Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Sunny Wednesday

I had a wonderful time at Suzanne's crop on Saturday. I managed to do 3 layouts & actually managed to finish the final layout in Jen & Carl's wedding album!!!! Do I hear a cheer??!!! I wasn't sure I'd manage to cope with the whole day but I wanted to give it a go & I managed to get to 3pm, dead chuffed!
It was great to catch up on old friends & those from my 'club'. There was much interest in photos of my beautiful granddaughter and her brilliant blue eyes.
Poor little soul has been through the mill this week. She has cut 4 teeth all at once, has an ear infection, chest infection & a throat infection. Jen was concerned about the measles risk as it's going around now that fewer mum's are uptaking the MMR jab for their babies. She didn't have the signs ('Koplick's spots' on tongue & behind the ears), just a heat rask from the fever. She would be getting Jen's antibodies as she's still breast feeding, so she's better off --- another good reason for prolonged breast feeding!!! When Jen told the Doctor (an old work colleague of mine) that all Amy wants to do is suck at the breast, he said "I don't blame her"!!!!!!!!!!!! Anyway, she's much better now that she's had 48 hours worth of anti's inside her & she actually slept last night.

My group will be running as usual tomorrow evening, as lobg as you don't mind the dining room being in a bit of a mess. I thought everything would be sorted with the building work in the conservatory, but there are 'snags' and they've got to come back. Grrr... I shall be doing the second of the Totalpapercrafts monthly kits. I still have loads of last months' kits for those who were away -- a nice bright kit (My Mind's Eye Day Dream).
I shall be running the group as a social group twice a month -- the first & third Thursday's of each month. I won't be supplying kits or doing formal teaching now as I feel you're all way ahead now, so it will just be a group of happy scrappers. I will put out my box of unused kits if anyone missed one or wants to do a second page.
I look forward to seeing you all!!

Friday, 12 September 2008

Right. First of all I thank the person who left an abusive comment on my blog. I have reported you to the people who host the blog. I hope that one day the bottom will drop out of your world. I know who you are. You're sick in the head & need to see a shrink. Don't bother to comment again - I have blocked you.

Suprise suprise, it's dry today!!! I have been up since the girls went to school. I am preparing to go to an all-day crop tomorrow, so I'm busy getting kits made up, then I don't have to take so much. It's great to get together with my friends & class members. I know I'll be able to finally finish Jen & Carl's album! Then I have to start my son's. The problem I had in doing Jen's album was that she had the most gorgeous granddaughter! She is so photogenic, you can't not take photos of her. I'm going to do a diploma in photography at our local college. I want to do weddings and births. Couples lose out on seeing their baby actually born, and, as I am a qualified midwifery sister, I can also be a birth supporter.

I am off to my counsellor today. She is lovely. I go to a christian counselling service. I have to go to talk about the a***holes who are abusive & unkind & lack the understanding of how it feels to become disabled & to lose all independance & a decent career which I loved. No, I don't "use" my girls to run about after me - they are absolute angels, blessed by the Lord, and love me - that's why they come straight in from school, come & give me a cuddle and tell me they love me. They are so grounded in knowing that life isn't all roses. They do things for me because they want to, not because they have to. I am blessed.
My husband struggles with what's happened to me, especially when I have these awful spasms where my legs bend up & he witnesses how much pain I'm in. He has his own interests, he can do what he wants.

Alice, my lovely [almost] 11 year old is starting to learn the Ukelele at school. How brilliant is that?! She played in the first ever Okarina orchestra in the district and they have brought in this new instrument for the year 6's. My other daughter, Lizzie, who's in year 8 (how scary's that?) plays the clarinet and has been submitted to take her grade exam. She's only played for about 10 months. They both have natural talent in music. How about that? Beauty and talent?!

Blessings to all my friends who have caught up with me thru various other sites.
Bye for now.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Yet another rainy day - allelulia!

Hi all! First of all, apologies for the big gap in postings. My illness has really got a hold on me at the moment so I have to make use of a 'window' of pain-free time.
I'm still getting over our 2 weeks' holiday in Somerset - 2 weeks of pouring rain. The first week we were at a Christian conference ('New Wine'). This was our 13th year of attending, and it felt like it. It was probably not the best thing for me to have gone to but the kids, Geoff & my mum all have a whale of a time, it's just me that's a problem. I have a grievance with God at the moment. I have anger that he has allowed me to get to this state of poor health and to receive such awful negligence of care after I have given my life to the care of others since I was 16.
I couldn't bear being in the main celebration arena. I have to have a manual wheelchair when I'm away as my buggy won't go in the boot. The disabled parking was on a stony area about 200 yards from the door of the arena. I was screaming in agony when Geoff was pushing me from car to door, then having to be thrusted into the arena over a [what seemed like] huge lump. I was crying in the end. One of the young stewards came up to me & just held me. She was so caring. I couldn't cope with the wet so in the end I stayed back at the cottage & listened to the New Wine radio, so I could listen to the morning Bible study & also the evening praise. We are giving it a break next year.

My illness has affected all aspects of my life. I am under the control of an auto-immune disease which is unpredictable so I don't know how I'll be from one day to the next. It has affected our marriage - some days I absolutely despise him for his total lack of understanding of my illnesses. Do I really want to be like this?? I'm dependant on others, including my girls, bless them. They run around for me & love me. You would think that having witnessed me having a respiratory arrest (June 2006) that he would realise how fragile my life is & make good use of the time given.
My friends have turned their backs on me. I can't do all the fun things anymore. One friend (of 30 years +) said I was "on drugs" because I was on a slow-release morphine. So she kept on referring to my being on drugs. For God's sake, I can't help being like this & I need adequate pain relief to keep me going. I have a patch now, which is better but for whatever reason it won't stick on me so I have to have micropore to stick it on! Trust me to be awkward!
Some days I feel so low that I just want out of it. If it wasn't for my lovely girls it would be so easy. They are the reason to live. They are growing up so quickly - Elizabeth (Lizzie) is in year 8 & Alice is in year 6. They are both starting puberty, so they need me in this difficult time. When they come in from school we have a "pow-wow", talk about what they've done at school etc. We talk about all sorts of things -- things I didn't know about at their age!! But I want them to be street-wise.
My 'working dog' Rosie hates it when I'm out of sorts - especially if I have to have the doctor in. When I was bad in February I had 2 doctors & 2 Paramedics trying to force me to go into hospital. She was going beserk. She'll lie beside me with her chin on me & won't leave my side. She is my caring angel on 4 legs.

I still do my scrapbooking when I can. I have decided not to run my Thursday scrapbooking evening as a get-together of friends rather than a class. We're all at the same level so it takes the pressure of me & also if I'm poorly & have to cancel, I'm not left with a load of kits. I also try to get to the Saturday all-day crops as much as I can.
I have just one more page to complete & Jen & Carl's wedding album is finished!! I can only do scrapping for a short period of time & it's very much when I can. Jen's very forgiving & is looking forward to seeing it.

Finally, Paul (if you read this) I was so chuffed to hear of your good news! Bless you both X

Friday, 18 July 2008

Friday 18th July

I have been so low this week I couldn't get out of bed without feeling like I was going to collapse. My tummy was blown up like a balloon & I couldn't eat a thing. I was also so depressed that I just didn't see the point of carrying on anymore. it's my girls & grandkids that give me a reason to live. If I didn't have all that I think things would be different. People think I actually enjoy being like this (huh?) and say "you look okay to me". It's a well-used phrase that people use when they talk to those who suffer with Fibromyalgia. I have also been told by my GP that I've got to live with my breathlessness as my lungs are bad. I've also been told that the burning pains I get in my finger joints & right knee is due to the Rheumatic side of the FMS - basically I have Rheumatoid Arthritis. It just gets better & better. One day I'll put the whole list of [various & personal] symptoms experienced by FMS sufferers. It's no holiday & I hate not having the money I used to earn.

My apologies to my 'girls' for cancelling the class last nite. I was so out of sorts that I wouldn't have been any good at all. Why does everything hapen when I'm going to hold my class? That's a real demon getting in. I shall be holding the class next Thursday instead, if it suits everyone. It's a shame as the kit is so brilliant - monochrome B&W. I have done a wedding photo, it certainly lends itself to a wedding photo. It's good value too.

I'm hoping to get going on Jen & Carl's album. I have practically finished it & it just needs 'tweeking'. I'm such a perfectionist. I find it so hard to get going these days - I have really lost my 'mojo' since I was in hospital. I'm going to do a 'ScrapJammies' kit layout to get me going. The monthly kits are wonderful for when you 'lose it'.
I then need to start my son & daughter-in-law's album. I did the first page ages ago - an engagement photo. It sets the scene for the album. I'd love to do it all in monochrome but I think they may not appreciate it as much as I would but I shall be doing a few monochromes in between as i have ordered an extra monthly class kit for me!!

I have speaking on the phone with one of my husband's clients. She usually phones his mobile but she said she felt that she should phone our land-line! We ended up 30 minutes talking. She has encouraged me to use my skills in a different way. I'd love to host a drop-in breast-feeding / pregnancy group where mum's & dad's can come & chat & if they have any questions etc.
I'd also like to help mum's on-line. If they have questions etc. I am an advanced breast feeding consultant & midwife. I also have a diploma in palliative / cancer care so I could just be there for those who are suffering or who have loved ones who are & need support & care. Why should all my qualifications go to waste? There must be something out there....

Take care blog readers!!

Tuesday, 15 July 2008


Sorry I've neglected you all but I've been that busy.
My son married his sweetheart, Kelly, on the 30th June. It was a civil ceremony held at one of the 'posh' hotels in Tunbridge Wells. Although we are a Christian family, Ian was put off by a "Bible-Basher" and although he respects our faith he didn't want to be a hypocrite and get married in a church. Despite this, the wedding was amazing. They looked so loved up & Kelly cried when the registrar named them man & wife. My girls were bridesmaids and they looked so grown up, I was so proud of them. We're totally wiped - out financially, we're still paying off Jen & Carl's wedding from last June! I just emptied out my e-savings account & gave them all that money and Geoff paid for the suit-hire. Now we shall have to start saving for the girls' university fees etc & weddings!

We're off to New Wine the first week of August. I had to withdraw money from my members ISA Bond (aka my pension) in order to pay for the holiday. I hope it's worth it! My mum is coming with us. She's on a Baltic cruise at the moment. I would prefer something hot - she had to pack her winter clothes sod that for a lark!!

The next Southborough Scrappers club nite is this Thursday coming. The kit is gorgeous. It's monochrome and contains:
  1. 3 sheets cardstock
  2. 8 sheets papers!
  3. 14 'grand adhesions' 3D & glittery stickers
  4. 128 'clearly yours' alphabet stickers (different sizes)
  5. 13 die-cut stickers
  6. 33 die-cut shapes
  7. Templates

The Theme of the kit is WEDDINGS. I have posted my example (right) but there's enough kit to make at least 3 layouts. You can use 2 6x4" photos or, as I did, a 7x5" photo. It's clearly up to you. Just enjoy your kit & the company!!

Thursday, 19 June 2008


Sorry that I didn't get round to doing the sample layout as promised. I had all intention of doing it but as my son gets married on Saturday, everything has gone a bit haywire round here. I'm trying to get my head round the fact that i felt so left out, in comparison to my input with jen's wedding. Kelly did ask me to help with the 'favours' - we did those on Saturday afternoon - and Ian has now decided to leave from here after all, instead of going from my Sister-in-law's place, as I was so upset (he made me cry).
I know I have let my family down, having this Fibromyalgia. I have lost all my energy & enthusiasm with life, and I get so hyper-sensitive. I would give my eye teeth to be like I was before I got this, but I know I have to accept that I won't be like I was but instead to make good use of my good / better days to do something worthwhile (at the moment it's a bit of spring cleaning). My counsellor has helped me to come to terms with my loss of self-esteem & self-worth. I know I have skills that I can use but it's taking that step of faith.... My scrapping evenings give me such pleasure.

Monday, 16 June 2008

Manic Monday!

Sorry haven't been on here for a bit but the ol' gremlins have been at me again. They make my legs go spastic & twisted at night so I have to call out (very loudly) to my husband to come & help me to ease the pain. He has to massage my legs & they twtch like mad. My arms twitch too; when I was holding my baby granddaughter yesterday I had to pass her over as my hand was having a life of its own. This is a relatively new aspect to my illness. It started happening following my awful experience in the Kent & Sussex Hospital (aka "Kent & Snuffit!")in February. I'm still awaiting a response to my letter of complaint, the letter has gone to the chief exec, and they have asked if they could have a 2 week extension as their investigation is taking more time. I still get upset when I think or talk about my experience & I'm very nervous when I go out, I can't wait to get home. My Faith has also taken a battering, I feel I cannot worship a God who has dealt all this to me. I have loads of friends in our church who visit me & bring food round so Geoff doesn't have to cook, so I feel guilty but I'm reassured that my faith will return. It reminds me of the poem 'Footsteps'.

I will be holding my club nite, as scheduled, on Thursday coming (19th). I have some wonderful kits that require lots of cutting & chalking. I will have a large selection of chalks for you to try. The kit suits a black & white photo. I will do an example today (hopefully) & post it up on here. I look forward to seeing you all!!

My son gets married on Saturday, to Kelly. The wedding, a civil marriage, is taking place in a hotel in Tunbridge Wells. Whereas I was full-on with my daughter jenny's wedding preparations, I have had very little involvement with Ian's. I feel a bit left-out really, but it's up to them.
The girls are being bridesmaids. They are wearing ruby red dresses in a grown-up style. The colour compliments their skin colour. I can't say any more in case he reads this!! He's my only son (my eldest) and he's so much like my dad (who died in 2000). My dad would have been very proud of him, the way he's got himself settled in a career and I know he would have liked Kelly.
I'm proud of all my 4 children. I make it sure that I tell them how much I love them & how proud I am of each one of them every day. My relationship with Jen has blossomed & I love the [smelly] socks off her. Since I've been ill the relationship I have with my children, my husband & my mum has changed completely. The 2 youngest - Lizzie, as she likes to be called, is 12 and Alice is 10 - they argue as to whos turn it is to change my Morphine patch for me! They can't wait to get into their pyjamas & join me in my [single] bed when they come home from school, for a cuddle. On most days my body can't cope beyond 3 or 4pm and I have to rest.

Anyway, I think that's all for now. My neck is burning where I have Spondylosis, so I have to limit the time I sit unsupported. I have one of those ergonomic chairs which are good for the lower back but it doesn't help my neck.
Thanks for reading my blog. My counter gave up at 1,600 odd hits! I'll get round to replacing it. Bye for now!

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Thursday, 15 May 2008

Thursday 15th - Club nite tonite!

Just to say that I have got some gorgeous kits for tonight. There are 4 papers, 2 cardstock, a full A4 sheet of good quality chipboard (swirls & hearts), plus a large bloom. I shall be putting out paints, inks, ink pads, stickles & other glitter glues. As I only got the kits yesterday I haven't been able to do my sample (?!) but, hopefully, I shall be sitting and scrapping with you as there are a couple of spare places (one's in Greece [lucky thing] and another is painting the town red in celebrating a friends' birthday - at least you don't get a hangover when you come to my scrapping club!! LOL).
As I've been out-of-sorts and have really lost my "mojo" it might just kick me back into touch. At the moment I can't see the point of getting out of bed at the moment & I'm sick to the back teeth of well-meaning people saying that I should pull myself together & look up instead of down; my husband told me to "get up off my fat arse & do something", great, even my husband's not on my side anymore. People who don't understand Fibromyalgia should look it up (NHS Direct) before trying to run my life for me. Anyway, that's it for now as I've got to clear up my dining room ready for 'the girls' this evening - 7.30pm as usual. I really look forward to my club nights and seeing everyone. I'm virtually housebound so I get a bit lonely sometimes. Scrapbooking is so cathartic for me - it keeps me going & that's why I want my mojo back & also to get points for my team "Distressed Divas" on UKScrappers ( as I've let them down lately with 'nil points' for 3 months :( See you soon!

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Wednesday warm & sunny - it's Summer!!

Hi! Just a quickie to say I'm back from a very wet Scotland. Yes, they let me down this year with the weather & gave us rain instead of the lovely sunny weather we usually get. It never rains on my birthday (I was 50 on Wednesday 30th April) but it went out of its way to be lousy this year - just about summed it up really. It was a difficult holiday. I think I'm still recovering from my hospital experience, I just couldn't keep awake & kept nodding off all the time - much to the annoyance of my DH as I kept snoring and yawning all the time. It doesn't matter that I've put up with his row for all the 29 years we've been married, he just has to make a fuss about it. I have Fibromyalgia for goodness' sake, I have all-consuming, overwhelming, fatigue. That is not the 'tired all the time' (also known as TATT in the medical profession) but the type of fatigue that knocks you over. The so-called 'special day' passed without a fuss. My 40th was awful as I had postnatal depression and my eldest daughter had 'gone off the rails' and had been expelled from school a month before her GCSE's. My 50th was bound to be extra special ????????? Oh well, maybe my 60th may just be better????
I'm running the scrapping club nite as usual on the third Thursday (15th May). I think I'll be in contact with Karen for a kit this month if it's not too late. I'll keep you posted. I got my 'Scrapjammies' kit today! I just love getting parcels (even if I have to pay for them!!!). Mind you, I still have SJ kits from January as well as 'Back Porch Memories'. I've lost my "mojo" a bit since I was ill but I'm sure it will come back.
The sunny days make me feel a whole lot better. I'm in the process of cleaning the jets in my whirlpool bath (you get bits in the water if you haven't used it for a while) with Milton (cheaper than the manufactured product and I used it to clean the pipes in the caravan when we had it). The dog thought she was in for a bath - just to add insult to injury after she had her jabs at the vet yesterday - and she was off!!! I also finished unpacking the case from Scotland --- you know, that suitcase unpacking fairy just keeps missing me out..........
Rosie was naughty when we were away and played up the 'dog sitter'. Now she will only have her for a week in August instead of 2 that she was happy to do as she did last year. It means we can only go away for the week (New Wine, Somerset) and not have the second week to wind down and enjoy the wonderful scenery down there. I'm sure Rosie only played up because I'd recently been in hospital and she thought it had happened again, because she really loves Rozina & Leonard. I hope it won't affect our relationship with them.
Animals are as bad as kids sometimes.
I have just joined 'Facebook' - after encouragement from my [lovely] eldest daughter, Jenny. I have put my blog on my profile, so, welcome to anyone who has popped in to read my blog (sorry it's not more interesting, I do try!) I must dash off - need to finish the bathroom before I flag out & am left with all the stuff form the drawers all over the floor (they were so dusty) and a bath full of milton (that would make me clean!! lol). Where does all that fluff & dust come from??? Bye bye, God blessXXX

Friday, 11 April 2008

Friday 11th April

Just a quick entry to say sorry that I haven't done an entry on my blog for a while. I'm still getting over my traumatic hospital stay. I saw my GP last Friday because I just can't get going. Some days (in fact most days) I can't even get out of bed, I can't see the point any more. She said that I've been so traumatised, both physically and emotionally, that it's going to take a while for me to get over it.
I'm still [trying] to do my letter of complaint to the Maidstone & Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust, but I can't get motivated. I've done a copy on my PC & I need to 'tweek' it a bit so I don't waffle.
I found out from a friend that they had to shut the ward concerned to visitors...... Mmmm.. interesting.

I'm aiming to still run my class on the 17th. The kit will be the Bazill 'Stitchz' layout as mentioned before. I shall be trying to do my sample to show you. These new cardstocks are so versatile. I just love sewing on layouts. The theme is 'Love'. I'm keeping my prices as before and will promise to make the kits good value for money.
I've got a Gynae appontment in the afternoon of the class. I had a really bad haemorrhage last Friday (hence visit to GP) and, as I have completed my menopause, my GP wanted to refer me to the Gynae people. The appointment came through really quick, I don't think I would have got it any quicker had we used our medical insurance. I'm sure it's my 'lodger' aka fibroid - at least I hope so. I have never bled so much. I had 2 pads but I was horrified to find, when I came out from my counselling, that I had blood pouring down my legs. Throughout all my years of periods I never had anything like this, it wasn't good. I'm hoping it won't happen again but it's better to get it checked out. There's always something happening to me... I'm sure someone's got it in for me... Anyway, I'm sure I'll be okay to do the class as planned.

My aim for this weekend is to finalise my daughter's wedding scrapbook. I've done the layouts, I just need to finish embellishing, putting photos on or journalling some of them. I think that, when I've done that, it will kick-start me back to scrapping again.
I've also got to make some thank you cards for all the ladies from our church who got together a rota to feed the family when I was so ill, and we still get a casserole brought round. Our church is so good like that. I know I have been covered by prayer, especially when I was 'touch & go'. When you have been so poorly you certainly find out who your true friends are. My mum never got a mother's day nor an Easter card so I'm going to do something special for her.

Sunday, 30 March 2008

Sunday 30th March 2008

So sorry I haven't made an entry in my blog for a while but I have been really, really poorly. I had a major flare-up of my Fibromyalgia & ended up with another bout of pneumonia. I refused to go into hospital at first - I had on-call doctor plus ambulance people trying to force me to go in but I dug my heels in, but then my husband called the doctor in again as I was all over the place & I was forced to go in. The ward they put me on was dreadful & the nursing care was non-existent - I had one junior sister verbally abusing me at one point. They'd suddenly stopped all my medication (including the morpine) for whatever reason that no-one could answer. So, in effect, they put me through "cold turkey" - it was absolutely horrendous. I was actually ashamed of my own profession. They left me for hours vomiting & have uncontrollable diarrhoea (sorry for too much info but it was so undignifying). I knew I was written up for anti-sickness injection as one lovely night sister gave me some via my drip. One care assistant discontinued my drip because the machine kept bleeping due to the position of the cannula in the fold of my arm. I couldn't tolerate even a sip of water so I was dehydrated!! She also took away my oxygen so I went from 4L a minute (a lot) to nothing just like that. They didn't have a clue. It turns out that I am allergic to the antibiotic. All I wanted (and needed) was to rest but this particular sister took away all my bedlinen so I had to sit in the chair. I was freezing cold, puking & everyone ignored me, prefering to sit & natter at the nurses desk (opposite my bed so they couldn't fail to see what a state I was in) & my eldest daughter (who has been a real support to me) said thay were reading 'chat' magazines. I asked for an urgent commode (the loo was too far away) and I was told blatantly that I couldn't have one & I ended up shitting my self like an old incontinent lady. This sister also yelled at me when I dropped my drink, because I had lost my spatial awareness, "Oh god, what have you done now" & scowling at me. Crumbs, if we'd shouted at patients like that we'd have been up before the matron. It would never have happened. It wasn't like they were short staffed either, so they weren't run off their feet.
The consultant I was under couldn't have read my notes properly as he was talking about my DVT & Pulmonary Embolism which I was hopitalised for in summer 2006. He didn't listen to my chest at all. I told him I was going home and he said "okay". So I was discharged having had no fluids for over a week. I got out of there because I feared for my life. As I walked (my husband couldn't find a wheelchair) from the ward to the car I was willing myself along & prayed that I wouldn't collapse and have to go back. As I walked I was leaking. It was horrendous, I still have nightmares over it. My husband was moaning & calling me stubborn. He is such a 'yes' man he wasn't my advocate at all. he couldn't see that I was being neglected. I just feel that when I'm in hospital I'm out of the way.
When we got home my husband contacted on-call care and a doctor came out and he was astonished at the state of me. He gave me an injection to stop the sickness. My own Gp (and friend) was amazed at the lack of care and was mystified as to why they felt they should stop all my medication. I was exhausted because my nerves & muscles were all tensed & tingling and I was very dehydrated. She gave me some cyclizine (brilliant drug) which succeeded in easing the sickness. Once I got back on the Amitriptylline (a drug for neuropathic pain) everything stopped "jumping around". I'm back on all my medication but I haven't gone back on the slow-release morphine, I'm just having the Fentanyl patch. I lost a stone & a half in a week (not that it shows).
I was admitted to hospital overnight of the 20th February and it's taken me 'til now to start feeling anywhere near better. I had to have a 'duvet day' yesterday as my legs were so painful - I wish they'd chop them off so I don't get such pain. This morning I felt peculiar, it felt like it was all going to happen again. I still have bad dreams about it all & I find it hard to get to sleep as my mind is going haywire.
It was my daughter Jenny who did all the supporting & I'm making her my carer & advocate on a document that I'm drawing up so that, if I have to go in again (which I probably will) she will do all my care etc. I'm also in the process of making an official complaint about the standard of nursing care on the ward & how that sister abused me verbally.

Sorry I had to cancel two club nites. I am aiming, positively, to run the April class on the 17th. I shall be using the kit that I had made up for February. It's a Love theme. The kit contains a sheet of the new bazill pre-pricked cardstock with hearts you can sew, sheets of gorgeous double-sided papers, 2 crocheted flowers, brads, two generous lengths of ribbon fibres in pink & green & some DMC embroidery floss in various colours. I will get an example done, God willing. The min's willing but the body's a mile behind!!!

Bless you all who have sent cards or visited. I have really found out who my real friends are. The people at church set up a rota to provide dinners so that Geoff didn't have to do any cooking. That was so appreciated by everyone. It's acts of kindness like that that make you realise that there are such good & compassionate people around. God bless them all.

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Tuesday 12th -- hubbies 49th birthday!!!

When I read my entry for yesterday I realised just how low I was. I put it down to absolute fatique, frustration & downright loss of self-esteem. This is the punishment I'm dealt for having had a [brilliant] day out. I have to suffer 2 or 3 days of fatique if I do too much, which was clear that I had done on Saturday as Pauline picked up on it, bless her cotton socks. I hate to pester people or ask for help as I've always been so independant before I was struck down with this awful syndrome. The problem is people cannot see it - if I had my leg in plaster, for instance, people would be sympathetic & understanding; however, I don't have any particular outwardly obvious signs, except that I walk [small distances] with a stick. I view myself as pathetic as I get so upset when I get angry at my illness & how it affects my daily living. As I said yesterday, I've lost so many friends through this illness because I'm not the fun & confident person I used to be. Did I ever 'say' what a friend of 30 years + said to me? Well, I see my friend every week. She comes to me as I can no longer get to hers. She refers to be as "being on drugs" & continually refers to everything I say as being due to the "drugs". One day when she came she hadn't even sat down before she said to me "Your teeth are all yellow" ---- yes, she did say that!!! I was so taken aback that I couldn't find an answer. Now, before she's due to come I scrub my teeth for so long that my gums bleed (I'm on Warfarin - a blood-thinning tablet). I also chew chewing gum that's supposed to help with teeth cleaning as I drink herbal teas which, apparently, affect the tooth enamel. People whom I've told about what she said cannot believe she said it - even my counsellor was amazed that a friend of so many years could come out with such horrible things. I know it's because she can't cope with me being like this & wants the old Gill Baker back. We used to go out for days, shopping at Eastbourne, Hobbycraft & other places. Now we don't go out anymore.
This is how my illness is "punishing" me. I beg of you all, I don't want to be like this, I'd rather be independant, have my wonderful job with excellent pay as I'm well-qualified and not have to worry about how far I can walk before I'm bent double, if I'm going to find a loo in time before I pee myself, and to be able to hold a proper conversation without forgetting simple words or forget where I am in a sentence. I'd love to wake up feeling fresh in the morning, to be able to make plans to do things that day like going to the shops by my self. I don't want to be dependant on others. I want Geoff to be my husband & lover, not my carer having to clean me up when I have days in a row where I'm totally out of it & unrousable. This illness affects the whole family. My girls, 10 & almost 12, panic now if the word 'hospital' is mentioned as they fear that all that happened in June '06 will happen again, and maybe that I won't be so lucky next time. This has been said to me by my 10 year old. She's taking First Aid courses after school. She told me it was so that if something happened to me she could do something. A child of 10 shouldn't have that worry on her shoulders. I feel so guilty when I'm not having a good day & I'm in a lot of pain and get cross with them if they are giggling & being silly. They are girls, girls giggle, but I'm taking away that freedom they should have at their ages. They aren't children for long nowadays & I've taken away those special years. We talk together at length about how my illness affects them, they say "it doesn't matter mum", but it matters to me. It even affects my poor little Westie, Rosie. I can't take her out for a walk anymore & I have to rely on my mum, who comes every Saturday to do my ironing, & a friend from church to take Rosie out for a walk. Yet she is so protective of me & knows when things "aren't quite right" and lays close to me.
My hobby, scrapbooking, is my lifeline. It's cathartic. When I'm busy constructing a layout my illness goes to the back of my mind. My illness even affects this, as I demonstrated yesterday. This morning I looked through all the layouts I did on Saturday. They are mind-blowing. I've proven that I can follow instructions, eventually. Now all I have to do is complete the layouts before attacking that huge sheet of chipboard to make circles for the album. I understand what I'm supposed to do, it's just putting the instructions together. I won't give up as I said I would, that's defeatist.
I will not allow my illness to prevent me from doing something that I adore doing. I'm sorry to all those whom I "download" my frustration onto. It's just that you're there for me & I really do appreciate that. One day I'll be able to do the same for you. I've given my whole life, professionally, to others; now the tide has turned & I have to accept that. To try & fight it is a waste of energy. I need to focus on the positive aspects of my life -- my girls, my son & eldest daughter, my grandchildren, my husband & my special mum, bless her. I also make a point of saying "I love you" to my children, grandchildren, husband & mum, every day. That's special to me. I just get a grunt when I tell my 27 year old son I love him!!! I'm also grateful to everyone who have been there for me, and still are, those who ask Geoff how I am, those who phone on the off-chance to see if they can pop round. Of course you can, anytime! Anything to ease my loneliness... I thank God for all those good things He has given me, rather than blame Him for this dumb deal I've been dealt. It's not a punishment from God, it's life. Now I've said it!!!! I'm off to finish a couple of layouts from Saturday.
Bless you for reading this.

Monday, 11 February 2008

Monday 11th Feb

OMG! Was I whacked out after the [brilliant] all-day crop at Meopham on Saturday. I'd had a really bad night Friday night so I wasn't really up to going but I didn't want my illness to stop me going as I love this particular crop so much. I struggled big-time & I know that I got on my friend's nerves as I just couldn't grasp the simplest of instructions - all part of the syndrome - and I started to panic. My friend said I wasn't being a pain when I kept asking her but I just felt I was. I was so 'out on the edge' that I felt out of it - paranoid I know but I just felt as if I shouldn't be there & I should have stayed at home after all. The classes were great, excellent value for money, as usual, and Karen as the teacher did her best to get through our adled brains!
I get so upset when I feel so tired that nothing makes sense & I feel like I'm going to collapse on the floor. No-one sees that part. I keep how I'm really feeling under a wrap; it's only those who really understand where I'm coming from that see how I'm really feeling. Pauline, bless her heart, offered to fold down a seat in her car so I could rest a while; I was thankful but I didn't want her to have to do that for me - she had enough to do with the shop, without having to fiddle around in her car just for me.
The shop was fantastic (as usual) with fantastic bargains & I got the 'in Stitch'z ' templates "as a birthday present from my girls". I love to sew, both hand & machine, on my layouts, so it will be used. I had sorted this months' class kit for 'Romance' using the new Bazill 'in stitch'z' cardstock with pre-pricked hearts. I had no idea that 'Scrapaholix' - who I have no contact with anymore - had sewing on layouts as February's kit. Pure coincidence.
I chose the papers so carefully, added the right embellishments - ribbons, sewing threads (DMC) that co-ordinated with the papers, brads & blooms. I thought it represented good value for money, especially as I hadn't, at that point, got any chance of trade prices. I want to give my 'girls' value for money as their satisfaction is paramount to a good evening. My gut feeling is that, when I showed those who came to the informal evening, the response was rather on the negative side. I'm rather disappointed to say the least.
After my disasterous, brainless, behaviour at the crop on Saturday, as well as all the unpleasantness I've experienced through emails from other scrapbookers, I'm seriously wondering whether I'm actually doing the right thing. If I gave up my hobby would my life be any better? Would people respect me more? Would I be respected as a friend? Karen was so supportive on Saturday when I reflected like this. I should, as an experienced scrapper of 3+ years, be better at following instructions than I was. I don't deserve to teach others if I can't even do things myself..... I, and everyone else says 'it's the illness' or 'you're over-tired', blah, blah, blah. Yup, I am over-tired, my brain has got slower on the uptake, and my mobility has got so bad that I can't even walk a 100 yards before I suffer. I'm handicapped by this dragging syndrome that takes my life over.
I haven't even got my husband his birthday present as I have to rely on someone taking me shopping & everyone is busy. So his card will contain an 'IOU' for a DVD 'Atonement' plus another. He says he doesn't mind, but I know he does. I feel guilty as he's so generous to me, buying me presents & flowers. I'm spoilt.
I did manage to do several more layouts on Saturday as I didn't do so much talking as I was 'on the edge' at the end of the line. It was good to sit & do layouts without being interrupted by the phone, the dog or the kids. Quality scrapping time is a rarity when you have kids & a dog who wants to be wherever you are. The first class (the easy one according to Karen) was gorgeous, once I got to grips with the cutting out bit. The MM Paisley & the BG 'Two scoops' weren't too bad to follow but I panicked big-time with the 'manly' chipboard circle album class. It just refused to make sense. The more I tried the worse it got. I wish I'd just left it, taken notes, and left it rather than persevering. I got into tears.
This isn't the old Gill Baker aka 'The formidable Gill Baker', this is the Gill Baker who can't follow simple instructions nor retain them for future use; who gets teary when things get on top of her, who feels that people are fed up with her because she isn't what she used to be. This is how Fibromyalgia Syndrome takes away your life, your independence, self-esteem and value to others. I can name on one hand those people I can truly say value me as a friend nowadays. Once upon a time I would have had to have taken off my socks to count them. This condition ruins your whole life.
I wanted to do the chipboard album for Geoff. I have never made him anything so when I saw 'album' and 'Masculine/manly' in the description I thought 'yeah! I can make this for his birthday (tomorrow) or valentine's day............ He'll get it for Christmas!!! I'm not going to let it defeat me. I shall persevere. It looks brilliant, karen's example, as usual, was amazing. She is one hell of a good crafter, I could never be like her but I sure could try.
I won't be at the April's crop (Scotland) nor at the June one (Ian's wedding) so I shall be chomping at the bit for the August one! You can't stop me going, I refuse to give up!!!
I'm sorry this blog entry is a bit low, but this is a reflection on how I feel about me - I'm not running down others. I find that when I've done a blog entry I feel better about things...................... but I've still gotta cut out all those chipboard circles!!!!!!!!!!!!! Bless you all, friends, class members and others, for taking time to read about how it feels to have Fibromyalgia & to try & hide it from others so they don't see you as weak & helpless (hopeless - yes!!). My life's a struggle from the moment I wake, through the day and at night. For having a good day out it takes me a day's bed-rest plus a 'slow day' to get over it --- but it's so worth it! Thanks Karen, Pauline & Karen's parents for a brilliant, well-planned day. Oh, I mustn't forget the Carrot Cake.......mmmmmmmmmmmmmm!!

Sunday, 3 February 2008

Sunday 3rd February

Happy Sunday to you all!! I woke at 10.30 this morning and I felt better than I have for a long time, despite having woken several times in the nite & having to suffer my dear husband's nocturnal noises ( :o). I have been finishing a couple of layouts and I have just done week 4's challenge for UK Scrappers ( which was a layout that I've had the papers for ages and have never had the photos / layout that suited them. I used the Basic Grey 'Blitzen' that came in a monthly kit from USA that has now closed down - that's how long I've had them! It goes to show that one day you will use those papers. I have masses of the [very] loud 'Tinkering Ink' papers that also came in a kit from the same people --- any ideas????!!!
Just a quick reminder for all my 'girls' that there's the informal club evening this Thursday (7th) and I will be demonstrating the hand-cutting titles that I should have done on the January class. Bring a [sharp] knife & a tile if you want to actually use / practice this technique. I shall have some titles printed on white card -- you can colour with pens, chalks, ink pads, embossing, the list is endless!
Look forward to seeing you!
I'm being called to join in a board game downstairs -- I think it's 'Cluedo' - do you remember that one? I got loads of family presents for Christmas of board / DVD games so that we can have family 'quality time' together. Alice has eaten some chocolate so she's bouncing off the walls & giggling for no real apparent reason. It's okay for a while then it kinda does my head in...
I've been looking at the brilliant classes that are up for the [fantastic] 'Total Papercrafts' (aka Karen) all day crop on Saturday. The classes are brilliant. I have booked in for 3 as any more drains me & I can't concentrate & then I panic (all part of my Syndrome). I shall be there, by hook or by crook!!
See you soon! GillX

Monday, 28 January 2008

February's club (21st) kit

A special 'hello' to all my blog readers, especially my 'Southborough Scrappers' class members!
I have made up the kits all ready for the third Thursday's class (21st) and there is a piccie of the papers posted here. The papers are the Fancy Pants new line 'Crush' - all double-sided & lush. The cardstock is Bazill's new 'Stitch'z' range where, as you can see in the photo, holes are made for you to sew, embroider, put brads through, eyelets, the uses are endless. I have purchased a couple of the other designs (the kits contain the hearts design) and I'll, hopefully, do a couple of layouts as a demo & post them on here -- watch this space! I'm aiming to be a bit more adventurous with kits & techniques as all my members are experienced enough to cope, however, I'm not going to make them out of reach for a newbie.
Newbies are more than welcome to come & join us. Warning ----- we are a made lot!!!
I have an informal 'class' on the first Thursday - the 7th February - where members & guests are welcome to come along and scrap together, drink as much tea / coffee / fruit tea / soft drinks (sorry, no Gin!) as you want, eat sweeties and have a laugh. The emphasis on my classes is the word 'Fun'. Although, as I said, the first Thursday evening is informal bring your own, as I was too poorly to run the January technique class I shall be demonstrating it then. I shall be demonstrating hand-cutting titles. Some of us can't afford the expensive cutting systems & hand-cutting is just as useful in my eyes. There will be script, block & fancy examples. Bring along your [sharp] knives & a tile / glass tile (I use the glas form old photo frames) & learn this useful technique!!
I look forward to seeing you all!

Saturday, 19 January 2008

Saturday 19th January

I'm so sorry to all my class members for my having to cancel at the last minute. I just could not have led a class the way I was feeling. I still don't feel 100% but, hey, what's new (as my dear husband says, bless him!). So I'll be running two classes next month - one on the first Thursday (7th) and the third Thursday (21st) of February. On the first Thursday it will still be an open crop - bring along any work you want to start or finish (I have so many unfinished layouts), but I shall be teaching the technique of hand-cutting titles, which should have been this month's technique. The February technique (shown on the 21st) will be sewing on your layouts. I have ordered some really yummy papers and the cardstock is the new Bazill 'Stitch'z & I've chosen the colour to match in with the theme of love. So, ladies, get some lovin' goin' on!!!! The colours match up with that special present we ladies can't get enough of........ chocolate!! As well as some really gorgeous papers from 'Fancy Pants', there will be some extra suprises in the kit. I think this will be my turning point and the take-off of 'Southborough Scrappers'. Let us all pray that it will be a success & we continue to have fun & laughter (oh, as well as scrapping of course!).
Bless you all for standing by me as I struggle with this illness that no-one understands but I have to endure day to day. My club night and planning the kits gives me a function in life, and I love to have you all here. I spend 99.9% of my time alone because I'm almost totally housebound, having to rely on my taxi-driver husband (he's actually a self-employed Electrician) to transport me to appointments at the Dr's & my counselling. Poor man, he works so hard and he's also my carer. He doesn't deserve it, especially when I had my 'black-out' days & I was wetting. God bless him, even if he is sharp at me sometimes & can say some hurtful things but I put that down to frustration & tiredness. I can't even stand & watch for a pan of spuds to come to the boil without having this excruciating total body pain. I'm also suffering with the Spondylitis - especially in my neck & I get toothache with it (:0 ). I'm trying to get a layout done but I've just had a text from my daughter to say she's on her way.............

Goodbye & God bless all of you who read my blog (it would be good if you could introduce yourselves) and I wish you all happy & healthy days.

Monday, 7 January 2008

Happy New Year all!!

First of all I'd like to wish all the readers of my blog a very happy, healthy & prosperous 2008. Secondly, my aim for this year is to try to keep my blog more up to date than I have done in 2007. Obviously how often I post is controlled by my condition but I will endeavour to do my best.

I'm going to use my blog to communicate to all my 'Southborough Scrappers' club members so that I can show the papers & my example for that particular month. The club nites are the first Thursday of each month - this is a purely social crop where members & guests can bring their own layouts to do / finish & enjoy some company, refreshments & jelly beans (this will just be £1.50 to cover expenses etc) -- on the third Thursday we will be learning a technique & I will be making up kits for members to practise the technique, very much as before. I will be keeping the cost for this class as before (£7.50 -- which covers kit, my teaching, refreshments [as much as you want provided by my dear husband] &, of course, jelly beans!) The fun & laughter come free!!
I'm open for new members. I live near Tunbridge Wells, Kent. If you are interested or just want to see what it's all about, then contact me through this blog.

I have a huge box of un-used kits. If you wish to dip in on the first Thursday crop, you're welcome.

Right. I have been trolling through on-line scrapbooking suppliers (I cannot go out of the house so I do most, all, of my shopping on-line) & I have found some lushious papers by Bo-Bunny. It's their 'Romance' line. The kit will include 3 papers (shown right), cardstock to co-ordinate (2), brads & ribbon from the same range. I think this kit is gorgeous & I'll be doing my example asap so watch this space! The technique I'll be teaching this month is hand-cutting titles. You'll need to bring a sharp knife (or one that you snap the end off) as a blunt knife will drag the paper/card, and a tile or a glass tile (I use the glass from old frames or those clip-on ones that you can get in pound shops) - this helps the paper & knife to work together. I will have some available for use if you don't have one. I'll be printing off various titles in different fonts for you to practise on; script style, blocks & themes (eg Harry Potter). It is easier than it looks -- I promise!!!!!
Please let me know if you don't want a kit. Thanks!

Next month (February) the technique will be hand-sewing on layouts, using different embroidery stitches. For anyone who's totally phobic of hand-sewing I'll put my sewing machine out!!! Hand-sewing is one of my favourite techniques, I use it a lot on my layouts. Watch this space. I haven't decided on papers yet -- any suggestions welcome! Remember -- it's your club, I'm just a facilitator! If you have a suggestion for class techniques ----- speak up!

I'm very excited about this huge move to independance & I'm praying that it all works out and that I get support from you all, I can't do it alone.
God bless you all. You've been so supportive during my difficult times and I'm so thankful to you all for being alongside me - I couldn't do without you!!