#Jaye’s Week…

The Queue

I only managed to leave the house once this week and that was to collect urgent medication for Boots the chemist in the High Street.

It was a typical autumnal morning, bright but damp, with the smell of all the fallen leaves I enjoyed shuffling through as I walked.

There was not many people about due to lockdown, as most of the shops were shut, so I hoped there wouldn’t be a queue in Boots. They are short staffed, so even a small queue means standing in line for ages, something I don’t enjoy doing these days.

As I used my elbow to open the automatic doors, my heart sank when I saw three people already waiting. Sometimes you get lucky and people pick up their prescriptions without any complications.

The first person in the queue took forever and as I watched the next person walk up to the counter, I hoped it wouldn’t happen again, as my legs were feeling the strain already.

My heart soared just a little when it was the third persons turn.

Me next!

That’s when my luck ran out… and things became a little crazy.

There were now two people behind me in the queue. An elderly lady on crutches, who looked likely to collapse at any moment, and an equally elderly gentleman who was leaning heavily on a walking stick.

Even though I was in pain, I knew I would offer my place in the queue to the elderly lady, as there was no way I could take my turn ahead of her. As I watched, I also knew she needed to sit down on the chair over by the counter before she fell down.

She refused to sit down, worrying about losing her place, but I assured her I would make sure this didn’t happen.

What happened next turned into a comedy sketch with the elderly lady and gentleman taking it in turns to sit down while we waited. We were all wearing masks, so made a pretty picture as we all tried to help each other.

We all saw the funny side and chatted along like old friends.

And still we waited.

Eventually, the hold up was resolved and I insisted the old lady was next.

By then she had stopped protesting as I could see she was in real trouble.

Luckily, the story ended well, and we were all dealt with in record time…

© Jaye Marie 2020

Jaye’s Week… #WIPWednesday

#WIP Wednesday

I spotted this hashtag this morning, on my travels around the blogosphere.

And it made me think of all the works in progress that I have now.

Unless I am working on one, I try not to think of the others too much as it can get a little depressing, but they are always there, lurking in the background.

The main WIP is the new story I have been trying to outline for what seems like forever. This involves an old character, so I know him like the back of my hand. The antagonist, however, is new and I’m having the devil’s own job getting to grips with him, for I think the antagonist is just as important a character as the hero and needs to be written well. So far, he is Mr Nobody!

Having caught up with the housework last week, the garden must be the second WIP. So overgrown, I get rather overwhelmed when I look at it, especially when an old tree fell over out there last week, but determined to get to grips with it, even if it takes a while. That’s if it ever stops raining!

Which brings me to what I think is the last WIP. The project I started as a way of relaxing, but which so far has had the opposite effect. Browsing through Pinterest, I saw this amazing stained-glass crochet pattern, and the challenge to master it was born. I love to crochet, but some of the more complicated stitches are usually a bridge too far for my aging brain, but when has that ever stopped me?

Overtaking and more important than any of the above, is caring for Anita.

( she wouldn’t like to be regarded as a work in progress, so this is just between us)  I am consumed with the complicated business of getting her back on her feet. It has been a week since the pacemaker thingy was installed and the wound is healing well, but she is still weak, lightheaded, and very breathless. I think at least one of her medications is not agreeing with her, but which one? The nurse will be here this morning, so we will see what she thinks…

Too Much Information!

Life in the Dawes household is on a knife edge now, as the date for Anita’s next and hopefully successful visit to the hospital draws ever nearer.

They plan to be fitting Anita with a pacemaker/defibrillator on Wednesday next week to persuade her poor old heart to start behaving normally. In preparation, we have been bombarded with a cart load of instructions, safety checks and medication updates.

There is so much to remember, and even more information that we really didn’t need, but you know doctors, they must tell you everything, including, in great detail, everything that could go wrong.

Me personally, I like to know what might happen to me, even the bad stuff, but Anita would rather not dwell on that side if things. She hasn’t said as much, but I know she would rather carry on as she is, even with all the breathlessness and fatigue, than walk into that hospital again. If we do get her there, she will be doing it for us, her family and not for herself.

So when the consultant began to describe, in detail, about how he would be feeding several wires through her veins into and around her heart, and that she would be awake while this was all going on, I could clearly see her having second thoughts. 

He then made a tricky moment even worse by rattling off everything bad that could happen while she was on the table. Anita didn’t need him to describe everything she would hear and feel either. I could tell by her face that she desperately wanted to tell him she had changed her mind.

Apart from childbirth some fifty years ago and a broken leg a while back, Anita hasn’t had much to do with doctors and hospitals. Just by osmosis through me and all my many medical problems. For sisters, we couldn’t be more different, even though we look alike…

So, understandably, she is becoming extremely nervous and hating every minute. It wouldn’t take much to have her making for the hills!

These next few days will be an extreme test of everyone’s patience, tact, and diplomacy as we all try to convince ourselves and each other that everything will be fine. Anita will have a Covid test on Sunday and be confined to barracks until the day we leave for the hospital…

What is wrong with this picture?

I had gone down to the bottom of our garden (sorry, our jungle) and was on my hands and knees, trying to remove the mystery plant (see link) from our sadly overgrown patio.

It turned out to have exceptionally long tap roots which I didn’t want to break, so I hardly noticed when Anita walked up to me.

” What’s wrong with this picture, Jaye?”

I looked up to see what she was on about. She was staring at the trees behind me. I followed her gaze and once my brain engaged, I couldn’t make out what was missing. What wasn’t I seeing?

Normally, there is a thick, almost impenetrable stand of trees at the end of our garden, but now, there was a rather large gap.

I could see straight through to the houses behind.

“what the…”

“I think someone has stolen a tree…”

“Don’t be daft. Who would steal it… and how?”

“God knows, but it’s not there, is it. So where in the blue blazes has it gone?”

I managed to persuade my knees to stand up and we made our way past the other trees, coming up to the gap from the other side.

“Bloody hell!”

From this angle we could see that the tree wasn’t missing. It had simply become weary of standing upright and had slid sideways, lying almost horizontal.

The base of the tree had rotted, and the recent strong winds had done the rest.

Now, I still do most of my gardening stunts, but this tree was at least ten feet tall, so I didn’t fancy my chances. 

So I reported it to the landlord and passed the problem on to them…

Here’s hoping everyone has a super dooper weekend!

The Glory Days…

image from Pixabay.com

For some people, Autumn is a sad time, the beginning of the end of the year, when things begin to die.

I have never felt like this, but this year does feel different somehow, and I’m not sure why.

Maybe it’s because of everything that has been happening this year.

All the talk of virus, illness and dying and the futility of it all. 

When I was plunged into the world of caring and checking heart rates and medication, the rest of the world and its problems seemed to fade away.

Watching someone you care for struggle to escape the clutches of the grim reaper is a bit of a wakeup call.

Then we had to wave goodbye to our faithful companion, Merlin, as he staggered over the rainbow bridge. We knew it was coming but it hurt just the same.

See you soon, buddy!

I have always had the mindset that I would live forever, as no amount of close calls and prompting has had any effect on me, up until now. I am beginning to feel differently these days as I’m certainly not as invincible as I thought I was.

And yet…

Every time I step outside into my garden – I still call it that even though it looks like a jungle. Life out there is the same as always. Reassuring, in a way, that nothing has stopped nature in her tracks, at least not in my garden.

At the moment, my jungle is busy appreciating the heavy rain of the last two days. Soaking it all up and revelling in the freshness.

Image by Jaye Marie

Some of the leaves are changing colour but whether that is the result of the long dry summer, or the beginnings of Autumn, only nature knows…

Not the Best Update…

Image by Pixabay.com

Waiting five weeks for the MRI was bad enough, then we had to wait for the results, so when the telephone rang, our hopes soared.

Our hopes quickly dived again when it wasn’t the results, just the Cardiac Failure nurse, ringing to make an appointment to visit and run checks on Anita’s progress.

When she arrived, complete with plastic apron, gloves and mask, she proceeded to carry out a barrage of tests in our living room, including Anita’s blood pressure, both sitting and standing, a full ECG, breathing monitored and then a ton of questions about the medication and how she was feeling.

The nurse seemed quite pleased with her findings, but changed several medications, according to instruction from the consultant.

There were so many questions I wanted to ask, but I knew instinctively that she probably couldn’t answer them. The only thing that can do that will be the results of the MRI.

In the six weeks since Anita’s heart attack, she has become stronger and is able to continue pretty much as normal. She gets very out of breath going upstairs, and this is a strong indication that she still has a long way to go.

After the nurse left, I had a look at the copy of the paper readout from the ECG machine, and I have to say that I have never seen a reading that bad. The familiar, normal spikes were non-existent.

I am quite familiar with heart patterns, due to my own heart attack a few years ago, and this one resembled nothing I had ever seen before.

Printed at the end of the printout were the machines conclusions and the words myocardial damage said it all. Among all the technical jargon was the word aberrant, which I knew meant deviating from what is normal. At that point, I would have given my eye teeth to know how badly Anita’s heart is damaged and/or what the MRI found…

I really hope to have better news soon…

Progress Report!

Image by Pixabay.com

This is going to be a hard week to get through!

We now have a date for Anita’s MRI –1st August — Saturday!

We also had a phone call check up this morning from the cardiology department. They asked a million questions but seemed happy with Anita’s progress. She is a lot stronger, but the stairs still leave her struggling to breathe, which is a worry.

I’m doing a fair bit of struggling of my own, too — what with running the household and all my other jobs. Some housework is being done, but nowhere near enough!

Most of the time, I have no idea what I am doing, or if I have forgotten anything as I’m concentrating so hard to make Anita well again. Her medication is complicated, nine different kinds of pills every day. 

Number one son brought one of those weekly pill boxes, which has helped a lot. At least I can now see immediately if I have missed any!

I find myself thinking about some funny things these days, even with all the stress, which is rather odd seeing as how I can’t persuade my brain to do anything for me. I would have thought it would welcome the time off, or does it know something I don’t?

Perhaps it’s trying to get my attention?

Not a chance mate, if the WIP can’t do it, I don’t think anything else will.

I have been reading some interesting posts lately, about goals, ambitions and what most of us settle for and maybe we shouldn’t?

I have the ill-gotten reputation for being a bit clever, but I’ll let you into a secret. I’m the world’s best winger!

I love to make all manner of craft work, plus knitting, crochet, and dressmaking. I cook and paint and have two sets of green fingers. Most of what I make looks passable, but is any of it really great? Perhaps it all comes down to the difference between good and brilliant!

The phrase ‘Jack of all Trades, master of none’ runs through my head, making me wonder if I should stop trying everything and concentrate on just one thing and try for perfection.

As writing is my most favourite thing, maybe I should start with a creative writing course? Any ideas, anyone?


I spotted this somewhere, and couldn’t resist sharing it!

He gets my vote!

Jaye’s Journal …

Jaye's Journal x12

Every now and then, we get a wake-up call, a wonderful moment when a magic light bulb illuminates an area in our brain. This usually heralds a brilliant idea, something groundbreaking or so incredibly sensible, you wonder why it took so long to surface.

Then there are the other kind. The ones accompanied by that awful stomach churning, as you realise how stupid you are or have been.

Today, I had one of these, and it has done absolutely nothing good to my self-confidence. I was rechecking the enormous pile of helpful notes (I use this term advisedly) when the realisation hit me between the eyes.

We make all these lists of things to do, things to remember or try. Then we get a sense of achievement when we actually cross something off. Today, it was brought home to me, just how stupid that is.

I had been watching a trailer someone had made using a company called Animoto. That name rang a bell, but the memory didn’t follow on. Had  I already checked them out? And if  I did, what did I find?

Those of you with fantastic memories will not need the advice I am about to share, but I suspect quite a few of you, like me, will find it useful.

When we read something that needs checking out, we should have a place to record our findings. Either a page in a notebook or an index card in our follow up box. Write a simple assessment, was it good/rubbish/too expensive/unsuitable…and if you logged on to the site, record the URL and your password.

I have no idea why this has never occurred to me before, as I seem to spend my life revisiting sites, only to realise I had been there before. It will be so helpful to be able to see at a glance all the info.

Just think of the time saved!

Better Late than Never!

All the indications are pointing towards a much better week for all of us, a little more freedom in the world and less problems for us to deal with, so feeling extremely optimistic.

Last week I really found myself rolling with the punches so often I lost track of everything. The truckload of family troubles had gathered momentum and what with worrying about Anita’s health, a large part of me wanted to just crawl into a dark cupboard and stay there.

The weekend was a game changer for most of our troubles. Fate obviously decided to play fair for once and with a bit of wangling, most of the bigger problems have faded away like a bad smell.

No news from the hospital yet about the MRI, but Anita seems to get a little stronger each day. She is really fed up with all the restrictions (and me being on her case!) I must be really careful not to overdo the nagging as she is a bit like a dodgy stick of dynamite! I mean, how do you stop someone worrying, when they were obviously born to worry?

The book tour for Anita’s new book, Annie’s Song began on Saturday. We will be posting all the websites involved every day to allow people to comment. This is the first time we have enlisted the help of Silver Dagger Tours, which has turned out to be more than lucky, for one way or another we didn’t get to do much promoting of Annie’s Song.

Best laid plans, eh?

With the dust barely settling, my mind is already wondering what to do next. I had some serious thoughts about the current WIP and might shelve it to make way for something different. Maybe something that has nothing to do with detectives?

We have been a bit lax with the newsletters this year, so must do better there too…

And finally, has anyone anything to say about STORY ORIGIN?

Sounds a bit like Book Funnel, but is it something we should be looking at?

Hoping this is a much better week for all our readers too!

Bonsai Surprises…

I switched off my PC after lunch yesterday and spent the afternoon catching up on repotting my bonsai trees.

It should be all done and dusted by now, but one way or another I seem to have been chosen to be the white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland. Always late!

I never like to be late for anything, so I enjoyed the glorious weather and the peaceful company of my trees. It was blissfully quiet in my yard and I could feel the tension leaking from my muscles.

It doesn’t matter how often I visit them, there is always something new going on, either naturally or from outside influences.

Peanut Foliage

Like the time I found these strange plants growing in most of the bonsai pots. Such pretty foliage, which I discovered were peanut plants, deposited by the local squirrels.

I have discovered tiny mushrooms growing and caterpillars munching, but today I found something I had never seen before.

Many years ago, I had an olive bonsai, quite an attractive bonsai, but it never flowered, so no olives! Sadly, I had to give this tree away when we moved house, but a few weeks ago, I found a young bonsai, what they call a trainer plant on Amazon of all places. They said it was guaranteed to produce olives, so I bought it for the princely sum of £9.99 never expecting it to amount to much.

Out of nowhere, it has produced two flower spikes. Too soon to tell what colour the flowers will be, or if I will get any olives, but my fingers are crossed!

Another bonsai that was bought on a whim was this Japanese acer. It was little more than a twig when I saw it in my local garden centre, but the leaves are incredible, so many enchanting colours. It is still little more than a stick, but in time it may develop into something special…

You might like to read this post about bonsai not being perfect too!