Everything is Just Fabulous.....

I don't mean to go on and on about it, but it REALLY is good to be home! Well, maybe I do mean to go on about it! But you can't blame me! So hard to imagine what it would be like to watch your house get ruined, then have to up sticks, move and refurbish. Then again it IS only a house and at the end of the day no-one was hurt. Thank God.

O.K., here's the things that have struck me as I end my first week back home..................

Last night I had a long soak in a hot bath with an even longer cold glass of white wine! Bliss!! Haven't had a bath in 4 months! And before you say anything I did of course shower in the intervening time! Not very pleasant though in the H.H. of H (Horrible House of Horrors) There were 2 old fashioned showers, neither of which worked properly. The walk in shower was totally unreliable. Water was cold most of the time. Until the Plumber came to look at it....oh yeah, THEN it decided to work! Typical! The other shower was just hard to get the heat level of the water right. And it leaked! So last night's bath was just fabulous!

I'm sitting in my sitting room which used to be a long room. We've divided the room so we have one sitting room and the dining room part is (or will be!) a computer/playroom.

So, there I am sitting in one of my very salubrious (and posh!!) recliner chairs. In a fabulous shade of red with black trim. Aren't they just fabulous?? Not!! But they soon will be!

Have my farty little Christmas Tree up and some decorations! Walls plastered, cheap carpet on floor and no curtains up. Carpet cost €80 from Des Kelly's. Sorry, now known as M.Kelly Interiors. How's that for posh? Not dealing with muck here! Anyways, I'm sitting there looking around the room with a smile on my face! I mean, it's a mess but I can see the walls painted, probably a cream shade, my red curtains with gold swirls back up and my new 3 + 1 seater black leather chairs. And of course my wooden floor down. Can't wait! It will be just fabulous.

Then I go into my new kitchen and the smile on my face gets bigger! I constantly clean the new black granite work top til it gleams! I don't mind cooking now....hated cooking in the H.H. of H ( always felt it was dirty and there was no room). Snuggles even trying more new foods. Most kids on the Autistic Spectrum have limited menus and Snuggles is no different. He had 1 weetabix this morning. In a bowl WITH milk. Wow! First time he's had that since he was 18 mths old! This is BIG news 'cos breakfast is such a problem, especially on school mornings. And he had home-made chicken nuggets this evening!! Fabulous!

But the biggest new addition to my fabulous kitchen is a fabulous dishwasher! We never had room for one before, but now we have a slimline one. And I love it! I can't wait to fill it up every evening just so I can turn it on! Don't have enough dishes though so will have to buy more. Just to be able to use my dishwasher!! Note to self though: MAKE SURE MR JAZZY KNOWS HOW TO USE IT TOO! Otherwise I'll be left to do it all! But don't worry...I'm NOT turning into a Stepford wife!! The novelty will soon wear off!

Then I go into our extension, a 16ft sq room that will be a dining/ TV room. At this stage I'm like the proverbial Cheshire Cat! I'm practically laughing at this stage I feel so thrilled!! Again, as you can see, it's a mess. But, as I sit in our new crescent shaped 4 seater ( black leather again!) looking at our new plasma TV I'm deliriously happy! Even though the sofa is still in it's wrapper and I keep sliding off it! But, it will all be fixed. Soon. By the end of January. I hope! Fabulous, fabulous, fabulous!!

There are two glitches though. No. 1: The Dog! Back garden is like Beirut! Patio not even started yet, but it'll be done soon ( have to have a bit of an argument over cost with the builder 1st though!). Have to chain the dog 'cos he keeps scratching our fabulous new 12ftwide glass back door! Well, it did cost €7000 so I'm entitled to be a bit precious about it! He's scratched it a bit already. I did have him in once or twice and he wasn't too badly behaved so we'll see how it goes. Then there's always Petsafe.

No.2 is the fireplace. It's old and I wanted to use the flood as an excuse to get rid of it, and have Insurance cover it! But Mr J not having any of it! He's too honest! The problem is, the builder and plumber set a fire in it to burn off excess water in the system as we got a new boiler. The heat gouged out some holes in the marble. It looks awful. Builder willing to replace that bit but sure that'll be impossible. I've now decided to check out a new one , builder can go halves. Think I have Mr J on board. Such a shame to spend all this money on the house and the 1st thing you see in the room is the crappy fireplace! But, you see, it's also a timing issue. Floorman coming to lay floors in the 3 rooms on 5th January AND we HAVE to get our furniture back from storage that week! And, MORE money going out!!

Fix That!!

But, this flood has changed me. Just like having a child with ASD has changed me. There have been SO many issues over the last few months and they've all gotten sorted. So too will these minor issues. I've definitely become more positive and am less stressed about things. I still get stressed but I'm learning!

Everything will be just fabulous! Just wait and see.....

Home Sweet Home

We finally made it home on Friday 19th! Just in time for Christmas. Have no floors, no doors, no chairs or table. Have a kick-ass new kitchen though! AND I got the Christmas tree up last night! AND some decorations! Bit pathetic actually, but it feels good! NOW, I'm starting to feel a little bit Christmassy. Just a little!

So it's been a rough few months.

The rains came on August 16th and destroyed all of our downstairs.

Then they put really noisy machinery (a De-Humidifier and 3 large Fans) in to dry out all our houses. For 6 weeks!

So noisy and dusty that we had to move. Most of the families moved. But we moved to the House of Horrors!! I swear to God anything that could go wrong there did...... deserves a post all to itself! Believe me. Even Snuggles saying at the end....."What a shithole!" Oops....... no idea where he heard that! He did say it discreetly....and only in the house. Couldn't give out ..... (well, not too much anyway!) he was right!

But then along came Bob the Builder....to help with building our new extention, and replastering etc, etc in main house. Here they are on about Day 2.

So, over 3/4 months our house was rebuilt! With a little help of course ..... even Grandpa got in on the act!

So now our extention is built.

(This is the room being built in the above pic!)

We have a lovely new galley kitchen.

Well, I love it anyway! It's certainly better that before!

So, after a busy and extremely stressful weekend we're home. I mean, I had to start the move on Friday on my own! Mr Jazzy on his work Xmas party from 2.30 that day! Priorities, priorities! I moved me , Snuggles, dog, kennel (with help from our very obliging builder!) food and clothes! We both did the rest on Saturday...plus a cleanup of the Horrible House of Horrors (cue creepy, scary music!) Then we had Snuggles hyper 9th Football ( Yes....I said FOOTBALL!) birthday party on Sunday! My little baby was nine yesterday, can't believe it!Phew!!! Mad! And it will be hectic for some time to come.

But ....... by God does it feel good to be home. Snuggles happy little face on Friday. "Ooh.... I'm so glad we're home mum" he said. I was on the stairs phoning for takeaway food and suddenly felt so emotional.... nearly in tears. Happy tears...of course!

D'ya know, we really don't appreciate what we have til it's ruined....taken away from us. All my neighbours (18 houses got flooded that day) are saying the same. We all just wanted to get back home. Really makes you appreciate your home. Been a very stressful few months, but ...... oh, it's SO good to be home.

Scamp's Tail of Woe!

'Ere 'ere....come hEAR poor old Scamp's story.

Well, that's all the obvious jokes outa the way! I'm more in mood of a little joke about it now.

As you can see Scamp has hurt his ear. Badly. Scamp, who is very aptly named, came into our lives 2 years ago. He was found by a neighbour when he was 6 months old. We took him in for the night. Snuggles fell in love with him. We fed him and made him a bed and he promptly fell asleep.

His owner came for him a couple of hours later and there were LOTS of tears and screams when he had to go. The owner said she was finding him hard work and might be giving him up. Whilst slightly hearing the alarm bells they were kinda drowned out by the tears!

Two weeks later she rang and it was now or never. She WARNED me he was hyper.

Now let me make it clear that I am not a dog lover. I don't fawn all over him etc. But I do believe a child should, if it's possible, have the experience of having a dog. Both myself and Mr Jazzy did so I reckoned it was Snug's turn.

Hence Scamp came home...again. And again. And again. He has a knack of running away!

No Assistance Dog is he. Oh, no. It's more like a hyper dog for a hyper child! Mind you both have calmed down considerably since.

here's a happier pic of him....

Like all men he enjoys his comforts!

And he knows how to wrap us around his little paw! Notice the perfect ears?

But he's not spoiled. He's NOT allowed in the house as he's eaten his way through half our furniture. The flooding got the rest!

Anyway, he's always getting away but, he usually comes back for me. He can't get out of our garden but as the builders moved in he moved out. To our rented house. He KEEPS escaping from this garden despite how much we block up his escape route. He can go for hours.

Last Wednesday...Mad Wednesday....he did it again. As soon as I left the house to begin the heavy afternoon with Snuggles. We'd only started the Social Skills class when I got the phone call. From an itinerant "gentleman" who informed me he had my dog. He was bleeding a lot and was missing some of his ear. He got into a dog fight. Scamp? Fight? Couldn't fight his way out of a paper bag him. He'd mind the dog til I got there. He said he'd meet me at a bus stop.....just along from the Travellers Camp! Only then did I realise! Knew there was something wrong. His parting words? "Hope there's something in it for me"

So Snugs and I legged it from class. Rang Mr Jazz ,of course had just enough credit to do so. I wanted him to ring ahead to the vet. Yes, I was going to meet this pavee...WITH MY CHILD IN THE CAR......no problems. Not very good at hearing alarm bells me!

Hubby went mad, needless to say! Got his Garda pal onto it. So the Gardai rescued Scamp. They went there in twos cos even they won't go in alone! they said the pavee's might have lured Scamp in and set up the fight. Then pretend to be the good guys to get some mulah.

We got Scamp to vet for his operation and got him home that night. I went out for dinner with a friend and got home at 12...with half a bottle of vino in me! Poor dog was whimpering. Couldn't cope with plastic collar so couldn't even lie down. I took it off and he slept on the couch. Beside me. All night!

The next morning I put the collar back on and he thrashed about so much that he got the collar AND the bandage off. Blood splatters everywhere. Couldn't sort it. Hubby had just left. Snugs due in school PRONTO. So I got dog into the boot and Snuggles in back seat. Snugs went into the school all by himself......minus his schoolbag!.....and I went to the Vet! What a couple of days I tell ya!

Home with sick child after HIS op last week, now home with sick dog? Both of them on Antibiotics??!! Pure madness!

Things a bit calmer now. Bandage will come off on Monday so we'll see the damage. It's so awful. His ears are so cute. But, he's getting lots of cuddles as you can see!

Blogies next.....I pwomise!

What A Girl Likes.....

Thanks Hammie for making me think about things I like....which in turn makes me feel good. Particularly after a crap day. Or a hectic couple of weeks and things getting on top of you.

My Fav Clothes Shop:

Gotta be New Look (Snap Sesame!) For something different...especially in shoes...at reasonable prices. Love a good bargain me! Also like Dorothy Perkins . Also, nothing wrong with good old Dunnes Stores!

My Fav Furniture Shop:

Should have clarified in the above that shopping...dare I admit this???....is NOT my forte. It scares me. All that choosing and stuff. Currently in the middle of shopping for new furniture, flooring, bathroom, kitchen etc, etc. Due to our flooded house! Most people LOVE this. Me, I run scared.

Walked into RightPrice Tiles and Lucretia tiles and freaked at all the choices!! So I just now ask "The Man". "The Man" is wonderful and helps me make choices! Most shops have one of these and it helps greatly.

No favourite here I'm afraid.

After that confession I'll probably lose the two followers I have!!!

My Fav Sweet

Has to be M & S ooey gooey chocolate caramels.....from the fridge. Mmmmmmm. Delish!

That said I'm a real carbs gal. Unfortunately I love my crisps etc.

My Fav Drink

Oh, a loooong cold glass of white wine...Vina Sol or Pinot Grigio. If only I could leave it at just the one!

I also like Vodka (snap eile Sesame!) and slimline white (to make up for all the crisps!)

Non-alcholic when in pub would be Ballygowan Sparkling water with a dash of blackcurrant.

My Fav City

Well, it's more my fav place rather than city. Gotta be Clonea Strand/Gold Coast hotel and beach in Dungarvan Co. Waterford.

My Fav Music

Oh that's hard. I like such a mixture. While I like a lot of the modern stuff ( showing my age here!) it's usually individual songs, wouldn't even know name of artist. I love anything with a good dancing beat. Always listening out for dance numbers for shows....particularly for panto. Has to interest the kids so that keeps me young!

I do like Christina Aguilera, Madonna (old stuff and SOMe new) some kylie, Lionel Ritchie, Gloria Estefan. Must youtube Step Up 2 stuff. On my lengthy to-do-list!

My Fav T.V Series.

While I love Desperate Housewives..... roll on next Tuesday for start of next series! I'm making sure NO panto rehearsals, meetings etc on Tuesday nights! I never watch re-runs. I do, however watch re-runs of SATC. So I guess SATC wins!

My Fav Film

Fav oldie would be "Some Like it Hot".

No absolute favourite but I LOVE Dance movies! Gonna check out Step Up and Mama Mia. Can't believe I haven't seen that yet! Saw Stage show in London in Feb so I know that's gonna be a DVD I' must have!

Favourite musical films would be "All that Jazz" and "Chicago"

My Fav Workout

Well, what do ya think.......It's gotta be dancing! it's hard thinking of the steps but once I do and I'm teaching them it's great. Particularly when it works out and the kids like it. Nothing like a 2 or 3 hour dance rehearsal to keep you fit I can tell you! If only I could keep away from the crisps!

I also go to Curves which I enjoy.

My Fav Pastry

Homemade Berry Scone from the new coffee shop, Cafe Solo here in Shankill.

My fav dessert would be good old Profitteroles.

My Fav Coffee

Yuck...hate the stuff! A final "snap" there Sesame!

But I do LOVE Hot Chocolate.

Oh I really enjoyed this post! Did you notice I put some links in there....and a random photo??? I'm learning! Hope the links work now.

I know I have to tag some more people but I don't got no-one....yet! I'll get to it.

Passing on the Blogies' gotta be my next Blog task. I'll get to that too

My Slice of Heaven

Just back from 4 days in my favourite place in Ireland.

We discovered the Clonea Strand and Leisure Centre/Gold Coast Hotel about 7 years ago! The decor in the hotels are quite dated but the staff are very welcoming and look after us really well as we go there 2/3 times a year. They never charge us for our little boy and the food is delicious.

We have a beach outside our door, a swimming pool in our hotel (+ the "bubble pool" in the Gold Coast), the Play Loft and a small bowling Alley! hubby also joined the Gold Coast Golf Club....MUCH cheaper then the exorbitant Dublin and Wicklow prices! So there's lots to keep us amused without going anywhere else.

We got into the habit, over the years, of just keeping to the hotels and not touring around. This was mainly due to Snuggles......it was one thing to go "visiting" anywhere but quite another to fit any other visits in. Even now he hates if I go some place on our travels that I haven't told him about. Even if it's just 1 or 2 extra shops while out shopping. Also, when he was younger he really was very limited in what he ate. A lot better now and we even visit the Chinese restaurant while we're in Dungarvan!

There are some horror stories from our trips to Clonea...like the times we had to leave the restaurant. They brought our dinner to our room instead! And the awful bowling escapades! Now , he loves bowling but he HATES to lose. Constantly watches out for the pictures on screen when you get a strike or a spare. There were times when I had to pick him up and drag him away he was so upset. Once he wriggled out of my grasp and ran screaming through the hotel. And still they welcome us back!

This year was great though. He found the bowling hard but was able to contain himself so we all enjoyed. I've done social stories with him to help in this area. Because he's in mainstream, and getting invited to birthday parties, I want him to be able to go to bowling parties and cope with it. It seems to be working!

I have found over the years that perseverance pays off. The very 1st holiday we took to Spain when he was 3 was an absolute disaster. I don't know how we ever went anywhere ever again! But we did and bit by bit he's got used to it. We tend to stick to the same places though. But, guess what this year he asked to go somewhere different!! that was for Spain NOT Dungarvan...he loves Dungarvan!

Ahhh......sigh....... roll on Christmas when (please God) we'll be down again! Now, that's one of my favourite times to go there. Christmas is SOOO stressful. Nothing to do with snuggles...he's great. It's family and who's having dinner where etc, etc. My mam in nursing home nearby so we end up taking her each year, so hubby doesn't get to see his family Christmas Day. I really hate it. But, the last few years we've gone to Clonea from 27th - 29th Dec. It is absolute bliss!!! I can cope with it all once I get those few days!!

No pics as I can't find USB connection! Everything packed away in boxes due to flood. Downstairs gutted. We have a DeHumidifier and 2 powerful fans downstairs. 'Tis like living in a wind tunnel!!

The Day The Rains Came

Well, I thought my post on the rainy day in Dublin and our summer was bad. it has NOTHING on the rainfall we had last Saturday! OMG....it THUNDERED down. Unbelieveable. Monsoon-like. Seriously, I've never seen anything like it.

I'd gone shopping and to the gym in the morning and everyone was commenting on the rain. We had lunch when I got home and I noticed a little puddle building up in the back garden that I'd never seen happen before. Hmmm....must keep an eye on that sez I.

Went upstairs, did some ironing whilst checking on the ever growing puddle. Even showed it to snuggles who was getting quite excited about it. Then Hubby calls me and says "look at this". We're at a T junction and about 40/50 feet away 2 puddles had formed either side of road and were meeting in the middle. This had never, ever happened before. So we watched it build. And spread.

Good bit away from us so not too worried. We never thought to look down! So Hubby opened front door to watch puddles out front and Oh My God.... half garden was flooded and it was just at the front step! Couldn't believe it. This was in the space of 10 minutes! Car was in danger of being flooded so got the wellies on and moved it up the garden path. We eventually ended up with a lake out front and the only dry patch was the slight rise where car was parked.

All the neighbours only realised what was happening at the last minute, things happened so fast. We didn't know what to do . I was out helping put builders sand we found into plasic bags. Too late though....water came into house in minutes.

We were lucky though cos rain stopped (Thank God) and Fire Brigade came within 20 minutes. They were there for 3 hours pumping the contaminated water away...they used our side entrance. Needless to say the kids, including snuggles , had a ball! Best day of their lives, to be remembered forever. Our guy LOVES water, puddles, rain, showers etc. He pranced around in it. Hard to get him to stop. Firemen told the people with no wellies to disinfect themselves after so that'll tell you how bad it was.

Something like this brings out the good in people. The neighbours came from everywhere to help out. All the kids were fed in 1 house, we had dinner in another and snuggles got to have a sleepover (Yes...a sleepover!!) in a pal's house!! all unplanned, he was great that day, sure he was so excited. The neighbours were great. Even if it didn't affect them they wanted to help. And they'll contact the council to complain. Of course it was the council's fault for not maintaining the drains. Firemen said it. Council workers who came later agreed! Sure our houses are on a cliff for chrissakes!

Council came next day and found drains that were tarmacadamed over, manholes they didn't even know existed and they found a tree growing in one drain!! Despite news reports saying the 4 Dublin Councils were prepared for this (they had floods northside previous weekend) they were NOT prepared. The "emergency" helpline kept cutting me off so obviously wasn't sufficiently manned. We tried to get some of the "stockpile" of sandbags and 20 arrived (approx 20 houses flooded)! No-one was told they'd arrived..if you saw them you got a sandbag if not....tough.

And now the aftermath. We got 3/4 inches of water. Not too bad I hear you say. It was contaminated though so everything it touched has to go. Flooring, doors, furniture, walls have to be stripped back. Although hall carpet destroyed it only went 3/4 way up 1st stair, but hall, stairs and landing carpet must go. We need de-humidifiers (yes, more than 1!) for 2/3 weeks to dry it out. Loss Adjuster would prefer we don't stay while it's being done. So do I! I swear to God, the smell was so bad. It's toxic. Getting rid of the carpet has helped though.

Just heard today that there was ecoli in the water. A few of the neighbours have been sick. Yikes!! But, we're going away for a few days tomorrow so that'll help. We can think about what we'll do. Moving out for a bit is such a hassle. Snuggles back to school in a week. New classroom, new teacher (for 3 weeks then another new teacher), harder homework AND a new home??? The timing couldn't be worse.

On the positive side....I hate my house! Needs serious de-cluttering and I didn't know where to begin! Now I have no choice! We are going to build an extension so we might try and combine that. My 3 piece suite is falling apart. Bye bye suite...and Hellooo Land of Leather!! This could work out rather well actually!

I also got some cool photos! Not with my camera unfortunately so I'll have to figure a way to post them on here.

Can't wait to get to Dungarvan tomorrow!! Pool and jacuzzi here I come! Keep my bottle of Vino Sol chilled please Mr barman...I'm on my way!!