Yay even more bullet points!

because I've felt a bit like a bobble head doll the past few days and can't point the old noggin in one direction for too long.
  • We finally got word of my dad's operation. He was to have his assessment this Tuesday and then go into the hospital on 14 September and have the operation on the 15th, but we had a call from the hospital on Friday afternoon to say there is a cancellation and his operation has been brought forward to tomorrow. Needless to say much running around, bag packing and general panic ensued.

  • Oh I forgot to mention, I'm not going back to work so this will be me for the foreseeable future. I have my little business and I'm going to work on building it and I still get to be home for Chloe.

  • Chloe's first two days back to school were brilliant. She didn't bat an eyelid going in, but then I didn't expect her to. If anything she's become even more independent from me over the Summer holidays.

  • That's a good thing in my book. I figure I have two jobs as a parent, one is to get Chloe to the point where she doesn't need me any more and the other is to keep her safe until she gets there.

  • Two days back at school and my fridge door is filling up nicely with school notes already.

  • Two days back at school and my house is properly tidy for the first time in months. That makes me sound terrible and honestly the house is clean but with a child off for Summer I didn't see any point in getting my knickers in a knot over the tidy bit. If you had called at my home and there were toys and books everywhere and the driveway was multicoloured after all the games of hopscotch, you would just have had to deal with it.

  • Bit random, but what happened to eggs? I still sometimes get eggs from a farm not far from here and practically have to wrap them in cotton wool until I'm ready to use them. On the other hand I've dropped supermarket eggs onto my kitchen floor and watched them roll away without so much as a scratch on them. Have they done something weird to eggs and chickens to making distribution easier or is this a differing breed of chicken thing? Do some chickens lay armoured eggs?

  • I can't seem to remember how to cook without a crockpot. Handy that it's Autumn really and soups and stews are welcomed. Yes I'm just going to come right out and say it, I know it's still August and some people are desperately clinging on to the hem of Summer, but I've the heating on, it's blowing a gale out there, my deck is covered in leaves and I wear a cardi when I go out. It's Autumn and that's ok.

  • Or at least it would be ok if Autumn didn't mean oven cleaning time and I don't mean sweeping out the little pile of dust left by the self cleaning function and opening every window and door in the house because, seriously, that self cleaning gimmick can really stink a house out. No I mean getting down on my hands and knees, taking the entire thing apart and scrubbing like there's no tomorrow.

  • Does anyone like cleaning ovens?

  • Do you want to come and do mine?

  • Please!!!!

Bye Bye Toes

It's been lovely having you here. I'm sure you've enjoyed your quiet yet peaceful life nestled in your box amongst the tissue paper, only occasionally worn and admired in front of the mirror.

However, it's now time for you to embark upon a great adventure. An adventure from which I'm afraid you will not return.

It will be great though, it's the reason for which you were created.

You'll get to play football and hopscotch, you'll skip and you'll dance and you'll twirl around and around.

You'll be wrapped around the legs of chairs and dragged along the ground. You'll watch from a distance during the sponsored bounce and you'll cheer from the sidelines on sports day.

You may even occasionally be ground nervously into the parquet flooring when your owner is caught up to no good!

Yes dear little toes, tomorrow you'll be off to school on the feet of a five year old. You'll carry her through things both new and familiar and remain completely taken for granted through most of these things, but I'll clean and polish you on your return, I'll keep you good for as long as possible.

So little toes, I bid you farewell, it was nice to have had the pleasure.

And thank you for taking my little girl everywhere she wants to go.

Time to start using night cream!

Because that is a very early birthday picture painted by Chloe with my age on it!

I'm 29:(

Remember me

It feels like it's been so long since I've written anything, but it's really only been a few days. I've no real concept of time passing at the minute to be honest, any routine we had is long gone what the school holidays and what have you.

I have no more news about my dad at the minute. We're still waiting for his assessment appointment, which should have been today but wasn't so it may now be next Tuesday. He needs to have the assessment before the operation and although he seems to be fine his doctor is concerned at the length of time he's having to wait because he's still losing quite a bit of blood.

We've been very patient so far but unfortunately it seems that rather than patients being seen in order of most urgent, it seems to be more a case of who pisses off the hospital staff the most and causes them the most headaches, so we'll try that for a bit and see how it goes.

I've been keeping myself pretty busy as usual between mucking about with Chloe and work, I've had a few commissions in the past week or so, though I'm fairly up to date in that I'm down to one remaining current commission and I've just taken a new one as well, so that will keep me occupied for a while.

My lovely husband who claims that he is not influenced by anything he watches on tv, saw a report on said goggle box yesterday stating the incredibly concerning fact that 1 in 10 children don't know that a conker comes from a horse-chestnut tree. When I was a kid conkers came from conker trees and were promptly hung on the end of the sturdiest shoe lace to be found in the house, usually from one of dad's work boots and I turned out all right.

For the record our primary school was also surrounded by "helicopter trees" and were referred to as such by the pupils and the teachers!

Anyway, long story short is that I now have a bowl full of conkers in the kitchen, kindly brought home by the husband for no reason whatsoever!

This is what I'm currently working on. It's a bag and fascinator (my first eep) for a gala at the end of the month. I'm glad that it's being delivered in person, because it's an absolute mare to photograph. It's actually a blueish green and what looks like handfuls of dust in the photo are actually tiny silver sequins, the quilting is silver embroidery thread too. It isn't finished yet, well I suppose it is in the sense that it functions as a bag but I'm still waiting for peacock feathers to arrive. I'll hopefully have this one complete and delivered by the weekend.

I'll be making a start on the new commission for a wall plaque this evening and I'm looking forward to that.

I also have a sale on my Folksy shop at the minute from page five onwards. A lot of things are up to half price as I desperately need to make some room in the stock room (read two stock boxes which fell in love, mated and spawned half a dozen ickle stock boxes which are fast growing into half a dozen strapping lads and I don't really have a room specially for them).

Of course the husband occasionally complains about the amount of space I take up around the house, at which point I offer that we do in fact have a spare room which I could move everything into (you remember the man room right?) and he shuts up.

So that's basically what I've been up to or at least plan on being up to over the next few days. That and making sure I have everything ready for Chloe's return to school next week. I can't believe the Summer holidays are gone already, I feel a bit like Rabbit in Winnie the Pooh when he lost all the calender pages!

Ickle ATCs

Crafty Lil things is organising an ATC swap for the little(ish) ones.

I missed the swap organised last year by Wise Craft, so I've signed Chloe up for this year's swap and she's really looking forward to it.

If you're not familiar with ATC's, they're Artist Trading Cards, the only rules about the cards are that they must measures 3.5 x 2.5 inches and they must be swapped and not sold.

Kids are invited from anywhere in the world to take part and the three age groups are:-

12 months to 3 years
3 to 6
7 to 10

You can send as many or as few cards as you like and they're pretty inexpensive to post as they fit in a regular envelope. The only thing you are expected to send is the card itself and aren't obliged to include any extras whatsoever.

It's a great way to introduce the very little ones to the idea of pen pals, as I know there is a pen friend programme in Chloe's school for kids age 6 and over and it'll give the kids something fun and a bit different to talk about on the show and tell days once they're back to school.

You can make the cards from absolutely anything and in any medium so you won't need special materials or anything like that, kids can paint, draw, colour, cut and stick or whatever takes their fancy and you can even let the very little ones go nuts with a big sheet of card and then cut it to the right size yourself.

You can pop over to Crafty Lil Things to sign up for the Kids ATC swap, and you'll receive an email with your recipient(s) and the date for posting shortly. Ideally this will take place over the remainder of the Summer hols so sign up quickly. You might even receive a mini Chloe masterpiece:)

A little silver lining

Well we've at least had some good news today.

My dad had originally been told earlier in the week that he would have a CT scan taken of his chest on Thursday, now obviously that didn't happen yesterday and he was told that he would be discharged today and that there wouldn't be any urgency in having the scan done immediately and that it could be done at a later date at the outpatients dept. My mum wasn't particularly happy about this and lets just say she made the poor doctor aware of her feelings. Anyway, when my mum arrived at the hospital this morning to go through everything with the oncology nurse and bring my dad home, he wasn't in bed and it took her a while to find a nurse who knew where he was. Yep, off having the CT scan.

The good news is that the scan showed his chest to be completely clear and so far the only signs of cancer in his lower torso is that one large tumour.

My mum and dad were sat down with the oncology nurse (who I'm told is absolutely brilliant) and she talked them through everything, they were admittedly a bit concerned about waiting five weeks now for the surgery, but the nurse called the surgeon who will be operating on my dad in and he assured them that the surgery would take place sooner than this.

My mum said they felt 100x better after speaking to the nurse, she explained that this type of cancer starts as a polyp which becomes cancerous and continues to grow at a very slow rate and it can often remain undetected for as long as ten years. The reason most people are referred to hospital because of this cancer is because they need blood tests for some other reason and their blood count is low. The only other symptom which it seems to cause is the odd bout of deli belly, and sod's law hasn't my dad tried a couple of new fast food places in the last few years and been on that Liverpool ferry more than once! You just wouldn't connect the two, would you?

The surgery will still be major, in the majority of cases it can be removed by keyhole surgery and all being well my dad's will be no different although he will have half his upper bowel, appendix, nodes and some tissue removed. Then the nodes will be tested, if they're clear then so is he, but if they contain any cancerous cells he will have to have a course of chemotherapy.

It doesn't feel quite so up in the air now and we feel like we've at least half an idea of what to expect over the next few months. It's going to be difficult but the cancer is very treatable, and we can prepare ourselves now and just get through it one day of it at a time.

Thank you

I want to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone for all your thoughts and prayers over the past few days.

We've just received the results of my dad's biopsy and unfortunately it has confirmed our worst fears.

My dad has cancer and it would seem judging by the results that he has has this tumour hiding like a coward inside him now for the past 3 to 5 years.

I just can't believe this, he's only 43 and although I've done nothing but break my heart since the doctor told us a huge part of me just can't comprehend it at the minute. I'm still in some way convinced that they're wrong ...

He is being discharged from hospital tomorrow morning following some discussions with his consultant and some nurses who will help provide support and advice. He will have to have an operation in three weeks time to remove the tumour and then the chemo will start. His doctor has basically said that the cancer is at such a stage and the operation itself will be very stressful and he feels that waiting a few more weeks won't make any difference and he would prefer that my dad take it easy and try and build his strength and that the best place to do this is at home.

I know it's going to be alright though. My dad is young and strong and he'll fight this. He's been putting up a decent enough fight against it for the past 3 years at least without even realising it and now he knows it's there, the cancer doesn't stand a chance!

Cry like a wreck in the corner .... or ....

I only get one option seeing as I'm at home all day with Chloe. Thankfully, I'm pretty good at the whole stiff upper lip thing. It's difficult though, I keep thinking that the next time I see my mum break down openly or stare out a window crying silently, hoping that nobody can see, it will get the better of me and I'll crumble.

My dad was admitted to hospital yesterday morning. He had hurt himself in work on Saturday evening and everything about it played out like your typical pulled muscle.

He'd been pulling one of those large bread trollies (you've seen them in supermarkets only these are too big to see around so they have to be pulled rather than pushed) and he got a sudden pain in his groin. He figured he'd pulled a muscle as it continued to throb and he was in pain, but not so much pain that it kept him off his feet. His boss sent him home from work at about 10pm and later that night a fever started to set in during the night.

My mum found him curled up on the sofa early on Sunday morning under blankets, wearing jumpers and a woolly hat and still he shivered. He still refused to see a doctor, saying that he wasn't going to be laughed out of a doctor's surgery for going in with a pulled muscle. After another awful night on Sunday he finally gave in and went to his gp on Monday morning.

His gp immediately referred him to the hospital with suspected internal bleeding. He was admitted to a ward shortly after arriving at hospital and given a ct scan which showed a growth or thickening in his bowel. We now have to wait until Thursday when a biopsy can be carried out and the rest of his bowel can be checked for any more growths to determine whether the growth is benign or malignant and what exactly has caused it. After that he'll need to have an operation to have it removed.

And now it's just a matter of waiting and trying to carry on ...