AJ asked me the other week “When you were a little girl, Mummy, what did you want to be when you grew up?”
The answer was with me straight away. I had wanted to be two things. A Mummy and a writer.
It took me to the age of 39 to finally become a Mummy. I have to say it’s bloody hard work. One of the hardest things I have ever done.
Today, I finally feel that maybe I am a writer. You see I received a notification from WordPress which told me “Congratulations on getting 100 total follows on Living The High(land) Life.”
My tally now stands at 101. That is one hundred and one people who have found my little rants and stories about living with an ever patient husband, two argumentative, beautiful, infuriating, funny girls, a menagerie of animals as well as Grandparents, brothers, sisters and great friends, interesting enough to click the follow button.
I thank you all, from the first who followed to the most recent. You have made my Christmas.
I have been feeling a little down recently. Things that usually go over my head have been bugging me. Bills are going up, but wages are not. Christmas is just around the corner, the time of year I really don’t like and can’t be bothered with. It all makes me want to hide in my house on the hill and not leave. But that’s not possible.
Then this morning on Facebook a friend posted the following quote by Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Inspirational words from an amazing woman.Your spirit is the duster of any spider web. Behind every finish line, there is a start one. Behind every success, there is another challenge. While you are alive, be alive. If you miss what you once did, do it again. Don’t live in yellow photos. Continue although everyone expects you to give up. Don’t let oxide the iron that is inside you. Do that instead of pity, and they will respect you. When because of years you cannot run, jog. When you cannot jog, walk. When you cannot walk, use a cane. But never stop!” – Mother Teresa of Calcutta
So it’s time to kick my own arse, get out of my pj’s (yes, its gone 10 and I haven’t gotten dressed yet) and start running. (Not literally… or maybe).
Changes are being made. A new challenge is on the horizon and I will meet it with determination and not lacklustre.
It was with much sadness this summer that Jay and I lost one of our closest most loyal friends. Our beautiful Border Collie, Willow.
When Jay and I came to the decision to stop fertility treatment and received very little help with the adoption process from the local authority where we lived, we decided to get a dog. Jay wanted a Border Collie and I didn’t mind what breed we had. I did some research on the internet and found a breeder with some puppies. All were reserved, but one could possibly be available again. I was sent a picture of a tiny black and white pup on a white blanket and I knew she was mine.
We went to view Willow when the breeder confirmed she would be available. I remember going into a huge farm kitchen and five three-week old pups came over to play. After a short while Willow tottered on short little legs to the Aga and managed to reach the tea towel hanging there. She pulled it down and lay quite happily chewing away.
We brought her home in September 2000 at seven weeks old. To say the next thirteen years flew by is an understatement.
She took everything in her stride. From losing and gaining our family cats, to moving from one end of the country to the other to having a pair of noisy children come to live with her. Nothing fazed her. As long as she had a walk, a bed and a ball she was happy.
She and Jay adored each other and as the years ticked on, I dreaded the day we would lose her. I used to joke she would live until she was thirty. If only that had been true.
She was only a couple of weeks over her thirteenth birthday and still looked so young, with very little grey on her muzzle. We knew she was slowing down a little and then one day Jay noticed she had a lump near her back passage.
A visit to the vets confirmed the worst. She had cancer. The lump on the outside was only a fraction of what was happening inside her body. The vet sent her home with ten days of pain killers and time for us to say goodbye.
At first both Jay and I were in denial, she looked so well, how could she be sick? Then on the Thursday she had a “bad day”. She slept most of the day on the front step, her favourite place to watch the farm vehicles go by. She didn’t want to eat her breakfast, or the left over cereal milk the girls would pour into her bowl.
I telephoned Jay at work and we both came to the decision that on the following Monday, when her medication ran out, we would take her to the vets to be put to sleep. So with my throat choked up I made the appointment.
She didn’t make it.
Willow took a turn for the worse on the Saturday and passed away at home with Jay by her side. AJ and I were racing home from a guinea pig show in the Scottish borders and finally made it ten minutes after she took her last breath.
It seemed appropriate that it was raining the next day as Jay dug her grave. We wrapped Willow in her favourite blanket, the one my mother in law had knitted her, and lay her to rest, a goodbye note from AJ tucked under her paw.
Unknown to us, Jay’s dad had taken some pictures of Willow just days earlier, then spent time in his studio creating a beautiful pastel portrait of her which now hangs on our living room wall.
Everyone who has a dog they love with all of their heart believe they have the best four pawed friend in the whole world. I know we did.
Rest in peace Willow. We love you and miss you. Always
My sisters and I got to meet up a couple of weeks ago.
It was for a sad occasion, but it was lovely to see them.
I managed to get a picture of the three of us together, something that rarely happens now.
I had a huge shock this morning when I realised how long it has been since I last wrote a blog. It seemed the craziness of summer grabbed me by the throat, shook me around and is only just starting to loosen its grip. I have spent the last couple of months lurching from one drama to another, or so it seems.
I lost family, both people and paws.
Bart started school and both she and AJ have moved to a different school to the one AJ attended before.
Somethings don’t change, laundry is still taking over the house and the girls still haven’t learnt to share the TV. I am very close to breaking my house rule and buying a second television set.
Now we are only two weeks away from the half term holidays and I am still chasing my tail.
But in amongst racing in circles, washing clothes and doing the hundreds of other chores around the house, I am determined to take time to write again.
Like many of my family and a quite a number of my friends, I am hooked on the damn annoying game of Candy Crush Saga.
I’d ignored the Facebook invites for weeks, until one bored evening I thought I would see what all the fuss was about.
Now months later I am stuck on level 161 and it is bugging the hell out of me.
I can play the game on my lap top, my tablet and my phone.
I can’t get away from the damn thing.
Sometimes I really wish I had never started.
I have a friend called Kelly.
We haven’t met and are not likely to.
I live in Scotland and she in the US.
Our friendship started by following each others blogs and we would make the odd comment here or there.
Recently Kelly’s blogs have been breaking my heart.
Her Mum has been diagnosed with cancer, and it’s bad.
Tomorrow Kelly’s Mum is getting her head shaved before the chemo causes her hair to fall out.
She has bought a wig very close to her own colour and style.
She has a selection of hats ready to wear.
This picture of my girls and I wearing hats is for Kelly.
And Kelly’s Mum.
We are thinking of you.
For the last week and a half now I have been sick. It started as just one of those annoying winter bugs that Mums and Dads just work on through, but then this thing got a hold of me and would not let go.
By last Saturday I had a very high temperature and stayed in my bed all day, dosing myself with paracetamol and ibuprofen to get the temperature down. Sunday I woke feeling a little better so got up. My poor guinea pigs needed cleaning out, so while Jay and AJ headed to the supermarket I headed to the shed. I managed the pigs… just. But that was me pretty much done for the day again. I cooked supper – which I then didn’t eat – and crashed for the rest of the evening.
Monday I headed to the doctor. To be honest she seemed more worried that her borrowed stethoscope hurt her ears than in anything I had to say, but her recommendation was keep taking the pills and head to bed.
The kids stayed over night with their grandparents and I slept pretty much most of the day and night away.
As the week has gone on I am feeling better, but my goodness this has wiped me out. I am shattered by about 4pm and ready for my bed a couple of hours later, but with two kids I just keep going.
Today (Sunday) is the first day I have felt some what human again. My head is clear, my throat is not sore, now just to shake this damn cough and all will be well again.