Overtaken by events

Despite the chaos in the kitchen, I am actually still smiling. It's been an eventful week, and the detritus of it all is still cluttering up the counter tops. But in between all the head-wrecking stuff, I found time to meet friends when I had a free hour on Wednesday morning, and brought Smiley to a coffee morning on her Friday off in aid of a local autism charity that has supported us. Smiley was in cake heaven, but manage to confine herself to just three, and I bagged the best raffle prize ever.

Reasons to be cheerful 21.1.16

I thought that the children couldn't take up any more hours in the day, but they are. I feel that my world is shrinking even further: how can I join conversations on Facebook or Twitter when I know I may only have a few minutes on-line? But I seem to be okay with it, clearly the pills are helping. So I've small and domestic reasons to be cheerful this week:

The trouble with pills

Today is #BlueMonday, another marketing invention apparently, but maybe not such a bad idea if it gets people talking about their mental health. It's supposed to be the most depressing day of the year, but I'm not feeling it. The grey skies and problems at home are not bringing me down. I'm just dealing with them.

I'm doing better, you see, helped by meeting up with Jazzygal this morning for a sneaky coffee.

And the pills the GP gave me.

How David Bowie helped me feel more cheerful

It's always sad when someone dies, but I wasn't David Bowie's biggest fan, though I love a couple of his songs - Rebel, Rebel, and Heroes, in case you're interested - so I was shocked to find myself in floods of tears on Monday when I heard the news. And it hit me that crying like that was something that I just don't do. Lately it's taken all my energy to just keep going and the slightest stress seemed to be pushing me over the edge. This did not impress my children, who always seem to be more empowered when I appear happy and capable. My tears were a wake up call, and an hour later I left the doctors surgery with a full prescription. Within 24 hours I was told I looked better, so it was obviously the right thing to do. Like most people I find it very hard to admit that I'm struggling, but many people need a little extra help at times. Including me. So getting help is my first reason to be cheerful for this week, and I've found a couple more too:

It's all over for the snails.

I've had a snail problem for years. They were everywhere, especially underfoot in the wet weather, so most days they'd be holding snail races up and down the path. The neighbours warned me about them, but I just kept their numbers down, I didn't solve the problem. Apparently they love this pretty purple flower, which flourishes in cracks to paths and walls and especially drainpipes

Alternatives to school for teenagers

It's a new year, a new term, and for many families, another round of school refusal. You have desperate parents, miserable teens, and an education system that seems to want school refusers to disappear. And sometimes that's the answer. When every option has been tried and school is still not working, sometimes parents, teachers and teenagers have to make the decision to do something else.

In Ireland it is mandatory for children to receive an education up to age 16 or after taking the Junior Cert State Examinations, whichever is later. But there are options for teenagers who leave school earlier and here are some links to explore:

Ending the tyranny of the dishwasher

I've always had a love hate relationship with my dishwasher. I had to be persuaded to get one, and I sometimes wonder if men like them more than women. Loading and emptying them seems to be one of those jobs that men volunteer for, and believe should be given priority over all else. At least in my experience.

Reasons to be cheerful 7.1.16

Well here we go again, another new year and another new term: and that means lots of stress all round, piled on top of all the other things that need attention. So I will keep looking for reasons to be cheerful to remind me that it isn't all bad. And this week I'm celebrating the little things:

  • A lovely relaxed lunch out with my son (having discovered on Monday morning that he wasn't in fact due to go back to school until Wednesday).
  • Shopping with my girls.
  • A new mobile phone for Christmas, which is much faster, has a bigger screen, more storage, and a better camera (though I'm still getting the hang of it).

Blog goals for 2016

Apparently this is a thing now. But I've never had goals for my blog, it has always been a hobby, somewhere to let off steam, practice my writing, express my thoughts and frustrations, and create something interesting, entertaining and even pretty. I like trying to keep up with current trends in blog design, and who knows when that knowledge and experience might prove useful?

I enjoy the perks of blogging - the outings, events and freebies - and my relationship with Netflix continues, so there will be more posts about what we are watching.