Sunny and cold

The last few days have been full of blue sky and sunshine. There has been warmth but also a chill wind or should I say breeze. The summer before last mother had a new decking installed outside the patio doors. This raised the level outside the door so that she could go outside without having to manage a step down.

Last summer she only went out a few times for no more than 20 minutes. On the really hot days it was too hot for her. The heat affects her MS. Mostly though it was too cold. I noticed over time that we only got the sun on the decking for an hour to an hour and a half mid morning ( before the temperature had become comfortable for sitting out). I would sit out but have to move my chair around with the sun. The sun moves around our garden giving patches of sunshine for an hour or two. The bottom of the garden where there is a sizable patio gets even less sun than the decking. The trees have grown up to such an extent that the garden is shrouded in shade. Our friendly tree surgeon did his best to create more light without cutting back too far.

In January we had a new fence erected between us and the adjoining house which at the time was empty. The new fence is a foot higher than the one it replaced. It doesn’t look that much higher but obviously is. I don’t remember a time when there wasn’t a conservatory next door. Now I realise that the sun we were getting on the decking was actually coming through the windows of the conservatory. My dilemma now is that The lady who moved in a couple of months ago has put up curtains which are permanently closed. I have moved all but two of my flowerpots off the decking as they were in constant shade. Do I just put up with the lack of sunshine or do I ask her to leave her curtains open? The garden on that side of the fence has pretty much full sun most of the day so it probably doesn’t occur to our neighbours that we don’t get much in ours.

This morning I was updating my Elliesdeal blog dedicated to my Avon business. I decided to add the link to the blog to my twitter account. I only created this account a few months ago. I’m not really up to speed with twitter. I am following a few people but don’t have any followers of my own so anything I post (or should I say tweet) is never seen by anyone else. Much to my surprise this morning I discovered that I do have a a couple of followers. It looks like a grand total of 4 people have liked or retweeted my posts recently. Let me know if you would like to follow me on twitter and I will give you the name on my account.

We haven’t seen much of the pigeons recently (we have a couple of magpies nesting in the tree instead. The doves come and go. We sometimes see a young one with an adult. The blue birds have been absent for a short while but I am used to them being around a lot then not for a while then returning again. At last after 3 years of living here I am seeing sparrows in the garden. Yesterday there were 3 of them in the buddleia bush, hanging feeder on the crab apple and even on the decking for a few minutes. Today I saw a great tit on the decking, it hung around for a while. We hadn’t seen any for ages. Usually they are only around when the bluetits are here.

Yesterday I had cut up an apple for the blackbirds. I saw one of the squirrels (Roger I believe) sat on the fence nibbling away at a chunk of apple. The dunnock has recently been venturing out of the undergrowth to feed on the meal worms that I put out on the lawn for the ground feeders.

I went out a little earlier than usual to pick up my Avon books today. That takes my orders for April over £500 with more books to collect tomorrow and Wednesday. I also had another order through my digital shop today.

I’m feeling at peace with my world today.

What a shock

I have had my new car for a few days now. I am enjoying driving it around. I am happy that so far I have not yet stalled the engine. I was worried about swapping my automatic for manual transmission after my last three cars being automatic. However what I don’t like is getting out and getting an electric shock each time I close the door. I am learning to use my sleeve. I’m gradually finding my way around the various functions on the screen etc. I have even managed to pair my phone. This will help when I’m out and my mother tries to phone me to see when I’m coming home.

In the last few days I have done a bit of gardening. The sweet peas are in as are the nasturtium seeds. Solar lamps are hanging in the crab apple tree and another tree that I don’t know the identity of. Solar powered garden tea lights are along the edge of the patio at the end of the lawn.

Oddly we didn’t have very much wild life in the garden. There were no Pigeons, no Doves, only one Robin a couple of times later in the day. Only one squirrel came for a visit and that wasn’t until tea time. We have no idea what was going on. I am happy to say that we have seen a robin several times and a collared dove but also the dunnock and some sparrows. We don’t often have sparrows in the back garden although they can be seen in the lilac tree at the front of the house.

Today is perfect weather for drying the washing. Unfortunately I am waiting for someone tall and strong to put our new washing line. However I have managed to hang my washing on an airer set up in the middle of the lawn.

I have been out to pick up some of my Avon brochures. I have another £80 in orders to add to my tally for April. I have more to collect on Wednesday when I shall also be putting more out for next week.

I had my second Pfizer jab on Saturday evening. I am pleased to report that apart from a slightly sore arm I have no other side effects. I’m not planning to be out partying any time soon but now that we have both had both our jabs we are a little more confident about seeing anyone else.

I have been knitting in yellow the last few days. an yellow and green striped jumper and a yellow pixie hat.

Thursday

I think it’s Thursday today. My phone says that it is. I hope it’s not Friday otherwise I’ve missed my telephone appointment with the doctor.

I had a surprise this morning as I gazed down the garden. I was looking for bluetits visiting the bird feeder hanging from the crab apple tree. I couldn’t see the bird feeder at all so I wondered down to have a look

Those naughty squirrels had taken it away just leaving the top of it hanging there. This is what it should look like.

The contract has been signed. Next week I am hopeful of taking ownership of the new ( to us) car. We are getting a three year old deep red ford c-max

I have an appointment to have my second jab on Saturday 17th April. Mother gas hers on 10th April.

Today I am grateful

I feel as though I have been moaning about my lot in life quite a lot lately. So I have decided to think about the things I am grateful for.

  1. My family
  2. I will soon be able to spend time with my family again.
  3. Sunshine
  4. Having a garden
  5. The ability to bring life into our garden
  6. The wildlife that I get to see from my armchair
  7. Living near to various beaches
  8. Avon – my sanity
  9. Knitting
  10. Reading
  11. Technology – video calls
  12. Technology – research and talk to others with my health issues
  13. A roof over my head
  14. Enough food to eat (even with an unconventional diet).
  15. Being single
  16. Friends
  17. Independence
  18. Sense of humour
  19. Love of colour
  20. BEING ALIVE

It didn’t take long

I was only out for an hour. When I got home mother told me there had been naughtiness afoot. Firstly one the squirrels has been digging in the pots with my seedlings in.

Secondly mother herself has done something naughty.

For the last couple of months on and off I have been looking for a new car. This morning I found one that I think will be suitable for our needs. Although it will mostly just be me in the car I need something that I can easily get a wheelchair in. Plus the passenger seat can’t be too low or too high for mother to get in.

She has arranged for me to go and have a look at it. Apparently the salesman can’t come out to show it to me and I can only look at the outside of it.

If I decide that I do want it the paperwork will be emailed over to us. This car could very well be my birthday present.

I’ll let you know more when or if I do decide it’s the one.

Monday again

Not a lot has happened today except that we had visitors. It wasn’t family or friends. We were not having an illegal gathering. It was simply time for mother to have her eyes tested. Because she isn’t able to go to the store very easily they come to us. All kitted out with masks, gloves and plastic aprons. To go to the kitchen instead of trying to get past the two ladies I went out through the patio doors and back through the backdoor, returning the same way in reverse.

The squirrels are very conspicuous by their absence. I did see Roger for a while this afternoon though. Last week there was a tree surgeon working two doors down. I can only think it has made the usual route along the tree line a little more difficult for them. Maybe they don’t like that I have been making them work harder for the nuts. There is currently a stack of three pots with a lid placed on top. It isn’t secured just resting there. Roger didn’t even bother to investigate.

I went out straight after lunch to pick up my Avon books. That gave me a few more orders to add to my account. My little team is slowly growing. I have been trying to find some blank cards preferably with with an image of a sun. Some time ago I chose to call my Avon team my Sunshine Team. I have been thinking that it would be nice to have something with a sun on it, to send with a welcome message, when a new recruit joins my team. This afternoon I have designed my own cards which I should receive on Friday.

My first batch of seedlings are growing well. If the weather is right I shall start sewing seeds and seedlings in the garden in the next few days. Some of my polyanthas are starting to bloom. I do believe spring is upon us now.

Funny old day

The sun has been shining and there is a feel of spring in the air. The first of my seedlings are sprouting. The magnolia is coming out in bloom.

I didn’t get around to topping up the bird food until lunchtime. I have given the squirrels a new conundrum. This time it’s three pots one inside the next. Only one squirrel has been interested. He knocked it over and devoured the nuts from the smallest pot. That’s all he managed. Mind you he was chased away by a local cat. I’ve not seen that before.

I’ve been out with more Avon books. That’s all my regular customers now so next week I shall start canvassing for new customers.

I was feeling a bit down this afternoon. No particular reason I just didn’t feel myself. I am surprised that I was feeling this way. The sunny day combined with the obvious signs of spring would normally make me feel good.

When will I see the sun rise?

This morning was my third attempt in the last week to see the sun rise. As yet even though my radio assured me this morning that the sunrise would be good it wasn’t. I sleep at the front of the house and the sun rises at the back. My mother sleeps at the back and gets the sun coming through her window in the mornings. For me to see it I have to get downstairs to my chair by the window before the sun is due to rise. No easy feat. Not only do I need to be awake at the right time but I have to negotiate my way around the stairlift. When the chair is at the bottom of the stairs it’s easy to get past. When its at the top I have to raise the foot rest and the arm rest then squeeze around it. I generally tend to go up first at night and down after my mum in the morning. Obviously I could go down in the chair itself and send it back up again but I don’t unless I am feeling particularly unwell.

Anyway this morning I rushed downstairs got myself settled ready to watch the wonderful colours wash the sky. With just minutes to spare my body decided to revolt. Causing me to dash to the downstairs toilet. As quick as I could I got back to my chair. The minutes passed, the sky got brighter and brighter. some of the trees were tinged with gold but that was it.

Late this morning I needed to take mother for an appointment at the Drs. When we were all done I decided not to go straight home. For the past year Mother has only left the house to go to medical appointments. I took her to look at the sea. Unfortunately although it has been a bright sunny day there was a mist over the water, so not much to see today.

A few days ago I put a handful of peanuts into an empty mealworm tub, with the lid loose. Yesterday I watched Roger remove the lid but instead of putting his head inside to eat the peanuts to my astonishment he grabbed the lid, jumped up on to the railing then up onto the fence before racing along the fence with the lid in his mouth. Later both Ginger and Biscuit found the peanuts and had an afternoon snack. Today I put a few more peanuts into the now lidless tub. After several attempts the squirrels had eaten the nuts. The tub being picked up examined and rolled around. To my amazement this afternoon Roger was examining the now empty tub. With great difficulty he managed to get onto the rail and then the fence with the tub in his mouth. He made slow progress along the fence but I have not seen Roger or the tub since.

Squirrels

Since long before I moved here my mother has been watching the squirrels. They are very naughty, I have tried putting out a variety of bird feeders (for the birds not the squirrels). A great many feeders have been destroyed or completely vanished. I know this is the squirrels not the birds. We have a squirrel baffle on our bird feeder but since we had new decking and a banister rail put up the baffle is redundant. The squirrels can leap across from the railing.

We have got used to these little bundles of mischief making use of the bird feeder. It is very amusing watching them contort in different positions to get to the various hanging things like coconuts etc. I have long known that there were three squirrels that pass through our garden. we can see them travelling from tree to tree along the edge of ours and the neighbouring gardens. I can see them chasing each other around.

Recently I have been putting some peanuts on the decking for them. It is interesting to see that they are not the only creatures making use of this new habit of mine. The wood pigeons, and collared doves eat the nuts whole. The blue tits will grab one and fly off with it.

Anyway I have decided to try an experiment. I have put a few peanuts out as usual but I also placed the peanut bucket on the decking with a few peanuts on the top but the whole thing is covered by a wire cage from one of the squirrel proof feeders. We are now waiting to see how long it takes the squirrels to figure this out.

Our regular visitors we have named Roger (mostly grey), Ginger who has a mostly ginger head, back and tail. Then we have Biscuit who has less ginger than Ginger but more than Roger. Only yesterday was a little confusing because we seemed to have two Gingers. I thought I was getting muddled over which was which until for a few minutes we had not three but four squirrels running around at the same time. We now have to think of a name for Ginger #2.

So far today Roger and Biscuit have been around snaffling up the stray nuts. Both have had a good look at the nuts inside the cage but not attempted to get in there.

Here is Biscuit

The parcels keep coming

During this time of pandemic where we rarely go out the parcels just keep coming.

Many people are shopping online, us included. Mum is still buying books but not as many since she got herself a kindle for her night time reading. An assortment of other items arrive for her several times a week.

My shopping online is starting to show a pattern. Biscuits, I have become addicted to Border butterscotch crunch biscuits. I have discovered that I can buy a pack of 6 packets.

There are packs of wool. I have been knitting almost constantly since just before my granddaughter was born in September 2019. I have knitted cardigans, jumpers and dresses for my granddaughter and her cousin who is just 3 weeks younger than her. I have made dozens of little hats for premature babies. There are tiny jackets too. I have made poncho’s and matching berets for the two little girls.

I have fallen in love with so many different balls of wool for these. I have a variety from 50g to 400g balls. A few months ago I was making a family of hand puppets for a primary teacher so I have lots of colours left from those. My son and his fiancee are adding to the list of requests. I’m currently working on some striped jumpers. Navy with red stripe, they also want white with red stripe and white with navy stripe. Both girls got white with royal blue stripe for Christmas. The latest request was for a hat for which I have been sent a photo. I have as yet to search out a suitable pattern.

The other items that are prominent on my shopping lists are bird food. Bags of mixed seed, suet blocks, suet balls, Coconut halves, meal worms and peanuts. These are shared not only by the robins, blue tits, great tits, collard doves and wood pigeons but also three squirrels. Ginger, Biscuit and Roger. (yes we have given them names).

What have your shopping habits during the last year shown you about your shopping patterns?