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CFM Babs from Chorley FM


Bad Hair Day!

Posted by CFMBabs , 25 February 2009 · 752 views

I'm not the prettiest sight in the mornings. To say I resemble a 1970's Punk Rocker is no exaggeration -- hair stuck up in an electrifying pose, I could have easily spent the night with the goats and their electrically charged fence that now surrounds them -- he, he! can't help but laugh!

It was so funny when Apple, the smallest goat, touched her inquisitive mouth on the wire -- Zap! She jumped up in the air and ran off holding her mouth like she had an extremely bitter taste. The dog had a few shocks as well but being rather daft, it just kept going back for more!

The day looks like it's going to be a good one. With goats secured it means I can go out -- Yeah! but I'll have to sort my hair out first! My neck feels a little easier, my shoulder is now just a slight ache, that long soak in the bath tub did wonders. I was up bright and early, making a fire and making sure the family were up and about by 7am. My hubby fed the goats which saved me the job whilst my daughter scurried around in her room wondering what to wear. With a wardrobe and floor full of clothes how it can be a decision is anyone's guess. I have two sets of clothes. Jeans and jumper and jeans and jumper! One of each!

She goes to college like it's a fashion parade, and whilst I don't blame her for wanting to look smart, I do think that she overdoes it a bit -- you can now see why she doesn't do Wellington boots! Farm life for her is the worst possible scenario; hates the animal sounds in the morning, the dirt and the whole idea of outdoor life -- typical teen I'd say -- and partly our fault because she was brought up living in the Town where a walk to the shops meant you didn't need a car and the local school was within walking distance of our home. Her friends all lived in the same street and her bedroom was just how she liked it! Here she has to rely on me to drive her wherever she needs to go. Her friends are now far away and her current status is bedroom with huge hole opposite.

Of course things would be different if the farm was in good order. You can see the final outcome being one of grandeur. 22 acres of rolling countryside, a sweeping drive and a 5 bedroom house which is not overlooked by anyone else. This summer will hopefully fulfil the dream. There are numerous projects on order by tradesman. The drive being one and landscaping another. One of the jobs is being done today and that's ranch style fencing all round the perimeter. My Gran would have said, "You'll be swanking about after it's all done," meaning I'll be showing off, actually!

And I will be showing off, boasting, whatever you may call it. I've waited long and hard for this moment and when I mean hard I mean it! I've waited long enough, too, so if I do happen to boast -- cut me some cloth, wud ya!

Got a list as long as my arm. I'm sat here looking at it. All the things I couldn't get done because of my condition, and goats as well, desperately need attention today. I actually feel much better except for a nagging headache. First job is the washing and I wonder if you think how hard could that be with a washing machine? Well let me tell you, with a neck that won't swivel and a shoulder that won't move, it's nigh on impossible to load the washer.

Sat here long enough, time for action!


Shadow Of My Former Self

Posted by CFMBabs , 24 February 2009 · 778 views

My life has changed so much y'know -- illness being one
So many years have passed, so many friends have gone
You think you have a special friend and to find that is no more
Like she invited you in for coffee then shows you out the door

Can't say I blame them anyhow, who wants a boring mate
Whose only friends are goats and geese contemplating fate
So now I'm here on my lonesome, not even a girlie chat
Even the postman shuns me and I don't blame him for that
There's been so many ups and downs, more downs to be exact
And I carry on as normal with my nothing's the matter act

You look so well they always say but is it compliment or quip?
I smile and say thank you whilst biting my bottom lip
I do the most outrageous things like trying to prove a point
Then spend the rest of tomorrow rubbing every joint
And I get so tired of told-you-so it's really getting thin
Just like my tired body that I hardly now fit in
It's fair to say I was rounded, I don't mind if you called me fat
For at least those days were healthy and you cannot deny me that!

A shadow of my former self that's how I am today
If I don't rest a little while I just might waste away
I can fit in most designer wear now isn't that a joy?
The figure I always wanted came too late for me to enjoy
So I'm going through life as a statistic with numbers oh so rare
I feel like one in a million, please don't mock me or stare
I may be a bit dilapidated, an old crock and not at all funny
But I'm not done with you yet -- I'd give you a run for your money!

Don't write me off, don't think I'm through
I still have loads of things to do
And whilst I run on liquid feed
You'd best watch out world, take heed
That little tornado up the street?
Me and my rucksack, you just might meet!


Peace In The Country?

Posted by CFMBabs , 24 February 2009 · 863 views

Time to put the box marked "Proud" under the bed and do what's right! Last night I laid my case for a contractor to come and fix my fences. It's gone way beyond a money thing and way beyond having enough time to do the job. This job became urgent yesterday and I simply refused to play games of catch-me-if-you-can! with my goats for a second day. My hubby and I had words. I never moan about my illness, maybe I should but it's times like this that make my hubby realise that if I'm complaining about my condition, then perhaps something should be done. I could hardly move my neck last night. I was nauseous and very craggy. My case was very strong and I think he got the message loud and clear!

Earlier in the day I'd contacted several companies regarding fencing. In the end it was down to a local guy who actually came out straight away and gave us a price. After some deliberation and much persuasion from yours truly, my hubby picked up the phone and relented. I'm more than pleased to say he's coming on Wednesday to fence the entire area we marked out.

Today, although damp, is looking much brighter. It's fair to say that the goats have, so far, decided to behave themselves. I'm licking my wounds and just when I thought it was safe to relax, a huge truck pulled up at my gate. sounding its horn and setting off the peaceful tranquillity of resting goats, nesting geese and one stupid dog. A man stood with a file waving like he was drowning at sea and shouting "HORSES!"

"Oh No!" How much more could a woman take, but wait a minute -- we don't have horses! This one wasn't my problem until he said that they were racing towards my field and the police had secured them up at the top, in my top field, so now it was my problem!

A huge sigh and with hands in air -- I give up! Not only had I been chasing my escapees all day yesterday, I was about to start chasing someone else's. Am I an unpaid gamekeeper or something? Hey! Do they realise that my condition does not allow Olympic style jogging or sheepdog trialling! I'd barely finished my enteral feed when I'm off like a turbocharged engine, either that or this is pretty good stuff! I never ran like this off the other nutritional feed -- perhaps my dietitian has prescribed zoom juice. Whatever it is, I'm like a highly charged whippet!

It took some explaining the fact that I do not own any horses. The policeman, who looked a bit like Ricky Gervais, wittily quipped, "Well you do now!"

Very funny, but somehow I do not think he realised the sort of day I had yesterday -- I felt like knocking his hat off!

I snapped back with "If you could catch criminals as fast we'd all live in a safer place!"

I do not think he appreciated my humour but the way I felt I couldn't have cared less. A run in with the law would just about top the week off, but pardon me it's only Tuesday! What else lies in store for me I wonder?

The phone rang just as I was shoving one of the goats' heads back outside trapping its horns in the door! "Blaaaaghh! --Neeeegggh! was the noise. It happened to be my legal eagle enquiring about my health. She was laughing out loud listening to the mayhem and even remarked upon how funny the situation sounded down the phone. All that coupled with the constant honking of a solitary goose, sounded like I was in the middle of an animal sanctuary!

"The government want some sick and disabled people to go back in to work," I commented. "I can't wait for them to come knocking!" to which she roared with laughter!

"You're a tonic!" she said

"I'm chronic, more like!" was my reply

Situation under control and peace returns to the country. The horses are back with their rightful owners. The police have gone back to the layby to eat their sandwiches -- see I do take notice! The goats are under the tree -- hopefully! The dog has worn its bark out, and the geese sit serenely on their nests.

Give me strength.


The Greatest Escape!

Posted by CFMBabs , 23 February 2009 · 787 views

The Great Escape! How much can one person take when all the animals decide to break out and make a run for it?

This morning I knew I was in for a day of trouble! The goats had been mischievous in the early hours, locking horns, banging heads, that sort of thing. I could hear them from my bedroom, upsetting the geese at 4am and waking me from an already interrupted night of sleep due to an aching neck and stiff shoulder.

It was no surprise to me when we got up and they weren't there. I shouted, walked the fields and even drove the car around the roadside but they where nowhere in sight. The geese were quiet for a change but ate the food intended for the goats --- not a good thing since the goats are extremely hungry animals and half a trough won't do! I came back indoors to make a well earned drink, then a voice shouted in the yard.

"Have you lost some goats?" An oldish guy, out of puff and with reddened face stood with hands on hips and barely able to speak. The embarrassment flushed over my body like a wave.

"Where are they?" I asked, barely daring to enquire!

"They were in my garden, eating all my plants -- are they yours?"

Well who else would have lost their goats at the same time but us. I Thanked him and apologised for any damage they may have caused but now I was stuck in a quandary. They may have returned but goats have an uncanny memory for new growth and will stop at nothing to munch upon it. I knew from that moment on how the rest of my day would go.

Sure enough, I've been down the road so many times this morning, sick of people shouting "GOATS" at the gate and 5 little naughty critters running around. With hubby at work and a broken pen -- what am I to do? I can't go to the bathroom, even though I'm constipated, well is it any wonder? I can't spend any time in the kitchen, I have one eye on the front window and the other on the keypad trying to write this, they move so fast!

It was an overall bad idea to get goats in the first place. I understand the reasons, and there were many, to keep the overgrowth of weeds down. They sure have taken care of that, and the apple trees, fruit bushes, and my conifers. But I'm not bothered about that, it saves my energy from having to mow all the areas they've devoured.
What I can't cope with is the constant watchful eye they need in order to keep them where they live, which these days is half of Lancashire.

All is quiet at the moment. I fed them a huge amount of food in a last ditch attempt to fill them up and keep away from that poor man's garden. I bet he had prize daffodils -- he seemed the type! and I have visions of a devastated flower bed with my goats stood in the middle of it!

My twisted fingers flicked the yellow pages for a fencing contractor. Nothing we ever put up was ever going to keep them in. I've watched tirelessly as hubby braved the elements trying to fix broken fences. He'd hardly finished the last post when Max, the male goat, leapt over it like a gazelle, rendering the whole job useless, and my hubby dropping a huge lump hammer on his toe in rage!

So much time has been wasted in doing the impossible. My hubby is not superman, although I rather wish he was. Not only has the house been neglected but the entire boundary fences too. The terrible weather has taken its toll over the past couple of years and some heavy maintenance is way overdue. I don't expect my hubby to go to work, tend the farm, build the house, mend the fences and care for goats, geese or whatever else turns up on my farm, all I ask is that when the need arises I'm able to call someone to do it, which unfortunately is against the rule book according to hubby! This morning however, I'm taking matters into my own hands -- superwoman I am not!

All this activity is well and good if you're a fit as a fiddle. I'm actually knackered beyond repair. My neck is hurting so bad that I'm walking around like a robot. The biggest problem for me is looking left, so much for driving, I'll be going round in circles all day! My shoulder feels as if it needs a good squirt of oil -- I need a good squirt of oil never mind! So much for my feeding pack. I hardly have the time to sit and tend my needs for fear of on the run goats. I can't stand another person telling me that my animals are on safari or another car sounding it's horn at the gate.

I'm out of goat food. They've eaten so much it's a wonder they can walk. I praise my geese for being so good and the dog for keeping patience with the numerous head butts its received this morning. I'm all out of energy. It's barely afternoon. My 339th blog is one of utter desperation and I ache from top to bottom -- literally!

They're off again -- time for my sprint down the road.


Touching Spring With My Fingertips!

Posted by CFMBabs , 17 February 2009 · 891 views

Watching one of my geese nestle down in the corner of the yard, birds singing for all their worth. I'm beginning to think that spring may be lurking in the shadows waiting to make an entrance some time soon. That brings me a certain sense of relief. The winter has been extremely long, cold and unforgiving and my Raynaud's needs some respite. The coldness extended throughout the whole of last year. The building work stopped and everything looked bleak. No chance of moving on, stuck in hum drum as they say!

Finally, the day's are becoming longer and 5pm is no longer pitch black. The sun is much higher in the sky and when it does spread its rays, you can feel the warming glow. This morning is particulary spring-- like! Birds twittering and the sky looks a shade of blue. The buds on the trees are appearing and in some areas they've already bursted giving off a green haze. With all this activity, my goats are jumping around like lambs in the field and are becoming less reliant on food from us.

It's joyful to walk outdoors and smell the air. It's funny how the air changes from a damp squib to dry sweetness, a miracle of nature! I think you can probaby tell that spring happens to be my favourite time of year. I always feel like I'm looking ahead -- perhaps to a warm summer? -- instead of feeling like I'm grounded in a hole in the depth of winter. Everything bursts into life and I have the good fortune of being surrounded by nature at its very best. Soon the blossom will appear, the best feel good factor of all.

So the goose scratches around burying the egg she's just laid -- Mmmm pancakes for tea! Nothing tastes nicer than a new laid egg and goose eggs make the most wonderful custards, pancakes and omelettes. There will be more to follow and those ones I'll leave for hatching purposes. Nothing is more satisfying than seeing a mother and her goslings parading the yard. They really have the Awww! factor.

I feel like I'm touching spring with my fingertips. Goodbye winter -- Good riddance too!


Revenge of the Dweeb!

Posted by CFMBabs , 15 February 2009 · 908 views

If I have to be honest with myself (and I usually am) I have to accept that I was never going to be anything but myself, no airs or graces, just me!

It's true that I was a dweeb at school in the 70's. All the other girls talked boyfriends, clothes and records -- remember them? I once said that on air during one of my radio spots "And the next record is....."The presenter screamed "WHAT?" remarking that it was a tune not a record and boy did I feel old.

Anyway I'm digressing but the point I'm making is I never talked about boyfriends because I simply didn't have one and as for clothes, well my idea of clothing was rubber boots, pants and jumper. High heels, farm yards and muck don't mix -- see living on a farm isn't all collecting eggs in a basket and watching lambs skip around in the field, "Hunky dory" as they say

I hate having my photograph taken. I have mental picture of myself totally unrecognisable from the ones on paper and film. My goodness, we don't have photographs either any more. My entire life is on a computer with a life size pixel of me at the touch of a button. Our holiday snaps on virtual albums, never to be printed off but looked at whenever the need arises. So much technology -- and I'm still a dweeb!

It's all made me think. I was contacted via the internet by a friend I once knew at school. We've been writing to each other ever since. Fact is we had little contact at school, I knew her, she knew me and that's about as far as it went. When she contacted me if felt strange, it was strange because all she ever knew about me was the short time we had in high school and if that's all she remembers of me then it was pretty glum picture indeed. I was so quiet, hardly ever there (Maybe sclero played it's part there too) and I was so unfashionable, the one whose friends hung around in a little group, a drop out gang as such and never talked about discos or wedge heels! So when she contacted me it was hard to make an impression that I'd changed or was someone other than the person I was.

It was only when I began writing that I realised how much I had changed. It's not right to assume that something had woke me up, but the fact is I just grew up! I claimed my place in society, became like all the rest and joined the rat race. She was more than surprised to learn about all the things I'd done with my life since leaving school. I never thought my life was so interesting but compared to others I have to say it was never dull. I felt a sense of satisfaction that she was impressed by my achievements but of course I never mentioned the darker side of my life. Why would I want to spoil my moment of glory?

I've waited more than 30 years to become part of the BCR gang (Boyfriends, clothes and records) Of course boyfriends are out of the question, clothes are okay if they fit, records have become tunes on the radio and my daughter's palm held Hi Fi. I guess I'm in the OFG (Over forties gang)! I still have most of my teeth (not all!), I dye my hair, keep it trimmed, have still got a figure as such -- no bust! Not many wrinkles, courtesy of sclero! and I can still keep up with the music even if it's not on vinyl. I give out a huge YES! and I punch the air -- why? because my friend wears sensible clothes now and speaks to me on the same level and I feel like a member of the same school yard group that called me a dweeb!

This old trout has become hip in her old age. It's taken quite a long time but revenge is sweet!


Too Thin To Notice!

Posted by CFMBabs , 12 February 2009 · 796 views

What do you do when your clothes don't fit
Too baggy, too big, need taking in a bit
I can't find any pants to adhere to my figure
Not much difference from when I was bigger
For then my excuse for a perfect fit
Was a size more comfy and an extra bit

Now I'm left with the smallest rail
With clothes marked petite on sale
And there begins my shopping mission
Something less daring to fit my condition.
You see I wasn't always a size so thin
And clothes I couldn't always get in

People walk by me so what about that!
Friends I once knew when I was fat
And though they say that I'm a new me
Behind the mask is what they don't see
I didn't lose weight for vanity or stealth
I had no choice wih my failing health

So now I'm so thin it's really a bore
When all the nice clohes don't fit anymore
Too skimpy, too short, it don't cover my back
That dress is so large it would look like a sack
Those trousers are massive I'd look like a clown
I'd need huge braces so they wouldn't fall down

A shadow of my former self, I guess I always wanted to be
A little more accepting in today's society
But it ain't no fun being skinny, I'm sure everyone knows
That shopping isn't funny when you can't find the right clothes!'


Cat On Hot Bricks!

Posted by CFMBabs , 11 February 2009 · 842 views

There are times of the day that I just have to sit down. The term "cat on hot bricks" reverberates in my head because that's what my gran always said!

"You're like a cat on hot bricks dear -- sit down!"

Fact is, I find sitting quietly a major problem. When I do sit down I write a blog and even then I'm up and down like a Yo-Yo.

The mornings pass so quickly, mainly due to the fact I'm out and about on my travels, firstly to college, my dad's place and then possibly the corn mill for goat feed, like this morning although my mission was not only for goat feed but to look on the notice board for ferrets! My hubby has been banging on about the millions of reasons why we need them -- I'm not convinced by any of them. Don't ferrets smell? Are they the same thing as a polecat? Whatever group they belong to I can see myself screaming, "Get off!" when the little darling sinks its teeth into my finger. Just one more animal to add to the dangerous farm animal list.

I've just got over the shock of goats and geese, they all attack in one way or another. If you don't get challenged by Max the inquisitive with his party trick of walking on two legs, then it's the gander whose neck stretches out to nip you slapping his stupid big feet in the mud, and oh yes! The mud is a challenge too!

Far away from the world of mud and poo, there's a little world of quaintness, one which I hope to live to see! That statement may sound a bit dramatic but the way we're going I'll probably be on my last legs before completion.

The farm yard needs urgent attention. If I skid half way across it once more I'll be an expert on the ice. So with my constant nagging, sometimes it does work! We set off to view some rather grand gates, y'know the ones that resemble Her Majesty's at Buckingham! I was in awe with the selection of designs and of course in true womanly fashion -- I chose the biggest, most ornate and dare I say most expensive pair on display. Making enquiries inside the most interesting showroom I've ever been in, I Oooo'd and Arghed! at all the little trinkets.

It's the first time I've ever been to an ironmongery factory. It was packed to the rafters with beautiful iron spiral staircases and little buckets, door furniture, in fact you name it, they had it! Whilst Steve gave measurements, I wandered around marvelling at all the things that would look ever so nice in my home. By this time, I had several items in my hand when Steve called me over.

"Oh no,I was warned about this," he said. "I was told not to bring the wife by the friend that told me about the place. It will cost you a fortune -- and look!"

The woman laughed as I appeared with a coal bucket, fire irons, and a huge grin, much to my hubby's horror.

"What do you want on your gates?" she asked.

"What can I have?"

"You can have anything, even the name of your farm."

"What about Zoo or Menagerie?" I said rather sarcastically.

My hubby butted in, "We'll have no name, just roses and flowers"

So that was it, roses and flowers. 12ft high 22ft span, beat that your Royal Highness, I thought!

So with the gates sorted our next plan is the yard. Maybe the gable will get some attention too but every job we need doing needs doing now! Sometimes I think I'll never see it all completed. Oh, well, I'm kind of used to living in a half-completed house, slippery courtyard among my mad menagerie.

Roll on summer!


Time Will Tell! Barefut

Posted by CFMBabs , 05 February 2009 · 805 views

Y'know, I empathise with Barefut's blog on Time. How right is she? You could be my shrink any day! "Time don't give me time," is actually the words of a song back in the 80's from a guy who's fallen slightly from grace in his latter years.

The Greeks have the best philosophy of time I know -- there's always tomorrow! And whilst we constantly need to know what time it is throughout the day, it suddenly occurs to me that time actually rules your life.

The Greeks have little concept of time actually. They eat when they feel hungry, shut up shop at mid day because the sun governs their working hours not the clock. They eat late at night in a huge family group. If you order a meal, don't expect one course straight after the other. They graze on food, unlike us who spoon in every mouthful like it's the last meal you'll ever eat -- Ooops! I forgot that that actually happened to me on the flight home from Greece. An unrelishing flight meal of plastic sausage, rubber egg, mushy beans and something that was meant to be bacon all served in a tin tray with plastic knife and fork. You'd have thought that the last meal you ever ate would have to be memorable, well it was in more ways than one!

Looking at the time ticking on the wall and listening to the chime, one, two, three! My daughter will be home shortly after completing her 4th driving lesson. The less said about this subject the better! I've never felt so inadequate sitting in a situation where your flesh and blood takes the wheel, drives to a roundabout and stops, refusing to go around it. Even worse when she began to cry. No amount of coaxing would encourage her to move but we took solace in the fact she was displaying L plates on the vehicle in case the traffic jam behind thought we were having a picnic.

I hope the instructor has more luck this afternoon. Speaking of time, I wonder how long it's taken to get her through town. Mmmmm, time will tell!


Counting Calories!

Posted by CFMBabs , 05 February 2009 · 780 views

Well with the Dietician's visit over with, I can relax a little in the confidence of knowing that she wasn't too scornful but quite concerned none-the-less! It seems my problem is quite common in people with enteral feeding. In her assumption I'm still quite a young person who should still have an active part in society -- you can probably see why I like her so much! She fully understands my duty as a Wife, Mother and Daughter's role in the family network and that my backpack gets in the way of a mercifully normal life. Not that my life is normal! I have sclero to cope with and the torture of not eating a meal in the way normal folk would expect.

My problem lies during the day. This is the time when, let's face it, you need to be up and about doing what you have to do. I can't do anything with the heavy backpack strapped to my aching back and the tube is so long that I could easily get it caught and believe me that's painful. I can't count the number of times I've jumped out of the car with the tube wrapped around the gear knob. It's like being on a piece of elastic, catapulting me backwards and falling back into my seat. It's not nice either when shopping. It hangs beneath my coat and provides much whispering at the checkout!

A simple visit to the market or chasing my goats up the road, which whacks me out actually, is a major task and whilst I appear normal, folk wonder why I'm so reluctant to pick up our little Jack Russell Terrier which runs rings around their feet as I battle to hear what they're saying --- yes, it's sheer pandemonium!

The answer to all my woes lies with overnight feeding. In true vampire fashion it would be so fitting for me to undertake. Unfortunately, the last time I did that, I ended up bent double in excruciating pain and needing the toilet rather rapidly. It wasn't a great situation at 3am in the morning and I was still at it at 7. With my plight on the table, my dietician thought that the problem lay with the gloopyness of the liquid -- too thick due to the high calorific value.

She's suggested a lighter liquid. I joked "Fat Free" to which she laughed and told me "Not exactly." This formula would only give me 1 calorie per 1ml of feed and I can't calculate it into fl oz because we've gone metric -- gone bonkers I'd say! My current feed provides 1.5 calories per 1ml. I'm not splitting hairs but surely any calorie is better than none at all and she agreed!

So maybe this is the answer -- who knows? I'll give it a try before I disappear down a grid or a crack in the road. Great to see her again and Phew! she wasn't too harsh.

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