I don’t know if I have ever gone so long without posting! First of all, thank you all so very much for sharing our joy about the Dafter’s achievements. Many of you have faithfully followed our journey with ME/CFS for the past five years, and your solidarity has meant more to our family than I can express.
I’ve been trying to think of what title to give this post – “It’s been a challenging time”? “Waving not drowning”? “We’ve had a time of it”? But I think it’s just been a time…
Time in fact has been at an absolute premium in the past five weeks. I have hardly had a moment to myself, and when I have had an hour here or there I have mostly just slept. I still haven’t sorted our photos from Harris but I look forwards to doing that and sharing them with you. I have some time to blog this evening because I am shut up in the bedroom with poor Tilly, who had an operation today. Instead of a big plastic collar to keep her from pulling her stitches out, she has this fetching post-surgical suit:
(We were joking about how the Dafter should have a “recovery suit”.) Until we found a lump on her breast last Thursday, Tilly had been enjoying some lovely Indian Summer weather:
The lump is now removed and along with a lymph gland biopsy is away to the lab. Results are expected in 7 to 10 days. This evening she has been very brave, and has been putting her tail straight up when petted. She’s also purred a bit, which is unusual for her, so I think she is really relieved to be home again.
The garden has been pretty neglected this past month. The Dafter started her college course four weeks ago and it has been a tough old time for her – physically, emotionally and in terms of her concentration. She has battled on, and I by her side. She goes to class for two hours, three days a week, and has found that utterly exhausting. Unfortunately the three days are in a row, with no rest day in between, so she has been spending days in bed afterwards trying to recuperate, and rather dreading going back. She has been able to keep up with the work, however, which is excellent. She will try to extend the time she spends in class little by little, if she can manage that. I pray she will be able to continue.
I had a birthday, and the Dafter and her father organised a lovely day for me. Look – the Dafter is bringing the birthday cake in! Michael took the day off work; he has been working absolutely flat out and will be doing so for the foreseeable future, so that was really good. The Dafter managed college that day, so he and I were able to go for a walk and have lunch together. Such a treat!
And I was really spoiled rotten with presents and cards, too. To top it all off, at choir rehearsal that evening, they surprised me with a serenade. I’ve never had 30 people sing Happy Birthday to me before!
My midge-induced trigeminal neuralgia (which I wrote about here) has almost completely cleared up now, very thankfully. I just have to be careful how I touch my left ear. People are saying that the midges this summer have been the worst in living memory.
Here is an interesting new word:
The joke is based on the nickname for Glasgwegians – “Weegees”. Do I feel like a “Refuweegee”? I’m not a refugee, thankfully, but I do feel embraced by the people of Glasgow. I have always felt very welcome in Scotland, since coming here in 1992. This has been a consolation to me, as in the past few weeks I also discovered the new tax laws for American ex-pats, and the limitations on us in terms of some banking here now. I’m not going to discuss it further here, but particularly if you know any American citizens living abroad (and this includes any children of theirs, born anywhere in the world), you might be interested in this video. I am not endorsing this organisation at all, but the video from a Dutch news programme is informative, though it does not cover other aspects of the new laws such as reporting savings.
Another thing that has weighed heavily on me is that my mother has been very unwell. She is now home from hospital, and it looks very likely that her health problems can be stabilised for some time to come. Whereas the Dafter was doing much better when my father died, and I was able to be away for 10 days, it’s clear that I cannot make that journey just now. My family here would pay far too high a price. My mother has told me that she doesn’t expect me to come, and for that I am very grateful.
For some reason many of my favourite knitted sweaters have worn out recently:
But that is okay, because it means I need to knit more! I have knit quite a bit over the summer, and will show you that when I get a chance.
I did sew something – a sling to carry the rats about in. I designed it myself and it works very well:
The rats are still shy, but they now come out and ride around our shoulders for a few hours a day. They love snuggling into a hood, but this has the disadvantage that you can’t really interact with them. With the sling, you can enjoy their company, and pet them as you go about, which they love. They are very sweet:
Tilly sees them up on our shoulders, but she doesn’t seem to feel jealous of them.
She is now curled up, trying to sleep a bit. Tomorrow will be a better day! And alongside these various worries and problems, I am very conscious that the most important thing in life is relationships. We are so blessed with our happy family, and it’s the strength we give each other that gets us through challenging times.
I hope this finds you all doing very well, and enjoying the shift to autumn.