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Saturday, 19 January 2019

Apologies

I've decided I won't be writing any more blog posts for the time being, for how long I don't know.  Apologies to my regular readers, I know it's annoying when someone stops writing, and please be assured I am very grateful for all the lovely comments and support you've all given me.  Blogland is wonderful, an online community of like-minded, supportive friendly people - often more so than in real life - and it's no reflection on any of you that I'm making this decision.  For various reasons, I just don't want to anymore.  

I shall still be reading your blogs, they're a daily highlight for me.  If any of you want to email me, feel free, although I can't promise to always reply.  

Thank you.

Love and hugs

Sooze x

Using up leftovers. And still no words

I had a few odds and ends of foods that weren't being eaten for one reason or another, so needed to get on and use them up, before they went off or we got fed up with them hanging around and were tempted to bin them - something I really don't want to do anymore.

We had most of a large bag of roasted salted peanuts left from Christmas, the reason being they were excessively salty, too salty to eat.  I did try rinsing a few off, but they didn't taste very nice.  Didn't want to throw them out, though, so decided to make a nut roast - husband won't eat it but I love them.  I rinsed all the peanuts then dried them off on kitchen paper.  I didn't follow a recipe, just winged it - chopped up the nuts, some carrots, couple of leeks and 2 thick end slices of homemade wholemeal bread in my processor, then put it all in a bowl.  Mixed in some grated strong Cheddar, mixed herbs, big squidge of tomato puree, couple of beaten eggs and some melted butter.  It filled 2 loaf tins:-



And after cooking:-



I've sliced and frozen most of it, I'm having it for lunches with a blob of mayo and bit of salad.  It's delicious, even husband quite likes it.

There were some mini Cumberland sausages, also left over from Christmas, in the freezer - I'd used half the pack to make sausage rolls and froze the rest.  So for dinner last night I did a traybake of roasted winter veggies - couple of carrots and parsnips from last week that were going wrinkly, a leek, some mushrooms, a small homegrown butternut squash (only a couple left now) and the sausages.  Made a sauce using bacon stock (from the gammon we had at Christmas), bit of milk, a leek and grated Cheddar to serve with it.

The Council assessor finally turned up at mum's yesterday, having failed to appear for the appointment on Wednesday.  The things mum needs most - a downstairs loo and a stair lift - she can't have.....not enough room, problematical installation or siting given as the reasons, although I suspect cost comes into it too, as her local Council are broke.  There could be a solution to the loo problem, which was suggested, but the assessor said no - they have a strict set of guidelines to adhere to and won't consider any other option.  The woman suggested mum stay upstairs for longer periods until she doesn't feel the need to keep going to the loo....really?!  To be honest, she's upstairs most of the time anyway, but they're more or less confining her to her bedroom. They have agreed to supply another zimmer frame, raised toilet seat and a better shower chair.  The woman said it would probably be better if mum moved to a ground floor flat or bungalow - mum won't hear of it though as she wants to stay close to my sister - understandably, as sis is her main carer and there are no suitable properties for mum nearby.

As for the colonoscopy - still no appointment available.  She is on the urgent 2-week waiting list, they just have no appointments!  They said they will ring with an update before the end of the fortnight....to put her on the next rolling 2-week waiting list, presumably.  I know they're extremely busy and lacking in funds/staff etc, and I do think our NHS are wonderful.  But how is mum supposed to be treated if she can't get an appointment for tests to find out what's wrong with her?

It's like we're banging our heads against a brick wall all the time.  The stress, worry and lack of sleep is doing me in, so goodness knows what it's doing to mum.

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Really?!

Two things this week that just make me feel like screaming....

Mum and sis were told by the GP on Monday that mum needs further bowel investigations....a camera up the bum, in other words.  Sis rang to make the appointment....only to be told they have no appointments available!  She was told they will ring her back, when one becomes available.  

And the person from the Council who was coming to assess mum's needs for possible aids.....Didn't.  Turn.  Up.  

Words fail me.

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Brexit!! (or alternative title - FOR GOODNESS SAKE!!!)

Now, I have absolutely zero interest in politics, I rarely vote in general elections as ALL politicians from ALL parties seem much the same to me:  they promise all manner of wonderful things to get you to vote for them, then conveniently forget or change their minds once they're in power.  And they're all so holier than thou, taking a stand on various moral things when it invariably comes out that they have the morals of an alleycat.  Frankly, I don't really care what they did when they were students....we all have pasts and have all done things we're not proud of and wouldn't do today.  But just be honest about it, for goodness sake!

So Mrs May's Brexit deal has been well and truly scuppered, and by a big proportion of her own party, too.  What happens now I have no idea - according to the papers this morning, Corbyn is going to try and force a general election, although apparently a lot of May's MPs, having kicked her in the ribs last night, are crawling on their bellies and trying to make amends by backing her today.  Bunch of tossers (excuse my language).  So there's no guarantee there will actually be an election....and, in any case, what makes that dangerous, deluded cretin Corbyn think anyone is now going to vote for him?!  Apparently, there could be various versions of Plan Bs, or a soft exit, or delaying the leaving date, or a new referendum.  So, basically, they haven't got a bloody clue what to do now.

I sincerely hope there isn't another referendum - would anybody actually take the trouble to go out and vote again?  Why the hell should we?  The country voted the last time and look what's happened - pretty much nothing!!  Our country's leaders have just squabbled and argued amongst themselves for the past 2+ years and FAILED TO DELIVER!  So why should THEY have any confidence that THE PEOPLE will have any confidence in them getting their act together and doing what THE PEOPLE want a second time round?!

This country is now one big laughing stock - Europe and the world (and our Queen) must think we're (well, the Government really, but we're all lumped together, despite us minions having bugger all to do with it really) idiots.

I don't really care whether we stay in or go out, it matters not a lot to me, all I care about is whether prices are going to rise significantly.  I just wish, as does everybody I know, that they would JUST GET ON WITH IT, FOR GOODNESS SAKE!!  I, and everybody else I know, am just sick to death of it all.

I don't normally do politics, doubt I will again, and would just like to state that these are MY opinions only, for what they're worth.  Oh, and I got out of bed the wrong side this morning, bad night again and I've got backache, grump grump.

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Trying to concentrate on day to day things

Got some really nice meat from the butchers yesterday.  Along with the 10 packs of minced beef, we got belly pork slices and husband wanted some pork ribs.  8 belly pork slices for couple of pennies over £8 and they're huge, so frozen in packs of 2.  2 half racks of pork ribs costing about a tenner for the two, which husband cut into individual ribs - turned out to be 10 ribs, again huge and very meaty, so again frozen in 5 packs of 2 ribs.

I made a savoury crumble for the turkey pie yesterday, then stirred through some oats, parsley and sage and grated Cheddar.  I used that to top the turkey, leek and mushroom pie filling, which was in a sauce made from a chicken stock cube, water, cream and mustard.  It was delish.

I've done a meal plan for the rest of this month, incorporating a couple of meat-free days every week - notwithstanding the fact that we've now got loads of meat in the freezer, we do like to have some veggie days as well.  

Mum's seen the GP and had the latest results.  Not too good, her heart's giving cause for concern, BP still low despite being taken off meds, very anaemic but ferritin very high....which could be caused by a number of things, rheumatoid arthritis (which she has), diabetes (she's not), inflammation or infection, liver disease, some types of cancer, even restless legs syndrome being a few of them.  GP has no explanation for the diarrhoea or a definite cause of the high ferritin, so she's referring mum back to hospital for further investigations, and has said to make sure mum keeps her fluid levels up.  Poor old thing's been having a bad couple of days and has spent all her time in bed again.  It's all very worrying.

We were thinking of going to Kent on holiday later this year - very good friends of ours live on the Kent coast, they come to see us every year and we've been saying for years we must go and see them.  However, after discussing it we've decided against it....husband's heart failure means he gets very tired nowadays, and it comes on very suddenly, so a long drive (5 hours and possibly longer, if the traffic's bad on the M25 or Dartford crossing) is not really a good idea.  Even if we stopped 2 or 3 times, which we would have to anyway with Betty, the long hours would still be too much for him.  His health is paramount.  

Monday, 14 January 2019

Meat and veg

Mum was well enough to go to her church service yesterday morning, for the first time in weeks.  She enjoyed it, but it tired her out completely and she had to go to bed as soon as she got home.  She's seeing her GP today, for the latest blood test results and to discuss the next phase of the GP's plan for adjusting her meds.  Sis will be taking her, as usual.

I used the turkey legs and wings from the bargain reduced price fresh turkey we bought after Christmas to make a stew at the weekend.  Cooked the legs and wings in stock made from the carcass in the slow cooker first, then took them out to cool.  Chopped the meat up and put half of it back into the slow cooker, along with lots of veggies and herbs and half a packet of stuffing mix.  Added dumplings near the end, it made 4 portions....well, 5 actually, as husband had seconds yesterday, the remaining 2 portions will be lunch for husband today and tomorrow.  He's intending to work in the garden and will need a hot lunch.  The other half of the turkey I'm making a pie with - turkey, mushroom and leek, with a savoury crumble topping, we'll have half tonight and the rest will be frozen.

The butcher we used to get a bulk buy of meat from 2 or 3 times a year (can't afford that anymore) currently has a special offer on minced beef, 5kg split into 500g packs for £16.99, so £1.69 per 500g.  Their mince is lovely, local and very tasty, so we'll go and get that today.  Will also get some belly pork slices or pork loin chops, both of which we've had before and they're really nice too, as well as being very good value.  We've got chicken breast fillets and thighs, pork mince, turkey, beef and gammon all from Christmas, both sliced and diced, along with some smoked haddock and cod bought on YS (yellow sticker, reduced as on use by date for overseas readers) all in the freezer already, so have enough meat and fish to last us for probably 6 months.  Oh, and a pack of smoked salmon, 2 or 3 packs of sausages and the same of bacon rashers too, just remembered those.

We're starting to plan what we'll be growing in the way of veg for this year.  Definitely NO cabbages, sprouts or broccoli - whilst we like them all, husband just can't seem to keep them covered well enough to stop the cabbage white butterflies, followed inevitably by caterpillars, from getting in, and that just puts me off completely.  We're going to try growing asparagus for the first time - I know we won't get a crop this year, but as I love asparagus, it will be worth the wait.  I tell husband every year there's no need to grow so much of everything, we don't have to feed the entire hamlet!  But he does anyway....well, not this year, I shall make sure of that, he needs to have less work not more.

Saturday, 12 January 2019

First phase completed

Thank you all so much for comments, Wednesday was very hard and emotional, elder brother and I did feel we wouldn't be surprised if it were the last time we saw Mum.  Younger brother, who previously wasn't coping at all well and mainly shutting himself in his bedroom to avoid the situation (he has a myriad of health problems himself, both physical and mental), has really stepped up to the mark, he now looks after Mum very well, in conjunction with sister.  

The latest bloods mum had done earlier in the week showed that she has yet another urine infection, hence why she was feeling even more unwell when we saw her.  More antibiotics, which are starting to kick in now.  She's perked up a bit and has eaten a little yesterday and today.  

Younger bro put a post on Facebook last night saying mum is on the mend.  We older siblings are pretty sure she's not, she's just having a couple of better days, he's just being overly optimistic and hopeful because he wants her to be better.  Anyhow, she's not too bad at the moment and that's what counts.

Sister arranged for her son and daughter in law to both meet up with her at mum's, each in their own cars, so they could all set to and clear out mum's bedroom.  Sis settled mum comfortably downstairs, so they didn't have to keep disturbing or moving her - and, more importantly, so she wasn't there to stop them getting rid of a lot of her unnecessary belongings!  They sorted out and took away loads of stuff that mum had accumulated over the years - nothing important or precious to mum, just things like masses of clothes - they filled 12 bin bags.  As she's virtually bedbound now, she doesn't need all those clothes, about 80% of which she didn't wear anyway.  They also took out 2 chests of drawers, 2 bedside cabinets (she had 4!), a large bookcase, a cupboard and a clothes rail.  Sis's son and DiL took all the stuff away in their cars, to the tip and charity shops.  The room looks SO much better now, neat and tidy and comfortable, with plenty of room (sis sent me photos), mum's really pleased.  She loves her new electric riser chair as well.

Sis has just messaged me to say mum's feeling sick again, so looks like it's back to 'normal' again 😕.  Poor old thing.  And another of mum's long-time friends died last week, that's 3 or 4 in the last year or two....she'll soon be the last of her gang of cronies.