Our Alfie moto, Don't. cry because its over, smile because it happened.

Our Alfie moto, Don't cry because its over, smile because it happened.Dr Seuss

Monday, 30 April 2012

121- no more venflon Yipee

Dad has been taken of all IV meds and fluids - this means his good hand is now free to use and he is free to wlak about - not so good!
He spent the majority of the day walking - it is killing the nurses, tonight when we left he followed us to the door and pretty much refused to go back in - poor guy, he is still a little confused. He does however still have a wicked sense of humour.
He continually takes the piss out of my mum by making faces behind her back if she is 'nagging' him. However, biggest deal so far and I bloody missed it - he talked. Antony and mum were walking with him when a guy in a side room started shouting (he does every night) 'extra blanket' - after 20 times, my dad mimicked him and apparently even said it in the same tone and then he laughed a real belly laugh.

He also says aye, bye and right. So we are seeing some glimmer of hope.

It is so difficult to remain optimistic, we getting conflicting advice and I never know who to listen to. SALT said today dad was uncooperative, and that usually physical and neural progress happens simultaneously, clearly not the case in my dad, which then leads me to worry that he might never get his cognition back, this terrifies me to be honest. I am so superstitious I feel as if I even think it it might come true - duh, how irrational I am. Same when Alfie died, terrified to think a negative thought in case something negative happened - like my mind can control the world, as if! For one Alfie would be alive and my dad wouldn't be in hospital, confused and miserable and for 2 I would be minted and living in a mortgage free beautiful house with my family all happy, proof enough that my mind/thoughts have no influence on pops recovery.......

Today was a really tearful day, Archie spent most of it saying he missed Granda and he was worried because Granda missed Grandma - that and how did Granda get his ouwy head?


Sunday, 29 April 2012

120 - singing kinda sorta?

Strange day with Dad - he is down and it make us down. I really hope he gets out the hospital soon and gets along to Cameron, he is bored and it is making him miserable.
He seemed very confused tonight, although he did sing mum and I a wee song, not sure what it was really - the best way to describe it is a wee song. Not words as such but noises, the most I've heard so far.
He is still responding the most to videos of the kids and his pal.
I am trying to remember that we need to measure things in weeks rather than days, in which case he is doing brilliant.

Wish I could say the same for me - another v emotional day, still getting waves of sadness and disbelief that my awesome dad is no longer the man he was - please please let him come back, I want nothing more right now than to watch him play with Archie oot the back with the water hose and the sand pit.
I gave dad a cuddle tonight when it was just the 2 of us and told him how much I miss him - sucks so much.

Pug has his finals tomorrow, I really hope he does well - he deserves it after all his hard work and after all the heartache of late.  Shit, just when you think life is getting easier something else comes and knocks you back on your ass. I do think he will be fine, he is his own worse crtic, wuite a british trait for a Californian boy.
Thank goodness once again for my lovely wee ones, I wouldn't be coping so well if I didn't have them to cuddle in to.

My other salvation is the running and sewing - more plans for quiet cutting and stitching.
Think I might make some stuff for dad,
Night night my lovely dad I really do miss you xx

119- Look no hands - more tears of joy

WOW - my dad walked along the corridor with us tonight, we must look such a circus - the staff are probably gagging for him/us to leave. 2 per bed results in 8 of us following him up and down the corridor. He was grinning at my nephews as one of the said like "check me out walking"!
It does, however remind me of Archie when he was wee - walking by 10months with ZERO danger awareness, body maturing long before cognition.

Dad did look so excited to see his pal Bill the night, Rovers won and are staying up so they were both chuffed. My dad tried to shake Bill's hand with his bad hand - he can move it pretty far now.
Today Dad was by far the most alert he has been, he doesn't react much to us though - I think he is bored with us and wants out of hospital - apparently he tried to get ready to leave with my mum tonight - no long noo Dad, hang in there and you'll be at the park watching the bairns - xxxx

Friday, 27 April 2012

118 - bathroom humor

When we went to visit dad today I was chatting with the nurse who told me that dad had managed to get out of his chair and into the loo and locked himself in!! If it wasn't so funny it would be scary. We are trying to tell him that if he falls he could have a serious bleed on his brain or break a hip etc......all he does is roll his eyes at us.
This eve when we went in he had moved to the chair at the other side of the bed - on his own. The old dude in the bed opposite said he had been ringing the nurses all day to stop my dad wandering.

Poor dad, his physical recovery is awesome, however as his cognitive ability is still seriously impaired, he just doesn't have any danger awareness.  He was so pissed off this aft, not interested in anything or anybody (a la Still Game, for those in the know). Slightly better humour this eve but very sleepy - maybe tomorrow will be a better day?

Still not ready to leave my bubble - I wonder when I will feel strong enough? I went to see the tail end of Momo's show tonight, she was fantastic and of course her costume was awesome - pats self on back. Lovely to see Momo but felt odd being in public.

Happy news is that as soon as Dad is off the anitb's for his infection he will probably be ready to go to Cameron - I know its not a miracle cure but I have heard so many positive things about it, it is hard not to get too excited. The one good thing is we will be allowed to take him out for wee trips, so hoping a wee trip to the park with the kids will be in our future.

No sewing today, just cutting out and buying fabric......dreaming of my new crepe dress with yellow clogs. happy clothes to cheer me up.

Love and kisses Dad night night xxx

Thursday, 26 April 2012

117 - the boyos bring happiness

My Dad is doing well, I saw very little of him this afternoon as his mum and aunt came to visit...but this evening my 2 nephews came to visit. What a reaction, Dad pulled one of their Hoodie strings towards him to give him a kiss......He also waved goodbye - monumental given he refuses to even raise a finger when we leave. This gives me real hope for his ability to understand, he clearly has moments of awareness. Antony was telling him tonight about William Boyd writing the next Bond and dad said "aye emmm" then he lost his train of thought, it was really spontaneous and as though he was going to say, Aye em I read that in the paper.
His walking is improving every day, we had to take his trainers in the night, and yes he is still escaping from his chair, rolls his eyes at us when we tell him to stay put.

I on the other hand had a bad day, very weepy. Bumped into a few lovely pals who asked after dad and I just couldn't hold it in....best just to roll with the punches. I'm going to have a really quiet day tomorrow and climb back into my cocoon. Was braw to escape for a while this morning with my lovely pal and her wee ones, but then a trip down town in the pouring rain and a wet dash to nursery then the drop kids off then hospital was too much.

On a happy trivial note, I ordered new fabric to make another dress this time a size smaller and in plain red. I am planning on omitting the ties and making button holes in the waist at either side and using big giant buttons. Will post pic of finished item. My violet blouse was a great success so I few more planned.
Got a lovely email from Tilly re the cynthia rowley pattern I am trying to get in the uk, so far with limited success....and my failure on the beignet front. I will try another one!

Night my dad, I love you xxx

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

116- tv heaven

What a peaceful day in comparison to yesterday's emotional minefield.

Archie's photos for Granda, I told him today Dad was in hospital and very tired and had a sore head -he suggested maybe some medicine - if only my wee man xxx

Sadie slept most of the morning and I managed to make 2 pairs of trousers, 1 funky beach bum striped linen for Archie and one cute drawstring waist CND sign flowery ones for wee Mabel - hope they fit her, they are too cute. I made them from the left over of Peggy's Xmas present Hoodie - they could be matchy matchy if mum and dad are so inclined? It was so nice to lose myself in the process of sewing - the hum of the machine and focus required helps me zone out. It also feels great to produce something creative and useful.

Sadie and I had a quiet lunch and then the hospital rounds begin.....
Dad was in good form today, he smiled a lot, was mainly awake and seemed to be aware of most things although it is so hard to tell......so we conducted a wee experiment.
I took a black marker and we wrote down, can you read this? to which he responded by his usual nod....then we thought he may be nodding to anything, so as our control we needed something we knew the answer to - for anyone who knows my dad well, they will know he pretty much doesn't like cooked veg, he can tolerate a carrot and the on going joke in the family is that he eats 1 sprout, a token gesture although he doesn't enjoy it much. So I wrote down  do you want a Brussel sprout? - he nodded, then after a few seconds he grimaced, poor guy I think he understood eventually, however as I write this  I realise he was probably thinking how surreal - why the hell are they asking me if I want a sprout, they know I hate them.......Yikes, when he gets better he is gonna be pissed of wi us.

He managed to walk the ward corridor with the  help of the physio's and he is muttering more, he did say Antony tonight, although it wasn't clear. His infected arm is looking pretty rough, and he is in pain - he keeps showing it to us, hopefully the anti-b's will work soon. We left him watching the champions league on his wee portable flatscreen TV HEAVEN, the morn he is getting my DAB radio, plus he has his ipod - life of luxury on that ward.

I am becoming more accustomed to our life at present, I miss my dad and I miss my mum, she is occupied with maintaining her own mental health and being strong for dad so they are both inaccessible right now, for the 1st time in my life I'm in a crisis without either of my natural supports - I do feel rudderless...I know I have Pugs, and he is being awesome about putting kids to bed every night and picking  up round the house  while I go to eve visiting, but he is absorbed in his Finals - which are on Monday.
I feel my life is in a vacuum - very similar to when Alfie died, I exist from day to day, I only go out to nursery, the hospital or a quick nip to the shops, thank goodness for the running - I've run every night en route to the hospital, the staff are laughing at my braw legs in shorts!

Don't mean to sound woe is me, I actually am finding some peace in the quiet routine of our new temporary life. I just want to feel secure enough to relax and not flinch everytime I see my mums name come up on the mobile. I know she flinches everytime her house phone goes, can't imagine how hellish she feels.

Lovely to see them both having a wee cuddle the night, true soul mates, inspiring as always.
How amazing after all these years that they are still going strong, I remembered this afternoon that after my dad retired and mum was still working he bought flowers, croissant and bubbly for her coming home on the half day at end of term to celebrate the beginning of the holidays 'what a guy dad!' your responsible for me having such high expectations in my husband ( and rightly so).

Love youse xxx

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

115 - rollercoaster

My Lovely neighbour Susan surprised me this am and took Archie to mum and tots across the road just as Sadie was going down for her nap - 2 hours of Clare time, I would like to say I didn't know what to do with myself or that I cleaned but NO! Straight on the sewing machine to finish my new Violet blouse. It turned out really well although I need to take it in at the waist slightly.

So what started as a great day then went horrifically down hill, I has just dropped Archie off at nursery and was heading  into town with Sadie when my mum called to say the hospital called to say that my Dad was poorly, he had taken a bad turn and was unresponsive. PANIC - we all rushed up there my brothers running, mum Sadie and I abandoned the car outside the hospital. My mum really thought we were losing him. On arrival we rushed to his bed to be told he was going down for a brain scan ASAP, it might be a bleed on the brain, it might be another stroke or it might be as a result of yesterdays activities coupled with an infection in his arm where he had his cannula in. 2 long hours later and Dad still not responding to any of us, he finally started to move his toes a bit, on both feet - I took this as a good sign, as had it been another stroke he would most likely be unable to move his right foot again.
Phew - he opened his eyes for a second, what a relief. He had a brain scan and there is no evidence of a further stroke or bleed - THANK GOODNESS.

By this eve he was responsive again, he laughed out loud when Antony and I were pointing out his manky toenails which I had told him to get sorted before he went to Spain. He smiled a big full smile when he saw a video of the kids - he tried to talk to us about it, no actual word though.

What a day, Kirsty said about the roller coaster of emotions and I thought she was right, it is the most apt word, how exhausting for all of us, however more so for my poor pops, he must be shattered and having an infection is yucky.
My poor wee mum, she was beside herself, I managed to persuade her to get into bed and cuddle him - so glad she did, they looked lovely - he had his good arm around her cosying her in. Beautiful beautiful beautiful love. If Pug and I have half of their love, fun, passion and joy for each other I'll be a happy woman.

Monday, 23 April 2012

114 - "Hiya"

Took wee Sadie in to visit Grandad today, I am struggling to get folk to watch the wee ones everyday - with Pug being full on at uni for another few weeks, so I took madam with me. She was wary of Grandad to start with, but as the time went on she settled.

Big news is dad walked a bit in the gym this am with 2 physios helping him, they are so happy with his progress they let us take him in a wheelchair downstairs, we only lasted a few minutes outside as he was freezing - he looked so confused.
When we came back in we took him to WHSmith to browse the newspapers - he does seem to be reading? Anyways, Mini Haha picked up a magazine to show Grandad, my mum lifted her up to him on his good side and he said "Hiya" twice, clear as a bell, still in shock...... no french accent, no slurring just said it like nothing had happened - madness. He was so cute with her, smiling and making funny faces to her. Both Sadie and Mabel are great for his spirit.

He is just so lovely, when they were helping him into the wheelchair he was standing up, he reached out to my mum - they had a cuddle, such a  beautiful moment that the charge nurse started crying, we all did!!!
He also watched a wee bit snooker in the day room and had a visit from his pal Bill, a busy day.

The last 8 days have been such a roller coaster of emotion, highs and serious lows. It is looking more positive for Dad, I'm enjoying his amazing progress yet I'm still terrified to let go and relax, such a long way to go.

Looks like everyones positive thoughts and prayers are paying off - thank you to everyone for all the kind words, one day I will be able to show him them and he will know how loved he is.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

113 - walking back to happiness woop ha o Yeah!

Well! having been told a few days ago we were looking at 10 secs unaided in a chair we are ridiculously happy that Dad tried to walk today, ok so he probably shuffled one step but he wanted to he had the balance, strength and the coordination. Of course now he will have to be reassessed and made safer, he can't keep falling - not when he has had a brain injury as such.

He also managed to feed himself a spoonful of pudding with a pre loaded spoon and BIG news he moved his right leg with total ease tonight.

The loveliest moments are still with wee Mabel, he gives a full wide smile and makes a strange noise in the same pitch he uses for the wee ones when he talks to them....so he is trying to communicate.

So all in a really positive day, for the 1st time since last week I really felt I was walking into a room and it was my dad sitting there, it only lasted a few minutes and we were back to confusion and staring, but he was definitely with us - the relief is enormous........hope has been ignited today.
Mon yersel Dad, Love you and desperate for you to see the bairns again xxxx

Here is a wee sneak preview of the girls this aft in the park

hiding in bushes covered in icecream

Saturday, 21 April 2012

113 - standing tall = happy

Dad was caught standing up today, thank goodness the nurse was in the bay at the time! It is a great sign, however worrying as he may fall - he is trying to make a bid for freedom.

His facial gestures seem to be improving, he also made a sound tonight when he and mum hugged. Tonight's visit was lovely, really relaxed - except my mum who obviously can't sit still. She has been told to bring her knitting from now on.......that's how they spent most eve anyways, her doing the talking and knitting and him sitting peacefully.

I made a cake tonight and took it on for the nurses and mum bought them nice coffee - a wee thanks for this week, they were really touched - i hope it goes some way to helping build our relationships with them, they spend more time caring for dad than we do, i want them to know we appreciate all that.

My heart is going out to my mum tonight - it'll be a week the morn since dad had the stroke, I know I'm really aware of that so goodness knows how she'll be. Running through last sat night in her head a million times if she is anything like me. I am so aware when my mum says 'yer dad was just saying last week......' that she will soon run out of them, how sad.

Still struggling to get my head around the fact he is not himself, he was so vibrant so filled with life - he really knew how to enjoy life, as illustrated above on holiday with Pegster in San Francisco. Happy days Dad xxxx
Shite I miss you

Friday, 20 April 2012

112- photos for dad

smiles for Granda

Archie and Peppa having lunch

cheesey market grin

sharing a ladybird
Today I started to take photos of the kids so I can take them for my dad, to stimualte his brain but also as a record of what we've been up to while he is on the ward. I'm still not sure if he recognises the kids or whether he just smiles because they are pretty cute kids - bias of course.

The Links Market is in town, so between visiting we ran down with the wee ones, they both loved it. Archie kept reaching forward on the ladybird and pulling the antenna, i later realised it was because Gaston from Ben and Holly is flown using antennae, he is clearly much smarter than i am.

These visiting times are pretty close together, I am going to have to learn to be more organised, I want to be able to get the wee ones their dinner and a cuddle before I go back out.....everything is so frantic right now, hoping by next week I can establish some routine.

Right over to the main event, Pops, today he had thickened water to drink which he did himself using his left hand - so good coordination and swallowing is improving.. He spent the whole day in a chair. At this aft visiting we took him his cards, we were told by salt to keep things simple and short, so I read him his name from the front of the card then said that's you dad, do you know that? His reaction was hysterical - he managed to communicate 'i'm no stupid Clare, I ken I'm Mr A Strachan' just by rolling his eyes, crinkling his nose and raising an eyebrow. I am so hoping he knows us. He isn't clear like that for very long so I forget and panic I imagined it or just willed it to have happened. He did however definitely move his right lower bottom leg and tried to stand up from his chair. He had a great reaction to mention of Champions league and his old pal Bill, the two had quite an interaction. So progress wise looking good. He also managed to sit upright in his chair for 5 mins tonight, another good sign.

Emotionally I am a wreck, I keep wanting to cry and most of the time I just do. It is hard however being in with the kids all day alone and having to keep a brave face on it. I collapsed into tears when I saw him at the hospital this afternoon, as I walked into his bay I saw him up in his chair and although good for him it is a shock to see him - every time at 3pm it is a shock, I have to take deep breaths in the waiting room before we go in, prepare myself for the reality of our new lives.

I got signed off for a week by the gp today and I have to go in monday morning to see him -  maybe by then I'll feel stronger? right now all I want is to spend every waking minute at that hospital, take my crochet, some food and camp out on the floor next to my dad - hell if we were in Spain I could! NHS much stricter on visiting than in Spain, I slept on a recliner next to Pug the whole time he was in hospital.

Lets see what tomorrow brings, I still tense every time the phone rings and panic about the future, its the greyness of the situation that is awful, the not knowing.

Love you dad, xxx

Thursday, 19 April 2012

111- baby happiness

Antony took wee Mabel into visit dad today, he reached up to touch her. When we were leaving he also, leaned up to give her a kiss and stroked her head.He was the most alert I've seen him today - and tonight although very tired I saw him move his right foot - I told him he'd done it and and he did it again. He also nodded when I asked him if he wanted me to get mum.

All of these signs are so positive, so why is my heart so heavy?

I am so overwhelmed with sadness for the loss of my dad, I know he's in there somewhere but it is pretty far away.

The speech and language therapist told my mum today it would be unlikely that dad will have a fluent conversation again - although that is not to say he will not be able to communicate, however we may have to use makaton or various other methods, I know technology has come on and hope that if he is unable to verbalise he can communicate via computer? Who knows - all so bloody academic right now. Harsh reality check however, hate the idea I can't have a blether with my dad or hear his voice again - luckily he was more of listener than a talker ( not much option in our house)

I am sad because I know how hellish it is going to be explaining to Archie that his Granda can't talk - I'm not sure if previous posts have touched on how my son thinks the sun rises and sets with his Granda, how they have such a close relationship, my mum and dad have looked after Archie since he was 30 weeks old, we lived with them for a few months and never more than a few days goes by without them hanging out. Then I think if this makes me feel shit - how is my poor dad gonna feel when he gets enough cognition to realise the same - one word SHITE!

I know we are not the only family to suffer this tragedy, or the only person to have suffered, but right now its a pretty lonely place and even after all the pain of losing Alfie I still want to scream it not fair - I want my dad.

Doctors tomorrow to see if they can sign me off for a few weeks, I really can't face talking to a room full for 30 kids about some moral issue, or how if one is a good person then life is good - bullshit, I'm angry.

Luckily my wee ones are at this point oblivious to it all, I am remaining calm and fun with them, they are a welcome break from the heartache.
Archie has started to 'race' me to nursery shouting 'I'm being healthy mummy'....I explained to him I was going out running to be healthy LOL not sure he understands the concept but good to get it in his head early I guess.

Sadie is being her sweet self, so gentle and kind. One good thing that has come from Dad's illness is that the kids are spending more time together.

110 - photos bring smiles

Today I took some photos of the wee ones in to my dad, I wasn't sure if it was too early but I thought no harm just taking them in.
As I showed them to him he smiled, I am really hoping he recognises the wee ones....I think he did.

We are also really pleased as he is getting some pureed food, although not enough to sustain him so a NG tube is going to be needed.

At eve visiting I took in his ipod (mum had a long chat with the stroke liaison nurse yesterday, she said music was a good idea), we put on Eddi Reader, he sort of moved his head from side to side - so a good response.
Then later my brother and sister in law were in with him and he tried to take out the headphones so he could hear them, and didn't manage so he then tried to pull the jack out the ipod - hoping these are good signs of positive cognitive recognition.
Finally, he looked at Antony's photos, reached up with his good hand to get them and then turned them over to look at the back.

So quite positive developments, still very early days. I'm frightened to get too excited yet, but how lovely it is to see him with his lovely blue eyes open.......

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

109 - happy hugs

Today has been a tough one, the numbness of shock is beginning to wear off and the harsh reality and pain that accompanies it are beginning to sink in.

Shit I miss my dad,
Since sunday morning all I've wanted to do is climb into bed and hug him, tonight I didn't quite climb in but I managed to get my arm around his neck and give him an almost proper hug. Mum brought in his own toiletries today so he smelt like dad too which made it even nicer.

We did have a horrible incident with the nursing staff where I was 'assertive', hmm its gonna be a fine balancing act trying to advocate for my dad and mum without pissing the staff off. We need them to be on our side, however I equally can't stand by and see things I consider bad practise go on, sigh - just another thing to deal with.

Back to the most important thing - my Dad, all the other stuff just pales in insignificance in comparison. I am willing him better, he was extremely drowsy tonight and didn't respond much. According to the nurse he did have a really bright spell at 6pm, sad mum missed it, but at least he had one!!!!

I am struggling with the injustice of the situation, my clean living, lovely kind dad lying ill, compared to people who have misused and abused their bodies smoking outside the hospital in their wheelchairs. I pinch myself though and remember that A. his healthy lifestyle will help him recover and B. we attempt to create justice in our world, but reality is it is a construct - life is simply cruel. I know this from losing the wee man - so no point in trying to rationalise it. I just have to appreciate the finer details - the smell of dad, how soft his skin is, his lovely blue eyes - tomorrow maybe a  lopsided smile
Love you dad xxxx

Monday, 16 April 2012

108 - burping our way to happiness

Well guys, Thanks so much for all your kind words of support, prayers and general kindness.
It makes me happy knowing how well thought of my lovely dad is, he is a good guy!

Today we had 2 visits, he is responding a little again, no significant change. We had a long chat with the senior charge nurse, she explained the practicalities to us, as an indication of his status we are looking at 12 months recovery, and if he manages to sit unaided for 10 secs within the next few months it will be considered 'momentous'.

Unsure as to whether I should be recording my dads progress and how my family feel about it, however I do know it is easier to get the info out en masse to people - so hopefully people aren't offended.

My adorable, lovely fantastic mum - what a woman, what an inspiration - the love she clearly, patently feels for my equally awesome Dad is enormous, this beautiful love is what is gonna keep us all going. How lucky are we to have such fantastic role models as parents, I feel honoured to be part of that love.

Now to take it down to our base bad sense of humour rung - our happiness for today,
My mum burped (loudly, as she prone to!) and my dad smiled........as I said teeny things to cling on to.
But at least he was aware of noise and knew it was her.

Archie and Peggy had their 1st swimming lesson this am, they did really well - both of them conformed and took instruction.....V proud of them both, cute to see them sharing a shower afterwards.
Their wee smiles are keeping our spirits up.

Thanks again for all you kindness.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

92-107 happy holidays

Walking, snow, hot chocolate, muddy boots, singing kettle, play parks, picnics, flowers, anniversary 'love' mugs - all part of our great 2 weeks.

What I am most happy about today is a small thing and I fear I will only have small things to be happy about over the next few months....My dad straightened my mums specs tonight, a momentous thing as he had a stroke this morning and for the best part of the day has been sleeping in a hospital bed surrounded by us. He has lost his speech and is paralysed down his right side. We are clutching at straws, so the tiny things today have been that he hugged my mum, smiled rather lopsidedly at us, kissed me and my mum and reached up to straighten her glasses. The shock is still rippling through us, we have had many texts, calls and visitors already. The next few days, 3 to be precise are  the most important we have to hope he won't have another and then we can begin the road to recovery.

I am trying to remain positive and remind myself that at 9.05am when my mum called to tell me I thought I might never see my dad smile again, so a wee lopsided response is better than nothing.
Hang in there pops, Love you xxx

Sunday, 1 April 2012

92-366 ALWAYS happy to find new cookie recipes

We had a lovely day, the kids and I spend the morning playing/knitting in the garden, then a shopping trip to stock up for our wee holiday tomorrow. I finished the day making a batch of these cookies
 They turned out so well, I spent the rest of the eve munching my way through a fair amount of them, drinking tea and knitting the 'red' so to be finished blankie mmm Sunday night bliss, made better knowing no work the morn.