Too old to go outdoors?

This happened years ago.

It was a busy shift and when Mr G. pressed his buzzer I was annoyed. I knew what he wanted. I knew it’d take me at least 20 minutes to get him organized and outside. But he was an outdoorsman. And he didn’t want to be in his room all day. Until fairly recently he’d been going out on his own, but his muscles had weakened significantly and his legs were unable to hold him up.

He’d been a farmer all his life. At first with his father, later in life, after many years of running the farm with his wife, his son took over the farm and he’d stayed on as a farm help. That was until he came to live with us in the nursing home. When he moved in he told us he wanted to go out daily. “I don’t mind bad weather” he said.

His daughter in law had constructed what looked like a sleeping bag out of leather and sheepskin. This ‘bag’, if you will, went up to his chest. This went over his trousers and shoes. A thick wind and watertight parka went over it. I put his gloves on his hands and placed the buzzer inside. A hat and a cap adorned his head. The last thing I put on him was a scarf in the colours of the Island Flag.

He looked ridiculous. But you’d want an old fragile man to be kept warm when it’s freezing.

So I rolled his wheelchair outside, just under the awning. It was snowing, so it wasn’t too cold. I told him I’d come and check on him every 30 minutes and if something was wrong he’d buzz me.

After the first 30 minutes I went to check on him. He was fine, he told me. I checked his temperature by placing three fingers on the back of his neck. He yelled at me, my hand was colder than he was. I offered him a cup of tea which he declined. After the second 30 minutes he was still felling warm, but took the cup of tea I offered him.

Twenty minutes later, I was taking a tea break, I heard commotion in the hallway. I went to see what was going on.

The scene was hilarious. Mr G. was  being rolled indoors by a woman I’d never seen before. Behind her was a man looking very embarrassed. Mr G was shouting, screaming and yelling. She wasn’t listening to anything he said.

When she saw me standing at the door of the staff room, she immediately began to yell at me, glaring at me. She basically told me off for putting Mr G outside in the snow. She said it was unheard of to put a man of his age outside for any amount of time. Apparently they had come by earlier and she’d seen him outside then. All the while Mr G was screaming bloody murder. I placed my hand on his shoulder and told him to stop and trust me. He stopped screaming.

When the woman finally stopped yelling, her husband ( I assume) looking more embarrassed than ever, I asked her if she had asked Mr G why he was outside. Mr G immediately started yelling again. “No, she hasn’t asked me anything. Bloody woman just rolled me inside!” The woman started saying that this was beside the point.

Behind me I heard my boss. Her office was close to the hallway and instinctively I knew she was standing behind the door. There for me should I need it.

I told the woman my question was not beside the point. That if a patient wanted to go outside they were allowed to. That he was better suited for the cold than she was. And that he’d spent his life working outdoors. It’d be cruel to lock him inside, saying it was too cold in winter, too hot in summer and too wet on everything in between.

Her husband quietly told her she’d made a mistake, but she was still having none of it. “I’m going to go to the police. I’m going to complain about this.” I told her fine. Even gave the name of a police officer that would be more than happy to talk to her. It was the name of Mr G’s son-in-law.

Mr G laughed. The woman and her husband went to the police station.

I heard later that the son-in-law and his coworkers had a good laugh about it.

I’m probably going to hell for this…

I’m sure I’ll have to cross the gates of hell for this…

This week I was in town. On my way home I saw an older woman walking on a bridge. She was yawning so bad her false teeth dropped out of her mouth. The teeth fell onto the road surface of the bridge, jumped up a little and then flew through the gap under the railing, into the mucky waters of the canal below…

I laughed…

This post has been written for Today’s Daily Prompt.

My Love Of Reading

A few days ago a fellow BookCrosser asked for children’s books. I had a few so I send her a box. There were a few books I had read as a child.

Lotje

These books were used for learning to read. Nowadays this happens in small groups I’ve been told. Groups of children that are on the same level. In my time we had to read with the whole class. It didn’t matter if you were ahead or behind on your reading skills. This is what we read and you have to do it.

Now I’ve always been an avid reader. Ever since I started to read I’ve been reading everything that I could get my hands on. My mom took me to the library when I was very little and when I was 4 I got my own library card. In these days (and it’s not that long ago) a child couldn’t get a library card if they were younger than 4. It’s quite different now, thankfully.

So these books triggered a few happy memories and quite a few bad ones as well.

“Frouk, would you read the next paragraph?” Well, I would, but I had no idea where in heaven’s name we were. Being ahead of my class in reading I silently read more than I should have and lost where the rest of the class was in the book. This, of course, got me into trouble quite a few times.

“Frouk, you can’t read that book, it’s too advanced for you.” No, it wasn’t. I had read that particular book from the library and enjoyed it so much I wanted to read it again. It was supposed to be for the class ahead of ours and me reading it got me into trouble again.
This happened a lot and after a while I didn’t want to read books from the library anymore. When my mom heard why not she went to our teacher and I got moved ahead (as the only one in my class) just for reading. I know soon after that they’ve changed the way they taught children how to read, but I’m not sure if my case had anything to do with that.

“You can’t borrow book from that section.” Our library had three children’s sections; 6-9, 9-12, 12-16. And in these days you weren’t even allowed to wander into a different section of you were choosing your own books. Now I started reading books for the ages 9-12 when I was 7. My mom and dad applauded this and always encouraged me to read whatever I wanted (within limits of course). But the library wasn’t that encouraging and it got me into trouble a few times.

“You can’t come in here 3 times a week and constantly borrowing books.” Yes, this was actually said to me by a librarian. Our library was open three afternoons a week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. And every single one of these days I was there, borrowing more books. By this time the limit was only 3 books and I read them all in two days. Kids books just aren’t as thick as adult books. Luckily my mom was there and told them I could come in as many times as I’d like, provided I brought back the books I’d previously borrowed.

“You can’t borrow boys books.” My favourite book series are ‘boys’ books. But apparently girls can’t read those books. I’m still not sure why. In the following years I’ve heard this many times (never by my family) and never stopped reading those books. On the contrary, my love for ‘boys’ books has grown and I’m buying them whenever I find them in charity shops.

“Your mom needs to borrow her own books.” By the time I was 14 I’d pretty much read the entire children’s section. My mom gave me permission to borrow ‘adult’ books. Of course the library did not agree with me borrowing adult books and my mom had to come with me every time I wanted to borrow books. By this time I was in high school and had homework, friends and sport, so my reading time was reduced quite a bit. The maximum amount of books was upped from 3 to 5, so this meant I was only in there about once a week. It took quite a bit of persuasion before I was actually allowed to take adult books and sometimes still got into trouble with it.

“Why are you always reading?” Again, said by a librarian. And still, I have no idea why she said this. You are in a library, what do you expect people to do? Maybe it was because I was in the check out line and many times I started reading while waiting. I don’t know.

“Why have you chosen the hardest books?” We had to read 10 books for our exams in high school. And I did not choose the thinnest, easiest books, like my classmates did. And of course this triggered a lot of abuse from them. They thought me reading thicker books would have an impact on their grade. I don’t think it had any effect. Only their own actions had an effect on their grades.

“Why would you even read such a thick book?” Said to me by a teacher. Yes, a teacher… I was reading The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough at the time. And, as you might know, this books is almost 700 pages. So why? Because I’d seen the mini series and I enjoyed them and I enjoyed reading the book as well.

Luckily, all these snarky comments have never stopped me from reading. I’m very grateful to my dad, who let me borrow his Kameleon books when I was just 7 years old, and to my mom, who always encouraged my love of reading.

old cover (1955)

Quick Gift Box

Hello, long time no see. So much has happened over the last year. Much of which I don’t feel comfortable sharing just yet.

But to kickstart my blog again I thought I’d make a quick tutorial on a gift box I made.

What you need:

  • Thick Scrapbook Paper
  • Scissors
  • Knife
  • Protractor Triangle
  • Scotch Tape or Glue

scrapbook paper

I used this paper. It’s 21X15 CM.

How to fold

Measure out how big you want your box to be. This depends on the paper. My measurements were 8X2X8X2X1 CM.

Cut the paper lightly with the knife, just to make folding easier. After you did this, turn the paper and measure 2 CM for the overlap on the top and bottom. If you made the sides of your box bigger, make sure you’ll measure out the top and bottom accordingly.
Cut the sides on the top and bottom like the picture above shows.

Glue the 1CM overlap and the bottom or, if the glue won’t hold (like on my boxes) use scotch tape to put them together.

Gift Box

And that’s it, really. Quick and easy.

Sims 4 is almost here

I must admit, I haven’t been paying much attention to the new Sims game up until a few days ago. So I didn’t really know about what would be left out from previous sims games and what the new features will be.
But these two threads on different forums has made me want to share my two cents.

Thread 1.

Thread 2.

So first off; babies are objects, not sims. Thank God for that! From the time my first ever sim, in Sims2, almost died of exhaustion due to feeding her baby so much, I’ve always cheated their needs up. Just as in real life I find sim babies annoying and exhausting, so I can’t say I’m unhappy with this change.

No toddlers. Again, yay! Just as babies, toddlers annoy me to no end. I only want them when I can cheat them through their toddler days. I loved Sims3 for the life span changes one can make. Toddlers and babies had only a day in my game.

Teenagers and Elders are the same size as Adults. So? Despite everyone else seeming to think this is a problem, I don’t see it as one. Most real life teens are just as tall, or even taller, than their parents. Makes the game a little more realistic in this aspect, me thinks.

No pools, no hot tubs. The only time my sims used a pool was when I wanted to get rid of them in Sims2. Remove the ladder and watch them drown! When, in Sims3, they could climb out of the pool without a ladder, I didn’t build pools anymore. I’ll miss the hot tub, though. I like those, especially the Sims2 reward one.

hottub

No dishwashers, trash compactors, recycling bins or security alarms. Dishwashers and trash compactors always broke down in my games, so I won’t miss them. Security alarms were only handy when you were being robbed, but looked very ugly in your sims house, so I’m  curious to see how this works in Sims4.

No aliens. Well, that’s a bloody shame, isn’t it?! I’m sure it’ll be included in an expansion pack later, as everyone loves a good abduction every now and then…

Max lot size shrunk to 50×50. Knowing that both Sims2 and Sims3 ran crappy on even the best PC’s money could buy, this isn’t a huge problem in my opinion. I don’t think there would be many people out there that could run 64×64 lots without lag. Just view this review to see how crappy big lots run on a good pc in Sims3…

No basements. Basements were great for all the unwanted clutter you needed, but didn’t want to see in your houses. I’ll really miss this one.

No ability to choose which structures on a lot have a foundation and which don’t. That sucks too. I loved building garages with houses on a foundation. But seeing as there are no cars in Sims4, I don’t really need a garage, do I!?

Most normal careers removed. Military, Law Enforcement, Medicine, Athletic, Politics, Science, and Education careers are missing. That’s too bad. I liked my sims to be in these careers. But I’m sure that, just as in Sims2 and Sims3, modders will make their own careers, so I’m sure they be coming back.

No terrain sculpting. Yes, yes, yes! Finally! I absolutely despised the fact that there were so many different levels in the old neighbourhoods. I’ve always wanted completely flat neighbourhoods. This will make building (and downloading) so much better!

No “moveobjects” cheat code. Aww, shucks! I used that cheat quite a lot, so I am going to miss it.

No “constrainfloorelevation” cheat code. As there’s no terrain tools, this cheat is redundant. Which is a bloody shame, as many people used this cheat to create the most gorgeous houses.

Story Progression. Sims will age, but won’t get jobs, get married or have children on their own. On one hand that’s a shame,  but on the other, as there is age progression I’m hoping modders will come up with a better working story progression. Just as in Sims3, where the story progression that came with the game was seriously bugged. Pescado and Twallan came up with way better working mods. So here’s hoping that’ll happen in Sims4 too.

On the whole I’m quite excited to see how Sims4 will differ from Sims2 and Sims3. But I won’t hold my hopes up for a working, or indeed, complete game. Most likely there will be huge issues from day one, as EA likes to use paying customers as beta testers…

 

Christmas Wreath

Ever since I got my own place I’ve had a Christmas wreath on the front door. It’s been the same one for well over ten years and it’s become very tatty in those years. Ornaments kept falling off and the whole whing changed colour. So last year I decided it was time for a new one.
But apparently it’s hard to find a nice Christmas wreath which can go outside. I haven’t been able to find a nice one at a reasonable price.

A few days ago I was scouring the internet again and found a nice one made from ornaments, mainly balls. I thought I could make something like that myself.
Today, I had a go at it. And I think it looks really good.

Lights on

What you need:

  • Straw wreath (mine was 30 cm diameter)
  • Ribbon
  • lots of ornaments, both mini and midi (I used about 140)
  • String of beads (about 6 meters)
  • Battery powered LED lights (20 a string)
  • Glue gun
  • Glue sticks

Begin with placing the ribbon around the wreath and glue it in place.  Place some ornaments on the outside, spaced at regular intervals. Then, begin filling it up. Place the lights in where you want as you are placing the ornaments. I kept turning the lights on to see if I liked the placing of them. Try to fill most of the holes with balls or other ornaments you like. Don’t worry about the smaller holes. The can be filled with beads.
Glue the beads to the ornaments to prevent them from dropping off when you hang your wreath. The last thing you do is glue the batteries to the back of the wreath.

It’s really that simple. I love how my wreath has turned out and I’m amazed that I can make such a lovely thing as I’ve never been this creative before…

lights off

You can also use this as a table decoration. You can make it as big as you want, simply by using a bigger wreath. But make sure you’ve bought enough ornaments. I’ve ended up driving back to the shop a second time, as I didn’t even buy enough for half of the wreath…

Messenger Bag

Last week I bought some lovely fabric scraps. All of them quite sizeable. But I didn’t have any idea what to do with them. Yet.

Over the weekend the idea formed of making a messenger bag. I need a new bag for my sport clothes as the one I’ve been using is about 20 years old and beginning to fall apart.
I’ve read so many tutorials, seen so many YouTube tutorials. But I couldn’t make head nor tails of it. Nothing made sense to me. Until I found this tutorial on YouTube:

I could follow it step by step, without any problems. I think I’ve watched this tut over a dozen times before even trying to cut the fabric. I couldn’t believe how easy it is. And it sure made me wonder why I couldn’t understand the other tutorials.

I did make a few adjustments. For instance I didn’t make a zipper pouch and I added two side pockets. I was planning on making those on the outside, but forgot to add them to the fabric, so I added them to the inside later. This works even better. And I made it bigger as my shoes need to fit inside.

Messenger bag

What did I use?

  • 3 pieces of fabric (40 by 50 cm), pink with hearts (for the outside)
  • 3 pieces of fabric (40 by 50 cm), pink (for the inside)
  • 3 pieces of fusible batting (40 by 50 cm) (for the filling)
  • 2 pieces of fabric (40 by 20 cm), pink with hearts (for the sides)
  • 2 pieces of fabric (40 by 20 cm), pink (for the sides)
  • 2 pieces of fusible batting (40 by 20 cm) (for the side filling)
  • 1 piece of fabric (50 by 20 cm), pink with hearts (for the bottom)
  • 1 piece of fabric (50 by 20 cm), pink (for the bottom)
  • 1 piece of fusible batting (50 by 20 cm)(for the bottom filling)
  • 2 pieces of fabric (20 by 50 cm), pink with hearts (for the front packets)
  • 4 pieces of fabric (15 by 20 cm), pink (for the side pockets)
  • 1 piece of fabric (13 by 110 cm), pink (for the strap)
  • 1 piece of fusible batting (11 by 108 cm) (for the strap filling)
  • 2 buttons
  • thread (lots of it)

As I said, it’s a big bag. But I love it! And I went back to the shop to buy even more fabric as I want a bag for my work clothes too. Admittedly, it will be a bit smaller and I’ll make a few adjustments along the way, but I can’t wait to begin sewing again.

messenger bag, inside

Thank you Whitney, for the great and easy tutorial!

 

What to do with the remaining owls…

Every year, on the 11th of November, as soon it gets dark, children up to the age of 11/12 go door to door with hand-crafted lanterns made of paper, singing songs, hoping to receive some candy or fruit.

Last year I gift wrapped the candy and the children loved it. So this year I thought I’d do something better.

I found this tutorial through Pinterest and thought it would be awesome if I could make something like that. So I bought some paper and some craft eyes.
As I don’t have a cuttlebug I used paper towel rolls instead.

owls in their box

I made 40 of those, the biggest part when I had night shifts. My colleagues loved them. They were cooing over them,even without the eyes, which I attached later.

I thought 40 would be sufficient, as last year I had 23 children come to the door. unfortunately, this year, the weather was foul and only 10 kids turned up…

So I was stuck with 30 little owls. I gave 2 to a client at work, whose great-granddaughter is going through chemo and a bone merrow transplant for leukemia. I thought it’d be nice for her and her little sister to get one each.

28 remaining. Now what? Luckily I came across an interesting project where toys are being collected for children of families who have to live on charity hand-outs. I contacted them and the said they’d love to have them.

more owls

So on saturday I brought the remaining owls to the charity. The women flocked together, all cooing over the owls. And I got asked if I wanted to make more next year! Of course I said yes!

So I’m already collecting paper towel rolls and paper in all kinds of colour, just to make a whole bunch of owls and other cute things you can make with paper towel rolls.

for more owl love, please visit kerryspapercrafts.com

So Many Books

Many of you will know books are a great love of mine. I can’t get enough of them. I love books, the more the better.

One of my hobbies is reading, another is BookCrossing. BookCrossing is a site where I have registered more than 700 books to this date. The idea is to read (if I like them) and release those books. So people can find them and read them. And later hopefully release them again for the next reader.

I’ve been a BC member for 4 and a half years and I love it. I had heard of it before, but never gotten around to try to find the site.
But one day, when I was at work I found a book. I remember clearly I saw it, but couldn’t stop at that particular time. I hoped it’d still be on that bench by the time I got back. And it was.
From that day I was hooked. The idea of releasing books and reading people’s notes is so rewarding. People are mostly very happy when they find a book.

Ballycumber
If you like a book, let it go!

The first few books I released were from my own bookshelves. Books I had read, books I didn’t particularly like and books I bought from a charity shop. The first box was from CreativeChaos. After that I’ve been getting boxes from anywhere and everywhere. I’ve got friends, family, colleagues, even complete strangers giving me (boxes of) books. Just because they like the idea of BookCrossing.

In the 4 and a half years on the site I’ve been fairly active. I released hundreds of books, I’ve registered hundreds more. I’ve read more books than I ever could’ve dreamed. And I’ve met some wonderful and generous people. Many of them I call my friends. I hope to be part of this community for a long time!

This post has been made for the Weekly Photo Challenge.