Friday, November 30, 2012


Here is HRH Princess Lilibet III reclining in her Christmas bed.
It obviously suits the royal posterior.

Oh...and Arnie the Possum is back.  Phew !!  I always worry about him if he doesn't visit for a day or two, particularly in winter when food isn't so easily found.
He enjoyed his pizza.

I am in full Crimbo mode now.
I have most of my Christmas ornaments and decorations up, the Christmas cards are written and some have been sent.
The rest of them and the parcels, will get sent tomorrow.

The outside lights and garden decorations (Father Christmas, reindeer, snowmen, sleigh, Christmas trees ....oh and a lovely new lighted, animated mailbox which we got last January in the sales...etc) are all up. They haven't been switched on yet.  We shall have a grand ceremony tomorrow, December 1st,..........think 'Griswold's Christmas Vacation'........and hopefully they will all work.
Tomorrow we select 'The Banks' Family Christmas Tree.'
Last year Philip was amazed when I chose the first one he stood up.
I doubt that will happen again.  I am rather fussy about Christmas trees.

I have a million (probably more) pressies to wrap.  I know I go overboard for everyone but I do so enjoy it.  I shop for Christmas gifts all year and just love getting things for people that I know they will love.  Well, hope they will love anyway.

I am quite proud of my passion for Christmas.  I doubt there are many people who have had worse things happen to them at Christmas than I have.
But,  I think the terrible Christmases of the past just make me appreciate how good they can be.
If there is an opportunity to bring happiness to someone.......then do it. 
I could be forgiven for shutting myself away at this time of year and letting the festive season go by without me.
Please, if you ever feel like grumbling about it,  just try to enjoy it.  Enjoy the over commercialization of it.  Enjoy the lights, the glitter, the cold weather, but most of all enjoy each other.
Sometimes things change so fast and can never be the same again.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Arnie (our possum) hasn't been by for two nights.
I am somewhat worried about him.   I hope nothing has happened to him.

Well, as it was recently Thanksgiving, I am belatedly thinking about what I am thankful for.
Today I am very thankful that my back seems to be improving.
I managed (albeit slowly) to do the walk to and from the bus stop to get to the dentist's yesterday.
Today I have managed to glitter most of my Christmas cards.  This takes longer than you would think.
I am very thankful for my good friends who have been sending me get well wishes and asking about my various aches and pains.  I have some amazing mates who have been very supportive of me just recently.  
Some of my chums I have known since primary school, grammar school, former work colleagues and people who have shared various past interests. I thank all of you who have kept in touch and been kind.  You know who you are
I am extremely thankful for my lovely father in law who I am so pleased to have in my life.
He sends me funny emails and phones me to cheer me up when I am feeling a bit low.  He has his own health problems but seems to be constantly thinking of other people.
His phone calls and stories of his 'escapades' always make me giggle. 
So, I suppose my of my thankfulness is to do with people. 
People I can depend on. 
Brilliant to have.

And now for something completely different.
It seems Cyril Smith is the latest pervert to have escaped the law.
I am incensed by these people.  
I am also incensed by the people who think it is something to joke about.
Hopefully the fact that you are a public figure or celebrity will no longer grant immunity from prosecution as it has done in the past.  
My perception of people has changed over some of the things I have read.
This is not funny, not a joke and should never be watered down by using cutesy phrases to describe what these evil people did.
Children need our protection.   Anyone who describes themselves as a parent should be appalled at what has happened to these matter how long ago it was.  It still happened.
And don't give me the "needs more proof" rubbish.  For some of these people there is so much proof it is embarrassing to think they got away with it.
What is done cannot be undone but..........we should all make damn sure it doesn't happen again.   No more should these monsters be able to hide behind their cloak of fame and popularity.
I bet there are quite a few more out there who are currently shaking in their boots that they might be the next one found out.

Rant over.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Crappity crap crap

No picture today.....can't sit up long enough to find one.

We had a fab Thanksgiving Day.   Lovely dinner.
But, I totally wrecked my back getting heavy stuff in and out of the oven.
I have been in agony since Thursday night.
Not only is the whole of my back painful but I also have muscle spasms which are making me feel so nauseous.
I had been so careful putting up decorations etc over the last two weeks.  I was rather proud of how well I had paced myself so as not to upset my previous spinal problems.
Then I go and mess the whole thing up in one afternoon.
I felt it twinge on Thursday but really didn't pay it much attention...........sigh......this is the worst.......I have never been this bad.
I get very little sleep.....I can't sit at the computer ( I am typing this on the laptop whilst lying on the sofa)........I am so fed up.
I must apologize to those who are waiting for replies to emails....I can't access my email from this laptop.  I will reply as soon as I can comfortably sit at the computer downstairs.
I have so much to do and I can't do it.   So ticked off.

I hope my next blog entry is more upbeat.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Mad Saturday

Oh isn't it odd the things you miss?
Donna has been asking me what to get Philip for Christmas.  Well for a start, as it is costing her over 2000 pounds just for the flights over here, I have told her not to buy presents.
The cost of flights has gone through the roof.
She has been following them online now for a couple of weeks and they are just getting worse.
She plans to book them this coming week as  they are not getting any cheaper.
I know Alan has found the same problem too.
This was another reason I was so fed up about my England trip.
I hadn't been for two years and it wasn't cheap.  Then I became ill and it really did ruin the whole thing.
I loved seeing Donna, Glenn and Lauren but there were so many people I didn't see and so many things I didn't do because I felt so crap.
It was very disappointing, to be honest.  I did manage to see my wonderful father in law and his partner.  That was truly a lovely weekend in Whitstable.
It was one of those things that stay with you forever.  Glenn and I had such fun with them and their friends. I will certainly do that again.
Many other family and friends ..........I missed.  I was poorly and just didn't have the "ooph" to do much.  Such a shame.
Hopefully next time will be better.
Anyway, back to Donna and the Christmas pressies.  I know Philip would love a tin of Quality Street and a selection box.  We can't get these things over here so they take on a whole new significance.
If she brings these things over they will be wonderful Christmas pressies.

I nearly forgot.......we were talking to a waiter last week when we were having brekkie.
He was very interested in where we were from...........this accent fascinates Milwaukeeans.
He told us that a couple of years ago he went to Greece (his ancestors came from Greece). Anyway, he found out he would be having to change flights at Heathrow with a 5 hour layover.
He decided that he would make the most of it and visit London during that time.  He was going to do all the sights in London and he would take in Stonehenge (at this point we got the giggles).
Unfortunately his flight was delayed and he did none of these things.
 We were still smiling as he walked away.  Bless the Americans.  They truly do think that England is so small everything is just around the corner.
He really thought he could do all that in a couple of hours.............bless him.
I still talk to people who, learning I am from England, say...."Oh you must know my Uncle Bill.  He lives in Market Street....not sure which number.....but he has a moustache and a boxer dog.  His front door is painted red. You must know him."
I kid you not.
Oops mad Saturday.
Today we put up all the outside lights on the house.  I put out more Christmas ornaments and we went shopping. Phew natchered.
Only about 7 more huge plastic tote boxes of Christmas decorations to put up.
Thursday it is Thanksgiving.  We shall have Gary over for dinner.   After that I suspect we shall go in search of a Christmas Tree.......oh I love our real trees.  Artificial ones are ok but they have no scent.

You can't beat the smell of a real tree.

Thursday, November 15, 2012


At last I think I am getting my 'sparkle' back.
Being poorly for almost 3 months and having a lot of worrying tests had made me feel down and not my usual self.
I really didn't like that feeling at all.
But, my sparkle seems to be coming back.
Yesterday evening Philip wanted to go to Mayfair Mall as his company has a store there.
Every year they have a few days where he gets a good staff discount.
The stuff is expensive so it makes a difference when you can get 50% off.
We usually buy something we wouldn't normally consider.  This year, with the medical bills just starting to arrive, we thought we would just buy something small.
On the way through the mall I spotted Father Christmas.
Mayfair Mall always has the best Father Christmas.  I always say it is the REAL one.
No false beard etc.
Anyway, having spotted him, much to Philip's dismay, I had to speak to him.
I told him that where I come from he is Father Christmas and not Santa.  He told me he went to Ireland in February and he had been Father Christmas all the time he was there.
Poor Philip, all this time, was waiting for me.
Father Christmas then put his arm around me so that Philip could take a photo.
I was so excited.
As we walked away I realised that the whole time we spoke I was talking to him as Father Christmas....not as just a man.
Even when he told me about Ireland the mental image I had was of him over there in his red suit etc.
What am I like?
I do hope Philip isn't sorry that my sparkle is back.
Bless him.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Pup sniffing.

I almost forgot.
Our neighbours, next door but one, have a puppy.
It looks very much like the one above.
I have seen it from a distance a couple of times, but on Saturday I got to 'sniff ' it.
Don't look so disgusted.
Have you never heard or experienced..."puppy smell"?

There is nothing as lovely as puppy smell.  Ask my daughter.  We have been known to fight over a puppy just to sniff it.
Anyway, on Saturday the puppy, Stella, was in the front garden so I managed to give her a cuddle and a good sniff.
She is delightful.
I didn't want to go home.  I spent some time talking to her mummy and daddy.........I also offered my services should they ever need a dog walker.
I had to phone Donna and tell her all about it.  She is hoping that Stella doesn't lose her puppy smell before they come over at Christmas.
I think it will have probably gone by then though.  It doesn't seem to last very long.
If only they could bottle it.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Weekend.....What's a weekend?

A busy weekend.
After a busy week.
President Obama was re-elected.....oh thank goodness.
That's enough of politics.  These past few months have been a nightmare with it all.

I had a parcel to post to my friend, Fred, in England and we needed to go to the bank.
After that I had to find a present for my friend, June, who has been in and out of hospital for the past two months and not very well at all.
She is currently at home and we are hoping she stays there and makes a rapid recovery.
I had a couple of things I had brought her back from England and I bought her something else too.
We then popped round to see her.
She is looking rather drawn but seemed cheerful enough.

I was told by some of my crazy cat lady chums that there was a cat show on in Milwaukee and some of them would be there.
So, after brekkie we found the cat show.  I have only ever been to one once before but I was amazed at how well behaved and laid back the cats were.
No hissing or scratching or even wriggling.
Cats were being fussed over and groomed ...............and seemingly loving every minute of it.
There were cat rescues there too, who were trying to find homes for some gorgeous cats.
One tried to get us interested.
"We already have 5", quoth I.
"You could have 6", came the response.
"Not enough room on the bed", retorted a determined voice beside me.

 We did find the rescue I support and bought a Christmas cat bed cover from them.
I also got some earrings.
The cat bed seems to be popular so that is a bit of a result.
We then popped into The Domes which are 3 sort of huge conservatory thingies.
Gary bought me a year's subscription for my birthday last year.
The domes are 3 different climates.......temperate, arid and rain forest.
The temperate one was closed as they are getting their Christmas display ready in there.
So, we will go back again when Donna and Lauren are over.

From there we went shopping in Target and after that we did our grocery shopping.
I was totally natchered by then.
I did manage to put my Christmas curtains up in the kitchen though.
I have to start the decorations early this time as with my aches and pains I have to do a little at a time......and I put so much up.  Every room is decorated.
Sometimes I think I should not put all the stuff out but then I think....ah it is only once a year and I love Christmas so much.
I think I would be sorry if I didn't do it all.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Another one.

Well, the MRI was inconclusive so it was decided to do another test to see if my pain was coming from my intestines.
I had this test today.
I was very worried about it and couldn't bring myself to do any blogging.
The results are that the problem is not intestinal....well not totally.
This is something of a relief as my mind had taken me to hell and back with the things it imagined.
It seems I probably do have a trapped nerve combined with IBS.
This is nowhere near as bad as I had thought.

I am going to look into treatments to try to relieve the pain.  I really hope they don't suggest any more tests as I am totally done with it all.
I am dreading the bills coming in.   People with the NHS have no idea what a worry this is.
Even with insurance I know we will not pay less than $1500.
But, when you have something wrong with you, you have no choice but to follow the doctors advice and have the tests done.
All I want to do now is heal.
Hopefully I can.

Presidential election day today.
I don't know what the outcome is yet...........I expect there might be something about it on the news tomorrow.
I am so glad it is over.
We have heard nothing else for the past 3 months.
I do really, truly hope that Obama is elected again as the other guy seems to be a bit of a crook.
We voted early (you can do that over here) as I knew that after the anesthetic today, I wouldn't be in any fit state to go out and vote.
I was quite right.  Philip has had to tell me things over and over as I keep forgetting them.   Apparently this should wear off over the next 24 hours.
If I had tried to vote today I would probably have voted for Homer Simpson or someone.
That wouldn't have been very clever on my very first opportunity to vote in a presidential election, now would it?