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So Christmas is over for another year, it’s official, the tree is down and decorations banished to the cupboard for another year.

Here’s a query for you…for many years I took my decorations down on January 6th which is the Epiphany. It was what my Mum did and I followed suit. But, then I discovered that most people take their decorations down on 12th night which is January 5th. Despite my Mum teaching me it was incredibly unlucky to take them down before the 6th, I have in the past couple of years taken the opportunity to be rid of Christmas a day earlier, sorry Mum. So, what do you believe is the right time to take down the tree and decorations? Maybe you are like a lot of my friends who like them gone before January?

This Christmas passed peacefully and we had a lot of fun as a family. I think maybe I got stressed out in the run up, not because of the usual things, but because we are renowned to have disastrous Christmas holidays and I was worried it would go wrong again. Our track record includes 3 family deaths, pet deaths, huge fall outs, and calls to the police and ambulance services. Even I didn’t escape as only 3 years ago I ended up in hospital on New Years Day. You know what, we only need a murder to fully compete with an Eastenders Christmas script.

New Year!

Sadly we did begin the New Year on a bad note as my Mother-in-law’s dog passed away during the night on the 4th January. I’m not a huge dog lover but Sasha was such a gentle friendly dog, she will be missed.

a head view of a staffordshire bull terrier dog
In Memory of Sasha

On 7th January I am having my hospital treatment which is much needed. I think I totally wore myself out over the Christmas period. Bad eating, too much alcohol and too many late nights have taken their toll.

The Little Man is back at school on the 7th and the Girl’s go back on the 9th. It will be strange getting back into a routine. But, I’ve found the solution to a lot of my woes. My son bought me a new tumble dryer for my Birthday back at the end of November, and last week I bought myself a new washing machine. Both new machines are 10kg loads and super quick, I can’t believe what a difference it has made to my washing mountain. (my old machines were both 7kg loads) I’m almost looking forward to tackling the school uniforms and p.e. kits again. (almost)

The Blog

I’m migrating my blog this week to a new host so I may disappear for a while. I should be back by Friday for my Word of the Week though. Nothing will change, Raisie Bay will still look the same. (hopefully)

Thanks for reading x

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My Sunday Photo December 23rd 2018

Christmas 1983

In loving memory of my Mum who passed away ten years ago on December 25th 2008.

My Nan and Mum Christmas 1983

One particular icy day, a week before Christmas 1983, my mum fell and fractured her arm. It didn’t stop her getting everything done for Christmas though. It was her favourite time of year. Together with my Nan they would cook up a gorgeous Christmas dinner and we would have loads of treats. Nan’s mince pies where to die for.

We didn’t have a dining room and the kitchen was small, but we did have a big round table that Mum used to put in the middle of the living room on Christmas day for us all to sit together for Christmas dinner. I would help lay the table while watching Top of the Pops on the Television. The after the Queen’s speech we would all pull a cracker and settle down to eat.

There would be various other family members visit throughout the day with extra presents for us all. It was always fun, even the washing up wasn’t so bad with us all chipping in. Everyone was in good spirits, and even though my Nan has a bottle in her hand here, I didn’t see her or Mum drink more than one glass of wine with dinner.

Boxing day all the family would visit for a party. Mum and I would move the furniture around to make more room, and we’d blow up balloons and give everyone party poppers. We’d play music on our Stereo gram, usually albums that I’d had as Christmas presents, and after a few drinks there would be some dancing in the middle of the room.

Then we’d rest for a while until it was time to get ready for New Years Eve. For this the whole family would save a little money each week in a Post Office account and it was all pooled together. We’d hire a hall, a dj and all my aunties would chip in preparing a huge buffet. We would have a huge table of drinks for the adults to help themselves. There would be loads of decorations, Mum and her sisters would work all day making it look totally amazing. Then we would party all night.

Thank you Mum for giving me these happy memories. They keep me going through the sad ones, like sitting with you in the hospice back in 2008 watching you slip away from me forever.

For anyone missing someone this Christmas, I know how difficult it is, but eventually the happy memories are what you grab in those sad moments. It’s okay to be happy without them, even though it’s hard.

Merry Christmas to all My Readers, Peace and love to all,

Anne xx

Sunday Snap
Photalife






Why I Choose to be Positive

a field of dandelions with the text, when you look at a field of dandelions you can either see hundreds of weeds or a thousand wishes.
People often ask me why I’m so positive. Well, I do have my down moments, times when I feel I can’t cope anymore. But it’s my positive attitude that pulls me through, and it’s always there, deep inside, even when I feel depressed.
I’ve always been pretty laid back, I let life’s problems flow and deal with them when I can. Sometimes I procrastinate (okay, I procrastinate a lot) and this doesn’t help, but eventually I get everything sorted and back on track.
I always say that I had a good childhood, and I really believe it. But, how good could it have been really when my Dad died while I was young and mum had to bring up me and my brother in a time when one parent families were a distinct minority.
I always say that my first marriage was good, but it wasn’t really. despite the happy times and the births of my first two children, there was a lot of misery. When he finally left for good I didn’t cry, I’d done that too many times before when he’d left me. The last time I just felt relieved. We are still friends because I don’t hold grudges and he’s my kid’s Dad.
I don’t hold grudges you see. It’s not easy, but I forgive people that have hurt me and don’t dwell on it. I never used to, and it made me miserable. Forgiveness is like a magic potion for healing. I know some people find it hard and really can’t forgive those that hurt them. But you don’t even have to tell them you forgive them, just hold it in your heart, forgive them and the pain eases. You don’t have to worry or stress about them and what they’ve done, it’s over.
I don’t believe in karma. I think it holds you back, it’s kind of like revenge. If someone hurts you and you think that karma will get them, then it’s like saying you wish something bad to happen to them. Then there is good karma, where you think that those who have awful things happen to them will get their good things by karma. It just doesn’t happen and it’s not worth waiting for. I don’t believe in karma because I’ve seen too many bad things happen to good people and too many good things happen to bad people.
I never say ‘why me’ because it just makes you feel miserable. I know that bad things happen to people all the time, this time it’s my turn. Maybe I’ve had more than my fair share of bad things happen, but if I think why me, then I have to believe that I deserved them in some way.

Positivity

So, why am I so positive despite everything. Well, I deal with my problems as they arrive, I may procrastinate but I do deal with everything eventually. I don’t dwell on the bad things that have happened and I don’t blame anyone, not even karma or myself. I forgive those that hurt me and don’t hold grudges. And I am determined not to let my old age be full of regrets or bad feelings, life is short and you have to make the most of the happy times and hold them close in your heart.
I would never look at a field of dandelions and think of them as a hundred weeds. For me they are wishes, little happy moments that are so much more special than the bad things.
How do you stay positive?
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My Sunday Photo – 22nd October 2017

My Little Boy riding a bike at his nursery, in his purple jumpsuit
Flashback!
Not having a photo for this week I’ve snatched one from my archives. This is my Little Man when he was in nursery school. He is riding a bike along with his nursery school teacher. The school uniform for the nursery children was this purple tracksuit and I loved it, it was so easy to keep clean too.
It’s quite relevant to this week for two reasons.
One is that I’m quite worried about my Little Man, he’s having problems at school with bullying, he’s having trouble coping at home and he has health issues. He was at the GP the other day and now I have to take him to the hospital for blood tests. He also has an appointment at a clinic in December. It’s not really what I need at all and I just hope it all turns out to be something easy to treat.
The second reason is how time flies. Here he is playing on a bike at nursery which was just after we moved into this house four years ago. The time has flown. The first two years seemed to go slowly but it’s so hard to believe that I have been sick for nearly two years! When we moved we were dealing with Star’s neck so we spent a lot of time at the hospital. We had a nightmare eighteen months, but time seems to have sped up so much since then. My babies are no longer babies.

It’s in the Past

I’ve been pre-occupied with thoughts of my past, all of it, even as a small child I had a lot to deal with. It’s been the same ever since and it’s let me to not believe in Karma because too many bad things happen to good people.
I guess over the last couple of weeks I’ve felt so ill I really believed I was near the end. A Terry Pratchett quote came to mind.

“It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it’s called life.”

Life certainly does fly by so quickly, but no worries, I’m feeling better now so I have a lot more to cram into it. I have lots of happy memories too, so it’s never all bad. You can’t stop bad things happening but it’s how you deal with them that counts.

I pin My Sunday Photo pics I visit on my Pinterest Board. Please let me know if you wish your photo to be removed.

Photalife
Sunday Snap

Second Time Around

I was in the kitchen the other day with the radio on in the back ground when Chumbawamba came on with ‘Tubthumping’ (also known as ‘I Get Knocked Down.’) I was suddenly transported to a holiday at Butlins and the kids were having a whale of time as it was the featured dance of the week and if you joined in you got a prize (usually a sweet.) Then it dawned on me…it wasn’t my little kids, it was my adult kids! Wow, how time flies. Tubthumping was released in 1997, twenty years ago! I think my holiday was in 1998 though, it was memorable as it was my first ‘single parent’ holiday. And I was still young and attractive enough to get chatted up by the redcoats, hahaha!

First thought…isn’t it funny how hearing a tune can transport you to a certain place in your timeline, a certain memory, a certain emotion.

Sometimes I think I’m lucky to have a second go at motherhood, sometimes I wonder what on earth I was thinking!

First time around wasn’t easy, especially after their Dad left. But I always loved being a Mum, it has always been the most important thing in my life. Yes I worked, and at one point I had three jobs just to keep us going, but my kids always came first.

When the kids were young teenagers I met my current husband. We had a lovely little family and enjoyed life to the full. But, I always longed for another baby and my Husband wanted a child of his own.

So we started trying for a baby. It didn’t happen straight away and because of my age (late 30s) we were given all the fertility tests quite early on. We were okay and should have been able to conceive, so I was told that I probably had secondary infertility.

Then after two years it happened and I had my third baby at the age of 39 (almost 40.) By this time my older children where 16 and 17 years old.

When my baby arrived it seemed like I was a first time mum. Not only had it been so long since I’d had a baby, so much had changed, from nappies to buggies, to being able to take your pushchair on the bus. It was all a different experience.

The next baby came along pretty quickly now that my fertility had been given a kick start. So at the age of 41 I had two teenagers and two baby girls. My family was complete and I was so happy.

Then a few years later The Little Man arrived, I didn’t think I was pregnant, I thought I was going the menopause. I was so shocked when I did the test to rule pregnancy out. Having a baby at 44 puts you on the ‘at risk’ folder at the maternity hospital and you get so much extra care.

So here I am now, in my 50s (ooh that feels scary!) with three young school children. We were talking the other day about age and when Star is my age I will be 91, when the Little Man is my age I will be 98. I lost my Mum when I was 42, so I expect I won’t be around that long for the Little Ones. I should be around to see them grow up into adults though, especially if my new treatment works.

It does feel strange because most people I know that are my age, my long time friends, are now grandparents and are living the golden years. I see them post photos on Facebook of their grand kids while I’m posting photos of my own kids. Sometimes I feel jealous of them, they can have fun with their grand kids and then pass them back to their parents. I don’t get a break from mine.

Really, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I feel really blessed to have all my kids, and blessed to have done the motherhood thing twice over. I’m so lucky.

And thankfully, when I was trying to conceive Star I joined some forums where there were other women my age trying to conceive too. I’ve stayed in touch, mostly on Facebook, with most of these women. So, they balance out my long time friends by posting photos of their kids which are almost the same age as mine. I even have a friend who, like me, had a surprise baby rather late on.

What do you think? Am I crazy? Would you have a baby in your later years? Would you do it all twice? I’d love to know.

I’d really appreciate any comments on my Qutee, or you can use the comment box as usual.

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A little Note About Positive Reviews on Raisie Bay

A little Note About Positive Reviews on Raisie Bay

Some people only write reviews when things go wrong with products, which is good because it lets people know that there could be potential problems. I’ve also seen negative feedback with say things like, I had to return this item because the colour did not suit me…is this useful?

I write reviews on most items I buy because I like to give genuine feedback. If I have a genuine problem with a product I will write my review in the appropriate place.

I write reviews on my blog too, but they are mostly positive. Why? Because I only write reviews for the things I’ve loved. If I don’t love them I let the person who sent me them know with details why and then let them decided if they would rather me write a negative review or not write one at all. It’s always the latter.

This is my blog, my place and I’ll let you know about the things I love. If you want to find out what other people have hated about the product then you will need to look elsewhere.

My reviews may all be positive, but they are still genuine.