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

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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

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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…….

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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……….

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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!

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Don’t Put Off Til Tomorrow ….

This was to be a post about an opera and some mittens – instead it will be a brief cautionary tale involving thoughts and irons and puppies and Emergency Rooms……..

You know how sometimes a day just starts off wrong?  Something is amiss, something escapes you, something is askew within your psyche…….?  My day started like that yesterday.  I was just a little grumpy, a little out of sorts, vaguely irritated with life.  No reason to be so, no idea why and seemingly no way to step out of it.  I went into the ‘just accept that today is an off day’ mode and watched the cricket, which even though the Black Caps won and We Beat the Aussies didn’t quite dispel the malaise.  And I worked a number of rows on the third incarnation of my crochet jacket [the tale of which is a whole other story] and finally toddled off to bed saying all will be well in the morning!

It was well-er in the morning, but not quite on top of my game I ignored the ironing board still sitting up in my workroom with several lightly steamed mittens laid out drying on its towelled surface.  I looked at the iron and thought, I should put that away and went on to the next thing.

The next thing was to have my shower, wash my hair and return to my workroom to begin the routine of light yoga stretches I had begun [again] to do each morning a couple or several weeks ago and had so far managed three consecutive mornings on. I lay on the floor beside the ironing board and began the alternate leg raising scenarios while puppy thumped me on the head with his latest ‘fetch’ toy.  Being ignored he gave up and skipped happily across my stomach to go sit on his chair.

Siddy had his haircut last week in a #1, he is ready for the army!

Siddy had his haircut last week in a #1, he is ready for the army!

After I finished jerking and moaning with pain from the hefty leaps of the careless puppy, I took a moment to straighten my spine out, stretch myself to my full 5′ 31/2″ and do some slow, deep breathing.  As I relaxed and centred myself Siddy jumped from his chair and something cold and very heavy, reminiscent of a brick, landed just to the left of my left eye.

For a moment I was completely stunned, then I am ashamed to say, I roared something rather akin to “Cheeses Crisp!” as I clutched at my eye to see if it was still there.  The pain was blinding and my hand did not recognise what it fell upon – something hard and cold and heavy.  I pulled it off my face with my right hand and saw it was the iron I had failed to put away.  My left hand was cupping the pain in that eye and when I pulled it back I saw it red with blood.

I don’t do blood!

Luckily there was the towel that had been wrapped about my wet hair and I used that to mop up the red stuff.

Eventually I staggered up to my feet and found a mirror to peer into.  Blood was smeared all about the top of my eye and was still oozing out of a jagged cut that would have, on any pirate, looked rather daring-do!  However on a somewhat tousled, stunned looking upper-middle-aged woman – well, it just lacked that certain debonair charm.

Feeling a tad off my game, which hadn’t been that great to start with you may recall, I sent a text off to my daughter who was on her early shift crying out for help.  My youngest daughter is terribly practical and very clever at fixing things and finding solutions to problems and is my go-to when my brain has shut down.  Which it had.

Within moments she was with me – and within more moments we were in the doors of the Accident and Emergency Dept of Dunedin Hospital where we spent the next half hour waiting to be seen and eventually I was adopted by a lovely nurse, poked with a particularly nasty biting needle, cleaned up, stitched where possible and glued in the other bits and finally eye examined for subterranean problems by a charming resident.  Eventually I was pronounced almost as good as a new one because I would likely now and forever after sport a dashing scar by my eye and sent on my way with dire warnings about wetting, touching or otherwise unduly disturbing the unstitched part of the wound for five days and a tube of antibiotic cream which I must on no account use as it would likely wet, touch or unduly disturb the unstitched part of the wound……..  so I left it in my daughters car.

So here I sit, slightly head-achy, a little the worse for wear – and my dears I am at an age when one needs all the help one can get in terms of ‘wear’ – but with no-one to blame but myself!

What I find really hilarious is that on reading a post from one of my lovely blogger friends early this morning, and still in a slightly irascible frame of mind, I had written a comment that had stated my desire that the world and her husband get their acts together and take responsibility for their choices and decisions.

Now that I have finished roaring with laughter at myself and acknowledged wryly that Karma is indeed a bitch – yes. I should have put the iron away and my morning would have been way more productive and you would now be coming to the end of a lovely post all about opera and mittens and, my friends – freebies!

I still have to write that one and if you would like to come by again to read it and find out about another giveaway, that would indeed be grand!

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Until then – thanks for coming by today today, I love that you did!