Sunday, 27 October 2019

Seeking a Metaphorical Umbrella

So, that little proverb about it never raining but pouring kinda sums up the last week or so.

It all started so well. We had a murder mystery planned to kick start our mini-break away and the weather was forecast to be cold but fair. All looking good.

Then the hubbies work basically blew up and I barely saw him for a week. When I did he was either a zombie or cross at something someone hadn't done and left for him.

Missy added a cracked claw into the mix with her pulled muscle (which is now almost completely better, but we're still being careful).

My sister then dropped the really bad news that her hubby was possibly being made redundant and they didnt know if he was even getting paid this month (update, he got paid, but currently we don't know if the job is safe or not)

So, I felt Missy, the hubby and I really deserved a holiday to take a break from the chaos and take a chance to get ourselves re-centred before going back out and helping support the family again. Not a lot to ask, right?

Fate deemed otherwise.

We got an early call from the Brother-in-Law who had had surgery earlier this year. He had had some stomach pains for a few days and had written them off as a pulled muscle from overdoing things. His fiancee had finally bullied him to go to hospital.
Hubby explained that it was morning rush hour, he should just get a cab as by the time we got there, it would be more than an hour to the house and probably that again to the hospital. Keep us posted.

We get down to Dumfries and stop at our first port of call, Sweetheart Abbey. It was a cold clear day and the first thing we noted was scaffolding. The hard winter had damaged the foundations so you could only walk around it and not into the property. We both quizzed each other as to wether we had seen that written anywhere (it is mentioned on the website under opening hours, but not in the main text, so we had managed to miss that).
Still, it was a nice little place to wonder about, and we explored the graveyard (Missy found no ghosts that we could see, but got very excited in the long grass - hopefully it was just mice!) and then we found our way onto a field where we could then give her a bit of a proper walk.

Next we wandered around the village of New Abbey and found the New Abbey Corn Mill which ironically ground oats, not corn. The site itself doesn't allow dogs so, after quickly discussing it with the nice gentleman in the gift shop, we managed a whistle stop tour in just over half an hour whilst Missy had her lunch and a nap in the car. It was probably the highlight of the day and we really enjoyed the old building and the water wheel. The pond is infested with an aggressive plant so the mill isn't currently working, but there was a video you could watch of it in action which was a nice alternative.

We called the day quits and, after tea and scones in a quaint little cafe, found our Airbnb. Missy instantly hit it off with the hosts dog, Willow, and we found ourselves in the most eclectic little granny flat I have ever seen. Paintings of men playing the piano hung beside sketches of naked women, copper teapots sat on the windowsill behind the bed and there were books on every topic available, from bulldogs to rubber.
There was no signal so we notified everyone that we needed to be contacted online and had an update that the BIL had gotten a bed, so we assumed that meant he was at least being looked at and wasnt sat waiting to be seen still. No worries.

Morning. There were panicked text messages from my mother in law. Missed voicemails that I was unable to achieve enough signal to receive. Hubby had the same. After much panic and trying to balance around the small house we sent the hubby out to try and find signal and see what was going on.
BIL had an abscess on his intestines, was being flushed with morphine and antibiotics. Surgery may be required. MIL was coming down the next day on the bus and didn't know where she was staying. The morning was spent researching how to get to the hospital (he'd been moved to the Western General overnight) and where she was best staying. A thirty minute bus journey from my BILs house won over the 1 hour and 40 minutes it would take from mine and she decided she was not staying at mine.

We decided to scrap our plans of going to a lighthouse as we didn't fancy the 2 hour drive anymore and had lost most of the morning. Lochmaben was scoped as our nearest castle and, whilst we knew there wasnt much of it left, we were surprised at how little remained. Again, that pesky winter had destroyed foundations and we were unable to view or wander about most of it. There were signs for a lochside walk and we decided to give it a shot. 
It started off well. There was a nice boardwalk and a bird watching hut. Then a little fairy garden.  But no signs to say how long the walk was in terms of distance. After half an hour and barely making a dent in the circumference of the loch, we finally spotted a sign - it was a two hour walk. By this point we'd run out of random conversation and small talk and I just turned to my husband.
"Do you want to go home?"
"What? No, you deserve a nice holiday."
We are both bad for that. Making ourselves miserable to make others happy. I pointed that out and was countered with a very vague shrug.
"We're just trying to kill time, neither of us are actually enjoying it. Lets go home."
He conceded and agreed it was for the best. By the time we got back to the airbnb and had the car packed (I messaged the host to explain the situation), he seemed in a much better mood. We had both agreed it was better to sit about and be anxious in the comfort of our own home than it was to be stressing about no phone signal and that something may had come up.

I cant say we were very happy about the choice, it was meant to be our holiday away together having a nice time with Missy, but at the end of the day it was only one night we lost out on, the plan having been to come back the following day originally.
Its been a weird little week. I was kinda thankful to get back to work on Thursday for the normalcy of it all if nothing else. And thats really been it. We've fitted in lots of nice local walks, but the focus has been on being on hand if we were needed.

BIL is now on oral antibiotics, and provided he keeps them down and doesn't have a seizure (I had it explained that this was the most common side effect, so they had to wait just in case) should be out in a day or two.

And that's been it. As a family unit, we're fine, its just the world around us is in chaos. It seems to calming down again, but I'm now on anxious alert mode for more trouble.

Does anyone have a sturdy umbrella I can borrow, just in case?

Sunday, 13 October 2019

Dancing and Spooky fun

Its October and time for all things Spooky! Today's post is a little backwards as I'll start with Sunday first. 

I had my Manchester based sister and her family up for the weekend and, after a very late Saturday, we decided to check out the Halloween festivities at Almond Valley. They had a scary skeleton pie making diorama that was a little too scary for the six year old so Missy helped solve it instead. 

They have now introduced alpaca feeding as a paid for event at the farm and it was a delight to watch my neice and nephew get close to the animals. 

So, as I've already said, todays post is actually a litle backwards as Saturday was the main event - my mother's 60th birthday. She was in the loop for the whole thing and, after some stresses (like having to find a DJ last minute), it all came together perfectly. Everyone had a lovely time, we all saw people we hadn't seen in years and, most importantly, everyone behaved themselves and my mother loved it. 

It was a fancy dress affair of dancing through the decades and here is my ensemble - fully hand made following the vintage 40s pattern for Rosie the Riveter. I was surprised at how few people recognised it, but those who did thought it was brilliant. 
And of course I had on the red head scarf! 

Just a very short post, it's late and I'm still trying to catch up on sleep! 

Sunday, 6 October 2019

High Impact

It's a term that's been used to describe Missy on multiple occasions. 

When she tore her fourth claw in a two month period: high impact injuries. 

After our eighth insurance claim in six months and I was sheepishly commenting that they must think I'm horrid to Missy: No, no, it's all high impact injuries, clearly you take her for lots of walks! 

Being told she had arthritis at 5 years old: not surprising for such a high impact dog.

And now that she has pulled a muscle and is incapable of jumping: it's a high impact injury, age obviously isn't slowing her down!

So Thursday continued my string of bad luck. I got home, took Missy on a quick walk and then had to nip off out again for my hairdresser appointment. She hadn't been left long all told, hubby has a late start on Thursdays, so I was perplexed at how clingy she was when I got back in. I invited her on the sofa, she crouched, squeaked and scrambled awkwardly up the cushions. Then stared at me and whimpered.
I almost died there and then of a broken heart. My instant panic was that this was an arthritis flare up but somehow in both knees. Or maybe her back and hips? 
My friends childhood dog has hip displacia and I could hear her clear as day trying to put on a brave face saying that her dog could no longer get on the sofa. Missy just stayed put, looking morose for the rest of the night whilst I tried to book her into the vets as soon as possible. She wasn't an emergency, at least not by the vets standards, and I had to hone back my helicopter parenting desires and accept Saturday would be the first opportunity to get it checked. I reorganised her dog walk to a visit (my dog walker is always amazing in an emergency) and watched her like a hawk.

She was actually better come Saturday morning having been put on strict short walks and lots of rest (she destroyed her bumblebee toy in protest) and the hubby and I finally put the jigsaw pieces together. It was probably a muscle, she wasn't stretching right. I was the last to see her run and that was trying to get up a tree after a squirrel. 
Typical Missy. 

The vet confirmed a pulled muscle, gave us some really useful advice on using the pain killers and stretches she should do. She recently learned spin and turn which perfectly fit the side stretching requirement and have been told to teach her beg and, once better, bow, for the other muscles in her back and legs. 
That's right guys, Missy needs to do some yoga! Once she's better. Her moping about sore and bored grates on my soul, so I'm praying for a speedy recovery.

As always when I'm stressed and/or stuck in the house, its been baking and sewing this weekend! I've finished all the sponges for my mother's birthday cake (after a detour to Falkirk today to get eggs from my sisters hens) and completed my niece and nephews costumes:

A poodle skirt would not do for Felix, so I made her a "pipistrelle" one instead. And Inkling is going as a punk rocker, so needed some skinny leg tartan trousers. His outfit is all about accessories, so I've cut up an old t-shirt of his into a tank top and will add some braces and some chains (plastic, of course!)

Missy did get out this weekend, we all went to the aqueduct at Muiravonside today and yesterday we did the Linhouse loop. Hopefully a nice quiet week and she'll be in much better shape for our visitors! 
It's probably a good thing she isn't allowed to my mums birthday party - pretty sure she would win best fancy dress!