Saturday, 30 May 2009

I wrote this at the end ofmay but then hestated in posting it as i wondered if i should' keep these thoughts private but then thought what the heck...Do you remember when you used to think about various stages of your life and had a kind of idea as to how it would be at certain points? You know, kids getting bigger, maybe getting back to work? How sometimes small changes inevitably occur without you even noticing them at first?Ii've had a little preview of that over this last week and it's kind of overwhelmed me a little bit to be honest.
As most of you know here in the Madhouse there're enough bodies to ensure that we never have to be alone, to be honest the problem here is usually that there's nowhere for you to be alone even if you want to - apart from the throne that is and it's unlikely that ANYONE would want to follow them there, unless you're me of course and then the minute you sit to comtemplate for a while and then everyone and the dogs NEED your undivided attention immediately if not sooner, the joys of being mam eh? Lol!
Anyhoo, to get back on track, J has been away at his dads for a couple of weeks for some chilling time after exams, Young Master B is with his dad too, he always has great fun there. Little Miss and Nell have gone over to see Shrek for a few days as he has a new girlfriend and they've been having BBQs and doing archery together. I've found this a really difficult situation to deal with for a couple of reasons. I couldn't tell you the last time i was "home alone" for any amount of time, maybe an odd night here and there but no more than that. Having had 5 nights alone - apart from fur people of course - has made me realise that the far off days of peace and quiet with all children having fled the nest may well NOT be the papadise i'd envisaged. It has made me realise that without my kids i don't really have much of "a life". Almost everything revolves around them and their needs. I'm not saying this with any resentment, being a mam is what i do the best, but it set me to thinkin what will i do with myself when i don't have them to care for? I'm beginning to realise what people mean when they say that i need to get some interests of my own, seperately from them. I think this is the tip of the iceberg and it's going to take some serious thought and inward reflection as far as my future is concerned.
The other thing is the whole "moving on" thing. Shrek and i had spent almost 10 years together through good and bad. We knew that whilst we weren't able to live together due to a mix of his bi-polar and my Madhouse full of kids and dogs - which sure aint compatable with each other! - we've always managed to stay on good terms for the most part and neither of us has had anyone else. Now he has moved on and started a relationship with someone else i'm surprised how it's made me feel. Stupidly i'd not really thought about it too much, he always said that i'd find someone else first - like i have the time or opportunity! - and that was that. Now, i'm not angry or anything and i am genuinely happy for him but suddenly i feel very alone. ........

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Finally, I'm Back, or The Joys of Chewing Puppies Who Eat Computer Cables, Aagh!!.......

Well, how much have i missed! Sorry i've been absent for so long, we had a major trauma in the laptop dept, the (new) puppy ate the power cable, Aagh! What a nightmare! Don't you just love puppies??!!! Lol. yep, the latest addition to the Madhouse is a Belgian shepherd pup, named Sirius. The Harry Potter fans among you will know that Sirius Black is an animaegus who can transform into a black dog, which Sirius pup is, hence the name. Ho hum. Young master B was given him as a birthday gift by his daddy. We had his uncle and grandfather when we were together and it's nice to have a continuation of the family here again, he is SO like his uncle Pagan who i loved very dearly, right up until he passed to the dog playground in the sky last year at the ripe old age of 12. He was a wonderful companion and left us with a lot of happy memories. none of which involved a chewed power cable and no internet connection for the last few weeks i'd like to add! We don't have a desktop so we were snookered basically. We're back online now though so all's well that ends well.
How i've missed you all! To be honest being away has been a bit of an eye opener for me. I have found myself wondering how you've all been doing, i didn't realise how much i looked forward to catching up with everyones daily lives, all the little familiar things that make you all real people in my life, friends i've never met but missed during my enforced abscence. It's going to take me a while to catch up with you all but i'll be popping by to say hello and catch up over the next few days.
So, what's been happening in the Madhouse lately? Hmm, let me think....
We've had a couple of birthdays, Master B has reached double figures, i'm now 42 -eek!. Lee's 22 and has found his own place to live, good for him but sad for me as he's back in our hometown and living with his girlfriend Jo who's a nice lass that we've all known for years. It's lovely to see him happy and settled, it eases the separation a little. J's sitting his As levels over the next couple of weeks, he's already done a few and his last exam is on the 21st. He's been working really hard so i'm sure he'll be fine, i remember the horrible pre exam nervous tummy even if it was more years ago than i'd like to count! Nell's looking forward to a trip away during the half term, an outward bound adventure type of thing, i'm not too sure if her "scene" hair and eye liner'll stand up to that kind of test though, hehe. K and R've also had a new addition to their household, Sirius's brother, Raven which means they're up to their eyeballs in puppy chewing and minefield dodging too. At least we can get them together and wear each other out regularly - which we need even more than they do! I'd forgotten just how much havoc one little furball can cause, poor Gypsy and Tyson're sprouting more grey hairs by the second! Gyps is nearing the end of her journey now, she has a tumour that will start to cause her discomfort at some point, the vet has promised that he'll let us know before that starts to happen so we can do the decent thing by her. For now she's fine, just a grumpy smelly old dog who likes to snooze on her favourite chair or in the spot that has the most sunlight, depending which is warmer. Tyson seems to be wary of the pups, he doesn't like the needle teeth that bite back when he plays with them too much i think.
We've also aquired a baby guinea pig called Twilight - Cullen fans anyone?- for Little Miss as a kind of "not having your own puppy but being given a little something to be responsible for" thing, like we don't have enough things to feed and be responsible for! I'm sure the walls of the Madhouse are actually made of elastic, no matter how full we think we are there's always room for more. I do think we're going to have to put up a No Vacancies sign up soon though!
This is turning out to be a bit of a waffle so i'm going to sign off for now and (hopefully) catch up a little more tomorrow. It's really nice to be back, my fingers're just starting to type properly again! I'll say goodnight to you all, until tomorrow then...................................

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Spring has sprung. Yippee!!!.....

Hi all, sincere apologies for my abscence over the last month, i was just so tired, run down and fed up i decided to take a little time out for me. However i'm back now and feeling great so hopefully it's back to normal - well, as 'normal' as it ever gets here in the madhouse anyway!!!
To be honest there hasn't been much excitment to speak of, two more of my babies have had birthdays, Kayleigh is now 23 (eek! How did that happen?) and young master B has turned 10 on friday. Double figures no less! Where is the time going? How can my babies be this old already? How did i get to almost 42? It's incredible to think that they're all growing up so quickly. They are my pride and joy, my life would mean nothing without them. it makes me sit up and think they're growing sooo fast, even my babies aren't babies anymore. I need to get myself back on track and start to spend quality time with them. it's far too easy to let the days pass in a blur of life, the universe and everything in it, never actually planning my days constructively. I need to make better use of the time i do have available to me so i can give them all some one to one time. I find it far too easy to just let the time pass by without stopping to think of the more positive things that i could do with it.
I'm sure that a lot of you lovely ladies out there are all feeling so much better too now that spring is really here. It's just beautiful outside today, the sun is shining, i can hear the birds, the lambs are on their way, the first litter of bunnies have been into the garden this morning and, best of all, it's the first day this year when i can leave the backdoor open without getting hypothermia! The kids are playing outside without being wrapped up so much that they look like giant do-nut men! Hee hee!!!! Isn't it wonderful how much difference a little extra daylight makes? In winter i really struggle to get up at 6.30am to light the fire before the smalls get up, now, when it's warmer and not as much of a dire need my eyes ping open before my alarm goes off.... grrr! Being blessed with a home in the countryside the signs and sounds of spring are all around us, lambs, chicks, greenery, all wonders of nature that, sadly, many people don't seem to appreciate as they should. Having been born in a town the differences between life in the two seperate areas are easier to identify and appreciate. When the first four kids were small we lived in a caravan on the isle Anglesey for a period of time, one of the happiest times of our lives as much as i can remember. The kids were never healthier than they were there, the fresh air and good, basic food showed in everything they did. Shining eyes, healthy skin and boundless energy ... not that the boundless energy wasn't sometimes a bit trying, mainly when i was exhausted and they still wanted to play, go for another walk, whatever it was that was certain to keep me from my bed!... were clearly evident.
In some ways i feel that familiarity breeds contempt, many of the locals where i live don't seem to see or appreciate the surroundings like i do. Now that spring is here there's nothing nicer than to sit with a cup of tea first thing in the morning, before the kids're up, looking through the window across fields towards the mountains, with the songs and noises of spring all around. There really is nothing that can compete with natures beauty is there? Whilst to me all these things are breathtaking i find that many of the local people don't understand my awe and appreciation of our surroundings. They don't seem to notice all the little things, can't see our home the way that i do and appear to have a harder view of life in general. There are very few dogs that are kept purely as pets, if they're not hound dogs they're ratters or fell runners or they have some other purpose, the vast majority of dogs're kept outside. No handbag dogs here i think. They've laughed at me for being soft with mine - by which i mean living indoors and not having any other purpose other than the pleasure that their company brings. Ah well, each to their own. When i comment on our surroundings they often look at me sideways, as if they don't see the things that i do which i think is a bit sad. Maybe sometimes the only way to appreciate something is to spend time without it? I don't really know but i can honestly say that i've never lived in a more beautiful place than i do now.
As you may have noticed by now i'm feeling a lot more positive than before, i've been trying hard to keep some of the promises i made to myself. I've been eating better too and have finally managed to shift some weight - yippee -and can finally get my fat bum in jeans again! I've still got a way to go yet but the combination of this and all the other little things i'm working at are slowly making a difference to my outlook. Positive mental attitude really does have some truth in it, thankfully. I'm sorry that this has all been a bit of a waffle but i'm trying to say lots without my usual going round the houses fifteen times, you'd be surprised just how hard it is for me to do that, lol! I'd just like to say thankyou to all those who've left me nice messages, i really do appreciate them. Hopefully now i'm going to catch up with everything that you've all been up to in my absence, it'll take a while but i will do it, honestly. Thankyou again all you lovely ladies, here's hoping you are all feeling the benefits of spring and it's positivity too. here's to the seasons wonderful changes and the the positive opportunities that they bring.

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Hi all, i'm sorry it's been a while but i've been quite ill. You remember that i was ill before xmas? Well, this made that seem like a walk in the park. I've had another chest infection but this time it's been so bad that i had to take steroids and anti biotics together. The doc has seen me and at one point wanted me to go into hospital which i really didn't want to and it was only my promises of absolute rest and doing nothing that kept me home. If i'm no better by tomorrow i have to go back but that's not going to happen. I've been a good girl for the most part, poorLlittle Miss R has missed out on a couple of days out 'cos i've not been well enough to take her. Master B is at his daddys again so luckily for him he's had fun. Luckily we've has her friend Sophie here for two nights sleepover so that's kept her a bit entertained. I feel bad when the kids're stuck in when i'm ill but there was really no way i could've gone out, i just didn't have the strength. She's been such a good girl for me, it makes such a difference.
One thing that has made me feel sad, as many of you who live in dear old Blighty will know about, is the sad news about Jade Goody. Such a terrible, terrible tragedy, a young mam of 27 dying of cancer, heartbreaking. I know that she isn't to everyones taste but if you knew about her background then it would go a long way in explaining her loud, brash, self depreciating behaviour. This is a girl who knew her parents were both drug addicts by the age of five and has spent her entire life being the carer in practically every relationship she's had ever since. i cannot imagine what she's going through right now,knowing she's leaving her two precious sons behind her as she heads off alone towards her next journey. Her face lights up when she says their names, they are clearly the centre of her universe. i weep for those boys two, losing their mammy so young.
Young Master B will be 10 next month. when i went for my 6 week postnatal check i had a routinr smear test done, thank the Gods i did. I had cervical cancer which the pregnancy hormones had accelerated the growth of. I'd only had the test a few years earlier so we knew roughly how long it might have been around. funnily enough i'd had some problems when i was carrying him, he wouldn't go head down and stayed very high up in my body, his head was under my ribs which was excruciating. i'd had spotting etc too and had actually had to stay in hospital for the last month until he finally turned and i went into labournow i wonder if my body knew that my cervix was weakened and so kept it free from pressure until delivery? Who knows. However, as i said, my smear test brought back abnormal cell results. I went to the colposcopy clinic where they can laser off the cancerous cells only to be told, lying on a bed with my knees around my ears and a laser in a VERY personal place that it was too bad for them to attempt to fix and that i'd need surgery. I went into the hospital when Youmg Master B was 4 monthe and had some of my cervix removed and my nether regions generally prodded and investigated. Thank the gods for general anasthetic and complete amnesia eh? They'd caught all the cells early enough and i only had a very low dose chemo, and completely recovered, thank the heavens. I did have some times when i thought about my kids, what would happen if i didn't make it, how long i would have with them etc. I know the chances of recovery are very high if it's caught quick enough but you never know. Young Master B's dad left me 3 weeks after my surgery for an 18 yr old, declaring that he couldn't cope with seeing me suffer -???!!! like him going off with a kid is soooo going to help stop my suffering! - more likely didn't want to be left with my kids! Anyway, i'm here to tell the tale and out the other side and i'm thankful for that.
The Jade situation has touched a nerve i think, i've found myself weeping for her on a number of occasions. i wanted to ask if anyone does pray, to whoever, would they please include this poor girl and her family in their prayers please?

On a lighter note, We've had a PARTY!!! Yep, little Miss was 8 on the 8th of feb, her daddy was MUCH older than that on the 9th, - weren't you Shrek! Ha Ha, i know you've been checking out my blog so i thought i'd let everyone in blogland know that you were 47!! - so we had a birthday party and what a wonderful party it was. Once again my beautiful daughter K excelled herself. She did all the preparations for me, food, house decorated inside and out, balloons, masks, hats, cake, the whole lot. it would've been a disaster without her. The party girl had a wonderful time, we had almost twenty people in my little house and it was great. Daddy helped out with the financial side of things too which made it possible to be abigger affair than if i'd been funding it alone. She chose a Hannah Montanah sofa bed thing, it's a blow up couch with material covers that opens up into a bed for sleepovers - it sure comes in handy in this house, sleepover central no less!- even when we don't have guests herself can sometimes be found stretched out on there, she has to check that it's comfy for her guests i'm told. I do sometimes wonder how such an old soul lives in that 8yr old body, ah well.
Thankyou Leanne and Wendy for worrying, i'm on the mend now, i think that they give you steroids 'cos they taste sooo bad that you want to recover asap so you don't have to take more. I don't believe i've tasted ANYTHING fouler that those in my whole life. I've got some major catching up with you all to do, i'll get there eventually. Today is the first day i've had the energy to even type so with a bit of luck i'll be back on commenting form, i've really missed some of your posts, i see them come up and it makes me smile, thankyou all for that. I look forward to catching up with you all really soon, with that i'm away to bed.......

Saturday, 31 January 2009

i read a beautiful post by Wendy over at Hedge and Hearth about our Crone years. It really made me stop and think about where i'm at in my life. In some ways i'm not going to be there for a while, my youngest babe will be 8 next week so i've a good few 'Mother' years ahead of me yet in that respect, however at the other end of the scale my oldest babe will be 23 in march so i've been doing this job for a while now! I used to think that these terms were literal, you're a mother until your babes are grown, whilst you can still bear children you couldn't become crone. So how does that work now? I 've not reached menopause yet but i can no longer bear children, so does that make me Crone? Confusing eh? When i first started along this path i thought everything was clear cut in definable chunks (how little did i know then?) Now i can see that there as many pathways as people to walk them and nothing is written in stone. I don't believe in a dividing line any longer, all the edges are blurred, like an oil pattern in water, beautiful but always changinng. Nothing is ever fixed or solid. So how do i see these things now? Hmm....

I for one used to dread the thought of my crone years, old age was something to be feared. Now i'm not so sure. I can see the wisdom of many years being useful, keeping the stories for the younger ones to learn, finding that our skin is dryer, our hair loses it's colour and the medal of the crone years, grey hair sets in. For so many years this was something to hide at all costs, age was something to disguise as much and for as long as possible too.

So why is that the case? Why should we hide the wisdom that the Crone years brings us? We'll have raised our children, set them straight and out into the world their own lives to live. Should we then hide our shrivlled faces and our tired bones? Are we something to be ashamed of, our useful lives done?

No, this will be, finally, the time to think of us. All our duties will be done, the future, for the first time ours to own. For so long our lives on others revolved, our husband, children ,making our houses a home. We'll finally sit and read if we like, make plans that we won't need others to approve. This will be OUR time, we can focus that time on the things that WE want to do, throw caution to the wind and be finally free. Our lives are full of wisdom and love, we have so much to give, years of knowledge to share, a lifetime of experience to pass on. It's up to us to make our lives how we want them to be, go out and be proud and finally do what we WANT too, and at long last, not what we NEED! xXx

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

I'm not american, but i do feel american politics affect my life over here in the U.K. I, as a general rule, don't watch tv, only listen to the news on the radio and have a general allergy to politics and all the lies that spew from that area of our lives, whether we support the policies/politicians/party or nay.
Yesterday, however, i decided to turn on the tv to witness this historic moment in world history. As I listened to this man, saw the incredible crowd, the hope shining on everyones faces i have to admit, i felt optimistic too. a little glimmer of hope slowly began to flicker inside me.
I know that politicians are well versed in the art of speaking for a long time without having much to say, it comes with the territory. Despite this, however, this man had a lot to say. He didn't put a whitewash over it, he said that times were going to be tough before they got better. There were very little rose covered titbits given out to sugarcoat the truth, it's going to be a long, hard slog to get back on your fee again and undo the damage that his predessesors policies had done. No carrots dangled before the donkey to give a nation some kind of hope that would always be out of reach.
Yesterday i felt hope, not just for a nation but for the world. If your new president does remain true to his ideals, does keep his promises and continues to fight for what he believes in thn i really do believe that this world can be a better place for us all to live in xXx

Sunday, 18 January 2009

If only........

I visited the lovely Aimees' blog (CageFree Family) today and was once again struck by the generosity and just general kindness of ordinary people. They've had a run of poor luck over the last couple of weeks and found themselves stuck in a hotel for a few days as the heater on their Rv has gone on strike. She was feeling a bit sorry for herself with all the holdups and everything, not to mention the pain she was in caused by trying to be supermam. So out they trudged, also feeling a little concern with regards to their bank balance.

So, they decided to do a bit of shopping at whole foods as for xmas they recieved a $400 voucher for that shop. However, on entering the shop they didn't grab a trolley and do a supermarket sweep in 5 mins flat, instead they decided to donate their gift to the charity. All of it. Despite their concern regarding their own finances, the fact that they could've easily found useful purchases for this amount and they don't have a regular income right now. not only did they donate all of their giftcard, they added to it with $100 of their own limited funds, so that 2,000 kids're going to get fed. How amazing is that? To me, this shows what we ordinary people are capable of.

Of course we can't all manage to feed 2,000 kids on a regular basis, but we CAN all do our little bit to try and make a difference. It's also the example we set for our kids. They see us behaving in a certain way, so they copy it. I doubt that very many of us are mega money millionaires - if you are, all donations gratefully recieved! Lol! - but clearly none of us are on the poverty line either, if we were, we wouldn't be online would we? Here in England i'm classed as the bottom of the ladder but there's no way that i'm poor. We have a roof over our heads- and it keeps out the rain!- we live in a beautiful place, we have food, warmth, basically everything that we need and even some of the things that we want. It always amazes me when people complain about their lot, whilst wearing the latest clothes and gold jewellery, trainers that cost upwards of £80. How can they be poor? Poor is not having enough to eat, no money for medicine for your sick kids, sleeping under corrugated sheets at night on a hard stone floor. We most certainly are NOT poor.

Those of you who've been here before know my opinion on xmas, just a quick gentle recap for any newbies amongst you i I HATE XMAS!!! - but this year the pressure was even greater than usual, like most people the belts needed to be even tighter than normal, the prices were shooting up whilst incomes were definately not. I asked the smalls what they wanted, explaining that the list couldn't be very long.(**in our house we still have one believer,Little Miss R, young Master B has got it sussed but was warned on pain of death and other nasties not to let on to his sister what he knew - a barbie coat for school was one suggestion, lol!- The deal is that mam has to send money to santa, anyone who lives far away sends their gifts to him to deliver, there's nothing for free unless you've been absolutely super duper good with bells on and even then it's only one small thing 'cos there are too many kids in the world for all the swag to be for free. It also helps explain why some kids have hundreds of pounds spent on them and some don't, a harsh lesson but one we all need to learn**)

They spent some time pondering the swag options, a lot of time hidden by the argos catalogue, Master B was in his glory here as he was'pretending' to be excited about santa, being such a wiser and older brother it gave him a sense of maturity, keeping the secret from the'little kids'. It's so old you know,being nearly 10,( double figures!Gasp!) there was also quite a bit of muttering and hushed conversations rapidly stopped as i entered the room. Finally they came to me with their lists. B knew he was going to spain with his dad so i'd had to get him a passport and new clothes etc, books, lots, a watch, two actually, a wallet and some dvds, Little miss R wanted a skateboard, a watch, a couple of cds and some makeup thing. They showed me their lists and hovered around for a while whilst i read them. "We know we can't have all of these things but we've put more so if you can't get one there's always something else" -not daft my kids let me tell you!- " but the most important thing we want isn't in the argos, it's on the telly". i gulped and did a quick mental search to see if there was anything under £50 advertised on tv.i drew a blank. I took a deep breath ans said "Well, you know kids the toys that they show on the tv..." i was going to say 'are VERY expensive' but was cut off by them saying " No mam it's not a toy, we want to do something else". I was speechless for a moment, then they proceeded to tell me all about their plans, what they wanted to do and how they wanted to do it.

So now Master B is the sponsor of a bottlenose dolphin that goes by the name of Sundance, who swims in the Moray Firth(scotland) and sometimes the Solway Coast (where we are!) how lovely is that? Little Miss R is the sponsor of a collie dog named Spot, who has one blue eye and one brown eye. I was choked. The icing on the cake is the gift that they 'got' me. A monthly donation to UNICEF, to 'feed the poor children' is what they decided that i needed the most.( of course i have to pay it, they didn't get as far as that concept but that doesn't matte one bit). I'm pretty sure i've not felt prouder than this for a long time.

If a 7 and 9 year old can see past the hype and think to do something nice at xmas why can't most adults? My kids're not perfect -far from it - they wanted toys too, of course they did. I'm pretty sure that if all they recieved on xmas morning was their respective sponsorship packages there d've been tears and stropping all over the place. BUT - and this is a big but, they did stop for a moment and think beyond their own needs and wants. My kids don't know we live on the 'poverty line', pah, a load of s**t in my opinion, they did know that they weren't going to get x boxes or plasma screen tellys or anything like that as money was very tight but they still stopped to think beyond themselves. These are our kids, our future.

Sometimes when i think about the future it scares me. All the fighting, suffering, starvation, poverty, greed and all that is wrong in this 'modern' world that we live in. Every day the news brings more sadness into our homes, it's gotten so bad that we hardly flinch at the news another kid has been stabbed, a postmasters son was shot, another buisness has gone bust, another bank has gone under. We just shrug and maybe even pause for a minute but then carry on with our lives. It's the age of 'it's nothing to do with me' when people see others breaking the law and say nothing for fear of reprisals, 'i'm allright Jack' when more people lose their jobs, another buisness goes under. As long as it doesn't affect our imediate lives then we just walk on by. Not painting such a great picture here am i? ....

Thankfully, at this point, something that the lovely Leanne over at Somerset Seasons said to me springs to mind here. I'd left a comment on her blog thanking her for helping me to see the little part of the world we live in through different eyes. She said that"The world is full of colour Sarah, if you just take a look." How right she is! Instead of thinking about the bad, think about the good. If two little kids can think about others as well as themselves at xmas, then anyone can. We're ALL capable of doing something, however small. Recycling your waste, using proper shopping bags instead of carrier bags, buying fairtrade tea bags, sponsoring a child, anything. It ALL counts. Never think that it's too small to make a difference. Everything counts. We can show our kids that WE, you,me our neighbours, anyone and EVERYONE can help. it's just that first step, the one that starts the journey for you. Once you've taken that you're away,AND, let me tell you, you'll feel great. We don't have to fund another wing for the library or start wearing sackcloth and ashes - unless you really want to of course?! - to make a difference either. It doesn't matter if no one else in the world knows what you've done, you'll know and thats all that counts. Just imagine what it'd be like if we all did just one thing! then another, then another........

Monday, 12 January 2009

Here's hoping, 2009.........

I don't usually 'do' new year resolutions - it's like (potentially) setting yourself up to fail before the months out, which doesn't bode well for the year, in my case anyway - so i've made a few promises or list of aims of things that i want to achieve - or stop! - this year.

Since i've been disabled i 've found myself on a number of occasions making plans to do something or go somewhere only for this to be prevented by my back being bad on that day. It's so infuriating! The thing is that often there's no warning, one day i'm up and pottering about, albeit slowly, then the next Bam! back to bed for you madam. I've lost count of the number of plans that have gone out of the window due to me being unable to get out of bed, Grr. The kids're so good about it, they understand about mammys back, it's been nearly 5 years now so it's all the two youngest have ever known really, but of course sometimes we do get tears of disappointment.

As i've said before it took me a long time to adjust to this new lifestyle, i was always ready for the off, camping, festivals, visiting friends, going to the beach, walking the dogs, we did it all. It's only this last year that i've really been brave enough to try some of these thngs again, with the help of good friends i've been camping, to a festival, days out, all in the last year. Now that i've actually attempted these thing with success the world's my oyster! - well, the U.K. at any rate! It took a change of mindset, kind of a reverse way of thinking really, once i'd mNged that it was a lot wasier. Instead of focusing on the negative bad stuff i've realised that if i look at what i CAN do instead of what i can't -yeah, DOH! really! - it makes life much more enjoyable. HOW did it take me nearly FIVE years to see what was in front of my face??? In honour of this epiphany i'm ready to take the next step, forward planning. in no particular order here's my list of hopes and aspirations for 2009......

1) Get out of the house more regularly, even if it's only to drive to the coast and sit reading my book for a while...
2) start to take better care of myself. I used to always do my nails, wear makeup, generally look after my physical appearance more.
3)Start baking again.
4)Enjoy cooking again, as opposed to just making a meal.
5)Go to Glastonbury this year, the place not the festival, too commercial these days.
6)Visit somewhere i've never been before.
7)Go camping.
8)Learn a craft, either knitting or crochet.
9)Lose some of the weight i've gained caused by my inactivity.
10)Stop being uptight about my home not being as tidy or organised as i would like it to be.
11)Have a clear out! Those amongst you who pop by frequently will know that this is an ongoing battle for me but a girl can hope eh?...
12)Just be more positive about life, that sounds easier than it is!
13)Do more stuff with the kids, not just stories at bedtime and videos in bed when mam's ill, get them out more and do a project together, something different than the usual stuff we all do every day.
14)Try and spend more quality time with the kids individually, one on one is sometimes difficult to achieve here in the madhouse.
15)Decorate at least some of the house, i need to change my surroundings to help uplift my new found enthusiasm for life.
16)Spend more time with my family, part of the getting out more, my family live further south than me.
17)Be a better friend. I don't think i give my friends enough attention, when i'm feeling down i tend to isolate myself, becoming incommunicado, which is pretty selfish behaviour.
18)Learn to be more accepting of my situation, stop beating myself up for the plans that go awry, focus on the good things we can do.

That's as far as i've got for now. hopefully i'll add more as they come to me.

I just wanted to say that recently i've found some lovely ladies on blogger who i've found inspiring and one lady i already admired has gone even higher in my estimation after finding more out about her situation.

Aimee over at cage free family, what can i say. this lady has taken the courage of her convictions, sold up or given away everything they own and have gone on the road with her husband and two kids. i've recently discovered that she has fibromyalgia (i hope i've spelt thar right), a terrible illness that causes chronic pain and extreme exhaustion. This lady is amazing and i feel honoured to have met her.

Leanne at Somerset seasons, this lady has renewed my interest in poetry, something i thought had be killed off by A'level english literature many years ago. Reading her posts shows me our home through her eyes and helped me start seeing in colour again.

The gentle FaerieMama over at Creating my Own Nirvana. Anastasia, this ladys 16 yr old daughter, was originally from russia and her lovely maa travelled to Siberia to collect her fro the orphanage there. Hers is a tale of laughter and tears and immense love and courage. I was touched by this littlefamily from the first post i read.

Jackie over at mothering nature. she lost her husband last year and stiil manages to be the best Mam a kid could wish for. people like her make most of our petty problems seem just that, petty. Her courage is astounding.

There are so many who seem to manage everything with aplomb, i'd've been tearing my hair out and/or chewing my nailsdown to the quick if i faced half the things they do! i love visiting you all and always try to leave you a comment in thanks for sharing your day with me.

So, there you have it, my aims, hopes and dreams for 2009, a bit late i know but anyone who knows me would tell you i'm habitually late for everything, no matter how hard i try to be otherwise.

I just wanted to end this post by saying thankyou to everyone out there on blogger. You have no idea how much finding you all has inspired me to take a look at the world again. I look forward to catching up on all of you and i love it when you leave me posts, letting me know what you think. It makes me happy to see that their are ordinary nice people in this world, no matter where, who live like i do, trying to lead a decent life, stepping lightly as we go. You mean more to me than you know......