Monday, 23 January 2017

Week Commencing 16th January.

Monthly Forest School.  The day starts at 5am.  No day should start at 5am, it's simply rude.
The journey is OK, bit faffy with a replacement bus, but manageable.  Rye is excited we are going on an adventure together; the knee has kept me mostly housebound.  I've invited Rose Howey's Canadian guest to come with us too, and it's nice to have another adult present.

While walking from the train station to the centre, I feel a tearing sensation in my calf, which hurts like the beejeebus.

Forest School starts, I hobble to the cafe, feeling sorry for myself and  I buy a slice of cake.  Raw eating be damned.   J follows one of the walks around the forest, while she's gone I crochet, drink coffee and slowly eat the massive slice of  Red Velvet cake.  It's ok, nothing to write home about.

At lunch time I arrange with a fellow home edding mum to get a lift to the station, which eases the worry about trying to walk back.

Rye is happy as Larry.  Friends, both old and new to play with, and at Forest School they are building bird feeders, and using tools.  The fresh air, seeing different people, the adventure is clearly doing him good.  We have been rather like hermits because of my injured knee.

Quiet day.  Yesterday was exhausting and we both sleep way longer than normal.  My calf is wince inducing painful, and it feels like it can't take my full weight.  I'm hobbling worst than ever.  Much later in the evening I realise I forgot about taking Rye to the Black-e for Circus Skills.

Today we are going to Manchester Science and Technology Museum for an explosions workshop.  The workshop is shorter than I imagined, nonetheless, Rye enjoys it.  A friend gave us a lift into Manchester and because she has to leave, we do not stay long.

Ah, creative writing, I'm thankful we host this activity.  My calf is feeling much stronger, still I'm nervous of going too far.  Today in creative writing the kids are drawing and describing the characters for a story.   Rye is being obtuse, he wants to do his own thing.  I feel frustrated and annoyed, he's been attending creative writing long enough now, to know the deal - and I'm tired of his need to show off and try and be clever with me in front of his peers.  I'm also exasperated by how much he allows H to wind him up.  She's critiquing his drawings and he's whining at her to stop looking.  Eventually, he does the task - it's a bit like trying to bleed a stone and I can't decide if he's truly not understood what describing the character means or if he's being extra obtuse.

After creative writing, our friend gives us a lift to Trampolining.  Rye, when I suggested the activity was hardly enthusiastic.  "I know how to trampoline, we have one in the garden." he cockily says to me.  I insist, and clearly, mother does know best, because he has a whale of a time and wants to go again.

Lots of playing and hanging out with our new members.  K is a young father as well as enjoying video games, electronics etc.  He and Rye have hit it off, and Rye spends most of his time talking about what he and K are going to do, and the robot they are going to build.   Electronic appliances are suddenly not safe in the house as Rye is desperate to take them all to pieces for parts for his robot.
The evening comes and we go out, with our guest to the World Museum.  There's a stargazing and astronomy event on - the sky is beautifully clear and we are looking forward to it.  When we arrive, there is a long queue.  After about ten minutes, staff from the museum begin to come outside, they are clearly looking at the long queue which is getting longer and longer.  Eventually, the director of the museum comes out and apologies profusely but suggests people go home because interest has far exceeded their expectations and inside there are really long queues too for each of the activities.   Reluctantly we leave, I physically can't stand in queues all evening on the off chance we might get to use the telescopes, so we go home.

At home my American housemate is making pizza and the Presidential Inauguration is being projected.   I don't really want to watch it.  I cannot fathom how on earth he managed to win, and it all leaves a very bad taste in my mouth.  I quietly leave after showing my face for a wee while.

Early start, I'm babysitting for a friend.  Rye is grumpy and being controlling.  I suspect he's still processing the altercation we had last night which resulted in me sending him to bed.  I make a mental note to talk to him about it, once the girls are picked up by their dad at lunch time.

Irritatingly, the short amount of walking I did last night, for the aborted World Museum visit has caused my calf to be exceedingly painful and tight again.  I guess I really have hurt the calf after all.

Feeling sorry for myself I make microwave flourless brownie (quite tasty) and share it with Rye, adding black cherry pie filling and custard too.  Later I allow Rye to talk me into a takeaway, which I thoroughly regret after stuffing my face.  Oh well, on wards and up wards.

Chilled day  mooching around doing very little.  It is also very, very cold.  Rye is pestering his new friend, a young dad who has moved into the house with his small family.  Its a case of instant hero worship, Rye of course doesn't know when to back off, so we have a wee chat.  Honestly, I'm not sure he's really taken on board the conversation - probably one of those that has to be repeated very often before it sinks in.
Once it's dark, I project  a couple of episodes of Librarians for us to watch, and then bed for Rye; hilariously, he tries to order me to let him watch another episode.  It's ten to ten though, so not a chance in hell.

Monday, 9 January 2017

9th January 2017

The knee continues to hamper movement.
Hope restored with almost hobble free walking, then dashed when the tendon? ligament? muscle? at the back and to the side (outer), of the knee begins to hurt again and exaggerated hobbling resumes.  At least my bum is reacquainted with the sofa, it's lowness no longer a barrier.

Plans to visit the skate park are saved by my housemate, who takes Rye and her children there this afternoon.  The sun even shone its benediction on the outing.  I'm bored, these four walls are beginning to press in on me.  To distract myself, I nosey in my wip basket; there's crochet flower motifs ready for hanging into bunting, granny triangles needing blocking, a half finished freeform baby jumper, the base of a gnome house, random scrumbles, and my grotty falling apart red slippers I began covering with scrumbles several months ago.

Cold toes nudge me about the slippers, and I pull them out and decide today is the day.  I find my sheet of faux leather and cut out soles.  I've no idea how to add them properly - in my mind's eye I keep seeing the stitching on Dr Martins boots, and have a vague idea of doing something like that.
I start by gluing the soles to the slippers.  One of the slippers has scrumbles already attached and it occurs to me this could make hiding the edges of the sole difficult.

I work on the slipper without any scrumbles first.  Using a running stitch, I sew the sole onto the bottom on the slipper, my idea being, I will cover the raw edges of the sole with scrumbles as I attache them.  It's not as easy as I imagined, and at some point it occurs to me that folding the edge over and whip stitching it to the slipper is probably the best plan.  I use No.8 Anchor pearlised cotton, reading later online, I discover that waxed thread is probably the better option as it's longer lasting.  I make a mental note to buy some.

The second sole I glue to the bottom of the slipper - it holds the sole in place, and I suspect it will put less pressure on sewed sides. The blanket stitch is trialed...nah.  Whip stitch it is.  It' rather awkward to sew the sole on.  I'm pleased with the second sole, I prefer the sole whip stitch, despite the lack of consistency in the stitches.
I consider the mechanics of creating a slipper from scratch with faux leather soles.   Wee ideasbegin to formulate.

My index finger is sore from the sewing - my toes are thankful.  so warm and toasty.
I love my new slippers!

Oooh I took some better photos:

Playing with designs and mechanics of construction for slippers made from scratch now too, I'm also thinking of offering a service where I will repair and breath new life into old favourite slippers - re-use rather than throwing away!!  

What do you think?  Would it be a service you'd be interested in?

Saturday, 7 January 2017

6th January 2017.

Well, Fiddlesticks!  The year began dubiously, Rye came home on the 1st, his birthday, and had a marvelous day.
Yup skateboard...
Ugliest Cake, ever!

January 2017 is suppose to be a big push toward a healthier, (haha yes ok, there's a sweet infested cake photo up me, that was not a cake for adults!  Probably shouldn't be for kids either, really),  more mobile, more adventurous me.. so naturally I fecked my left knee up.. walking across my living room, no seriously, crossing my living room - I took maybe 3 steps, CRUNCH, followed by much swearing.  Initially, though it seemed ok - sore and a bit tender, but otherwise ok...woke up the next day couldn't walk.

Whatever day it was after the New Year Bank Holiday, I bit the bullet and went to the GP, there was little improvement after about 4 days, and I was beginning to get fed up of the pain, which over the counter painkillers were barely touching.  Further dismay - though admittedly, not entirely unexpected; knee badly bruised, possible long term damage, knee surgery probably likely, suspect arthritis.  Bleurgh.
There is a chance, with losing some weight, strengthening the muscles around my knees etc that I may avoid knee yeah, we'll go for that then.. I really do not want to go under the knife if I can at all avoid it.    I'm deflated but trying to be positive - use it as further motivation to eat better, do the yoga, (though, of course, my new mat is defunct...I'm resorting to chair yoga for now) and with some bloody luck - PLEASE, be much more mobile by the end of this month.    The GP prescribed Naproxen, bugger scary side effects, it's a relief not to be in agony - there's still some pain, and it feels like my knee is about to cave in every step I take..but at least I can get about...and I can sit and crucially GET UP again - yes I got stuck on the sofa, the knee had swelled up further, making it even more painful and I just couldn't get up...I spent about 10 minutes rocking back and forth to propel myself upwards.  Bah!

Next week all the home ed activities start up again, along with other trips I've popped on the calendar, and I'm hoping my knee will hold up to the increased work out.  I have been juicing and eating high raw food diet to help reduce water retention in my body and drop some pounds which would help with the lower lumbar pain I suffer with too.  The hobbling has fecked that up, the unnatural gait of hobbling is playing havoc with my back - so as much as I was hoping to be able to use buses again, next week I will be forking out for taxis.

Hopefully, public transport will be accessible for me  by the 16th, when Rye has Forest School at Delamere Forest, which is a bus ride/train ride and fairly short walk to the area in the forest where the group meet.  And my knee better be up for the 2 night stay in York for the Viking Festival in February I'm about to pay for!

Not the best start to 2017.

I'll sign off with this photo -  I was the not so secret elf for one of my housemates, and he loves goats and rabbits, so I crocheted him a's pretty realistic too, and at one point I found it a tad disturbing because I had the head and half a body of a rabbit on my was just odd, is all.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

21st December - Winter Solstice.

The Sun has been reborn!

This morning, found me impatiently waiting for my boy to wake up..finally the door knob to my bedroom turned and in he bounced joyfully announcing the Winter King had been and left him a well stuffed stocking.

I suppose its a hang over from when we co-slept, Yule morning, Rye always comes through to my bed with the stocking to open it, and share his joy at with me.   I revel in his innocent joy of his gifts, his whoops and exclamations as he opens each gift, his eyes are wide with excitement and glee.   It is wonderful to see his joy and I feel some understanding for my mother's frustration when I was a kid.  I, unlike Rye, was much more reserved.  All eyes were on me, and I felt like a performing monkey, I didn't whoop, or exclaim.  Sadly, my mother took this for lack of gratitude and responded negatively.  She never grasped the more she pushed, the more I drew back into myself, I was grateful, excited, overjoyed, I just didn't express it in whoops.


Stocking opened, we waited for the sun to raise, this morning was overcast and raining, so we didn't actually see the sun's rebirth, but we did clear away the old alter and refresh it with a winter theme.  Candles were lit, and the pine cones sprinkled with essential oils.

"Now?"  Rye kept asking, as he eyed the rather large pile of gifts under the tree.
"Breakfast first", I responded.

We eat hash browns and vegan sausages, he's too excited to wait for anything more elaborate.  Breakfast is wolfed down, a leap and hop propels him across the living room, and he falls upon the gifts, opening the combine Yule / Birthday gift from his Uncle Kevin.

As the gifts continue to be opened, a litany of "Oooohs", "WOW", and "OMG's" fill the air.  He squeals, he flaps, and he dashes over to give me a hug and kiss on the cheek.  Yeah, I finally "get" why my mother always found Christmas morning with me so lack luster and disappointing.

Later tonight when we have a fire outside I will turf out the old plans, and ask my ancestors to bless my new plans for 2017.   And there will be good company, wholesome soup, sun bread, and a wee tipple or three.

Yuletide Blessings!

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

12th December.

Discouraged is the word of the day.

Yesterday at the Christmas Market was a resounding failure.  I sold £6 of stock - a wee coin bag, a snowflake and a lipstick holder.  The stall cost me £30, taxi there and back cost £9.50 and dinner £19.50.  sigh.

I also spent the 48hrs beforehand crocheting, with only about 3 hrs one night and 2-3 hrs of sleep the next.  I want to dramatically declare it a waste of time - in truth, it means some stock to add to my Etsy shop, which I really need to fill up more if I'm ever to be ranked better on Etsy.

The more expensive items really aren't much cop at the markets, I had a few folk look at the wrist warmers, but the £35 price tag had them quickly walking away.  :-(  I really don't want to reduce them either, the yarn itself is not cheap, and these took hours and hours to create.. really considering the time £35 is a steal!
I have another pair of wrist warmers, but annoyingly I ran out of yarn and it's discontinued.  I can unpick the warmer I finished, and use a second yarn... maybe I'll uses the same 2nd colour as the hood, they will match then... could be a set?

I shouldn't really be that discouraged, the markets were rubbish - but I have sold a few bits, and I do have some orders - one is a trade with a friend - I'm making her a dragon for her nephew, in exchange for some of her lovely bath bombs.  And another friend has bought one of my pixie hoods and has ordered a bavclava for her daughter, and wrist warmers for her brother.   So yeah, ticking by.

Saturday is my last craft market.  I may never do another.  I'm really looking forward to it being over now.  Creating new stock for them has dominated this month, and apart from putting up the Yule tree, and today encouraging Rye to colour in some festive window sun catchers, I've done sweet FA in terms of Yule activities and outings with Rye.  Yet he is incredibly excited and squeals constantly when he talks about Yule and the Winter King.  I am somewhat amazed he still believes, he is almost 10 - one of the perks of home ed I guess, kids can remain in that magical innocence a wee bit longer.   I sometimes wonder if he does know, and he just likes the "game" and the magic of pretending?  Either way, I'm happy to continue being the spirit of the Winter King.

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

7th December.

What a palaver!  The Christmas Market at Granby Street on Sunday, was a total bust for me.  A mere £12.50 in stock sold.  Bah humbug.  Spent more on food, drinks, stall fee, taxi fees etc, plus what Rye spent for me too.  ("Muuum, can I have..."  asked over and over).   Then to top it all, stuck for 2 hours because there was a football game in Liverpool on Sunday, and all the taxis were there servicing the fans.  Bah humbug!

Ooh Monday, so, I had managed to get a super cheap room at the Travelodge, by the Toby Carvery, I knew Rye would love the experience.  He stuffed himself silly on the carvery, followed by an ice cream sundae, and then we went back to our room, watched tv - he ate more chocolates, and lazed. One of my plans had been to have a super long bath, in the warmth!  (Remember I live in a house without central heating, showering and bathing here in the winter is a tad brass monkeys).  Alas, no bath, but ooh the shower, wonderful large cubicle and a fabulous water pressure.  It was lovely.  

Oooh, and the Toby Carvery now offer limited vegan menu too.  
He was very impressed with the free wifi

Next morning, we enjoyed the carvery breakfast, and Rye availed himself of the free Wifi.
Then onto the Florrie for a martial arts session.  The Sensi, was very good, engaging the children beautifully, consequently Rye thoroughly enjoyed the session.

Afterwards, I thrilled myself by walking from the Florrie to B&M, which for me is a very long walk and accomplished without my walking stick.  

 Today, Wednesday involved a trip to the dentist.  A check up for Rye - all good, thankfully.  And for me, not all good.  The filling had once again fallen out of a molar, the dentist didn't want to refill it again, especially as the tooth was even more lose.   The final nail in the coffin, was the x-ray showing a large infection under the tooth.  So out it came.  I had an horrific experience as a child that for many a decade caused extreme anxiety and panic just thinking about dentists....toothache I couldn't ignore any longer, eventually made me confront my fears.  As I laid in the chair with the dentist loosened the tooth, I realised how far I've come along.  In past I needed Valium and a calming voice talking to me constantly, to stop the screaming panic from taking over.  Today, he told me what he needed to do, and did it.  I think dental nurses have a 6th sense for a nervous patients - as the dentist wiggled and applied pressure, she leaned forward and said quietly to me; "ok?"  I nodded and concentrated on my breathing.  It was over really quickly, and Rye was fascinated with the tooth,  I asked if I could keep it.  We will look at it under the microscope later.

The rest of the day, was spent at home, in front of the fire, feeling a tad sorry for myself, as the numbness slowly dissipated and the ache from the removed tooth set in.   In all honestly, I wasn't expecting the extraction today, there was a cancellation... which is good, I'm all for as few trips to the dentist as possible...the issue was I'd already told Rye we would put up the Yule tree this evening, which now was the last thing I wanted to do - especially as a bit of a tidy up beforehand would be needed.

He has been so patient though and my suggestion we do it tomorrow instead, went down like a lead balloon.  My initial grumpiness, quickly faded, and soon I was feeling excited too, we gave the living room a quick tidy, (had a move around and the energy and feel of the room is much calmer and relaxed) and then got the tree out of the box.  The tinkling bell sound from the box, had me hopeful Elfy the Elf (Rye is fairly literal when naming things), was hiding in the box..alas, it was a lone bell...and still no Elfy.  I'm at a loss as to where else Elfy could be.   Rye as always loved decorating the tree, and I only moved a few baubles.

It is starting to feel festive.  Rye received a lovely wee card from his friend O in Lincolnshire, with the felt bits to sew a robin 💗  and I have some bits for Rye to send to his friend.💗

Countdown to Yule has officially started here.

Friday, 2 December 2016

Ran Away.

Humdrumness had infected me badly, very badly, so I ran away to my wonderful friend, D for a much needed reboot...and wow, it was an amazing 2 weeks.  Rye was in 7th heaven.  D's son and Rye were inseparable; when we weren't out at home ed events/activities they were engaged in the most intense playmobil and lego games, building and imagining for hours and hours.  Warmed the old cockles to see Rye so accepted for who is he and to have found a friend who just "gets" who Rye is.

There was lots of crafting - his fine motor skills are not as refined as they could be, so I thought he did a stonking job here!
I rather like his black pumpkin.  This was part of a craft session at Relax Kids.  It was a lovely session, though Rye was a little unsure at first.
He made a stomp rocket - and OMG it was bloody brilliant!  I will so be doing this activity my science club group!
Rye carved the pumpkin on the right...and he did much of it himself!
I was nervous at first about letting Rye lose with a craft knife,  look at that concentration!  Paper cutting is definitely another craft we will do again!

On mornings at home, the kids would do some table work.  A bit of writing and math mostly.  Including, drawing and writing post cards.  Rye sent one to Rose Howey and to his dad.
Until the 1st November, it was unseasonably warm in Lincolnshire.  D drove us all to the beach, and D and me sat and knitted and crocheted while the boys played, and played, and played.  Oh, the beach was wonderful, missed it so much.  I know we aren't far from the sea here in Liverpool, I just need to find a more accessible beach - Formby beach while beautiful is accessed by sand dunes, Ok going down, trying to get back up...oh my!

Deer safari with Rye's friend O, and his new friend J.  Rye has met O and J before, but they were all toddlers, so none of them seem to remember.   The stag there is called Boris - phooey he was a pongy boy.  Rye loved this, and I have to say it was bloody good, plus the fresh crisp air, and the views.  Lincolnshire, of course, is very flat - and wow the views - amazing!
I'm proud of this.  Rye writes pretty well these days, but he's slow... I mean half dead snail slow!  It winds me up, but this day I had a brainwave, and told Rye I bet I could write 10 of the words he was writing in his spellings book, by the time he'd written one.  Challenge enthusiastically accepted...he thought it was brilliant, and he started to write faster to stop me being able to write so many words to his one!  Yay!
I love this photo, I know it looks like he's got makeup on, but he doesn't - it's just the light.  He loves this costume and looked fab, and he wore it to go trick or treating and to a few halloween parties we attended.
More sewing!  I really must pick up some of these little sewing kits from the pound shop!
Hehehe, this is a Knights Templar Tower, kids loved the activities that were put on, and play fighting around the tower with all the other kids, with those cardboard swords and shields.  It took D and me a wee while to find this place - the signage is confusing to say the least!

Highlight!  D booked tickets for us all to see Chris Peckham at Lincoln Uni giving a talk on Owl and Bats.  It was brilliant, at first I thought it might be a bit too much info for Rye, but no, he loved it...and to my utter pride and joy, he put up his hand and was picked to ask Chris a question.  He asked how many owls species there are in the UK.  Rye was so chuffed with himself too - he spoke clearly and articulately, no shyness or anxiety.  It was a beautiful moment for this mama!
 We went to a home ed halloween party, which was really well decorated, and the food was pretty darn good too.  Kids had a fab time :D
Tyre swing in the front garden...big hit.
Fabulous 2 weeks for Rye, especially as my humdrumness has meant I'd become a bit of a hermit and we were rarely leaving the co-op - mostly it was my housemate taking Rye out for me.  Rose Howey life does tend to mean Rye is off doing his own thing a lot...but it also hit me, that its made me very lazy too.  All the crafting, the trips out etc this was life pre Rose Howey; living in a co-op with friends we live with, activities that go on in the house, a large, very large garden, backing onto a park...naturally changed our routine and dynamic, and while it is good that Rye has more independence and such a large space to play and be free in - a park he can now go to on his own (with his friends) has made me lazy.

Once back at Rose Howey, I had resolved we would go out to home ed activities more, just the two of us would go out on trips too, I'd have quick crafts that we can do together some evenings and so forth.  It did start that way, then I was hit with a virus and was bed bound with fever and horrendous headache, feeling sick and achy for 2 weeks, then I caught Rye's cold...we've also been slowly shifting our rooms around to make them more functional and peaceful to be in.  It's December now though, so our usual Yule crafting will commence, and I'll arrange some trips out too (swallowing my hatred of crowds lol),

The visit wasn't all about Rye of course.  D and I sat and talked, she took me to some private woods, and while Rye was engaged with the home ed event there, she took me to the spiral, which I walked, it was grounding and uplifting at the same time.  We also spent the day at a Samhain event with other likeminded women, which was wonderful.  Dancing, singing, crafting, sharing of good food, meditation, cleansing.  Wonderful stuff.  I also went to a yoga session.

I'm sad my mobility has decreased so much, but hopeful I can reclaim movement back.  To that end I've purchased myself a yoga mat, my wonderful housemates have freed the gate to the park - in the winter, the path through the copse gets too muddy and slippy for me to traverse.  However, we do have a gate that opens into the park, bypassing the path.

I'm already enjoying slightly increased mobility and reduced back pain.  I'm looking forward to 2017 seeing me being back to the level of fitness I had BEFORE I bought the Zafira, when I lived in Folkestone and use to walk everywhere!

And a big Thank you to D and her family for welcoming Rye and me into their home and being such wonderful friends :D

I love my tribe.