Are you ready for this?

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Location: United Kingdom

Yes...this is ALL about me, and mine. Marvellously self indulgent, feel free to tell me how splendid I am, leave comments, nice ones please, I have little kids and teenagers who can do the rude stuff. I am a grandma, to the glorious Joshua, I'm allowed to look frazzled and weary, I earned it. The older I get, the more I see that hanging on and being patient is worth it! They ( whoever 'they' are) are so right when they say you never know what is around the corner, it isn't always an articulated truck! It is vital to make the time for making memories, friends are the greatest treasure, I love mine. I am rich!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

'Tis the season to be Jolly......

I am here and I am going to write a blog entry, I have been hopeless and the only reason or excuse I can give is that I am so tired, so bone weary I can barely just scrape through these crazy past days.
I was so poorly, never so poorly before is how poorly I was and what a bugger of a time to get sick. Christmas is my favourite time, actually before Christmas si my favourite time, the actual day is lovely and I spend the whole day, in between cooking and serving, watching every expression and holding to myself every glorious comment that passes my children's lips. This year was more splendid than ever because Daniel was here, it is 8 years since he has had a Christmas free, working in the restaurant and hotel trade meant that he was always working on the big days, I am sure that in the future he will, as a policeman work during the festive period but this year, as a rookie, he was free for almost a week and he was HERE, in all his loud, massive glory. He is huge, in fact I caught myself glancing at him while he was here and often marvelling at the fact that I made him, Jordan is very tall ( 6' 5") but as thin as a rake, Dan is not as tall ( 6' 3") and he is solid. He slept in with the little boys, so 4 boys in one room that is probably 12' x10'. bunks beds, a spare mattress and a little put you up for Eli, made of big cushions and blankets.
Grandpa has Seth's room and he has been here now for 12 days, you may think I am counting and being pernickety, well I am.
Oh how I love my blog because it is where I can say whatever I please and whatever I must not allow to pass my lips, let me tell you, that part, that keeping my mouth shut has been next to impossible, so far so good and I am hopeful that, actually, with tomorrow being the last full day, I might make it to the end of the visit without disgracing myself entirely. Hopeful but not positive.
It is most probably me, you know " it's not YOU, it's ME" Living with H, I have found that over the years I have become rather a lover of peace and quiet. Put me in a room with a group of my women friends and I will revert beck to character in a blink, I will talk and laugh, joke and rattle of nonsense with the best of them, here at home though, we enjoy a quiet and peaceful existance, why use a sentence if a single word will do, we have our space and our routines and we rather like them.
I have decided that possibly, 5 days should be the limit to have visitors or be a visitor, once those 5 days have passed, trust me, even the most beloved is annoying. Really annoying. Those touching little quirks that were pleasing for 5 days will annoy the crap out of you on day 6 and make you feel positively murderous by day 10, after that, give in. shut your mouth, sit on your clenched fists and pray for patience while counting the minutes.
I cannot remember grandoa ever being so bloody chatty before, he has an opinion on everything, he laughs at things that aren't funny and he is positively the most politically incorrect person I have ever come across, now far be it for me to be a PC policewoman but when someone says to my dark skinned children "those asians are called yellow bellies because of their yellow skin", well, I feel obliged to step in and say something.
When every single TV show has a running commentary and raucous laughter when it isn't even funny, when we hear 'goddamit''bullSHIT' 'idiot' crap'and 'yeahrightasshole' so many times a day that the shock joy ( gasp can you believe he SAID that?) runs out after 2 days and we are just left feeling more than a little exhausted. I hope I never stop feeling disgusted by the use of the Saviour's name as a swear word, with all the curse words out there its surely an easy thing to leave Christ alone.
I am almost embarrassed to admit that H and I both have a remote for the TV, it's a bratty thing I know but we do and we have one each next to our chairs and we always know where they are.
Every single time I love, mine gets taken, I come back into the room and the channel has been changed and, for example, on Christmas eve, before the bosy went to bed we watche dan hour of CNBC on the finances of the USA, which is not Christmassy or happy, not pleasant or even remotely interesting and when scattered with countless ' Godammits' and "Shit!" well, you can imagine. I didn't feel at all festive or ready for magic to happen.
I am beyond tired of being cramped and squished, of having grandpa sitting right next to me on my sofa, of being unable to just slorm and slob, I am done being hospitable and nice.
One more day. I find myself singing that old folk song, " One day at a time sweet Jesus"

Do you think it is an age thing? I think it is, as I get older, more and more I find myself being a grumpy old woman, one that still knows how to belly laugh at the rigt things and can enjoy all the glorious things I have in my life, I am less able to suffer nonsense. Even that word speaks volumes, doesn't it? NONSENSE! Almost feel obliged to slip in 'whippersnapper' in the next sentence. Folk songs about Jesus and words like Nonsense. Lovely. That's me,in a nutshell.
I haven't seen Joshua all the holiday long, his nana is here from Turkey and so I stay away so she can have her fill of deliciousness, also with poorly me, poorly kids and grandpa I can't get away. I shall do something about that very soon, in fact I am babysitting on new year's eve, so I shall kiss and stare at and love him to pieces then.
This is what has made me heart sing.....
Let me tell you, as a mother, there is nothing as sweet as watching your children and seeing just how much they love each other. The way these boys look at their big brothers ( And sometimes sister though they still tend to blink quickly and back away at times!) is so heart warming, everything they say and do is delightful to these little people, the fact that they are so rough and naughty and manage to bring forth such squeals of irreverent joy is a never ending pleasure to me.
While I was cooking, when the maddness of opening the presents was over, when they boys took time to go back and actually see what they had opened and received, Dan and Sophie were right there to help them open, play with, understand and enjoy their presents. I snuck out of the kitchen often to watch through the gap in Sophie's door as they all sat and played, read and laughed. I missed Jordan, who was at work, cooking dinners for people who wanted to be pampered and served on Christmas day.
I am so proud of Jordan, all my kids of course but Jordan is so quiet about what he does, he works so hard and such long hours, he is an incredible chef and is still going to college to train in managerial capacity, he comes home and he is the houseproud one, he has a lovely home and is a kind and gentle man to Mel and Joshua. He rarely complains and I adore him. I missed having him here with the others, though even if he hadn't been working, he would have been at home, with his family.
He is the funniest man I have ever met too....Danand Jordan together are something else, I love it. I love that when Dan is here, as soon as his phone goes and tells him that Jordan has finished work and is home, he leaves here to be with Jordan, they are best friends. A mother couldn't ask for more, they look after Sophie and include her. they guide her and love her and drive her insane with their teasing, when she has been at rock bottom, when I, as a mother, had to turn away and allow her to make her terrible choices, they were there, they watched out for her, they looked after her and they loved her. I am so grateful for these children.
Oh would you look what I just did? I talked myself out of my homicidal tantrum and I turned myself into a gushing old sap. GO me! Seems my blog did it for me again!
I hope you had a Merry Christmas full of happy children, obnoxious old farts and much good food.
It's almost next year and I for one, have decided I am going to make some rather grand resolutions. Those are for a new post, when my home is back to normal and our visitor has gone home. Oh how happy those words make me.


Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas.

T'was the night before Christmas and all through this house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a ......
Oh right, shall we not? Shall we not say that word
The one that begins with an M's absurd

Just how much that one word can quite fill me with dread
And make me break down and start clutching my head
In that hair tearing way that a woman perfects
With the screaming and yelling while H interjects

'They've all gone' he will say and he'll clutch at my arm
And he'll try to convince me they meant us no harm.
I will shudder and shake and I'll try not to think
About how awful those things were they made my house stink.

So, that nightmare behind us, we are all filled with glee
As we wait and imagine all the gifts we shall see
When we come down the stairs at the break of the day
And see what dear Santa did bring on his sleigh.

Seth has been very clear in his wants and has said
That he'd quite like a skateboard to be left on his bed.
Elijah is always quite easy to please
And Isaac, well he just wants all that he sees.

We are ready as ever we ever can be
With a ham ready roasted and a nice Christmas tree,
We have turkey to cook and some presents to wrap
But we do not have figs 'cause we think they are.....horrible.
Grandpa is here all the way from L.A
Daniel's here also, so we're set for the day
We are 'cited and happy and climbing the wall
And just waiting to see what time Santa will call.

Mum is quite tempted to break out some meds
That might help these young gitlets to stay in their beds,
Is that naughty? She wonders, will it make her feel bad
To induce some deep slumber in such sweet little lads?

'Bless their hearts' you might say, let them stay up and wait
For the sound of the fat man as his feet hit the grate.
The thing with that plan, may I humbly explain
Is that truly, I can see that for me, it means pain.

H, in his wisdom, sticks quite firmly to plan
And he goes up to bed just as soon as he can.
While I sit here and wait and then wait a bit more
For the glorious sound of a little kid's snore.

Would you look, it's now bedtime! Not a peep from their beds
I can hardly believe it, three cute sleepy heads
Now it's time for the good stuff, the magical time
So I ought to get on now and finish this rhyme

Before I do sign off and say my farewells
While I wait for the ringing of Santa Claus' bells
May I say how I hope that your Christmas is fine
That you know you are much loved by both me and by mine.

I am conscious that many won't have so much joy
At this time when we think of the birth of that boy
As I look all around me and see just how blessed
My world is, I am sure that my life is the best!

Merry christmas to you and to yours some good will
To your home, right from ours, at the top of the hill.
I am praying your Christmas is one filled with cheer
And may I wish you a Glorious, Happy new year.

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Monday, December 14, 2009

It's the most wonderful time of the year.

So, grandpa is leaving L.A tonight and arrives tomorrow, H is catching the 5.45am bus to London and will spend a few hours wandering and enjoying the city before meeting his dad and getting the bus back down to dear old Devon, he has cleaned and scrubbed and rearranged, all 3 boys are in the same bedroom ( that's FUN! ) Seth's room is all grandpa ready and we are all excited for him to get here safe and sound. I am so impressed with him, 74 and still doing that 11 hour arduous flight to spend time with us, every year he gets so poorly and yet he still comes.
It is SO cold and we are told that the weather is set to freeze. I am such a grumpy cold weather person. I can cope with cold and dry, nice bright chilly weather is lovely. Snow...oh I hate snow, I like to see a pretty picture, taken in a whole other country but I don't like it anywhere near ME. Thankyouverymuch.
They ( who ARE 'they?') say that by thursday it will be snowing, now I hope that 'they' will stay true to form, you know, the way 'they' told us that we were in for a long, hot summer....and got that totally wrong... here's hoping that the snow thing is way off the mark too. Please.
I know I will wish we still had the big old Toyota while grandpa is here because we won't all fit in our little Renault, unless 2 boys share a seat belt which scares me.....we have 4 days before the boys break up for the Christmas holidays, so we plan on dragging poor jet lagged grandpa out every day to do all the last moment bits and bobs, then the fun begins.
I am trying not to accept that the boys appear to be getting poorly again, just as the last sick one gets better, Isaac was sent home from school, Eli came home at 3.30 and fell asleep, didn't want to eat and said he had tummy ache, both were feverish too. Oh dear! NO TIME!!
I am almost ready for Christmas, just the last minute shopping to do and we're all set.
Jordan is getting us a Turkey from the butcher he orders from for the restaurant, 20lb fresh turkey, boned and rolled, how very grand! I bought a huge ham joint today, I will bake that with honey and cloves. I love cooking christmas dinner, heh I often tell myself how impressive it is that I can cook so well and then I realise that I am a grandma, I ought to be able to cook well, I wonder if I will ever accept that I am not young anymore. Being older has so many advantages and eevery time I think of them I am yet again overwhelmed that I am this old!

I dyed my hair again this week, my natural colour is now totally white, if I stopped colouring it I would have a head of white hair...that is so scary to me! I am not ready to stop colouring my hair and can't imagine a time when I will feel ready ( especially with having relatively young children) the thing is, more and more I am reacting to the dye, this time I have blisters all over my scalp, it hurts so much and the itching is unbearable, I won't use that particular dye again, shame as it only takes 10 minutes to work.
That has nothing to do with anything does it? Anyhoo, back to Christmas...people keep asking me what I would like and so I began to think about it, tough one as I have most everything I need, much of what I like and so to come up with ideas takes time.
I told H that I saw a mirror I would love, on sale. Now, mirrors and I don't get on at all, I avoid them as much as is possible but I do need a good one to do those things that must be done ( in whispering voice as I look about to make sure no-one is listening in) plucking of facial hair, dear life is that isn't a longer job every time I undertake it. I obsessively check every day and go to bed thinking I have it all under control and then, when I am out, perhaps sitting in the car reading outside the school, I will touch my face and feel a wire poking out of my chin, a quick check in the rear view mirror and there, to my absolute horror, will be a black chin hair at least half an inch long! WTH? How does that happen? How can I spring a hair, overnight, that looks a though it ha taken at least 6 months to get that long?
Anyway, quite obviously I NEED a good mirror, one that has a light with it, that can pivot and twist and show me every stray chin hair so I can pluck and free myself from hirsute horrors.
So, I told him and he then spent 20 minutes asking me questions about it.
Where will I keep it? How big is it? Does it fold? Have I thought whether I REALLY want it? Hmmmmm, hmmmmmm.
Now I feel like I will shove the damn thing where the fitted light won't work if I get it on Christmas morning AND now I can't suggest to anyone else that asks that they pop along to 'Boots' and buy it for me, it is reduced from £49.99 to £19.99 which..BARGAIN! In case he does buy it, even though he quite clearly thinks I haven't thought it through and really, why do I want it? Hard work, isn't it? Can you imagine if I came up with a totally impractical and frivolous request?
Yes, indeed, it is the few days a month where H loses his grip and can't help but be annoying, I am gritting my teeth and hoping I manage to keep my patience, I am such a stalwart aren't I?


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Who'd have thought?

Well, hey! I have a blog....I forgot that for a while, well that's not entirely true, I would pop in and write a few words and then I would go away again because I was bored with myself. It's not that there hasn't been anything going on, in fact life is a veritable whirl of happenings, I just couldn't think of how to write about any of it, here goes with an effort to fill in all the blanks.

We don't have rats anymore and we do have new carpet which is so splendid and clean, so posh and perfect it has quite made me fall in love with my home, after nearly 2 years of living here and just feeling 'ptttthhhhh' about it all, I now wake up in the morning and think of how I can make it even more glorious. For now I am decorating for Christmas with my over the top chandelier, lights and bows on everything and the smell of all things festive. After Christmas I shall go to town with painting and decorating and hunting for fabulous things to make this house a place that makes me love to be in it. I love feeling this way again, what a difference to that awful sinking feeling as I would drive up the hill towards home.

The preparations for Christmas are underway and I am so excited about this year, somehow everything has fallen in place, grandpa is coming in tuesday which always makes us happy, presents are bought and wrapped and this year everyone seems to have learned that the cost isn't at all important, there are boxes and bags filled with heart's desires and no-one has had to beg steal or borrow in order to buy them. I have been shopping with mum, Leah, Jordan, Mel and Sophie and shown them things that the boys will be thrilled with that cost next to nothing, I have been buying and hiding presents for so long that I had forgotten half of the things I had!

We took the boys out today with money they have earned, so they could buy each other gifts....that was fun! Eli was by far the nicest gift buyer, finding something he knew Isaac would love and just handing over the money. Isaac hated the thought of paying anything and wanted to save the money for a game and Seth, well he is his father's son when it comes to Christmas and it is all to early to be doing this nonsense. He did, however, find several things that HE would love and was quite put out that we wouldn't be buying them. Oh that boy, he is like a bulldozer and goes on and on and on. He KNOWS I haven't got him a skateboard and there are some RIGHT THERE that won't BE THERE after christmas and WHY? WHY won't we buy one NOW?

Eventually, they bought their gifts and wrapped them and I hope they had a little taste of how lovely it is to give as well as receive, perhaps it might take a while!

Sophie is touchingly childlike in her Christmas wishes, she has bought lovely gifts for people but in all honesty, Christmas for her is still very much about her....I have had to really hide everything for her because she is the worst snooper! She cannot keep a secret and if she can she will show people what she has bought for them and she SO wants to know what she will have, how BIG is it? Where did you BUY IT? How many?

When I was out with Jordan and Mel last week, it was so moving to hear Jordan talk about Christmas when he was a little boy and how he wishes he could have another Christmas at home, with a stocking. He said how he wants Joshua to grow up and think of his childhood the way he remembers his own, hearing that is like treasure, payment for all the hard work. I love having adult kids, I wish I knew how great it would be because I am sure that those times, when they were young when I felt sure I was messing it all up and couldn't even begin to imagine what kind of adults they would be.

Glorious, that's what kind they are.

Even before Christmas gets here I feel as though I have had the best one yet, so many examples of the true spirit of Christmas, stories of secret Santas, whisperings of who did what for whom and everywhere I turn some magic. I am surrounded by the kindest of people, friends who look out for each other and it is a treat to hear the stories of how they have made others happy. I am loving this run up to christmas this year.

This evening, H walked over to my sister's house ( which is about 3 minutes away yet we never seem to visit each other!) and I was very emotional about the fact that all the people I love, love each other...we couldn't say that for a long time, it seems a life time ago that I would have to work my plans around making sure that H and Sophie weren't in the house alone as it was a certainly that something would happen and a fight would result, I am so glad all that is past and she is more and more happy to have him around, so touching to see gifts for him, from her with 'dad' written on them, to hear her actually call him dad when she is speaking to the boys. Nobody ever imagined that things would ever get to this stage, I think we all hoped that somehow she would grow up without a major disaster and then move out, that seemed like the very best we could hope for, who knew that she would sit in with us and laugh, ask H for advice and be excited to tell him things ( although he still seems to have this stunned look on his face whenever she does that!)

Grandpa is coming on tuesday so tomorrow we will be rearranging furniture and making everything lovely for when he arrives ( and the we go back to normal just as long as it all looks beautiful when he arrives!)
Dan will be here for Christmas too, this year looks like it will be a truly splendid time for all of us.