Thursday, 28 May 2009

Help with identification needed??

Please could you help me to identify this plant. I discovered it whilst walking Basil around the fields. I think that it looks like rhubarb, but a couple of friends of mine think it could be a form of wild rhubarb that may not be edible... but no one is completely positive, so thought I would ask all you lovely people . As much as I love the thought of some rhubarb crumble and custard I would not risk picking and cooking it though, an upset stomach or worse is not very appealing!!
Nevertheless it would be wonderful to be able to satisfy the curiosity of my friends and myself as to what this plant really is..... can you help???


Saturday, 23 May 2009

Where do I begin.........




Was so chuffed the other day when my daughter came over to look after her Nan (my Mum) for me, I had to go to hospital with my hubby as he was having his third Cardioversion procedure and Mum could not be left on her own for that amount of time. Whilst we were away, my daughter uploaded all of Basil's puppy photographs that had been left on the computer that my daughter took with her when she moved in with her partner. I have been waiting so long to have copies of these photographs and as a surprise to cheer me up whilst Hubby and I were away at the hospital she secretly uploaded them onto my computer... I have to say it has been wonderful looking back over all these treasured pictures.... and below is a couple of my favourites... Basil had only been with us for a day and we were waiting for a basket to be delivered for him and it had been held up so we improvised with a cardboard box... I think he looks so adorable....!! in my opinion definitely a cutie moment!!


Where do I begin.... so much has happened since I last blogged and yet the time has just flown by and I am ashamed that its been so long since I last compiled and published a blog entry!!

Firstly Mum continues to deteriorate and she (bless her heart) is now totally reliant on me to do mostly everything for her. Some days are good and some are bad and hard to cope with at times.






I have pushed for the results of Mum's CT scan and have had them sent to our family doctor who has talked us through them. Thankfully the scan has proven that she has no awful things going on in her brain, however regardless of the brain scan results, Mum most definitely is suffering from dementia. Our next appointment to see Mums consultant is on June 10th where I will discuss Mums continual deterioration. Mum is now incontinent and I have daily wet beds to deal with which is very distressing for Mum. Social Services advised me to have our family GP set up a incontinence referral and the community nurse has been out and spent a hour with Mum and I and it was an incredibly helpful hour and the lovely nurse Lin has given me some great advice besides setting up a supply of night and day pads for Mum to wear so hopefully the daily wet beds and mountain of bedding to be laundered will be no more! a great and much appreciated help!!! I have also been advised to purchase a Kylie sheet to put on Mums bed. The nurse is also trying to convince Mum and I that we do need some help so I can get a break. I have so much to catch up on regarding my housework and a great deal of paperwork to do... so many things are beginning to pile up that I guess I should give in... but I just cannot seem to let go and I cannot bear seeing Mum getting distressed at the thought of 'strangers' looking after her...... its so difficult......

Mum and Dad in happier times...... seems so long ago now. (image not brilliant due to it been a photograph of a photograph)


I have been rather neglecting myself of late and if I am truly honest I have been on rather an emotional roller coaster recently. Its been very hard coming to terms with Mums illness and so, so difficult to accept but slowly with the help of family and friends and many shed tears I am finally getting there!!

I have let many things go health wise and one of them as been my weight. I am extremely overweight and it has given our GP cause for concern as I suffer from blood pressure amongst other health issues... but finally I am getting to grips with my diet or should I say 'healthy eating' and thanks to a very dear lady on blogger (you know who you are you lovely lady! what would I do without you!!) I have been encouraged to get to grips with my weight issues and I am happy to report a loss of 10lbs in the last two weeks.... thank you dear sweet person your help and encouragement have been invaluable xxxx

I have also recently made some new friends within our community... It sort of came about whilst walking endlessly to and from Mums home which is four doors away from my home. I have seen the two ladies around over the years but as I tend to keep myself to myself I never really got chatting, just the odd comment about the weather and stuff...

Because of my endless trips to Mum our little passing comments became lengthier and we began longer conversations, especially regarding my Mums health. It turns out that one of the ladies we shall call her A is a full time carer for her husband who is disabled and suffers from dementia so A as given me some fantastic advice and support. I have also gotten to know a lady who I shall call L and we have become friends through recent doggie walks together. Basil and L's dog Syd are the best of friends and enjoy frolicking around the fields playing. As I have got to know L I have been helping out by taking Syd a walk with Basil when L has to work.

Syd is a lovely sweet dog and Basil runs to Syd's gate to see if he is coming to walk and play when we venture out... Syd is a cross between a Border Collie and Corgi and such a lovely dog...









Syd with his owner and my friend L.... Basil been the loving fussy boy that he is.......


Basil (dare I say it.... shhhhhhhh) is thankfully... so much better... Basil still as to have hip replacements but that is managed with painkillers. Basil stomach problems (see earlier posts) have been the biggest cause for concern of late and poor boy has been so ill. Our vet was beginning to run out of ideas and it was becoming very worrying to be honest. Our vet decided to change Basil's diet and stop the chicken and rice diet and go onto a special canine food for sensitive stomachs. Also to tweak Basil's medications and stop a couple of items and introduce a mild antibiotic to be taken twice a day (this has now been reduced to one a day)




And (holds breath) it seems to be working wonderfully well. Basil has developed a new lease of life and along with his new friendship with Syd he is a much happier and full of vim and vigour and its a real joy to see!!!
Thank goodness for this wonderful canine food that Basil adores!!!!

My not so great news is that my Son has now been made redundant... a very scary situation at the moment and he is really struggling to find work, we try to help out as much as possible but not easy as we have our own financial struggles to cope with at the moment and that is most certainly becoming a real worry..... Not helped with our park home site owner who is making life hell for a lot of residents with older park homes such as ourselves and my Mum..... My Mum is seemingly becoming his next victim as he has recently instructed a surveyor to survey Mums home, which is one of the oldest park homes on the estate and in a prime spot, over looking fields from two sides and I am quite sure the site owner would make a tidy profit by evicting my Mum and siting a super duper very expensive luxury park home there.......




Took these pictures in poor light so they are a little on the dark side. This is portion of the park home site taken across a field. It highlights just how the brand new and much larger park homes tower over the older park homes... and it does make things look rather out of place. The brand new park home in this picture is the one with the lighter roof. My friend L lives next door to this particular new home and it infringes her privacy. Three of the windows on the one side of the new home look straight into her windows and she is now going to have to put up some nets at the windows and find ways of reclaiming some privacy in her garden by putting up strategically placed trellis and planting climbing shrubs. This is why our site owner want all the older homes off the site so he can fill the park with new expensive ultra modern homes and make himself a decent profit.... and it appears that he will go to great extremes to get what he wants!!!


Thankfully our Residents Association is getting to grips with the situation and are seeking legal advice concerning the site owners unpleasant actions of late. It seems that we do have some rights and can fight back....

The Residents Association know how upset we are regarding the recent Survey on my Mums home and are been extremely supportive and helpful... its just another worry we could do without........We are now awaiting the results of the survey and the site owners demands..

We are on the list of social housing but so far nothing as come about and in many ways and this is hard to explain and maybe not very sensible but we do not want to move away from here... we have lived here for thirty years and our home and garden are our haven and much loved, OK we don't have a lot but what we do have is treasured and much appreciated. We have considered social housing due to the stress we are under via our site owner but also due to Mums health, thinking it would be better all round for us to have her live with us 24/7 but I have come to realise that she really does need to be somewhere she is familiar with and that change for a person suffering dementia creates considerably more confusion. I am happy to run up and down the road many, many times day and night (it keeps me fit and aids my healthy eating plan!! lol!!) If things do become very dire then our son has offered to move out and lodge with a friend so Mum can have his room... although that thought does not fill me with glee... yes my son is now twenty and old enough to flee the nest so to speak... but I want it to happen when he is ready and not be forced into moving away... besides I would miss him too much and all the washing that he aptly provides me with on a daily basis..!! Ohhh why is life so difficult at times.........

The garden as become our haven of late. It had been rather neglected since last year with the onset of Mums dementia and because we were in complete limbo as to whether we should go or should we stay.... we have decided that we would like to try and stay, as I mentioned earlier in this post we do love it here and the thought of moving on fills us with absolute dread! So we have begun to get to grips with the garden again and have tidied things up considerably. Because I did not plant any veggie seed this year one of my newly acquired friends is very kindly giving me some tomato and pepper plants that she has left over so I will enjoy nurturing them along and hopefully reap the benefits of some home grown tasty food! A has already very kindly given me some seed potatoes.....

My husband has also turned a corner of the garden into a lovely place for me to sit (when I get the opportunity) and relax.... He has laid bark and is repairing a bench for me that was going to be thrown away at his place of work. My little area is at the side of our plum tree, which look like producing an amazing bumper crop this year.....
Looks like a bit of plum jam making is looming!! A few plum crumbles can also be made and put in the freezer. I am looking for a second hand freezer to replace the one I have kept in my storage shed... yes we I am lucky enough to have my own shed which is very neatly lined with shelving and I kept my chest freezer in there, sadly a few ago it decided to die on us and is now destined for the local Household Waste Recycling Centre!! I lost most of the contents of my freezer which upset me enormously... I had been adding items to the freezer has and when I could so on a week when I had to pay out ground rent and various bills and money was tighter than normal I had my 'secret squirrel storage' (freezer) to dip into to help make ends meet so to speak.....

I do have my fridge freezer in the kitchen but that has a limited amount of space and I did like the luxury of the extra freezer in the shed..... so my hunt for the freezer continues......

Going back to my little corner in the garden that hubby has organised especially for me... well I have to say its the best gift to me ever..... he has made a lovely job of things and it really is a lovely place to sit and let all the tensions ooze away....... Its not quite finished yet.. few things to be tweaked here and there. The green netting is a temporary screen to give us some privacy from a brand new park home that is directly opposite us and its quite imposing to be honest. So we have planted some conifers to give us a screen but because they are not very established yet we have used some greenhouse shading net and attached it to a wooden frame. and put it just in front of the conifers until they have thickened up a bit more. It still looks quite see through so we have found another large piece of the net and will double it up and attach it to the frame on top of the other net and that should have the desired effect... I hope!


video



Another corner of our garden that we have tidied up.... we were going to have a vegetable garden here but with being Mums full time carer and my Hubby job that often exceeds normal working hours time is very limited and so we have for now decided to abandon the idea and to make the area look tidy we have laid some turf, which as you can see Basil is having a great time rolling on!!
Bootsie and Bold are still enjoying life and are having fun trying out the step ladders that hubby has repaired. We have been using a lot of pallets recently for this and that around the garden and its proven to be extremely useful, the step ladders are brilliant now they have been repaired... its our way to be frugal and also enjoy the benefits of recycling!! lol!!







Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful;
they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul.
- Luther Burban