Thursday, 30 June 2016

Remembering Hubby's Dear Auntie

We woke to the news this morning, that a dear Aunt in Australia had passed away after a short illness.
It had been expected, her deterioration in the past week made it obvious to us she was not going to recover.
We had hoped to visit her one day, so are sad this hasn't happened, but we have the assurance of meeting one day in Heaven.
She was married to my husband's uncle but sadly widowed young with four small children.
Despite marrying some time later, she always kept in contact with her English in-laws, and ultimately those of us a bit further down the family tree.
Her second husband is as much an uncle to the family as if he were a blood relative and over the years many of us have developed strong bonds with them both....with the help of the internet.
We will miss her cheery emails, and isn't it amazing to think at 90 she was still driving and emailing!
Breaking the news to Grandma was not easy as she and Auntie were young wives together, and when Auntie was first widowed she came back to the UK initially with the children and lived with Grandma and Grandad.
It was as well we had mother and toddlers this morning as it gave Grandma something to think about.
The plaster cast models went down well....I had imagined the boys would choose the  dinosaurs and the girls the fish....but was the other way round!
One of the grandmas who comes clearly thinks I am cleverer than I am...she asked if she could borrow the tool I used to  carve out the dinosaurs as she would like to make a bigger one for her grandson!!!
It took some explaining that I had used a mould, but I think we got there in the end!
Tomorrow my neighbour's house is going to be completely emptied.
Having been on the market for two days an offer has been made and accepted...and there are still many more viewings lined up!
The son wanted me to take one more walk through the house and make sure there wasn't anything we would like.
I had noticed this little pine stool some time ago and thought it would be rather sweet if it was sanded down.
So this time I decided not to leave it, I can always pass it on if I find it really isn't at all useful.
When I got home with it I wondered where to put it and remembered Teen One hasn't got anything to sit on in her bedroom at the moment.
This is small enough not to get in the way, but I hoped useful enough for things like drying her hair etc.
It looked a little dull as it was, so I wondered what I could do to quickly perk it up....I remembered I had a pile of  berets a friend gave me  some years ago....I found one almost the same shade as Teen One's wall!
I think it will do fine for the time being!
I mentioned to Teen One the new acquisition and she said "great...I needed something to sit on!"
I also brought home a couple of deckchairs and a little coffee table that has drawers can never have too much storage in this house!
I have thrown out the old little coffee table that hubby and I use to put our cuppas on and replaced it with the new one...I wonder if he will notice tonight?
I have also emptied an old mini pine chest of drawers that used to be in the living room....that is destined for  the back hall at church to replace a storage box we keep bits and pieces in...not only will this store things with easier provides a place for a couple of the mums cups to sit.
So...whilst I have brought yet more stuff into the house...I have kept to my rule of taking something out of the house as well.
There are however some things that can come into the house, and not require something else going out ....he does spoil me doesn't he!
He used to buy his mum flowers every week and I seem to have filled that gap in his life now!
Such a thoughtful man.
Thursday June 30, 2016
Today's Promise:
   But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Can I Convince You?

Weather wise it has been rather a wash out today, and what with the wind last night.....its like winter!!
After dropping Teen One off at school and then the usual morning clear up, I set to making some plaster of paris moulds for tomorrow's Mother and Toddlers and Friday  Club.
Many years ago I brought home a tub of little magnets from our local Craft Bank. It has lasted me years and years and I still have some left!
They are perfect for plaster cast moulds, so easy to store on the fridge, much less precarious than perched on a shelf.
I must confess that whilst making the moulds up can cause a bit of a mess in the kitchen sink, its easily enough cleared up, and always seems like a rather special craft to me!
Probably because it was one of those "Not Allowed" activities when I was growing up.
It's a really quick and easy activity to set up ( with a little forethought of course, for setting time)
and the plaster is relatively cheap and lasts for ages.
Today I used up an ice cube tray (fishes) dinosaur chocolate mould, and  Lego mould that was originally bought for a wedding cake and then handed on to me ( thanks Grandma its had lots of use!)
So many things can be used as moulds.....I rather like this one using plastic spoons!
When the Teens were little, we often made things like this.... was perfect for using up all kinds of trinkets and collections...particularly good after a visit to the beach and you come home with pockets full of shells and pebbles.
You can even add a few drops of paint to the plaster before it sets to enhance the plaque.
I had to call in to see the practise nurse today for a blood test and saw another one of our Doctors is retiring!
This time a lady Doctor and one I have seen many times.
She is such a lovely lady, with a warm smile and comforting I will miss her!
Thankfully I don't need to see the doctors very often, but she was always my first choice.
Hubby had to go to the Doctors yesterday for a check up on his blood pressure...and it was up a little bit....he is not happy as the doctor wants him to take yet another tablet, so that's two he has now....he had hoped the bit of weight loss he had started to achieve would have meant maybe he wouldn't need any tablets at all....seems not.
Teen Two and I the popped into town briefly and I was delighted to see a very dull part of town, by a major roundabout, has been spruced up.
These shops have long since been open and the place has been rather an eyesore...this little bit of decoration has brightened the place up no end!
After lunch Teen Two and I played Rummikub.
It really is a fun game and he really enjoys playing it and is much quicker than I am at making new runs, breaking up existing ones etc.
Tonight he is going to the gym ahead of his internet café night, so its a busy time for him.
The gym membership is proving very worthwhile right now, I hope it keeps up...of course every time I drop him off I have a tinge of guilt that maybe I should be in there too!!
Then I convince myself I am way more active in the day time with all the housework and errands I run all day long....are you convinced??

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

"Giving Thanks Unto The Lord"

This morning I promised to take a friend, along with her daughter and grandchild, as well as Teen Two, to Ikea for breakfast.
They had never been before so were looking forward to the adventure.
All started well, the car park was quite empty, there was no queue at the restaurant (very unusual!) but just as we were giving in our order an announcement came over the tannoy...
"Please evacuate the building using the nearest emergency exit, this is due to a technical difficulty, please evacuate immediately."
I had just been handed two of the cooked breakfasts and looked at the member of staff...she looked back at me....did we hear what we thought we just heard?
Seems like we did....we had to abandon our food...go in search of Teen Two and the young mum and baby...which meant going against the wishes of the staff who by now were herding us to an emergency door...but I was not going to leave without at least having tried to find them.
Thankfully they too were making their way over and we were able to go down the many flights of stairs altogether.
Anyone who has been to an Ikea will know what vast buildings these are, and so the flights of stairs seemed never ending, to make matters worse my friend still has problems with her ankle which was broken earlier this year...not only that but she is nervous of stairs as that is how she broke her ankle in the first place, missing a step!
What an ordeal it was!
Of course in the back of my mind I was wondering what on earth the difficulty was that meant we had to evacuate the building and keep away from it once outside....I was expecting an explosion I must confess and my mind was working overtime.....I couldn't get down those stairs quick enough.
No alarms were going so I presume it wasn't a  fire issue.
After some time out on the pavement we were finally allowed back in, and when we eventually got back up to the top floor to get breakfast, we were given it free of charge for the inconvenience.
The staff cannot be praised highly enough for the calm manner in which they escorted us off the premises....I guess they weren't privy to the problem either and would have wanted to get us just as quick as the rest of us!
We also had free car parking on our exit.
The rest of the time there was very enjoyable and drama free!
They came out with a big blue bag full of goodies...including  a quilt cover for £1!
They are eager to return with the rest of their family...but minus the drama!
I guess its another one of those days where we can look back and be thankful to the Lord for taking care of us in what could have been a very different situation.
"Oh give thanks unto the Lord for He is good and His mercy endureth for ever" Psalm 107

Monday, 27 June 2016

"A Labourer Is Worthy Of His Hire"

Today started by taking Teen One to her school placement ( which she enjoyed,), then on to my Monday Recycled Teenager.
We had a catch up, then headed out to the supermarket.
Last week she was given  a voucher for free flowers to celebrate her birthday, but as she had a houseful of flowers already, she gave me the voucher!
So I chose some delicate freesias to cheer up my kitchen window sill.
After shopping I dropped Teen Two off at the gym, then spent the afternoon doing some rather mundane paperwork and housework.
In between our  house and our neighbours is a narrow driveway, which gives us all access to our garages.
For the last few years a neighbour at the end of the road has asked his son to keep the weeds and grass down. He is a gardener and very kindly does it for no charge.
Not only the driveway but also all the sides around the back.
We of course have been endeavouring to keep ours clear in recent times, bagging up the soil etc and keeping the weeds down.
Whenever I see him I say thank you, and have dropped off chocolates to his dad at Christmas time.
I am fairly sure no one else takes the trouble to thank him and I even overheard someone moan the other day that now he has moved he was unlikely to keep the weeds down now!
When I heard him working today I was so happy, as the weeds really had got high and too big a job for us without the proper tools.
With the fence not yet fixed...there is a handy little peep when he drew level with the hole I waved to him  to get his attention and then discretely tried to give him a tenner as a thank you for his efforts.
He kept refusing me, but I really felt it was so kind, on this muggy day, to spend half an hour of his time clearing our paths for free....when he wouldn't take it I opened my fingers, letting the note into alley and said "whoops" then walked away!
He laughed and I just hoped it didn't fly away out of reach!
About half an hour later, I was in the garden hanging out washing when his head peeped through the gap "thank you" he said.."but you don't need to do that"
to which I replied
"A labourer is worthy of his hire"
Now technically I didn't hire him...but I think its important not to take people's hard work for granted...even if they aren't expecting anything for their efforts.
My late neighbour  who never let anyone do anything for free, always used to say "there's no taste in nothing!"
I had just finished typing up this blog when I heard a bit of a commotion a few feet away...I looked up to see Crystal with a mouse in her mouth!
I tried to usher her back into the garden with it, but instead she turned tail and headed for the hall....dropping the mouse as she went!
Quick as a flash I popped the nearby bin on top of it....I don't know how alive it is...but it was breathing well when I saw it briefly!
Just incase it ate three Weetabix today I put a bag of potatoes on top, to make sure it didn't escape before Hubby comes home!
So guess what his job will be ahead of having his dinner!
As for Milly...well she just continued to lounge about, despite the commotion having gone on right under her nose!
She is most definitely NOT a mouser....never too sure if I am happy about that or not!
Am hoping Hubby is going to be able to let our little uninvited visitor into  the school field opposite.
Monday June 27, 2016
Today's Psalm:
   Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.

Sunday, 26 June 2016

The Patient Gardener!

Today was our Family Service at church, always a busy morning for me, but a phone call at 9am this morning made it even busier!
One of our ladies at church wasn't able to come and as she usually brings quite a lot of food, I had to quickly rustle a few extra things up.
By 11am I had made a sausage casserole, tuna and cheese pasta, spicy chicken pasta...
...bread and butter pudding and Elijah bread.
I already had a lot of fresh fruit and ice cream, and also took along a tin of rice as back up.
Thankfully we had one family down so there was more than enough food in the end and we even have leftovers for the next day or two!
Just after we moved to this house, over 22 years ago, I was given a Philidelphus  plant.
For years it hasn't done anything other than grow very tall stems and occasionally one or two flowers.
This year however it is absolutely full of buds and coming out in beautiful flowers!
I don't know why it has suddenly blossomed into life after all these years!
But I am delighted it has.
I couldn't resist bringing a little of it into the house. With the weather so atrocious at the moment we aren't able to sit out and enjoy the flowers, so I thought I would bring the outside inside!
I am so glad I didn't dig it up, which I had intended to do a while back!
This afternoon I must confess to forty winks on the sofa and not a scrap of crafting!
Tomorrow Teen One starts her placement at a local she hasn't been to before so that will be an experience.
She has a list of things she has to achieve during her time there, it all looks really interesting and she is looking forward to the next couple of weeks.
Sunday June 26, 2016
Today's Verse:
   Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and for ever.


Saturday, 25 June 2016

Making The Most Of A Wet Summer's Day

Today started with....well what do you think....a cup of tea in bed of course!
So lovely to have a Saturday when we didn't have any place to be at any particular time.
We had the day ahead of us to do with as we wanted, and other than chatting with some family in Australia via Skype, we had no plans.
Our Skype date went well...other than we spent an hour not being able to see them, just hear them!
Then the next half hour seeing them but they couldn't see us!
The wonders of modern technology!
For me the second half was better, I got fed up seeing myself the whole time!
But despite the hiccups, it is still amazing that for "free" we can see and talk to family thousands of miles away.
With the weather being absolutely dreadful, one rain storm after another, it was most definitely a stay at home day.
Hubby got round to a job I have been wanting done for a while, taking off the old plasterboard from the conservatory.
Not only was the wallpaper peeling off ( well it was here when we moved in!) I actually prefer the rustic  look of the bare bricks.
After a light lunch, Hubby then cracked on with  making a new fence...
...I was impressed with how quickly it started to come together...
...and will be so much better than this one which has been repaired so many times over the years and is now beyond it.
Part way through the afternoon I took Hubby a cuppa down to the garage...
...and I was delighted to see that the pile of soil that Teen Two and I have been bagging up for weeks had been collected.
There are still a couple of bags to go and I have a bit more bagging up to do, but not much as you can see!
If only I had discovered the freely given page on Facebook earlier, I could have got rid of it so much easier!
As the couple said "one man's trash is another man's treasure!"
I decided to make the most of having the afternoon to ourselves and crack on with something I had in mind for some time.
Last year I knitted some hedgehogs with some of my wool stash to donate to a local lady who rescues hedgehogs.
She was delighted, and I was equally delighted to have reduced my stash somewhat!
However there was a slight backfiring...she "reimbursed" me with five carrier bags of ....wool!
I really can't use all of it for making more hedgehogs, I just don't have the time, but I thought I would make as many as I could and then use the rest at Friday Club.
The quickest way to use up the wool has been to  make pom poms using the cute set I bought earlier this year.
I asked  Teen One today if she could  design a face for me.... after a few protypes...
...and some raiding of her old bead collection...
...these simple cone shapes started to evolve...
...and we soon had a little collection of Mrs Tiggywinkles!
Its a drop in the ocean compared to the amount of wool I have to use up, but it has started the ball rolling, in this craftless mood I have been in recently!
If you love hedgehogs and fancy knitting  one/some yourself  whilst also helping a worthwhile cause, Cancer Recovery UK here's a free pattern and details of how you can help.
Teen Two's favourite spot for the day has been here, gaming on the Wii...
...but he did take some time out for his favourite little critters...
...and Teen One couldn't resist joining in the fun.
The one job of the day yet to be completed, is moving the filing cabinet from the dining room to the that space here Hubby has been removing the plasterboard.
The drawers have been emptied...but after a treat of a Chinese takeaway, we now don't have the enthusiasm for moving the heavy unit and then putting all the files back...all carefully laid out in order of course!
All in all I guess is been quite a productive day and we have made the most of the wet summer weekend.
Saturday June 25, 2016
Today's Psalm:
   ...weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.

Friday, 24 June 2016

A Historic Day!

Today started by learning we will soon no longer be part of the EU...was I worried?
Well not being of any political persuasion at all, it's always easy to sit on the sidelines  and listen to all the arguments, but when historic decisions are made, it does make you wonder how it is going to affect you.
I guess all I can say is, I am old enough to remember all the fuss about joining the Common Market and the fear it brought to so many an adult myself now, my faith and trust is  in a Higher Power and I can honestly say I do not worry about what the future may hold now this historic decision has been made.
The first visit this morning was to the opticians.
My eyes have been causing a few problems recently, constantly aching, even when closed.
It seems there are two issues.
Firstly I have dry eyes..."has no one ever told you?" the optician asked?
The solution, special cream...for the rest of my life  (small price to pay for healthy eyes I guess)
The second issue was I was really at the stage of needing glasses for long vision, whilst things are not blurry ( most of the time) my eyes were over compensating and so causing eyestrain.
The solution...varifocals.
So having crossed his palm with ( a lot) of plastic silver, I shall be the dubious owner of new specs in a few weeks.
I have heard so many stories of folks who don't get on with them....but have been assured a week should be long enough to get adjusted.
Lets see! (Pardon the pun!)
After the Opticians Teen Two and I did a spot of shopping in Tesco.
I was so excited to see these now for sale!
We see them in the US, but this is the first time I have seen them here.
I saw someone use them as "dinosaur teeth" at a kids party once! Great idea!
Personally I am imagining them filled with Philidelphia cream cheese!
Grandma had a niece visiting, so wanted us to pop in for a catch up.
Its a short walk from our house to Grandmas....
...passed the local pond....
...where we managed to spot the swan family with their cygnets.
Our story at Friday Club tonight was Elisha and the widow with the pots of oil
 I had seen this on a blog and adapted it somewhat.
Teen One came produced the worksheet for me...I thought coloured was prettier.
We asked the children to write down how they thought God takes care of them and then using a thin paint brush got them to paint a pattern using sunflower oil
When attached to the window with blue tack they really looked effective.
The children thought it was almost magical!
Seeing one start to drip ( bottom line) I ensured we used kitchen paper to blot any excess before hanging them up.
This little girl, who has only been coming a few weeks wrote " he died for me and protects me"
Most children came up with  home, food, mum etc.
One asked if God made the weather and decided to thank him for that...after several days of heavy rain and storms I was quite amused by her question....did she enjoy the storms (mine have always loved them) or was she relieved to see the sunshine today??
Today has not only been a historic day for the country but also our household.
Teen One sat her final A level....well I guess we hope it's her final one anyway, but at the very least no more revision and no more maths!
She now has a lovely long summer holiday ahead of her....with a reading list as long as your arm for Uni in September, placements and work....with maybe a week off at some point to visit Grandma and Grandad!
Friday June 24, 2016
Today's Psalm:
   The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace.