Sew Chet’s Secret Santa 2017

When I signed up for Sewchet’s annual Secret Santa playground last November I was thinking only about the fun I would have making up a package for my recipient.  I had no clue who I might be assigned as I had never seen anyone from this part of the world on Sheila’s blog comments.  As it was I received a charming lady in Auckland who is a blogger, but not on WordPress and who was completely unknown to me.  I stalked her blog for several days hunting for clues and found enough to put together a few items I thought she might enjoy.   For some reason I felt an urgency, a need to commit to which items I would send quickly and to get the parcel organised well ahead of time and as it turned out my intuition was well tuned up.  I became unwell, which slowed me down.  I recovered, finished making and gathering and sent the parcel off the same day my daughter ended up in hospital with her smashed up leg…..   Once that incident occurred time evaporated and had the parcel not been completed and sent the fun and excitement of being a Secret Santa might have become a nightmare.

In all of that time I never once thought about the fact that I too would be a recipient of someone else’s fun at being a Secret Santa.   So imagine the excitement when my delivery man turned up with a package from South Africa!

At first I tried to give it back to him, I don’t know anyone in South Africa, it couldn’t have been for me.  He frowned and shook his head “No,” he said “it’s definitely for you.”  We are on first name basis, he knows who I am, I do a fair amount of on-line shopping…….  I checked the address label – there was my name.   I felt a little shock of recognition “Oh!”  I said.  “I think it’s my Secret Santa.”  I beamed at him.  Bless him, he beamed back.  “Merry Christmas!” he said.

Suddenly Christmas day was going to be fun.  We were on a no presents year this Christmas, saving instead for a special event in late February.  I had a few sneaky things put aside for YD and a special chew for Siddy and some catnip for Orlando and now there was a Secret Santa package for me.  Just three days to wait!

Then, first thing Christmas morning my computer died.  Dead as a dodo!!  My world as I knew it gone…..  I knew it was coming – Windows 10 has been a complete pain for months and now it seems it has made its final grand gesture.  Kaput!!   There’s a dear tech man who is determined to try and resurrect it – he can be seen heartily banging away on the various parts of it, adding or subtracting things, muttering under his breath and looking for clues on the internet – he grows paler and more fraught with the passing days but he says to not lose all hope just yet……

I’m writing this on my daughter’s laptop.  It took me three days to be able to break into my WordPress account from another computer.  It may still not let me post this – we’ll see  🙂   But if you have missed seeing me since Christmas, this is why.

Anyway, I got to open my gift from Joey at Little Black Dog SA .   I was delighted with the first package  – who doesn’t need their very own Christmas Gnomes?

 

SS6a

That’s enough of me grinning like an idiot – but you can imagine that was how opening the rest went…….  lots of smiles and oohs and aahs…..

SS3

There’s teas and chocolates and pot holders and crochet coasters and washi tape………. and somewhere in there is a beautiful blue covered notebook and a book of different patterned and sized post-it notes.

Look at this gorgeous South African yarn and beneath it is a bamboo paintbrush holder especially made for my paintbrushes – who wouldn’t smile!

SS1

I felt so spoiled – Joey you did good and made the day really special!  Thank you  🙂

And to finish, here’s a very unglamorous picture of me and Siddy.  He’s waiting for his gift reveal – a large rawhide bone wrapped about with shards of chicken jerky – a most opulent Christmas chew that has given many hours of gnawing pleasure

Siddy1

Thank you Sheila for initiating so much fun – I’ll be in again next Christmas, won’t you come and join us too?

Thanks for coming by today, I’m so happy that you did.  I’ll be visiting you too, though maybe not chatting so much until the computer woes are over.

Season’s Greetings One and All!

I’ve been mostly absent from my favourite blogs, even more absent than usual from Facebook and other social media platforms and playing catch-up in my daily life for a few weeks or so – did you notice?

Sometimes it just seems that outside influences and the vagaries of life simply get together and decide to invade what is otherwise a peaceful and well modulated existence.  But let’s be honest.  It all started with not paying attention…….

I was hurrying.  My mind already several tasks ahead of where my feet were going and in that unmindful state I tripped over the leg of my easel – you know that one sitting just to the left of the doorway encumbered with the 140cm wide, still unfinished painting

hdr

Hurrying past, I tripped, I lurched into the door of the art room at such speed I bounced off it and hit the opposite side of the doorway.  Bang, bang!  I knew I was going down and I knew I was going down hard.  You know how time slows at these moments and everything is really clear and you have time to think things through.  I’d whacked my left arm really hard and now I knew I was going to do the same to my right.  Don’t break, please don’t break.  I was alone.  My daughter had just left town visiting her sister for a few days.  My neighbours were away for the weekend.  Don’t break anything.  Don’t break anything……  I went down full force onto my right leg as I spun through the doorway and crashed my head into the opposite wall.  It’s only a little house – there’s no wide expanses here to topple gracefully into and rise again unharmed.

I lay face down on the floor trying to figure out which bits hurt and could I move them.  Siddy was delighted.  He bounced around me making quick darts in and dancing back flapping one paw in the air.  A lovely new game.  “No!”  I said.  He darted and bounced some more.  “Stop!” I cried.  He smiled at me and bounced some more.  “You’re no (beeped) Lassie!”  I snarled as I tried to roll over in the awkward space and find some way of sitting up.  My head hurt.  My arm hurt.  My leg really hurt.  Eventually I gathered myself from doorway and walls and decided nothing was broken.  Sitting up having become impossible I pushed myself up from the floor in a complex series of steps that kept head, arm and leg attached to body sufficiently for me to crawl – yes crawl – into a slightly larger open space where I felt the need to have a wee lie down for a few minutes.  By this time the puppy had ceased his invitation to play and, having watched this new activity with some interest, bustled off and returned with his favourite soft toy.  I was invited to partake in a game of fetch which I again declined reminding him that he had a long way to go to catch up with the rescuing abilities of Lassie.   He wasn’t bothered.

Eventually I got myself up and inspected.  Nothing was broken, there was no blood.  I was shaken and sore and felt just a tad ridiculous I decided.  Thank heavens no-one was here to witness that little display of indignity!  I felt so fortunate I played a short round of victory fetch with the pup while I swallowed arnica pillules for shock and rubbed arnica cream onto the sore bits.

I was however pulled up sharply from my rushing about and forced to spend the next few days resting up as the bruises slowly came out and the aches and pains settled down.  A trip to the chiropractor graunched the bones back into their proper  places and we were getting back into normal life when the swollen left leg became too painful to walk on and I knew I’d gotten myself a blood clot –  a ‘Deep Vein Thrombosis’ a thing that has always made my GP’s panic given the family history.   A quick call to my homeopath and I was in her rooms and we were sorting a plan to fix that little sucker.  It’s the first time I’ve refused to consider allopathic care for a blood clot – I’m not a fan of warfarin or hospitals and that is the usual route when I get a DVT.  I’m happy to report that within three days the leg was completely restored to health and I was striding out again.  No side effects, except perhaps for a rather grumpy mood for several days.  I used the time to work on getting as many Christmas cards made as I could manage and my Sewchet organised ‘Secret Santa’ parcel completed, wrapped up and ready for sending.  It includes this delicious bamboo-cotton crochet wrap

hdr

 

With just six cards still to make I ran out of time.  My youngest daughter, returned from visiting her sister and back at work, took her turn at a nasty fall and not being as fortunate as me, was outside in the middle of the night, looking up not down and tripped over a very high speed bump in a narrow University back lot lane, broke her leg in two places and fractured the ankle – all on the same leg.

I took this photo when I finally found her.  She hasn’t slept for close to 36 hours except for the induced sleep of the operating table………  She’s on a morphine drip, still feeling the pain and just wants to go home…….

hdr

What followed was three nightmarish days in a less than happy hospital environment during which she had surgery and post-operative recovery followed by one full day of black comedy waiting for the hospital to organise it’s bits of paper and allow her to leave.  From 9 am until 5.30 pm she practised patiently waiting while being told it would ‘just be another half hour, we just need to……’    Siddy and I practised patiently waiting less effectively at her home.  But eventually we were rewarded and so great was poor Siddy’s joy at seeing his second-favourite person in the entire world that he fell off the bedroom window sill where he was waiting and found himself jammed down the side of a bed and wall with no room to move.  Extricated he rushed off to continue his ecstatic over-the-top greeting ritual as an exhausted Danella was carefully maneuvered from car to couch by her caring friends.   One half of that pair of friends, Karen, stayed that night which was wonderful and allowed me to go home and recuperate too.

A day later and we were all immensely grateful when my eldest daughter dropped her entire life and came flying down to be with her sister for the next six days.  Having another person on hand as we nutted out ways to make doing the most mundane activities possible for a person in a plaster half cast, still in shock and a lot of pain was invaluable.  Joanna and I role played the showering scenario and so found a way to meet every possible need.  We tried it out on the patient and finding it all went rather well, her mother, sister and Siddy, stood around watching carefully as she soaped herself and laughed uproariously as she remarked morosely on the fact that all privacy and dignity was now a thing of the past.

Joanna companioned, cooked, sorted and tidied and even put up the Christmas tree for her sister before returning to her abandoned partner and job and leaving us better off and very grateful for her special presence.

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, dog

As I drove back home after delivering Jo to the airport my phone was tinging with constant messages.  I discovered that my youngest brother had died suddenly and unexpectedly following a massive heart attack.  It is a very private devastation and remembering that followed that news.

Image may contain: one or more people

My remaining sibling, who lives in Australia, and I connected on a deep level later that day.  I am filled with affection and pride for both my brothers, and especially my remaining brother Colin.  We have overcome!

*****************************************************

Let’s fast-forward another week and return to Danella who is doing well.  She now sports a lovely purple fibreglass leg brace and has returned to her usual positive and sunny self, dealing with her changed circumstances with grace and dignity and using her incredible ability to nut out challenges and problems and come up with ingenious solutions.  Her home is organised and everything she needs has a place.   Her workplace, Otago University has been incredible.  Danella’s boss is the University Proctor and I can’t speak too highly of him.  Help and assistance has been put in place at so many levels, making both her life, and therefore mine, so much easier to cope with.   We are grateful!

Image may contain: one or more people, christmas tree, plant, tree, indoor and outdoor

Siddy and I visit every day.  While he bathes her in love and happiness I potter about and clean and tidy and prepare nutritious smoothies.  Yesterday we got her down the steps and out into her courtyard garden where we spent a happy couple of hours weeding, dead heading and tidying up.  Today the bird feeders, neglected for a week, were all refilled, calling the birds back into her garden.

The final half dozen cards never did get made.  It might have to be e-cards again this year……. or this……….

Xmas6

It’s dreadfully true, he’s no Lassie.  But Sid-Arthur has his own unique ability to spread happiness and smiles and pure love.  In case I don’t make it back before – Season’s Greetings, Happy Holidays, Blessed Hanukkah and Merry Christmas Y’all  ❤

Thanks for coming by today, I love that you did!