Monthly Archives: December 2006

Christmas Pause

The last 2 days have been spent taking things easy.

Yesterday I had lunch with Sad Sister & her hubby, Villa Hater, at a local Harvester. We had a pretty quick one as I was due to collect the nephews from school and then look after them until Villa Hater came back to take us all to our house. That is the good/bad thing about driving a sports car, only 2 seats.

Sad Sister took mum to visit dad in the hospital. His Rheumitoid Arthritis flared up on Thursday so he was taken in, there is a possibility that he may have to remain there over Christmas until he can see the specialist. As such, by the we got the boys to our house we had about 90 minutes to feed them before we had to get them home so we could visit dad.

Today has been spent doing last minute shopping and watching West Ham on the TV. I’m just winding down prior to visiting dad again tonight.

Healing Hands

One of the good things about being at home is that I get to do things that I’d otherwise miss out on. Take today for instance.

For those who don’t know, I am a youth leader, a sunday school teacher and a deacon in my little chapel. Small in numbers so high in job count. With a full time job, that involves working away 4 days a week, things can get a little hectic.

Today I got to take part in my first healing ministry. One of our members has cancer and has had 2 chiemo sessions and is currently at home with her husband. We found out that she had been diagnosed 12 months ago but had ignored it and lived in denial. The first anyone knew was when she was taken into hospital after complaining of backache. It had started as breast cancer and had spread into her back and elsewhere; things did not look good.

Things were so bad that the doctors refused to undertake chiemo as they deemed her too weak and too far gone. However she insisted and told them that she had spent years looking after her mother and that her and her husband now intended to make the most of life. The doctor said that they’d only proceed if they could find a vein to insert the needle.

The day came and she prayed and then begged the nurse to find a vein. The doctor came round later, looked at her and said that as they’d found one she could now have the treatment but that she’d been very lucky.

Throughout everything she has been strong, faithful and determined. She was given a cross that she could hold in her hand and has not let go since. Even when she was bathed in hospital it has remained in her hand all the time.

I hadn’t seen her since she was diagnosed, I hate intruding on others when they’re sick. However, when I was asked to attend today with our minister and another deacon I, somewhat reluctantly, agreed. Upon arrival I couldn’t believe how she looked. From reports I’d expected her to be very weak and at death’s door. The last I’d heard she needed oxygen constantly, even to talk.

Today she was sat on her settee, the oxygen bottle unused by her side. She looked thin but very cheerful and happy to see us all. Even the minister commented on how she had changed for the better. For the hour I was there, not once did she need the oxygen. She was in pain from her swollen arm and gout in her legs but overcame this without any problem.

Then we found out that she would be coming to chapel on Sunday. She insisted that she’d walk to the car and into the chapel. It will be their 31st wedding anniversary on Sunday and she wants nothing to keep her away.

Previously she had been a quiet woman. She would talk but very rarely start a conversation. Know when you look you see a woman of strong faith, believing that God will help and, if it’s His will, heal her. On a very moment fo me, after we’d prayed, I actually felt moved to tears. Being a man I didn’t cry but it was very difficult.

I’m very sceptical about prayer healing normally. I can be a Doubting Thomas in certain matters, this being one. So many times I’ve heard prominent Christians proclaim that God would cure their cancer and not let them die, only for them to die soon after. However, after today, I can see that it is a very powerful tool. No, her cancer did not immediately disappear but I did feel that God had listened and will do what He feels to be right.

She has people all over the UK praying for her; she’d even received a card from a prayer group in Scotland. She has the right balance of faith, medical help and strength to fight this. She believes that God wants her to have more of a life with her husband. I feel that what we did today will help her.

Now I need to make sure that I follow that work up, through further prayer and visitation.

Hello, Hello I’m Back Again

Apologies for the recent quietness. At the beginning of last week we were victims of the Microsoft update fiasco. They had released an unfinished/incorrect update that removed IE but didn’t update with anything. Of course, without a browser you can’t reach the site to complete the update. I looked at my free computer disks but found nothing and had to go out and buy a new magazine so I could install Firefox and access the internet that way.

I’ve now completed the update and we’re running as we should be. However I’m going to be switching to Firefox from now on as this was much quicker than IE and seemed to have more available features.

While we were out of contact we managed to catch the school plays. The Troublesome Trucks do not perform together so we had to take a day out to watch them both. Good job I’m off sick and First Wife didn’t start her new job until today.

Shouty Boy was a Chocolate Santa in the year 1 & 2 production of The Naughty Christmas Decorations. It was odd to see him stood very still with his hands behind his back looking very stern. All you could see was his eyes as the rest of his face was hidden by his white beard and costume. I’ve never seen him so quiet and calm for so long.

He looked very much like my dad when he performs with his male voice choir (yes, we are in Wales remember). They both look very serious and it hides the natural mischieviousness they both have.

Afterwards he told us that he’d been very nervous throughout. You wouldn’t have guessed after I’d poked my tongue out and he’d responded.

Whiney Boy was a Wise Man. His part proved to be the best. He got to tell a joke:

How do you get down from a camel?

My mum said you get down from ducks…..

He also took part in the Sand Dance with the other wise men, their camels and some singing sheep.

Sunday saw the chapel DIY Nativity Play.

Shouty Boy was the donkey, complete with a costume that made the Eeee-Aaaawww noise. Whiney Boy and myself were part of the 4 Wise Men. I know there should have been 3 but somehow we ended up with 4. Sad Sister and Rev Chug-a-Bug are to be congratulated on providing a very enjoyable morning. We had games and a Birthday Cake for Jesus. Would someone approximately 2006 years old still eat cake?

In the evening we had our Carols by Candlelight and a buffet tea afterwards. First Wife did the first reading. We managed to entertain ourselves by making faces at the minister, who couldn’t see us as her desk light obstructed her view, and changing words to carols and readings. One day we’ll grow up….. but not too soon.

Mixed News

Went back to the doc’s today. I’ve been signed off for a further month. Thankfully my diabetes is under control. However the light headedness I’ve been getting seems to be down to my stress levels. It seems a little odd as it happens when I’m stressed or not. At least its not diabetes related.

I’ve decided that the New Year will lead to me changing jobs, possibly careers. Whatever happens I want to be working nearer home and preferably for another company. I need a new challenge and something more worthwhile. As much as I enjoy the industry I’m in, its stopped being challenging and become more routine.

With other things that have happened at work at the past few months its become clear that the company is no longer the same one I joined 6 years ago. It has stopped being a customer service, people orientated company and one focused solely on profit. When you put profit ahead of your customer you know you’re in trouble and that’s what’s happened.

Why Not Pause It? – On Top Of My Game

I can tell that my illness is not affecting me whatsoever. For instance this happened at lunchtime:

FW had made herself lunch and said that i could make mine when I was ready. So, while she ate, I watched The Gunfight At The OK Corral. About 30 minutes later I felt hungry. We had a carton od Covent Garden Soup Company soup in the fridge, that mother had given us. I didn’t feel like getting off my big butt and make it as I wanted to watch the film.

I told FW, who laughed. Then she asked why I didn’t just pause the film. You see we have Sky+, which allows you to do this with live TV. Unfortunately this had not even occured to me, though I use it all the time.

Yesterday we had the Troublesome Trucks around for the afternoon. Shouty Boy helped FW to make an apple cake. Sorry, that should read that she helped him. He had her apron on and was now Gordon Ramsey. For those not in the UK Gordon is famous ******* chef, renowned for his ******* language and his ******* blunt personality. Shouty does not use this sort of language…. yet!!!

Meanwhile Whiney Boy and I put together an Ikea bookcase. I must say that he proved very helpful. He inserted all the dowls correctly and the shelf fasteners. There was one slight problem though, apart from my blood sugars crashing, and that is the fact that I’m starting to sound like my dad. This is no bad thing really. I told him to sort all the dowls, fasteners and screws into their respective areas before we started. Then I had him putting the tools within reach, but not in the way, as we worked.

Close To The Edge

Sad Sister has got some things right and some wrong – see comments on previous post.

I did get her to blow dry my hair when I was going out – I had it brushed back into an attempted crew cut, as per Clint in Dirt Harry mode but it never really came off.

I did ask her to tape her a-ha albums for me, they were unfashionably good.

I do encourage Shouty Boy and Whiney Boy to wave at speed cameras, as I do this myself – sometimes mine aren’t waves though 😉

I did once, and once only, tell my sister to drop dead after getting off the school bus. In my defence she was a pain in the armpit on occasions but I stilled loved her.

I did teach Shouty Boy to use the "dog ran under my feet excuse" for use when he got his trousers muddy. I used to use the same excuse myself when I was 6-7 years old.

My sister never loved Donny Osmond. However she does have a habit of buying every trashy record on the planet and those she hasn’t bought her husband has… However, as she says, I did teach her some taste – Queen, Fleetwood Mac, The Doors etc

In addition I also act as her protector – I can pick on her but no one else can. Who helped her when she had her very own stalker? Who made sure that she survived her 18th birthday in once piece? Mind you, I did choke one of her friends when he drank her vodka and made him buy her a replacement.

And finally, I bought Roland Rat’s Rat Rapping for her birthday and not myself…..

Tales From Topograhic Oceans

Thanks to Sad Sister for reminding me of another dad story. Good job he doesn’t read this isn’t it?

To even things out:

While growing up a certain sister, who may or may not be related to me, wrote a note to Father Christmas. Knowing how busy he is at this time of year, she invited him to "sit down for a minuet".

I am now expecting a huge list of stories in retaliation. These could include:

1. He didn’t talk to me until I was 16;
2. He pushed me off the chair;
3. He shut the bathroom door on my fingers;
4. He used to make me hide behind the cars as I passed a house enroute to the shops. He told me that the boy who lived there would kill me;
5. He never changed a nappy for either of his nephews;
6. He calls me Dweeb to annoy me.

My responses are as follows:

1. She didn’t become interesting until she was 16. This was not because I fancied her friends at that age.
2. My sister was standing on a chair trying to reach something from the cupboard. As she reached up she slipped, feel onto my tin box, that held my soldiers, and cut her chin. She screamed and folks came running shouting, "what have you done to her now?". In fairness she did tell them it wasn’t me.
3. I did indeed do this but it was an accident.
4. I was proved right as the person in question did shoot his father with a shotgun. In mitigation his father had been beating him up for several years. I think that this also seriously effected him as he was never the same afterwards and looks a lot older than he is.
5. That was part of the contract written prior to the birth of my first nephew.
6. I know how much it freaks her out when I do this. However should anyone else do so I will seriously maim them.

Let’s see what else Sad Sister or the Welsh Dragon can come up with.

Folks

Yesterday we went to see the folks, no not Mr & Mrs Folks from Swansea, my parents. Its always great to see them as it usually invloves laughter and free food. Not that we just see them for those reasons!

One of the things I enjoy is the little "jobs" they have for me to do. This can be anything from downloading photos from a digital camera to knocking holes in things. Just as we were preparing to leave mum announced that she wanted me to download some pics and dad had a little job he needed doing as well. I try to keep it to one job per visit, this way I know I’ll be invited back.

Yesterday’s job was to set up an electronic code on a new piece of electronic equiptment that they’d bought. I’m now looking forward to the phone call in the middle of the night when they call to ask for the code.

This is one of my favourite memories of my father:

One day he was wondering around the downstairs of our old house. For some reason he was carrying a chair round, looking at the top of doors and muttering to himself. "I know I put it here somewhere," he said.

It turned out that he’d written the pin number of is cashpoint card on top of one of the doors and it had now disappeared, probably sunk into the wood after so long. You see he never used it and his memory for numbers wasn’t the best, so he’d written it somewhere safe where no one would have looked.

Its a good job he has a sense of humour or we’d be in trouble for laughing when this sort of thing happened.

Look Before You Sit

Being off means that I can do some of the things that need doing around the house. Today I did the very arduous job of fitting the new loo seat.

You see the original, horrible black plastic one died. A few weeks I sat on the lid to put my socks on and it disintegrated. There were bits of lid filling the toilet. That was the second time this year I did this, I did it in work previously. Then the wife managed to break the hinge the other day.

We’ve had the new seat for about 6 weeks but have not managed to get round to it, what with work; church; blocked drain; unbuilt shelving and illness.

FW walked into the toilet, having forgotten what I’d just done, and made a little "oooo" noise when she saw it….

Shelves

Just to put minds at rest…. I’m only to happy for my wiblog to be taken over by others in the comments, it shows that people read it. Anything that prevokes discussion is ok in my book. As I’m off work and needing to distract myself its also a good thing for that too.

Yesterday saw us building book/cd shelves. The acquisition of an electric screwdriver has proved to be a good thing, it speeds thigs up no end. This has been followed by laughter as the cats have been playing with the cardboard boxes. They’ve used them as tunnels, punchbags, places for hide & seek and scartching posts.

This has also enabled me to empty 3 plastic boxes. I haven’t arranged everything tidily on the shelves yet, after all I need to get everything unpacked first. We’re aiming to build at least 2 more today, we have 3 more to build. The aim is to get as much put away by Christmas as possible.

This year sees the first time that family will be coming over. Sister’s Christmas Day with all the Welsh family and then they come to us for lunch on Boxing Day. Is this a sign of advancing maturity? I certainly hope not.