New Journey

I have been working on trying to clear all the junk in the house for a while, but I can never seem to get on top of it. I don’t like getting rid of things, but the time has come to clear out!

I started reading this book… (have added a link to the picture – it will take you to buy it on Amazon)

The-Life-Changing-Magic-of-Tidying-Up-Marie-Kondo1

It is very inspiring. I have made an actual start. The basic premise is to get rid of anything that doesn’t Spark Joy. You end up with not very much stuff, but everything you have, you love! That’s my end goal.

I want to have a clutter free house, but with stuff we really like in it. That ought to spark joy!

I have already cleared out a load of clothes, and almost all of our books. I can see a definite difference already.

Never Again Ebay….

So.. a bit of a long story. You need a back story to explain this one!

We started a small business after talking to someone who needed a reliable supplier of Marshmallow Leaf. They agreed that they would buy from us, if we could get a reliable source. We did all the leg work, found a good source of high quality product, and started marketing, on Facebook, Ebay etc. It started selling well, but the idea was that the other person would buy enough of it to cover the cost, and everything else was a bonus, and what we would make the small amount of profit on.

We went back to the person involved, to let him know we had found a good wholesale supplier…   He then wanted the suppliers we had found, so he could cut us out, which obviously we weren’t prepared to do. Amongst other problems, so we decided not to work with him any more.

Back to Ebay…  I logged in, to take the current sales down, as we wanted to have a break from it, while we decided whether or not to continue selling. It was selling well, but was a lot of work, the Marshmallow had to be sifted by hand, which made it in to three different grades, weighed, bagged up, listed on ebay and our website, taken to the post office etc. We had so many sales I was going to the post office at least three times a week with parcels in the push chair.

When I logged in to ebay, it said the account was suspended, as the ebay fees were late. Perfect, I thought… Suspended means no-one can buy from us, so I will log in when we decide if we are going to continue, pay the fees, and carry on. Simple. No.

While the account was suspended, sales still went through….  Being as I was having a break, I didn’t look at it. I didn’t log in to the emails on the tablet, as I didn’t need to, there weren’t any sales right? Wrong. Not only did we not know about the sales, it was long enough for them to be reported, refunded and bad feedback left. Business Ruined. 100% positive feedback destroyed, and all because Ebay decided to let sales on a suspended account go through. What is the point in suspending the account if they can still sell? Ebay themselves have said that sales can’t go through on a suspended account.

So we sent out as many orders as we could, even to those that had claimed refunds. Those that had left negative feedback, we wrote to, offering a doubled up order if they still wanted to go ahead. We also sent messages via Ebay to all those involved.

It was still not enough. The account has now been permanently restricted, which means we are never able to sell on Ebay again.

Not too bad, you think… We closed the business down. Cancelled the domain name, Facebook page, emails etc. So I don’t need the PayPal account or Ebay account. However, it has linked itself to my Personal account. The one I had been using for many years, prior to this screw up. My personal account has the same restrictions. I am never allowed to sell on ebay again.

So I have been appealing, for the last few days, with emails and live chat. I have found them nothing short of unhelpful. The short version, of what I managed to get out of them by asking them straight, simple questions (It was painfully obvious English was not their first language), was that I could not have the restrictions lifted without resolving the issue on the account, but I could not resolve the issue on the account, as it was permanently restricted due to low seller status….. Very helpful. They also said that creating a new account was not allowed, they would restrict that one too. I pointed out that I had not opened a new account, the one I had was years old. 570 odd positive feedback should tell them that…

They said I could continue shopping on Ebay, I just wasn’t allowed to sell. I don’t think so Ebay.. Never again.

Full conversation, for those with the patience to read it.. HERE.

Doodle Book

Many years ago… (haha) while I was at school, studying A Level Art and AS Graphic Design, I drew a lot. It was so calming and relaxing. You disappear in to another world when you get really in to the pictures. I loved it. I don’t have time to draw properly now. I have many unfinished projects in my head, that I know will probably never be completed now. Maybe one day.

Anyway..  After seeing many pretty things drawn on Facebook, I yearned to draw again. It helped when I was feeling down. It helped to clear my mind. I needed that again.

So, just for Rufus..  I got this little book..

image

image

The first page is dedicated to the person that brings the most sunshine to my life… 

image

And the second…  A double page spread.

(I have also developed a new love for the effects I can put on photos from my phone!)

Once I feel the doodle is complete, I move on. Next page. The Faith one I did on the bus this morning. I spent so long during school drawing/sketching/doodling on the bus, and again when I went to college, that unless the bus driver is particularly heavy footed, I’m ok drawing while moving.. It passes the time and helps clear my mind.

I may invest in some good paper, and start drawing again. But then, I have a little helper now, so I don’t know when I would find the time!

My Big Black Dog

Depression is a funny thing. Hmm. Yeah. I said that.

There is nothing worse than being asked

What have you got to be depressed about?

Sometimes there is a trigger. For me, mostly financial. But most of the time, you just wake up, and don’t feel yourself. You can’t just ‘Shake it off’ like I have been told to do many times in the past. It’s not that easy. It’s just a feeling in the background, a hollow loneliness, a feeling of Why am I bothering? A cold lonely place that you just can’t get out of..  On a really bad day.

On an OK day, it could just be a lack of energy. No motivation. Knowing you have a whole house worth of work to do, but not having the motivation to do it. Looking at that ever growing pile of laundry, and knowing you have to tackle it.. In the winter, with no washing line to sun the clothes on. They have to be spread through the house on the radiators. It’s such a mission.

On a good day, nobody knows you suffer from it. You get good at hiding it, as you don’t want people to know. Sometimes caffeine can give you an artificial energy that makes you feel like it is all ok today. Sometimes it is.

On a very good day, you forget you have it. Everything is sunny and happy, you are on top of all the things you need to do, and there are no stresses to worry about. Very good days don’t come about too often, so you have to savour them when they do.

 

I have read about depression being likened to a big black dog that comes to hang about with you. I like this. It works for me. I named mine Rufus. He is big and shaggy, has messy hair, and just likes to sit and stare and pant. He is like a big black fuzzy bear dog. He is my secret friend. People don’t always know he is there, but he is there just the same.

 

The big thing that used to bring Rufus calling in the past was not having a child. So desperate was I for the pitter patter of tiny feet, that it was literally all I could think about. I would lie in the bath, looking at my bloated belly, swollen from Endometriosis and generally being a bit overweight, and wish it had a baby in it. That I wouldn’t care how fat I was, if it was from having a baby.  That nothing else would matter if I had a baby. That everything that bothered me would disappear, because I would have a baby. I was diagnosed with Endo when I was 20, and they removed an Ovarian Cyst the size of a lemon at the same time. It was all I could think about, but at the time I was in a bad relationship, and knew I didn’t want that kind of tie to him. So I still held out. After a while, with my husband, the time came. We thought I would take a while to conceive, with fertility issues, and having had contraception for 15 years solid. But it didn’t. My little ray of sunshine came along straight away. She knew I needed her.

She is a massive help with Rufus. But didn’t take him away completely. I can look at her, and not think about everything else. Then I look at everything else, and Rufus slinks back in, and just lies down, quietly panting in the background, tongue lolling out of the side of his mouth.

I decided after she came, that it was time to do something about it. I had suffered from depression since I was about 11, and had never taken anything for it. I was always stubborn and determined that I would deal with it on my own. But my little sunshine was too important for me to not deal with it. So I got some medication from the doctor. I had to do my own research as to which one I could take while still breastfeeding (13 months and counting), but I got some, and started taking it. It hasn’t taken it away, but it takes the edge off it. Less really bad days.

The yearning for her has gone at least. I no longer sit and wish for a baby. I have one. She is my everything. She needs a brother or sister, I want to fill my life with the sunshine that she brings, but there isn’t the intense longing that there was for her. She fills a hole that desperately needed filling. Now I want it to overflow with love.

My Granny

I grew up with Nature. One of my favourite pasttimes as a youngster was to pick up rocks at the bottom of the garden to see what was living underneath. I still enjoy that now.

 

My Granny always encouraged me in my love of wildlife. She had a couple of wildlife ponds in the garden, and I was always happiest watching the tadpoles swimming about. I loved that time of year. I made a couple of wildlife ponds in my own back garden and one in the front this year. She would be happy about that.

 

We also used to collect the cabbage white caterpillars from her Nasturtiums, and put them in one of those tall plastic sweetie jars that she always had saved for me. We fed them until they turned in to cocoons, and released the butterflies.

 

I remember the plants she grew in her garden. I loved the Morning Glory. Such beautiful blue flowers that opened in the mornings. Even the closed ones were pretty.. All curled up and fluted like a long snail shell. There was Lemon Geranium. I really liked the smell of the leaves, I struggled for years to find any to grow in my garden, but managed it last year, I found a small pot in the shop at Fordhall Organic Farm. I recognised it straight away, and bought it immediately. It grew really well in my kitchen for a while, until it was too big for the window sill, and it is now in pride of place by my front door. I need to bring it in once the proper winter starts to protect it. It is very precious.

She had sweet peas growing outside the conservatory, they were delightful little pretty flowers, that still remind me of her. MrM calls Daisy ‘Sweet Pea’ sometimes, so I need to grow them in ub our garden for both of them.

 

Her conservatory was a little wonderland for me. For years it had little trays at floor level, with water and rocks in them. They were little homes for frogs. There was always someone hiding in one of them, and it was a source of great fascination for me to go and visit them. I always left them alone. I was taught a healthy respect for nature. I collected creatures to draw them, or study them, and then I always released them.

 

I remember she always used to have bird seed of various types in the little conservatory. It had tins with different seeds in, and we used to put them out for the birds. All the seeds of course attracted mice, and of course Granny encouraged them. She used to tell me to be quiet, and show me which the mice were living in.

 

She liked to cook too. I remember when we were young, she used to make rice crispy cakes with us in our kitchen when she visited, and as we got older, she made Apple Strudel with me, and Stollen. She was Austrian, from Vienna. I loved her Christmas decorations, and the traditional Austrian Christmas foods. Iced Gingerbreads, Liebkuchen etc. It still isn’t really Christmas for me without Stollen. She had a little carousel that went round and chimed when you lit tea light candles underneath it. I adored it. I need to find one, so that Daisy can be as enchanted as I always was with it.

 

There was a book she used to read to me regularly. It was Strufel Peter or Shock Headed Peter. It was about a little boy who was naughty, and what used to happen to him. She had it in German and English, which fascinated me. I ordered a copy from Amazon, but it wasn’t quite right. It was a weird version, which had prints of the pages in the middle of a bigger page. I will order the right copy to read to Daisy.

 

We used to sneak chocolate at the top of the stairs, while she was combing my hair. It was the Marks and Spencer layered chocolate, with Milk, White and Dark chocolate. It was like a naughty little secret. We shared a bar together.

 

I always loved the swing in her garden. It was a simple metal frame, and a wooden seat. It was right next to one of her ivy covered bird tables. It was surrounded by hedging. It was so much better than any other swing. It was just great. You could almost imagine that you were a fairy, flying around in your little wonderland.

 

Her garden was split in to two halves, with a fence in the middle. It had a compost heap and a rhubarb patch in the back. It was always magical. Looking back, there wasn’t anything particularly special about it, but it always seemed so amazing to me.

 

Another plant that always reminds me of her is called Honesty. I don’t know the proper name for it, which means I may struggle to buy/order it, but it is quite distinctive, with seed pods that look like oval paper stuck together with dark round seeds in between. That always grew in her garden.

 

For me, time spent at Granny’s house was time spent amongst nature. There were always animals to see, plants to inspect, and whatever little dog she had at the time to play with.

Thumper was the first one I remember, a Yorkshire Terrier. He came with her when she stayed with her, and I remember a photo of him in a wooden crate bed with our cat, Tip. Then there was Thomas. He was also a Yorkie, and was more grumpy with other people than Thumper was. He came round eventually. Then there seemed to be ages without a dog, and then she got Spencer. He was a rescue, and is a Schnauzer x Poodle. He is overly friendly, and likes to lick a lot. She always was a dog person. She didn’t like cats as much, as she encouraged the birds in to her garden.
I remember once I got a Dalmatian toy dog from her for a birthday, or Christmas. She took me to a pet shop so I could buy it a collar and a lead. I loved that dog. It had a plain white belly, and I felt sad that it didn’t have any spots there, so I got a marker pen and drew some on. She always used to use marker pens to write addresses on parcels too. A random memory, but something I started doing.

 

It was always good times at Granny’s house. There are a lot of memories to look back on, both inside and outside the house. Tea in the Church in Hereford, and walking through town. I will always remember a lot of these things. Magic times in the garden, adventures with the frogs, and watching a whole underwater civilisation going on with it’s business in her ponds. These are things I hope to pass on to Daisy.

 

Named Daisy Faith – Faith being Granny’s Maiden name.

The last two weeks or so…

This last couple of weeks have been very up and down for me.

I took two weeks off work as it was my beautiful Daughter’s first birthday. I needed a lot of time to bake and get ready for her Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. I was planning on baking all sorts of goodies, we had invited around 40 people, but did not expect all to come.

 

Her birthday was on the Thursday, and we had a lovely day together. We opened some presents, ate chocolate birthday cake, played with her new toys and generally just hung out together.

The next morning, she went to the childminders, so I could spend the whole day baking in preparation for the party on the Sunday.

 

Then on Friday morning I get a phone call from my Dad. My Granny passed away during the night. I was devastated, But had a lot to do! I was quite close to my Granny as I grew up, I used to stay with her during the school holidays and talk to her on the phone. I missed her, as I had moved away, and still don’t drive, so I didn’t get to see her very much. She had known I got married, but at that stage didn’t really leave the house much, so wasn’t able to come.

She had met Daisy a couple of times, but was already bedridden.

 

So it wasn’t entirely unexpected, she looked awful the last time I saw her. it was almost a relief that she had gone, as I hated seeing her in such a bad way. But that is it now. She is gone.

 

I had to crack on with Daisy’s birthday party. I baked Fondant Fancies, Bug shaped cakes and cookies…  Most of my bug cakes failed. My heart wasn’t in it. But I had to keep going.

 

I panicked.. There were a lot of people coming, expecting cakes and cookies and sandwiches. I told a couple of people that I didn’t know if there was going to be enough food.. and bless them all, they all brought something they made. I had extra cupcakes, carrot cakes, decorated bisciuts, all sorts. There was more than enough food. There was Roast Beef and Smoked chicken that we had cooked the day before, made up in to sandwiches and rolls, and my fondant fancies came out fine..  Custard Cream Daisies, the family recipe chocolate cake made up in to cupcakes, and even a few Almond Bug Cakes!

I spent most of the party opening presents with Daisy. She was given so much stuff I was overwhelmed! She had a great time, running around with people and having lots of cuddles and attention.

 

The next week, it was my birthday. I wasn’t particularly bothered, I never was before..  But this year, I had put so much energy in to Daisy’s birthday, I wanted to just have a day off with her.

 

I got a message a few days before from a friend to say that she was taking me out for a pub dinner, her treat. So I accepted..  Even though by this point, I was feeling really run down, tired out and full of cold! I almost backed out on her. After all, it was only the two of us, going out to the pub…  Except for the day before, MrM passed me his phone, asking me to have a look at a badly designed website, which didn’t show how to buy the item it was showing..

I had been talking on my phone to another friend, about how I was being dragged out for my birthday, otherwise I wouldn’t be celebrating, as I wasn’t that bothered..

 

She took a screen shot of our conversation, and pasted it on Facebook.. in a secret group. Which MrM was a part of. So while I was looking at this website.. A message popped up on the notification bar…  X has posted in Sami’s Secret Birthday Meal !   Oops.

 

So it looked like I had to go!

 

I admitted it to her when she came to pick me up, that I knew what was going on…  They had managed to keep it secret for about a month, so fair play ro them for that!

 

So now it is the day of the funeral, A sad occasion, but I was told (and I agree) mourning clothes are not necessary. So I am wearing a pale coloured top with multicoloured butterflies on it. I always did love looking in Butterfly books with Granny. We loved wildlife. She used to volunteer at a wildlife sanctuary, helping wild birds, Hedgehogs etc. She loved Hedgehogs and frogs. So we always bought her Hedgehog gifts for Christmas and Birthdays.

Daisy is going to be wearing a yellow dress with a Daisy on it. Bright and cheerful. Granny would have liked that. Funerals are so depressing. This will be a simple service, with just one Hymn.. All Things Bright and Beautiful.

Today will be a day of seeing family, the children seeing family members that they don’t see very often, and them seeing the little ones. It needs to be a positive day.

 

 

Added Post Funeral:

It was nice to see family again, I don’t get to see them often. I miss them all a lot.

The service was lovely, nice and simple. Punctuated with Daisy saying “Ba ba ba ba” a lot, which was a good amusement for people. Rather than people be offended by there being a babbling baby, it helped take the edge off such a sad day. It made people smile.

At one point, being frustrated by me keeping hold of her, she did start to whinge a bit, so I just fed her. Breastfeeding during a funeral service is probably one of the most random things I have done, but needs must, and it helped chill Daisy out. It also gave my brother a laugh.

 

We went to a Cricket Club type place afterwards for a buffet. A few people came, and Daisy got to run around with her cousin who is only 2 months older than her, which was nice.

She enjoys playing with other babies, and they were sharing a drink, passing it back and forth between them, which was lovely to see. I hope she gets to see him more, as family is very important to me, even more so now I have started one of my own.

 

We went back to Granny’s house, to pick up my Dad’s dog Poppy before taking him home. There was a set of Silver hair brushes and dressing table items that Granny had always said I would have one day. Today turned out to be that day. We are on our way home now, and they are in the boot. I am going to wrap them in tissue, and store them safely away until such time as I have a dressing table of my own, and somewhere safe to display them. I have always loved them, and they are so precious. I may even get one of those slimline display cabinets from Ikea and put them in pride of place in there. I would love to display them, they need to be appreciated, not hidden away. But for now, until I have somewhere safe, they need to be protected. <3

 

Returning to work

Last Thursday was my first day back at work after nine months of Maternity leave. I had built myself up so much stress about going back to work, how I really didn’t want to go, I didn’t want to leave her with someone else, and I was really going to miss her.

Thursday came.. I was almost crying on the way to work. Then I got here. I was pretty much left to it on my first day back. I looked through the catalogue, I looked at the phones we had on the wall, and I looked through all the new accessories. Then I had a couple of top up customers. I was told to do just topups and phone repair booking in until I spoke to the manager, Dave, on the Friday. Not really my style.
I had an upgrade customer, with 3 phones to upgrade, and some additional work that needed doing.. So I cracked on. It’s weird, it’s like I haven’t been off! Everything is just slotting back in to place.

Spoke to the manager the next day, went over what I had done, and what I was remembering, and things that had changed, new systems, new offers etc.

I do miss my little Daisy, but it is just like being at work before. I am not as distracted and miserable as I thought I would be. We need to make sure Daisy understands as she grows up that if you want to have nice things, you have to go to work to earn them! Mummy and Daddy need to work to earn the money to buy her pretty clothes and toys.

I am doing two days a week, which isn’t too bad for leaving her. She is staying with a friend who has a little boy who is a year old that we go swimming with, or with her Grandma when her days off match up with my working rota.

I think I worried more about how I would feel than the worry I actually have. I would rather be at home with her, but a job is important to pay the bills!

Smash book

I have just discovered SMASH books. What a fun way to journal, plan and scrap book all at the same time!

I am using my first one to plan the house out, stick in pictures of things I love, and want to have in our house. I already have the next few started in my head!

I will add a page on here for Smash book progress, and update as I go along.. But here is the front cover. Enjoy 🙂

image

Latest addiction

Cloth nappies do save you a lot of money.

Unless you are like me, fall in love with really pretty fluffy ones, and decide that a complete set of two different types is very much needed.

Tots bots Easyfits come in lots of different prints, as well as some block colours. There are 4 different versions (v1, v2, v3 and v4), and some that were designed by Frugi (3 sets of 4 already out, one coming soon).

I know this because I joined a Tots Bots Addicts group on Facebook. I joined lots of different groups on there that were selling preloved Cloth nappies (always a good way of trying out nappies to see if the different types work for you before investing in loads of new ones, and a good way of increasing your stash with hard to find, one off, customs or good bargains for pretty fluff.)

It seemed like a good idea at the time.

I blame them entirely for this new addiction. I had to check what version a nappy I had bought was, as that design was in both v3 and v4, so I could check it off on the right list.. I found myself checking off 5 more on the list of nappies, that I had bought. Planning to make sure the credit card was clear when the next set of Frugi nappies came out, so I could buy the whole set. Probably a set for me, and a couple for trades later down the line.. 

The bonus is, when you are done with them, they tend to hold their resale value. There will always be people wanting the cloth nappies, and more people down the line wanting to complete their sets. Some of these are a few years old, but the more nappies you have in your rotation, the less each individual one is used, so it is in better condition. I am planning at least one more child, so they will be in Cloth from birth. So when I am pregnant, I can get the sets all over again in Teeny Fit (the Newborn size!)

Can’t sleep

Not from too much coffee.. – I have a new Nescafe Dolce Gusto machine, so have been drinking a lot of coffee recently. (review to follow at some point!) as I was asleep… Then Daisy needed a feed at around half past 2. I haven’t been able to get back to sleep since.

Have a new idea for a website churning round my head. Have made notes on some ideas for it while I think of them, otherwise I forget them. I use the S Note function on my phone a lot. Random ideas noted down while I remember, as I don’t always have pen and paper handy, and I always lose scraps of paper anyway!
Not going to let it out just yet, I’m not sure on the name yet. I have one that seems to be sticking, plus another possible one but I am going to think on it for a week and see which one sticks best.
It will be Cloth nappy related, I was going to do one that encompassed all things natural, ie Cloth nappies, baby wearing, breastfeeding etc. But this one seems to be a good idea, and I can always link them later on.
It feels good to hash out ideas like this, even if no-one is actually reading them.. It helps me to get them straight in my mind. Even at 3:46am, when I should be sleeping. Even Daisy just had a whimper. Thought she wanted another feed, but I moved closer, held her hand, and she settled and went back to sleep.
Maybe I should try again… 

1 2