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Monday, 31 December 2018

So that was 2018

Pretty good year!  Actually it's a long time since I saw a year which wasn't pretty good but I like to keep counting my blessings.

I started the year by getting a new-to-me car and have been using it to get out as much as I can.  I enjoy regular meets with lots of friends and some of my cousins for lunch or just for coffee .  A meal of soup and bread (or maybe coffee and a toasted teacake) when eaten with a good friend, is always a feast.  

I'be been busier conducting worship than I have been any year since I retired in 2010.  It's unlikely that I will be as busy in 2019 but I've enjoyed the opportunity while it has lasted.  I conducted my first wedding for several years as well as funerals and baptisms and I've been preaching most Sundays.  During the year I've taken services in eighteen different churches.

I've had two short breaks, one in North Yorkshire and one in Wales and I've had lots of days out including time at at Normanby, Elsham and Donna Nook.

I've been cared for by Annie-the Home-Enhancer and Pete-the gardener/handyman as well as by lots of people who help me with various jobs when disability means I need assistance.  

I've knitted, crocheted, sewn, made cards.  I've upcycled and repaired.

And in all this I have known real joy, something much deeper than mere happiness.  I've said it before and I say it now: I am of all women, most richly blessed.

Happy 2019

Tuesday, 25 December 2018

Two celebrations, one with elf!

The stable has three last visitors - man. woman child.  The woman looks a bit weary but all the chaps look good for a Christmas party.  The fancy chaps are on their way - there's always someone late for Christmas lunch.  







And here in Lincolnshire there was a celebration at midnight.  For some reason the vicar was an elf.   Have a joyful and blessed Christmas.

Friday, 21 December 2018

Too much work for two shepherds?

Too much work for two shepherds?  That's OK, a third one has arrived to care for the four sheep, one goat and two cows.  Now, I don't know about you but I would have thought that was rather a large workforce for so few animals.  I wonder if the angels on the roof are really time and motion analysts sent to work out what's happening. 




The fancy chaps have decided to go on a journey but their camels are not enthusiastic.  Neither is the pack horse.  Only one camel is on its feet so this journey could take a while.


Personally I'd have taken the camel from near the tree,  It looks a lot keener than any of their animals.

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Meanwhile, back at the stable

Mean while, back at the stable in the corner of my sitting room, there has been quite a bit of action  We've now got two angels on the roof, two shepherds, and two cows - not to mention the shooting star which has settled on the roof and the roaring fire to keep everyone comfortable.  


At the same time there's an assembly of three fancy looking coves with three camels and a pack horse.  They're sorting themselves out near a palm tree where there's also an abandoned camel but it's tethered to the tree so it's not our problem.
There seems to be no reason for all this activity - maybe the next few days will help us make sense of it.    



Monday, 17 December 2018

Thousands of Santas

Many years ago I went to a service at Lincoln Cathedral and when I came out the world had been invaded by Santa clones.  They were everywhere.  I soon discovered that it was the Santa Fun Run.

I'd always wanted to go again and today I went to Lincoln Santa Fun Run and Doggie Dash.  This post is rather heavy with photos - not my usual style of blogging - but I wanted to share the fun.  Look at the facebook page here (especially the video) for an idea of just how many Santas ran
A gingerbread man. Christmas tree, Santa Spiderman, snowman and angel

Passing the Strugglers Inn.  Until the mid nineteenth century (when public executions ceased) this was the place to get a good view of a criminal as he struggled on the end of a rope.  It was a much nicer place today

An invalid vehicle adapted to carry Santa

Air Cadets marching

Santa with a touch of the Wild West

It was also a doggie dash!

The route went around the Cathedral Close as it wound through historic Lincoln.

In other news life is getting much busier around the stable.  Three fancy gents are with the livestock and a second angel has landed on the roof.  Next post will include a little photo-journalism from Bethlehem.  

Sunday, 16 December 2018

Closer to home


Last week's nativity set had come from far across the world, maybe from Peru, maybe from Ecuador but this week it is from very close to home, from a charity in my own small town, the Rock Foundation. 


The Rock Foundation provides services for young people and adults with learning disabilities.  They aim to help service users to develop skills and improve their quality of life.  I bought this simple nativity to support their work.

And that's what is what makes this scene special for this week.  We hear a lot of criticism of the commercialism of Christmas but commercialism has never managed to push out the message that Christmas is a special time for remembering those who are in need.  I noticed that the collection bin for items for the foodbank was full when I went to Tesco and was told it had been emptied already that day and that only happens in the run-up to Christmas.  "Caistor cares" is having its extra special tea party this afternoon.  Our local Lions are distributing hampers and they've already taken many older people to the panto.  Many people will have sent donations to charity

My prayers this week are based on words from the Service of Nine Lessons and Carols.
"And because this of all things would rejoice his heart, let us remember, in his name, the poor and helpless, the cold, the hungry, and the oppressed; the sick and them that mourn, the lonely and the unloved, the aged and the little children; all those who know not the Lord Jesus, or who love him not, or who by sin have grieved his heart of love."




Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Who's a lucky girl? (Me)

I do enjoy comping!  Entering competitions that is.  I do A Very Lot of them which means that sometimes I win.  This week I have won ten cake bars and a £250 Experience Day voucher so that's a treat to enjoy over the next few days and something to look forward to in the New Year.


Things continue to happen in (or near) my Advent stable.  A rather fancy looking gent seems to be organising some livestock.  


Yesterday I had a visitor who used to work in South America and he looked very closely at my South American set which I showed you on Sunday.  He felt that the characters were from further north than Peru, maybe Ecuador.  

Sunday, 9 December 2018

From lands afar

I love nativity sets!  I used to have even more of them than I do now and even now I can display only a few each Christmas.  I haven't had this one out for several years and yet I think it is lovely.


Some time ago when I was blogging about the Christmas story someone commented that the characters I wrote about (angels, Mary, Joseph) were very British.  It wasn't a criticism: my commenter was saying that for her as an American I had brought a new dimension to the story and she was enjoying it.  It's also very true: Jesus was born thousands of years ago in a land thousands of miles from my home but he is born anew every year (every day!) in every land.  In my mind the lamb he is offered is a Lincoln Longwool but it could equally be a Pelibuey from South America.


So here is one of my nativity sets, this time from South America, Peru I think, and it is so different from all the others that I have.  These are definitely peasant figures from a country other than my own

And it's there to remind me not just of South America but of lands throughout the world where Christ's message of peace is heard and where there is need for it to be heard.  May Christ be born anew in every waiting heart, wherever that heart beats.
I'm joining in with Pause in Advent hosted by Tracing Rainbows.

Saturday, 8 December 2018

Weird knitting

Thank you for all the comments on my last post.  I haven't replied to any of them as anything I could say would risk being very trite and it seemed more respectful just to let them stand.  Thank you again.

Things have been happening in the stable since your last visit which was three days ago.  The herdsman has acquired another sheep and a cow.  That seems quite reasonable for a stable.  What is a little strange is the angel perched on the roof blowing a trumpet.  All that noise cannot be making the herdsman's job any easier.  

A couple of weeks ago Jane called and rather liked the  scarf I had knitted for someone else.  As I couldn't think what to buy for Jane that solved one problem but created another.  Anyway, I got some more yarn.  It's weird to knit.  It's a flat, thick yarn when it comes off the ball but has to be teased out for knitting.  It creates a frilly effect when knitted up.  Interesting but I'm finding it a little tedious as I can't get any sort of rhythm going.  

Thursday, 6 December 2018

The Right Words

You will have gathered that I love the lead-up to Christmas.  I enjoy making things for my friends, meeting up with them, even writing cards (but the last seems to take a very long time).

December is not a time of unmixed joy.  On 6th December 1995 my Father died.  On 5th December 2006 my Mother died.  And on 30th December 2010 my only sister died.  I have known what it is to wait and watch and weep with the dying when festivities are going on around.  And I have known what it is to long to be left alone when the world seems to be full of crowds.

Each December I meet professionally with families who are bereaved.  Christmas will never be quite the same again for them.  In a year or two Christmas will again be joyful in a different way but that first year it's just a time to be endured as best as possible.  Cards come through the door wishing "Merry Christmas" and the world is filled with festivity but all you want to do is crawl under a duvet.

Today I am meeting up with a friend who knew all my family - we've known each other nearly fifty years.  I know she will remember and mention my parents gently and sensitively.  We will laugh at memories of them just as we will laugh at the doings of my friend's grandchildren.  We are each enriched by our families, both past and present.

This is not intended to be a maudlin post but rather to say that few people can think of "the right words" to say to someone who is sad at this time.  The reason for that is simple: there are no "right words".  That doesn't mean that the other person is unfeeling or uncaring, just that they too are human.

I've thought long and hard as to whether to hit the publish button for this post because I know that these aren't the right words either.  However, I want to reach out to anyone who is sad - those who wait or weep or watch - and these words are all I have.

God bless.


Wednesday, 5 December 2018

An extra present


Since retirement, like most of my friends I have scaled back on the cost of the presents I give.  Many gifts are now home-made and I am happy that many of the gifts I receive are edible or maybe pots of bulbs to bring colour to my house.


This year, however, I've given each of my friends a small extra present.  A loo roll.  With this message attached.  


It is possible that you are wondering why I have given you a loo roll for Christmas.  It is even possible that you regard this gift as the final proof that I have lost my marbles.  You may be right.

However, this paper has been made by a company called “Who gives a crap?” which gives half of its profits to sanitation projects in the Third World.  This means that each time you use this paper for your comfort you are not only saving the world’s natural resources, you are helping to save precious human lives.

So do enjoy my gift.  And leave me to worry about my marbles.


In my sitting room a cow has now arrived at the stable.  The shepherd must now be reckoned to be a herdsman.  He has a choice between lamb chops and rump steak.  If he chooses either I will barbecue him.  He has been warned.

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Advent Calendars


I don't remember Advent calendars being around when I was a little girl and I feel that I was deprived.  However, I make up for it now.  


I have my lovely stable with its tiny figures.  Today a shepherd has turned up to keep that solitary sheep in order.  I don't think he will be overworked but I hope that the sight of one sheep and a large fire doesn't fill his mind with thoughts of barbecues.  

There is an on-line Advent calendar which I check in to every year.  It's The Norad Santa Tracker.  Click on the link and it will take you there.  Norad  (The North American Aerospace Defense Command) exists mainly to provide aerospace monitoring of aircraft, missiles and space vehicles so tracking Santa is well within its remit.  Santa's mission is, of course, considered not to be hostile and Norad will offer any necessary assistance should he find himself in difficulties.  They have been tracking Santa every year since 1955 so their archive of information is extensive.  By Christmas Eve the team will be on full alert and minute by minute reporting of Santa's journey will be available.  In the meantime games, music, movies etc are available.  Do visit!

Monday, 3 December 2018

A Very Old Fashioned Present

Not long ago a friend mentioned that she wished she could buy some old fashioned padded hangers.  Years ago everyone had them in their wardrobes.  They protect clothes from getting hanger marks and the clothes don't seem to slip off so easily.


Well I don't need to have that sort of hint dropped more than once so I've been a busy girl.  I'd got some fleece trimmings and the scrap fabric after making a skirt so I bought some plain beech hangers (surprisingly hard to find these days) and combined the three.  They looked a bit plain so I dived into the stash again and found some pink gingham and I bought some broderie anglaise trim and made lavender bags.  Et voila!


In other news I have been opening the doors on my  Advent stable.  Yesterday I found a sheep.  Today revealed a very cosy fire.  Better keep the two apart.

Sunday, 2 December 2018

Waiting

When I brought out my Advent calendar/stable yesterday, I also put out this figurine.  It's just a pregnant woman.  Any pregnant woman.  She's faceless but in her there is a sense of waiting, of anticipation.  She is Everywoman.  She comes out every Advent, the season which starts today (even though most Advent calendars started yesterday).  


On Friday I had lunch with a friend and as soon as we had ordered food she took out her phone and showed me photographs of her first grandchild, born last week.  Her heart was filled with love and pride.  This baby has been born from and into love.  Nuala will grow up secure and loved.

How did Mary feel? I really don't know. That's partly because I have never had children but it's also because her's was a unique pregnancy.  I think it may have been quite a lonely pregnancy too.  Eventually Joseph had his dream and so understood something of God's plan but Mary had disgraced herself in the eyes of most people around her.  Unwed and expectant, not a good combination in those days.  We call the coming of Jesus "good news" but I doubt if it was met with unmixed joy in that family.

Still today not all births in our world are anticipated with unmixed joy.  Sometimes there are just too many mouths to feed already.  Sometimes there is a high risk of birth defect or stillbirth.  Even today some pregnancies are hidden for shame.  Some women just don't want to be mothers.

My prayers this week are for all families in which a child will soon be born.  May they all know joy and wonder and love through their children.

I'm joining in with "Pause in Advent" hosted by Tracing Rainbows.  

Saturday, 1 December 2018

December!

December!  No contest over the most important thing about December in this household - as in many others.  Christmas!

I've done quite a lot of my preparation already, in fact although I'm not quite as well organised as I would have been if I were still working regularly, I think this will be my best prepared Christmas since I retired.

My sermons are written in outline, the cards will be in the post by Monday (today if the weather is good enough for me to get to the postbox), most presents are bought or nearly made, I've got coffee or lunch dates arranged with most of my friends, and I'm hoping to enjoy this month at least as much as I enjoyed November.


And today I have set up by very special Advent calendar.  I've had it for many years (and it's been on my blogs several times) but each year I enjoy it anew.  There are twenty four doors (the remaining twelve are on the other side) and behind each is a precious nativity figure: precious because they are well-used and joyfully anticipated, not because of intrinsic value.  Today I found a star which I have fixed to the front of the stable.

May you too have a joyful and blessed Advent.

Friday, 30 November 2018

A wonderful end to the month


I hadn't been to my card making group for weeks but today was the day to remedy that.  It's my last session before Christmas and I was determined to go.  So, here's what I made.




Thursday, 29 November 2018

None-Better November

I hope your November has been as happy as mine!  I said at the beginning of the month that November isn't one of my favourite months but I'm pleased to say, it has been a really good thirty days.  (Yes, I know I've only had twenty nine but tomorrow is planned and that will be wonderful too!  See you, Mandy.)


Annie-The-Home-Enhancer is one of the main reasons.  I hadn't realised that the tatty state of my home was getting me down but now I'm no longer thinking about doing boring things like cleaning (or rather how to avoid cleaning) I feel free to do lovely things instead.  I've knitted and sewn. I've been out and done things. I've cooked tasty food.  And I've enjoyed my home.  Employing Annie for three hours once a fortnight has meant a little financial juggling but it's worth it.  To be fair to me some jobs which she is doing are things which I can't do because of disability (move furniture, clean high windows, wipe out high cupboards) but she's also doing things which I'm just not very good at.




I'm going to show you some of my crafty type projects during December but for now here are the new tubs of cyclamen near the front door.  They'll bloom more than this eventually!  It's so lovely to go out and come in and to welcome visitors when there are flowers to brighten the entrance. 


As for Nimbler November my average daily step count has been has been its highest for eighteen month.  A bit more spring in my step too.  I'e had a few problems with my Trundle Truck but those are now resolved so I am out and about again. 

I've almost finished my card and letter writing for Christmas and I will be able to post everything on Saturday or Monday.  I may even get a couple of presents into the post by Monday but that's less certain. 

I haven't done much Sunday work (apart from Remembrance Day) but I've been busy with funerals and I baptised a gorgeous little girl who giggled at me through the service (and made me giggle too).  I've never had that happen before!

I've had days out, coffee with friends, lunch and dinner meet-ups.  My friendships are very important but I have to say the most important day was the one where I got the all clear in breast cancer.

Thursday, 22 November 2018

Thanksgiving


Happy Thanksgiving to any American readers who have popped in.  Have a lovely day.


We don't have anything like Thanksgiving here but I have a notebook/journal of Thankful Thoughts for an Attitude of Gratitude which I keep by my bedside.  I try and put three ideas in each night.  It can be something really small, like having made a tasty soup.  Sometimes it's about big things like having cousins who care enough to check that I am OK.  Sometimes it's finding the positive side of something not so good, like having big windows and good central heating for looking outside on a really cold day.

Today I am thankful for

- the friends I make through this blog, especially those who live in USA and who will be celebrating Thanksgiving today.  I'd never thought about Thanksgiving until I found Blogland but I'm so glad you have told me about it.  It sounds a lovely custom.

- the bloggy friends I have met in real life.

and YOU, the person reading this blog (especially if you are a commenter!).  Thank you

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

A heart-stopping moment

Why is that all cancer checks are so inelegant?  For cervical cancer it involves a doctor armed with the Eiffel Tower.  Bowel cancer screening is in the privacy of one's home but that's the only thing to be said in its favour.  And mammograms involve standing in weird positions while one's boobs are crushed in a vice.

I am the unfortunate possessor of the duff BRCA2 gene which means that my lifetime risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer is appallingly high so a few years ago my ovaries and boobs were removed to reduce the risk.   However, it only reduces the risk - it doesn't take it away altogether so every year I attend our local hospital for screening.  A few weeks ago I had a mammogram and yesterday I went for my annual clinical examination.

I wasn't particularly worried until the doctor said, "Can you just feel here and check your breast".  I felt and I checked and there was a pea-sized lump which I'd never noticed before.  A heart stopping moment indeed.  Anyway, I was sent immediately for an ultrasound examination and everything was pronounced hunky dory.  A bit of scar tissue was responsible for my lump.  

And suddenly the indignity no longer mattered.  Thanks to NHS screening I am still safe.  And my life can go on as normal

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

A Little Bit of Crafting


It seems ages since I went crafting but yesterday our Federation of Women's Institutes had a craft day and of course, I was there.  Just two projects to show you.


This Christmas tree is made from milk bottle tops which have been padded with wadding and then covered and stitched together.  I may put a cinnamon stick as a trunk and maybe a few star anise - it will smell nice as well as look good.  


This is a simple purse but it felt as though I was doing origami.  I like the design but if I make it again I shall use better contrasted fabric.    




Sunday, 11 November 2018

Two voices from the Great War

Market Rasen Church this week
On the night before her execution Nurse Edith Cavell said 

"Patriotism is not enough.  I must have no hatred or bitterness towards anyone."

The poet Wilfred Owen, the news of whose death reached his mother one hundred years ago as today, said, 

"Christ is literally in No Man's Land.  There men often hear his voice: 'Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for a friend.'  Is it spoken in English only, and in French?  I do not believe so."  

One hundred years ago the guns fell silent.  The voices of those two people who died in that war should never be silent.

Saturday, 10 November 2018

A sabbath reflection

Every so often I read posts on other people's blogs which seem to have been written just for me.  I've just been reading Small Moments and a comment by Angela from Tracing Rainbows who reminded me of a poem by Joyce Grenfell, "Time".  Here's the first verse.


When I was a girl there was always time,
There was always time to spare.
There was always time to sit in the sun;
And we were never done
With lazing and flirting,
And doing our embroidery,
And keeping up our memory books,
And brushing our hair,
And writing little notes,
And going on picnics,
And dancing, dancing, dancing, dancing–
When I was a girl there was always time to waste.

Thank the Lord.

Today is my Sabbath, my weekly period of quietness and reflection which in my girlhood would have driven me crazy but is now one of my favourite things.  I read that verse and realised that I'm in my second girlhood!  

I'm always busy, but I've always got time to spare if someone suggests an outing, or a cuppa and a natter.  I've got plenty of time to sit in the sun when the sun wants to shine on me.  I've time not just to embroider but to knit, sew, crochet or whatever.  I don't have a memory book but I have time to write a blog.  I not only write little notes but make the cards to write the notes on.  And in my head I am often dancing but have to admit that on this one the spirit is willing but the flesh extremely weak.

I spent part of my youth working in Nigeria as a librarian and have been looking at some photographs of that precious time.  I see Nkere, Mandu. Helen, Aniema and other women with whom I talked and laughed.  The average lifespan for women in Nigeria is just 53 years.  I am now 67.  Have any of those women on my old photographs also enjoyed the privilege of advancing years?  I don't know.   


Friday, 9 November 2018

Nimbler in November

Mother used to tell me to use my head to save my legs.  What she meant was think about what you're doing so you don't need to use any more energy than necessary.  These days when I bend down to tie my shoelaces I look around to make sure there's nothing else I can do while I'm down there.

As you know I am "mobility challenged".  I use a trundle truck (mobility scooter).  I have a Home Enhancer (cleaner) and a gardener/handyman to help with stuff I can't do for myself.  All sorts of people help me on an ad hoc basis and most of them would do far more if I would let them.  And therein lies a problem.  It would be all-too-easy for me to lose even more mobility.

"Using my head to save my legs" needs to have  new meaning for me.   I want to keep such mobility as I have for as long as possible and that means I have to move rather more than I have been doing.  I have to find ways to move which I can fit into my everyday life.  This is easier said than done!

This week I have spent a lot of time in front of my computer doing a big job of scanning.  I decided to set an alarm to remind me to walk a few steps (about a hundred) every half hour.  Today I remembered that I owed a friend £1.  This morning I have walked the hundred yards or so to take the money.  I know she would have been quite happy for me to pay her next week when we meet for coffee but the challenge of that walk was important.  I've tried to stand at the worktop rather than sit at the kitchen table to prepare food.  

These "movement snacks" are all things which most people do without even thinking about it.  For me they are important.  I want to save my legs.  


Tuesday, 6 November 2018

A very special chap


There are some things which I love doing every year.  Springtime I travel the east coast main line.  In December there's the jollifications of Christmas.  And in November I go to Donna Nook.


I suppose few people ever went to Donna Nook to enjoy the view but it's a place which seems to have a magical attraction for grey seals.  Every year thousands of them come ashore from the North Sea and every year even more of them go back to the North Sea for Donna Nook is a favourite birthing site.  Over 2,000 were  born last year.



And every year I visit.  Usually I go a little later in November but yesterday wasn't too cold so I wrapped and off I went.  I could see only about a hundred animals from the path.  More will come ashore soon and vast areas of the marsh are not visible from the fenced off viewing area.  



But it's quality not quantity - and this little chap, just a few days old, definitely has star quality.  

Sunday, 4 November 2018

A Sabbath crowned with glory!

Long time readers of my blog will know that for several years I have reserved Saturday as a Sabbath, a day of rest and seclusion, a special time of looking for the signs of God's work in my life.  

It starts on Friday  when I get the house in order.  I like Sabbath to be a time of calm and a clean, tidy house helps with that.  Happily the wonderful Annie, my home-enhancer, sorted that one!  I like to tidy before she comes (otherwise she would tidy and I wouldn't find any thing) but she makes sure everything gleams.

Sabbath begins with my evening meal.  This week it was stir fried vegetables with cashew nuts.  Sometimes I will have a glass of wine and after the meal I settle down with my favourite mint tea, made in a tea-pot and drunk from a fine china cup and saucer.  These little touches are important.  Then I settle down to a quiet evening.  This week it was knitting and an audiobook.

Saturday's activities are also quiet.  Yesterday I was scanning some of my late sister's work on the family tree.  This magnum opus runs to five ring binders full of A4 sheets so it is a mammoth task  As I scanned I thought of her, and of our parents.  I thought about my Great Great Great Great Great Grandfather Joseph, born in Epworth in 1769 some sixty years after the young John Wesley was "The brand plucked from the fire" as his father's Rectory in that same village burned to the ground.  I thought about many of my foremothers and forefathers, the people who quite literally made me the woman I am today.  And I thanked God for them.

And while I was doing that there was a wonderful delivery - orchids!  These were a gift from a dear friend.  And so my thoughts turned from my ancestors to the wonderful loving friends I have today.

Truly my Sabbath was crowned with glory

Friday, 2 November 2018

OK so I know I'm a big kid

Our local garden centre always has a wonderful display in the run-up to Christmas but the trouble is that once December comes there are always children there.  Crafty wrinklies like me go in November.

The reindeer were parked outside the main display area  and these two were singing "I really can't stay (Baby it's cold outside)".  The boy reindeer is the one on the left as you look at them.  I was a good girl and didn't feed them.


Inside was this wonderful fireplace just waiting for Santa to do his stuff.  I have never seen such a wonderful electric fire.  I have been on the look out for a new fire and I'm very tempted!  The clock is actually a reflection.  I could have used a nice sofa in front of that fire.





Music was provided by this ursine combo and very enjoyable they were too.




And Santa must have been out on a practice run last night because this is how he looked when I saw him.  Too much sherry I think.




Thursday, 1 November 2018

So what about November?


A whole new month!  I don't suppose November is a favourite month for many people - it certainly isn't for me - but it's going to be a busy one.  

I have managed to find a Home Enhancer!  Some people would call Annie my cleaner but I've always called the wonderful people who keep my home in a reasonable state my Home Enhancers.  I cannot begin to say how much more relaxed I feel.  It is going to mean a bit of financial juggling but it will be worth it.  I always was a lousy housekeeper and disability hasn't improved my skills.  Anyway, I now feel ready to tackle a few other things.

I've decided I need a Nimbler November!  My step count has been deteriorating for the last two months so I need to take myself in hand and get on foot.  

Christmas is approaching fast - 54 days to go - and if I want to enjoy it I need to get a few things sorted.  Some preparation of course can't go on the blog (because you never know which friends may read things you'd rather they didn't read) but I will say that I want to get my puddings made very soon and the cards written by the end of the month.  

The garden just needs a quick tidy up - most of the winter preparation has been done but I want to plant a trough of cyclamen for near the front door.

I will be listing some stuff on EBay to try and find a little space in my house.  That would be lovely.

And I've got meals with friends, a craft day, a few trips, a lot of crafting and a wonderful month planned.  Hope your is as joyful as I'm planning that mine will be.

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

So how was October?


In short, not bad at all, thank you for asking. 


First of all the bad - let's get that out of the way.  Here's my original list for October

Start scanning the family tree
Knit at least a sleeve on the sweater
Persevere with the crochet.
Take a harvest festival.  
Get my sewing machine back and get the skirt made.
Make the stocking and wrap the stuff to go in it.
Make that freezer inventory.

Well, let's say it's easier to say what I did than list what I didn't.  I'm just about at the cuff on the sweater (knitted on a circular needle starting from the top), I took the Harvest Festival, retrieved my sewing machine and got quite a bit done on the skirt, and defrosted and sorted the freezer.

However I have been by no means idle.
I knitted two hats for a charity and one scarf as a Christmas present.
I went to WI at Brigg and learnt about wet felting.  (I'd done some wet felting years ago but it was still interesting.)
I did a lot of visiting of sick, elderly or lonely people.
I conducted two funerals.
I lead worship each Sunday.
I had two competition wins and a small win on a free lotto.
And I treated myself to a back massage yesterday to round off the month.

So now to plan November!

Monday, 29 October 2018

Tickets

This is a very quick post as I have two tickets for the Spirit of Christmas Fair which I have won but find myself unable to use.  The fair is at Olympia (London) and the tickets are valid for any day from Tuesday 30th October to Sunday 4th November.  If they are of any use to you please email me using the link on my profile page.  

Saturday, 27 October 2018

Another year older


I'm the world's biggest kid about birthdays.  I still love them!


When I was a child it was the presents which brought the greatest pleasure but these days it's the good wishes of old friends.  I think I get more cards each year.  I love the feeling of good will!
I have two very good friends, both single women, and we all go out for each other's birthday.  Nothing elaborate, just lunch at a local pub but good food and good company makes a perfect combination.

And to crown it all, flowers.  My friends all know that I love flowers and these days it's good to receive things which won't clutter my house for ever.  So here are some of my flowers.  

Only three hundred and sixty days to my next birthday!