reason you feel you can’t. That.

All the reasons stream around your head; I can’t just now, I’m too tired/brain fogged/have nothing to say/busy/have nothing to say/out of practice/have still more nothing to say…

If you love doing something enough, you know you will come back to it when the time is right, yet that is an excuse too, it’s not the right time.

Such is my relationship with this little bloggy thing.

it’s been such a long time (over a year, yet I wasn’t very good at it before that.) I feel rusty, I still don’t have much to say and yet so much! it’s been a very big year, lots of ups and many many downs, life changes, learning curves, the road has been bumpy with cow sized pot holes.  I stopped talking and sharing somewhere along the way, I abandoned twitter, couldn’t manage more that naff facebook updates. I stopped writing, the stream of images in my head dried up. There was nothing but cotton wool and tinnitus.

Just sitting here shows me how far I have come in the last few months.

Perhaps its time. Perhaps not, I’m nervous. WordPress looks different, I feel out of my depth, the number of times I have said to myself “will you just get bl**dy on with it woman!”

So I took a deep breath and opened up this page and just started spewing type at it, which is pretty much all I ever did anyway. Perhaps I won’t say another thing until January 2016, perhaps I will find myself here again tomorrow. I really don’t know! I guess, like the rest of my road to recovery, its all about pacing, about taking one day at a time, about feeling my way.

It’s all about me!!!

*sniggers*

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2014? No, seriously?

So here we all are, 2014…. It’s well underway already and has started well in our little corner of the world. So far, we are doing okay. *touch wood*

The year of the Horse… The international year of family, farming and crystallography!

The year is unfurling in front of us, as it always seems to do once you get past silly season. We have thought about holidays, discussed caravans and cars, locations. Got confused about where the first week of summer should be spent (Cornwall or Wales, I’d like to do both but they are both happening the same week!) Considered plans for evening entertainments, It seems that the small people are of a ‘scouting’ age. I’ve signed the little lady up for Brownies and the little man is chatting about beavers, he’s still a little young but almost there. The little lady is practicing hard for her Orange belt, the grading is set for April, she and himself have bought a kick bag to practice with.

I’m thinking of ‘sausage inna bun’ nights and perhaps a souper Sunday get together! I’m looking forward to a party in March for a 60th and wondering if himself and I might get the prospect of a child free weekend and if so, what to do.

Chinese New Year is almost upon us, one of the little ladies close friends is from China, in past years we have had parties and lanterns, red envelopes and Chinese crafts. It’s always a fun time.

2014 sees the approach of the Winter Olympics, a firm favourite in this house, especially the skeleton. The smalls loved the 2012 Olympics and all the excitement it generated. It will be their first Winter Olympics they are old enough to watch and enjoy. Russia is a fascinating place, I’m looking forward to discussions of culture, vodka, weather and much more as I’m sure there will be topics at school and much coverage.

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Pancake day seems late this year, march 4th, we don’t need an excuse for pancakes in this house, we love them, I think we may have to do a few trial runs 😉

And soon, before we know where we are, the snowdrops will raise their gentle heads, followed by crocuses, then daffodils….

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Some friends of our left for the US of A today, there have been tears. I’ve managed to hold back the floods in the face of my friends wobbly lipped braveness but the little lady has balled her heart out. We’ve installed skype on my iPad so she can gossip to her friend across the Atlantic. I have put CST time into my world clock, I can tell we are going to have some issues explaining that one! Anyway… We wish them well on their adventure and we will see you soon!

Come dine with us….

We don’t do many dinner parties. My minimal cooking ability fell into disgraceful disrepair when I married a man who eats for fuel not pleasure, we also set up home together a long way from anyone we knew and then proceeded to be antisocial (at best) together, again due to location and work etc…. When the children came along I did meet some lovely ladies and started being social locally but the men never really meshed. I was also deeply ashamed of my thrown together kitchen which had 3 different styles of unit. Not ideal to invite someone to your home and then feel you have to apologise for its dilapidation.

So, I’m a shocking cook, a shocking house wife, can’t organise my way out of a paper bag….
The excuses we give ourselves to not make an effort… Shameful!

Just recently though, we have found ourselves in a fabulous social circle, more by luck than judgement to be honest and the amazingly welcoming people who seem to enjoy our company keep inviting us to their lovely homes. Payback is of course a pleasure to provide; but I’m reet rusty on being hostess and have a propensity to burn water.

And a little scared to be fair….

With all bullets to bite, starting somewhere needs to happen. So Friday evening we invited some friends and their daughter to dinner. On the way home we were discussing the coming evening and I said to their little girl “You are coming to ours for dinner but you are going to have to cook it yourself,” the look I got was priceless! “No!” She said, at which point my girl started dancing around in glee “cook it ourself?!” She giggled “Oh! Are we using that grill thing?” “Yes! We are going to have Raclette.”

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One of our fondest memories of our skiing holidays is the Raclette evenings. Friends all sitting around a large table in a chalet in La Clusaz. A roaring fire in the corner, wine flowing, filling our little dishes with food and popping them under the grill, the meat sizzling on the top, more wine, loads of laughter… Lovely!

My husbands favourite part was the Tartiflette, a Haute Savoie dish comprising of potatoes, bacon, onions, Reblochon cheese and cream. (Here’s mine ready for the oven)

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We also had veggies and pickles to cook.

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And a selection of meats; steak, turkey, chicken and salmon (although I ate my salmon raw, I really can’t resist raw salmon!)

It was a really lovely evening with mini pavlovas for pudding, coffee and chocolate to follow. I know I certainly had a great time! I hope our guests did too, even if they did have to cook their own food!

And so, will we be opening our rusty hinged doors to friends again? You betcha!

Granny square rug, not to scale..

Just a quick post to show you the granny square rug I knocked up this afternoon for my dolls house music room. It’s made with a 2mm hook using unsplit embroidery silk. Not 1/12 scale at all but I’m still pleased with the result.

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It’s also made me realise how much better my crochet skill is now, almost a year since I started. My tension is so much better!

Sleepless in…. just about anywhere!

Sleep, the final frontier….

These are the voyages of a mother of two small people, a nearly seven year (ongoing) mission to explore a new world, to seek out a safe and happy life, to boldly go where almost every mother has been before but you just never would have believed them if they had told you; and even if you did your hormones would have made you do it anyway.

My sleep pattern pre kids was so good. I got tired, I lay down, I read a bit, I fell asleep, the alarm went off, I got up. 8+ hours every night happy as larry. During my first pregnancy that all changed. As a hugely preggers lady I could never get comfy, at 38 weeks through to 42 weeks (yes, two weeks late) my bladder had so little space I was up to pee every few hours. Then there were the seemingly endless nights of feeding, in fact, until my son (second baby) started sleeping through the night at about 2ish (it might have been later, it’s all a blur) I was up with one or other of them every night. By the time they were sleeping well my own pattern seemed set in, ruined, insomniac incorporated. It’s been nearly seven years and I can honestly say I might sleep through one night out of seven, maybe, if I’m lucky.

I’m in tune with them still, if they murmur in their sleep, I’m awake. If a door creaks – usually the cat, I’m awake. Smells drifting through the window will wake me. Mr. K.s alarm going off any time from 2.30am – 6am and never at a regular time doesn’t help in the slightest. I just wake. All the time.

And once I’m awake, I’m awake for two, sometimes three hours…

I have mentioned in the past my under active thyroid, when it plays up it scrambles what little brain I have left.  A few years ago I was pleading with my endocrinologist to help me gain back some cognitive thought and clear out the cotton wool that is my prime symptom (there are many others) and he said:

“The thing is Mrs K. I don’t think your thyroid is playing up at all, I think you are chronically sleep deprived.” And just like that, the building blocks of thought connected in my brain and I could see I have an issue. Chronic sleep deprivation… Try and find a way to sleep better he said. Easier said then done quite frankly.

Recently I had an email from a nice PR person saying Hi, did you sleep well last night? I said out loud “Sleep? Remind me what that is?” out loud. So, that means no… They asked me to fill out a questionnaire and perhaps try a sleep accessory, its seems the very lovely people at Silentnight Beds had a few ideas they’d like us lack-of-sleepers to try, I was all for it!

Dutifully, I filled out my questionnaire, explaining my sleep pattern or lack of it and my use of ear plugs now the children are old enough to fetch me if they need me and they sent me a gift to try, to see if sleep accessories can aid sleep.

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Nice huh? and it smells divine! All warm and comforting, just the sort of fragrance you can snuggle into.

So, I’ve been spraying it on my linen for a week and seeing how it goes, making sure I try and get to bed about the same time. I usually have a hot cup of tea as I find this soothes me too, then I will play mind numbing games on my ipad for 20 minutes and settle down to sleep.

As ever, getting to sleep the first time is not a huge issue, I drift off quite fast. But there has been two outcomes of note since I started using the spray. The first being that over a period of seven days, if I wake, I snuggle into the lovely smell and drift back off, even if I have to get out of bed to pee (which always meant in the past I was looking at a long waking period). The smell has become a mental signal for me that I still need to sleep. This is going to prove interesting when the school run commences next week!

I am sleeping longer, 3 nights I slept through to 6.30 without being disturbed at all!

I’m a little fuggy in the mornings; but then I’m NOT USED to sleeping!

Which brings me to the other outcome of note.  Which is a purely personal issue.  The spray doesn’t like me.   It seems I’m ‘intolerant’ of it; something in it’s ingredients has triggered the reaction in my muscles that I usually have for a gluten overload or food poisoning.  I’ve been through my food and drink intake carefully and I can’t lay it at any other door. This saddens me a bit as it does smell dreamy.

But! It has got me thinking… If I can train my mind to recognize another smell as meaning it’s time to sleep, something without the unreadable words in the list of ingredients and keep a spritz bottle beside the bed, perhaps I can achieve the same results?

Gotta be worth a try! Anyone know what I could use? (Mr. K is allergic to lavender btw)