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Category : General

Saturday, February 12, 2011


Apparently (according to Tim) the font on this page was too light and was difficult to read (I thought it was ok, but .. hey...) .... so I've made it a little darker. Hope it's better! :) Oh, and bizarrely, all my sidebar trash has re-appeared, despite the fact that I deleted it before! Um... oook.

I have got stuff I want to add to the website now, namely, photos and a craft I've made. It's painfully slow progress though because, once again, I'm tinkering with the homeschool site. I really need to get that TOTALLY finished first before I start on this one ... but I'm impatient! Problem is, THIS site isn't nearly so popular (for obvious reasons - there's not much on it!) and I'm worried if I let it go for too long before updating then I'll end up with no visitors at all. It has crossed my mind several times recently to just "let it go" completely and concentrate purely on the homeschool one... just don't know.

Anyway, for the time being, I'm still here!

Posted by Sarah at 7:52 AM [Permalink]
Categories: General

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Sunday, February 06, 2011

Got the decorators in

There may well be a distinct lack of posting at the mo. Having (virtually) finished my home ed site I'm now about to start overhauling this one and it's going to be beeeautiful!!

I'll have this blog, a crafts page (for when I get the time to do them!), photographs page (mainly wildlife and "days out" images that were particularly lovely) and recipes. I guess you could say it's just going to be a hobby/lifestyle website!

Anyway, bear with me while I redo the site - will post updates as and when I do them :)

Posted by Sarah at 2:24 PM [Permalink]
Categories: General

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Boring really ... we shopped ... we cleaned

Went and did shopping this morning which was a pain in the bum. Tim has this incredibly irritating habit of suddenly vanishing in the middle of the shop (usually when I'm in the middle of talking to him!) He'll suddenly remember something we should have got from the other end of the shop or spots some "crazy" bargain somewhere and WOOSH! he's gone leaving me stood there abandoned!

Anyway, that done, we decided to do some cleaning this afternoon ..... I've no idea what brought this on *laughs*. I tidied EVERYWHERE and polished and and he took the bins out and hoovered. Oh, and I repaired the front of his keyboard case which was ripped in what, I believe, may have been one of Hemmy's last acts of pointless vandalism before quitting this mortal coil. It's been bugging me for ages.

Other than all this tedious shopping and cleaning I HAVE been pondering much over what to do with this website now my homeschool stuff is going elsewhere. Actually, the old homeschool blog archives are staying but all the materials and whatnot are moving. So I'm going to have lots of space and a WHOLE website just for this blog doesn't seem justifiable! I'm obviously going to give the whole site a makeover (new graphics and backgrounds and so on) but after that I'm stumped. Perhaps a crafts page or a page for my nature related stuff ... maybe recipes .... hmmm? What to do?!

Answers/suggestions on a postcard ..........

Posted by Sarah at 6:16 PM [Permalink]
Categories: General, Pets

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011


I've made such great strides with my new homeschool website that I took a break today. Instead, we went to Christchurch to walk along the river and by the priory and ruins. The kids wanted to feed the ducks so we took some bread. Rosie actually hand fed a SWAN! These things terrifying me and April looks so tiny compared to a full grown swan that I'm constantly panicking when she goes near them and saying "mind the swan April ... MIND THE SWAN!!!"

We went up the hill to the ruins and the wind was blasting around the place giving us cold, chilly and achey ears which wasn't good. Anyway, we had a nice walk and came back for a cup of tea which WAS good :)

This evening Tim and I are being bad and having KFC for dinner - Zingerburgers yum yum yum! We don't do the takeaway thing very often so it is a nice treat .... just waiting for Tim to get back with it now .... wish he'd hurry - I'm soooo hungry!

While he's been out I've been helping Rosie paint an ancient Egyptian mummy case with bright coloured acrylic paint. Actually, it's a picture of one as she's going to make a mummy case shaped book to do a project on Egyptian death and burials and stuff. Hey, I'm veering into home ed territory here ..... save that for the other site :)

Posted by Sarah at 7:54 PM [Permalink]
Categories: General, Places

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Monday, January 24, 2011

Re-posted from homeschool blog

Just in case anyone reading this is interested, my new homeschool site is finished. Hurrah. Hurrah.

This is reposted from my homeschool blog:


Just to let you know my new site is LIVE! At last! The blog is being done, hopefully, today. The main page is there, the about us page and the free materials pages are there. None of the other sidebar links work yet but I'm getting there! :)

So, this is the VERY last post on this blog - the archives will be left here for reference. Enjoy the new site!

Wise Little Owls

Posted by Sarah at 11:03 AM [Permalink]
Categories: General

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Sunday, January 02, 2011

Doesn't it feel GREAT?

I love a new year I really do. It's so refreshing to be able to put the old one exactly where it should be (i.e in the past) and move on. However, there is naturally a temptation to look TOO far the other way (i.e into the future) and start focusing too much on that.

As I said in a previous post, I have no resolutions and one reason for that is because it causes me to look too much into "what might be coming" instead of enjoying the here and now. We're not fortune tellers, we can't possibly know what is going to happen to us and, as such, there is little point in making plans for the future that are too concrete. Life, as we found out towards the end of last year, has a nasty habit of throwing you a curve ball and ruining your best laid plans. Sure, it's good to have little hopes and wishes but to say "by the end of the year I WILL have done xxxxx" is just asking for disappointment. You MIGHT achieve it but what if you don't? To be honest, I prefer to a) make reasonable "plans" that don't involve any huge life changes and b) accept that life frequently changes those plans for you and, if so, c'est la vie.

Now, before anyone huffs off thinking "uuurrggh! she's so UN-ambitious! She has no AIM in life!", let me tell you I do and it's a big one.

It's to be happy and have fun and enjoy life.

Be happy. Be responsible (as in pay the bills and educate my kids!) but, at the same time, keep a sense of childlike fun in life.

When I came to the end of last year I sat and thought about it - I sort of had a little giggle to myself as I realised JUST what made me (and my family) happy.....

Here's a sage bit of advice ;) Go ahead and listen, the song itself is enough to make you grin :)

"You work and work for years and years, you're always on the go

You never take a minute off, too busy makin' dough

Someday, you say, you'll have your fun, when you're a millionaire

Imagine all the fun you'll have in your old rockin' chair

Enjoy yourself, it's later than you think

Enjoy yourself, while you're still in the pink

The years go by, as quickly as a wink

Enjoy yourself, enjoy yourself, it's later than you think"

Posted by Sarah at 5:55 PM [Permalink]
Edited on: Sunday, January 02, 2011 5:57 PM
Categories: Food, General, Wildlife

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Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Festive stuff .... mostly

Have been quite caught up in general "getting ready for Christmas" malarkey recently! We've been doing very well with our present buying and are nearly done - just waiting for a couple of bits to arrive from Amazon and Play and need to scoot to the shops for a few little things (stocking fillers mostly). I've also marzipand (marzipanned? marzipaned?) .... put marzipan on the cake! Oh, it did smell good when I unwrapped it! My cards are finished and just need to be distributed and I need to put the finishing touches to April's pink bunny toy puppet that I started AGES ago.

On Thursday it's Tim's birthday (me and the kids rushed around making cards this afternoon while he was out). I'm going to bake him a cake of his choice (probably Victoria Sponge I bet) - I do this on everyone's birthday now ... but no-one bakes me a cake on my birthday! Boohoo!

Anyway, after his birthday fun, it's time for a mega clean up and then ......

.... up with the pretties aka Christmas decorations! We're doing them next Monday .... so love the decorations going up! :)

Oh, and on a slightly LESS happy note, Hemmy's off to the vet on Friday ..... he's nearly 16 now, getting so old and, well, sad to say I think his days with us are numbered. He's still eating and stuff (JUST - his teeth are knackered) but ... I don't know, he just seems like he's fading :( Anyway, we're taking him to see if they can do anything about his teeth and just check that he's generally ok. We're giving him lots of loves and he doesn't go out much so he's got a nice blanket to sleep on in the kitchen (he likes to be near the cooker I think!) Lovely old cat .... insane, but lovely :)

Posted by Sarah at 4:34 PM [Permalink]
Categories: Food, General, Seasonal

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Monday, November 29, 2010

Winter - well and truly

Like the winter blog look? Kinda cute I thought.

It is soooo cold here however, despite that, we are pretty much the only place in the UK I think that doesn't have snow. It's actually a gorgeous day - all blue sky and sunshine.

We have been having family discussions with Tim's rellies about what's going to happen at Christmas. Normally, there is a fairly big "do" on Boxing day which goes on for hours and involves tonnes of food and lots of people. However, for obvious reasons it was felt that this wasn't such a great idea this year as mum gets very tired easily. So, it was agreed that something quieter would be good - just a couple hours, light buffet food, pressies and just us, Sarah, Rob and Tim's mum, Tony and Luke. No neighbours, other rellies, friends or former foster kids this year. Got to admit, I'm looking forward to something a little more low-key myself - we are aiming for something incredibly fun but peaceful this year for Christmas.

I've been busy finishing up some last minute sewing (actually still not done but getting there!) including these little bird decorations which I'm hanging on the hall shelf:

.... and, of course, Christmas cards - I do love the tree one :)

The kids are getting madly excited (did I mean JUST the kids? *laughs*) because it's nearly Advent calendar time .... ooo! the countdown begins!

Posted by Sarah at 12:48 PM [Permalink]
Categories: Crafts, General

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Sunday, November 28, 2010

I really must be getting old!

Aaaah! Sunday! At one point my most hated day of the week (school on Monday!) now .... I'm starting to feel a strange contentment when Sunday rolls round. We've got the radio on (Nicholas Parsons doing "Just a Minute"), the gentle hum of the washing machine, April quietly playing Starfox Adventures on the Gamecube (a game I love as much for it's atmospheric music as much as anything), slightly steamed up windows because it's a cold day and the smell of Sunday lunch cooking (roast beef and yorkshire puddings). It's all "nice" and reassuring and gentle and homely and ..... right.

I need reassuring and gentle at this moment in time. Had to make an excruciatingly difficult decision about a member of my family (my brother) today that filled me with sadness. Not a decision I really wanted to make but one I felt I HAD to make based on circumstances and what is best for me and Tim and the kids. I found out something yesterday that made me feel like I was being sucked back into a whirlpool that, a few years ago, I climbed out of and felt relief. Yesterday I felt panicky and stressed again ....... the decision had to be made, however painful.

Tim and I are a lot different from pretty much everyone else in my family (although, thankfully, not HIS family). We're terribly old fashioned really - keeping to "traditional" routines, joining in with our kids and getting madly excited at Christmas and birthdays, bringing them up on a diet of "family traditions" (like me going out at the crack of dawn EVERY Easter to hide eggs for them to look for!) We try (go out of our way) to bring up our kids in a way which is peaceful ..... childhood is short, fleeting, it shouldn't be anything less than idyllic (or at least as much as we can make it) - the kids deserve nothing less. More than that though, LIFE is fleeting - I want MY life and Tim's life and the kids life to be HAPPY and relaxed. It can't be that way if things are stressing us and, so, hard decisions have to be made.

We've got our "way" of doing things and we're happy with that ... Nicholas Parsons and steamed up windows on a cold day and roast beef and all that ............. today is a little sad but that shall pass ....

Posted by Sarah at 12:46 PM [Permalink]
Categories: Drama, Food, General, Life, People, Places, Seasonal

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

I can't be bothered to blog

That's not meant to be a negative thing actually .... just we're deep into fun stuff at the moment but I can't be arsed to write it all down! Lots of Christmas gift making, buying and wrapping .... Christmas cake "feeding" (and YUM it smells too!) .... Birthday's coming up (April's on the 3rd and Tim's on the 9th) .... Christmas crafting ......... house sorting ..... just LOTS of stuff!

Oh and brilliant news! Tim's mum came home yesterday! Yay! She's having carers round to help with things a bit but she's home and mending and it's all fantastic :)

PS - was reading one of my favourite blogs earlier of a lady who lives in Australia - there was she galivanting about in a summer dress and me? I couldn't put more layers on if I tried .... temperatures are hovering around freezing (quite often below) at the moment. Flipping shivery.

Posted by Sarah at 7:44 PM [Permalink]
Categories: General, Life

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

We had weather in our house

Oh my god what a couple of days! Never, if you can possibly help it, have your windows ripped out and replaced in November. It's been positively freezing over the last 2 days and, today, windy and pouring with rain as well and THIS is what our living room looked like earlier:



The wind howled through the place, the rain made the carpet wet and, basically, we froze. We are, however, SO pleased with the end result:


Quite WHY there is a need for obscured glass in the bottom of the lounge window we'll probably never know .......

Compared with the rotten old mouldy things that went before these are gorgeous. Every window in the house has been replaced ... no more tatty, damp wooden window frames .... no more draughts! Yay! I keep walking round the house looking at them and sighing with happiness *laughs*.

Anyway, one very good thing that came out of the window malarkey was that we went out (due to not wanting to be here!) and Christmas shopped. We've pretty much got all the kids stuff, (and came out of it about £200 poorer eeek!), apart from stocking fillers. Tim's got one of mine and I've got one of his (or it might be for his birthday which is on the 9th, haven't decided yet).

Now we're going to chill out for the evening (or rather be warm and toasty thanks to NO DRAUGHTS - did I mention that? heehee!) and, tomorrow, I'm going to start pre-Christmas mega-cleaning/sorting .... I find that very fun :) Oh, and we have to go to a Pudsey Party at April's Rainbows group tomorrow - get this, we have to take cakes which they will then SELL back to us! Rotten cheek *laughs* ... I jest, obviously, happy to help them raise some money :)

Posted by Sarah at 5:03 PM [Permalink]
Categories: General, Life, Seasonal

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Monday, November 08, 2010

Last few days....

..... has been a mixture of firework parties, hospital visits (Tim's mum is coming home soon - yay!), Birthday present and Christmas present buying and (for me), the realisation that Bournemouth hospital have messed up my own hospital check up which was supposed to be for this Thursday but has now been put back to the 16th of December.

I will blog some of this stuff in more detail (fireworks mostly!) in the next couple of days but right now I'm feeling tired and lousy and just want my dinner and bed. Night night.

Posted by Sarah at 8:29 PM [Permalink]
Categories: General

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Friday, October 29, 2010

Work avoidance post

Got stuff to do - can't be bothered (bad me!), so I'm blogging about yesterday to get out of doing anything else.

Tim was at work in the morning and so I just did "homey" stuff and the boiler man came round to give our boiler it's annual service. He was quite surprised because it normally takes him about half an hour to go round and bleed the HUGE amounts of air out of our system but there was hardly any!

In the afternoon, when Tim got back, we had a few errands to run. First, we had to go and collect a little treat courtesy of one of my lovely blog readers Amanda :) She'd emailed me to say that they had some tickets for Liberty's Owl and Raptor Centre which they couldn't use because of being ill and they had to be used by the end of Sunday and would I like them? Ooo! yeah! We only went there a few months ago but I do love those birds :) So, we stopped round her place and picked them up and then went shopping. We got a pumpkin (oh my god, just WAIT for my yearly pumpkin carving effort - all mine ALWAYS end up looking like they've been at the Bailey's while we were out), sweeties, a witches hat for Rosie (she's making her own costume this year!) and general foody stuff. We then also went to visit Tim's mum - it's been a few days because the ward was closed to visitors due to a virus. She's been moved to another bed (every flipping time we go there we have to play hunt-for-Jill because she's been moved!) She's insanely bored now but is doing loads of physio so hopefully (fingers crossed!) she could be coming home quite soon. However, she also got to have another brain scan first though to make sure the bleeding has definately stopped.

Then, in the evening, it was my weekly dose of Autumnwatch - fabulous programme. Not sure what Kate Humble was wearing last night though - obviously some kind of coat but looked more like she'd been doing some decorating and came out with her paint-splattered smock on by accident! Best bit for me was right at the end in Unsprung where they had a Hooper Swan brought in by someone - it was a tame one. Now, I'm terrified of swans and always give them a wide berth when we go into Christchurch for a walk but this was one I wouldn't mind meeting - it was cute! Very funny when it was eating a bunch of grapes and showering poor Chris Packham in juice and squishy bits! :)

So that's that. Guess I'd better get on with something!

Posted by Sarah at 11:08 AM [Permalink]
Categories: General, People, Places

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Sunday, October 24, 2010


Added a Feedburner "subscribe" button to the sidebar - get my blog updates direct to your email! Yay! :)

Going back to my Christmas cross-stitching now ... pleasant way to spend a Sunday afternoon :)

Posted by Sarah at 5:04 PM [Permalink]
Categories: General

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Saturday, October 16, 2010

A blast from the musical past

Hello all! It just feels SO Saturdayish today! Tim was late for work (uuuummmm!) and I've found it hard to do anything much of any value today. So, I messed about with my hair, changed parting and gave myself a rather nice side-swept fringe - my fringe is getting really long again so can't have it dangling in my eyeballs AND found old music I loved on You Tube. Ok, some of this is included NOT because I loved it but for the pure amusement factor!

Behold and enjoy!

Spandau Ballet - Tony Hadley doing a fine Arnold Rimmer impression! (excellent knitwear Tony, veerrry strong!)

Propaganda - They're German and the beginning sounds a lot like Kraftwerk .. only Propaganda weren't nearly so scarey or robotic

Bon Jovi - BIG hair yeah!..... and Mr Richard Sambora looking beautiful ... SIGH!

The Flying Pickets - Preferred the Yazoo version personally but this is clever and WHAT about that facial hair?!

Neneh Cherry - LOVE this song ....

The Communards - Squeaky voiced Jimmy Somerville ... and Richard Coles (the geeky looking bloke in the glasses) is now a priest .. yeah, I know ... mind-boggling ..... and I thought Brian Cox from D:Ream suddenly turning into a professor of particle physics was surprising!

Posted by Sarah at 3:11 PM [Permalink]
Categories: General

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Sunday, October 03, 2010

Catching up on other blog!

Decided that I really, really need to catch up on my homeschool blog - I've only done one post since the beginning of the school year and there's loads I want to blog about. To do this, I'm going to take a step back from this, more personal, blog for a bit.

I think it would be good to focus soley on the homeschool stuff for a while - for obvious reasons I'm a little fragile and seem to have developed a wonderful knack of offending people. When you're a bit stressed and sad it's VERY easy to write something and have it come out not how you intended.

Although I do tend to speak my mind on my blog (hey, it's my blog!) I have no wish to upset good friends and that's obviously what I'm doing even though that's not my intention.

So, focus on the homeschool blog it is ..... it's needs doing anyway. Be back here when, hopefully, things have settled down a bit.

See you soon.

Posted by Sarah at 3:07 PM [Permalink]
Categories: General

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Friday, October 01, 2010

Facebook be gone!

I'm not doing facebook any more. I've dabbled before, then got rid, then went back but this time for good. I think part of the problem is that I don't fit your typical Facebook person - I'm not into "collecting" friends, I'm not interested in old school friends or work colleagues and I won't be friends with "anyone" just for the sake of saying "hey wow! look at all my friends!"

Just not interested.

Also, it takes me away from my other sites (I really do prefer my website/blog if I'm honest) and just away-from-the-computer-life in general. It almost got to the point where you feel you have to scribble something on Facebook just to keep it going. I got bored.

Anyway, that's that. It's gone.

On different stuff - Tim and I went to visit his mum today. It was no better or worse than we thought it would be. She can't speak properly or move down one side (we had to stand on the side of her she can see out of because one eye isn't working). She looks puffy in the face and very tired. She's damn cross about not being able to have a cup of tea! *laughs*, I guess this is a good sign!

I've got to start sorting out my websites, updating them (especially my poor, neglected homeschool blog!) and FINALLY doing my shop website. I just need to get my head together and do it - problem is with everything else that's been going on, I'm somewhat distracted.

Oh, and Tim goes back to work next Thursday ... once again, it feels like he hasn't had much of a holiday (what with builders, rain and his poor mum). It sucks to have a crappy holiday and then have to go back to work - makes you almost feel like it wasn't worth it! Poor Tim! Maybe the Christmas break will be better for him.

Posted by Sarah at 7:26 PM [Permalink]
Categories: General

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Thursday, September 30, 2010


Well, it's been a bit of a couple of days really. Firstly, the news we got yesterday is about my mum in law - she is in hospital after having a stroke and is quite unwell but, at least, mentally "all there". She is having problems with her left side not working properly and not being able to talk properly but is, hopefully, going to be ok (although is going to need a lot of physio). Her stroke was caused by a clot rather than a bleed and she needs drugs to try and break it down which, in itself could cause a bleed so there is still worry but she is, at least, in an environment (hospital!) where they can monitor her continuously and treat anything that crops up. Still, deeply worrying last night and today :(

Still medical related - I had my hospital check up this morning. I was told when I went in there that they wanted to do a laparoscopy to check on the remaining couple of cysts I have/had on my ovary. However, when I told the doctor that I had been completely pain free and well since my hospital visit a couple of months back, the decision was made to not go ahead with that and, instead, scan me again in a few weeks. Doctor said they didn't want to "rock the boat" and starting cutting me open and prodding about unneccessarily if I was feeling perfectly ok. The largest of those cysts was only about 2cm anyway (as opposed to the one which burst which they estimated had been about 11-12cm!) So anyway, I'm relieved at that and hope I continue to stay well!

Apart from that, nothing has happened!

Posted by Sarah at 8:10 PM [Permalink]
Categories: Drama, General, Life

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Shopping fail

Went off to Castlepoint today, partly so that Rosie could spend some Birthday money and partly to do some clothing shopping. Clothing shopping for everyone (we have a list of items that we all need). Guess what happened? I found lovely stuff for the kids (as usual!) but nothing for me. Pah!

I much prefer shopping for the kids - they do such cute kids clothes - honestly, my kids are better dressed than me!

Oh well, better luck next time!

We also found out that we are getting new double glazing all round (fantastic! No more leaky windows!) but that they are going to take until mid-November to actually make. Brilliant, nothing like having your windows ripped out in the middle of November! I shall look forward to that. Not.


had to stop in the middle of this post ........ phone just gone ... had some rather worrying family-related news ..... keeping everything crossed for someone ..... :(

Posted by Sarah at 8:52 PM [Permalink]
Categories: General, Life

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sun rain sun

The weather people - they got it right! Hurrah! For once! It did rain - this morning - LOTS. However, by lunch time it had cleared up and was sunny again. Nice :)

Tim took April out on her own because she wanted to spend some pocket money - she brought herself a dinosaur toy. When he got back, we all went out to Hobbycraft (I could, easily, spend ALL DAY in that shop) and I got some felt and toy stuffing. Getting through vast amounts of toy stuffing lately what with all the teddy making. Then Tesco's to get stuff to make veggie soup and granary bread for dinner (Tim does the soup, I do the bread). Then home again before April went off out to Rainbow's.

Not the MOST exciting day in the work but fairly busy - I need to be busy as I draw ever nearer to my hospital appointment for my check up. Deeply fearful that, due to the endometriosis and ovarian cysts, Mr Pampiglione (gyno surgeon) is going to suggest .... hacking bits of me out :( I think it's a real fear .... I'm 40, not planning any more kids and with messed up insides :( Problem is, I don't want to go through with that - it's a big op with a pretty long recovery time. I've always been one of these people that says no ops unless it's a life saving thing. Anyway, what will be will be ..... just very nervous. Actually, scared half to death :(

To take my mind off this impending (or imagined!) doom, I've been sorting out Rosie's special birthday surprises (with a little help from my friends - thank you, thank you, thank you Natalie!!!) ... aaah! 5 days until she's a teenager! Sometimes I have to catch myself when I realise that, when I first started blogging, she was 7 and April was just about to be born! Unbelievable, time sure does fly....

Posted by Sarah at 5:49 PM [Permalink]
Categories: Crafts, Food, General, Life

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