Monthly Archives: September 2013

Ten Things of Thankful #9

I’ve been telling friends about my joining in with TToT recently, and they had to agree that this is a great way to be able to focus on the positive 🙂

There’s something almost addictive about this hop as, despite anything bad happening in our lives, we are almost forced to see the positives in our lives because of it. On reading Lizzi’s post just now, and following the links she gave to Dyanne’s thursday post:  Two stories – one nicer than other. , I immediately came face-to-face with a very dark period in my own life which, thanks be to God, I managed to endure, and come out a stronger person because of, or even despite it 🙂

This has added an impetus to this week’s post for me so, without ado, I give you my Week 9 of TToT:

1. I thank Jehovah God that I came through my struggle with cancer when I was 32 and, although I lost any vestige of a chance of having another child – a hysterectomy was a necessary evil – I am so grateful for the quickness of diagnosis, the speed of the NHS in dealing with it, and the amazing relief at not needing any of the more brutal treatments afterwards.
2. To follow on from the above, I’m also very, very thankful that I was blessed with the child I did have, and I thank Jehovah every single day for that blessing.
3. I’m thankful to have reached the age of 52. 20 years ago, the possibility of reaching this age was just a hope for me, but I came through to the other side and, despite other health problems now, am still alive and, figuratively, kicking! 🙂

4. I’m thankful for the gift of friendship that this hop has given me – something more precious to me than gold or pearls – and I’m so grateful for the really amazing people I’ve had the privilege to be in contact with because of it.
5. I’m thankful that, although my pain levels never reach the 0 factor, I’m also blessed with this, as I’m actually still here to feel it  🙂
6. I’m thankful for those people, like Lizzi of Considerings, who is training hard, and who is doing a job that will probably be a bit thankless at times, but who does it cheerfully, and with a wonderful spirit, as she helps to keep those people with diabetic retinopathy in as tip-top a condition as she’s able to 🙂 Having had my bad eyesight – although being caused by something totally unrelated – improved immensely over the years, I really do appreciate everyone who works in the Ophthalmology line 🙂
7. Just as Zoe, from rewritten, listed in this week’s hop I, too, am thankful to have been born a woman of this generation (well, of the 60’s, anyway). If I had been born earlier, I probably wouldn’t be sitting here, in bed, with my laptop in front of me, writing something that will be available for anyone around the world – with internet access – to be able to read if they want to.
8. I’m thankful for the opportunity to learn so much more about the people I’m in contact with through this hop. Their courage and convictions shine through the words they use, and the choices they make in their Thankful lists – and I’m often left breathless at the scope for bravery displayed here online 🙂
9. I’m so very thankful for the choices I’ve made throughout my life, as they led me here, to a place where I’m comfortable talking about aspects of my life I couldn’t speak about previously, even to those closest to me. There’s something about the – albeit false – anonymity of the blogosphere that helps so many people to be able to face their demons, and win through to a better way of thinking!

10. Finally, I’m thankful, as always, to my hubby, who often goes above and beyond the call of duty in his efforts to cheer me up when I’m down, or to bring me comfort just when I feel there never will be any 🙂 Through his efforts over the last week, I’ve been able to get my blog done relatively early for a change 🙂

Ten Things of Thankful


Filed under TToT

Ten Things of Thankful #8

It’s hard to believe that yet another week has gone by, but I guess when you spend your life mostly asleep, that’s what happens 😦

I’ve had to think really hard this week for my list of thankfuls but, by doing so, it helped me to see all the lovely little things that can outweigh anything bad – and that’s got to be a good thing, right? 🙂

So, on to my list of 10 thankfuls:

  1. I’m really thankful that the surgeon told my Mum that he didn’t have to operate on her wrist – Mum fell and broke it while visiting family in southern Ireland for a funeral and, because she’s on Warfarin, the surgeons couldn’t operate, and so had to take special care to manipulate the bones back into place. Mum’s surgeon in East Anglia, where she lives, has told her it’s healing well without surgical intervention, which is a relief to the whole family 🙂
  2. I’m thankful that the downturn in my Dad’s health, after he said goodbye to his last sibling, was due more to a minor infection, than the desperate grief we thought it was. At least it was something fixable.
  3. I’m so very thankful for antibiotics, which have helped my dad very quickly, and are something with which I wouldn’t have survived to adulthood without. It makes me so very glad to have been born at this time, rather than in the past, where so many died through lack of this relatively simple cure.
  4. I’m thankful to Lizzy Allen, of, who cheered up my day on monday, by nominating me to the Leibster Award – it brought a smile to my face, which was no mean feat, believe me!
  5. I’m thankful that my daughter has returned safely home from her American jaunt – even though she was whisked away immediately to one of the last festivals of the season.
  6. I’m thankful that it’ll only be a week or two before she’s here with us in Wales for a week, where we can catch up on all she’s done this last 4 weeks, and where she’ll be ready to celebrate our anniversary with us 🙂
  7. I’m thankful for my hubby’s friends, who unfailingly turn up to keep him company while I sleep away my days. They stop him from feeling alone while he watches over me, and they keep him distracted, and entertained, to stave off his worries over my health 🙂
  8. I’m so very thankful that we both have a keen sense of humour – and a sense of the ridiculous! Hubby has now convinced me that I’m actually a vegetarian vampire (I’m definitely a ‘nice plate of veggies, with maybe a bit of fish’, in preference to hubby’s ‘still-dripping-with-blood’ enjoyment of meat), which, according to him, is why I shy away from the light, sleep all day, and can’t be woken without him pulling out the stake! Lol
  9. I’m thankful for the lovely days we are still having, despite the drastic downturn in temperature, and the fact that I can still look out of my window, and see the sun glinting through the many and varied grasses that hubby loves to plant around our garden, while watching the local doves bathing in the bird bath. This is such a wonderful thing for me to enjoy 🙂
  10. I’m really thankful for my cat, Kushka, who is always there keeping me company, even while I sleep – in fact, especially while I sleep, as she can then get plenty of uninterrupted snoozing herself! Lol


Ten Things of Thankful


Filed under TToT

I’ve been nominated for the Leibster Award :)

Now I’ve got to be honest with you, and tell you that, until I got a lovely message from Lizzy Allen, from the, I hadn’t ever heard of the Liebster Award – but then that wouldn’t be hard, as I rarely have the chance to look around at the many excellent Blogs I’d love to keep an eye on 🙂

Reading Lizzy’s post about it, it appears to be an award that acknowledges up-and-coming new bloggers, with the aim of encouraging them to continue writing, and work at making their blog grow – something I’d be quite happy to see happening 🙂

According to Lizzy, the word Liebster comes from the German, and means approximately the following: sweetest, kindest, dearest, beloved, lovely, endearing and welcome – definitely words that I’d love to be associated with 🙂

I’m not 100% sure what I’m supposed to do now that I’ve been nominated, except to follow the rules Lizzy wrote on her blog, and answer the 11 questions that Lizzy set for myself and the other nominees but, as I feel very honoured 
to have been nominated, especially as new as I am to the blogging scene, I’ll do my very best to follow the rules, and to answer the questions as well as I can 🙂
To be nominated for a Liebster Award you should have less than 200 blog followers and less than 200 Facebook likes.

Here are the rules:

1. Answer the 11 questions set for you by the blogger who nominated you

2. Post 11 things about yourself 

3. Choose 11 bloggers who fit the criteria above and link them in your post

4. Create 11 new questions for your own nominees to answer

4. Visit their blog and let them know you have nominated them

So, here we go with my answers to Lizzy’s questions:  

1. What is the best holiday you’ve ever been on?

I think it would have to be the 2 weeks I spent in the Lake District with my best friend Alison, and her family. I’d only ever had caravan holidays in Great Yarmouth before this, and so the Lake Districts were an amazing, beautiful, and eye-opening delight for me 🙂 I used to wake up every morning to the sound of cow bells, as a herd was driven past the little cottage we were staying in. I had more new experiences on that holiday than at any other time previously in my life, and so it has stayed with me, even after going to many other spots afterward – it was wonderful 🙂

  2. Do you have/have you ever had a recurring dream? What is/was it?

Ooh, yes I do as it happens – I’ve had this same dream periodically throughout my life, and it used to scare me silly as a child:
I’m very small, and for some reason, I’m walking in a wheat field, with the wheat so high it’s over my head. I can feel the hot sun beating down on my head, and can smell the ripeness of the wheat, and all I can hear is the whisper of the wind as it blows through the wheat stalks, and the chirping of crickets and birds. I then hear the sound of an engine in the distance but, because I can’t see over the ears of wheat, I don’t know what it is, until I suddenly step out from all the wheat onto a path of sorts. I look around and, there in the distance, I see a big yellow harvester slowly coming towards me. I don’t feel any panic, as it is going slowly, so I step out into the path made by it’s first sweep, and decide to follow it to the end of the row. I’m walking quite quickly but, because I’m only little, it’s not very fast really and, before I know it, the harvester is getting closer and closer. Suddenly I trip over a loose sandal strap, and I hurt my ankle so I can’t get up, and I’m watching the harvester coming closer and closer to me until it’s almost upon me. I can’t see the driver as he is so high up and, despite me shouting and waving, the harvester keeps on coming. Just as it gets to about six feet away from me, my great-grandmother appears out off the wheat rows, snatches me up, and steps back into the wheat, and I’m overwhelmed with the sounds and smells of the harvester as it goes by. That’s always when I wake up 🙂 

  3. If you had to live on a deserted island for one year and you could only pack one book, which one would you pack?

It would have to be the Bible, of course. Despite being a sci-fi and fantasy buff, I’ve found that there are more tales of adventure and derring-do, of love, hate, passion, war and peace, in this amazing book, than anything I can find on the fiction shelves. Anything that can be attributed to the human condition is there if you look, so it would be a great companion for me – plus there’s all kinds of wisdom to be had to survive almost anything life throws at you 🙂

  4. If you had to live on a deserted island for one year and you could only watch one film in that time (there happens to be a TV and DVD player on this island!), which film would you pack?

Hmmm, that’s a hard one, as I have so many films that I love. I guess it would have to be one of my favourite disaster and survival movies – probably The Day After Tomorrow, which I never tire of watching 🙂

  5. What’s your favourite meal to cook when you have a guest over for dinner?

I’m quite experimental with my cooking, and always love trying out new recipes on my family and friends – when I’m able to cook nowadays – but I guess the two menus I cook most often, as we all love them, are either Kedgeree, or my Indian food spread, probably with my homemade Profiteroles, or Tiramisu, for afters 🙂

  6. What’s your funniest childhood memory?

I think it’s got to be my baby sister’s Christening party – I’m 10 years older than her, so that must have been my age -and this was when we lived in London. Without a drop of booze in the house, we started the party quite soberly, and it ended up with half the street doing a conga in and out of everyone’s homes – while picking up the local Bobby into line as we went! 
I still remember how exhausted with laughter we all were when it was over 🙂

  7. What is the most challenging job (besides being a parent) you’ve ever had?

Hand’s down, it has got to be when I worked with my hubby, as we would be painting and decorating one week, gardening the next, and then laying miles of hedges, or felling dangerous trees, after that! It was all hard, physical graft, but we loved working together, and I got quite proficient with the chainsaw 🙂

  8. What was your favourite movie when you were a kid?

The first one that came to mind was Mary Poppins, as I found Dick Van Dyke very funny as a child, closely followed by Bedknobs and Broomsticks 🙂

  9. What’s the most romantic thing you’ve ever done?

I think it must have been the time when I arranged a lovely picnic for my, then future, husband and I. We sat on a small island with the river running all around us, and fed the ducks, and talked, and laughed, until the sun set – we still think back to that one particular time, as that’s when we told each other of our love.

  10. If you could have one extreme talent, what you want and why?

I’ve never even thought about this much really, so I’m not sure what I would choose – I dreamt of being a world-class singer as a child, and I’ve always wanted to write a book, but I can’t think of anything extreme that I might like. I guess I’ve read too many sci-fi stories, where people with extreme talents tend to have things go wrong! Lol

  11.What’s something about yourself that most people you know in real life don’t know about you? 

The only thing I can think of here, is the fact that, with my total love of books, I desperately wanted to be a librarian as a child – until I realised that I’d have to let people take my books out! No way would I let that happen! Lol

11 Things About Me:

  1. I can be very OCD about things that I do – they’ve got to be done in a certain way – as long as it’s my way!
  2. When I’m in the kitchen cooking, I can’t bear anybody else being there – if someone comes in, they’re quickly scooted out again.
  3. I’ve still got the terrible habit of biting my nails when I’m anxious – not something I do much now, but it’s a habit I haven’t managed to break.
  4. I never learned to ride a bike, due to inner ear problems as a child – and I’d really love to have one of the adult tricycles I’ve seen around – amazing things! Lol
  5. I can’t bear seeing a piece of writing where there are lots of spelling mistakes – I’ve just got to correct it, or it drives me nuts!
  6. My favourite toy as a child was a Gollywog my mum got by saving up coupons from her Robinsons Marmalade jars.
  7. I can’t bear the smell, or taste, of celery – if there’s celery in a recipe, I’ll always leave it out – putting leeks in it’s place!
  8. All of my books are not only in alphabetical order, but I’ve even put the authors in order, too.
  9. I can’t resist collecting ever more yarn, and crochet hooks, and patterns, even though I’ve got enough of them to last me a lifetime, there’s always something new, and prettier, coming out.
  10. I’m a chocoholic!
  11. I bought a second-hand sewing machine months ago, determined to re-learn how to use it, and haven’t touched it since :/

My 11 Nominees:

Lindsay @ Crochet d Lane

Candace CraftiCandi

Joy @ Food Diary of a Teacher

Doris @ Ideal Delusions

Martyn : Inside Martyns Mind

Lynnette @ ManicStitcher

Kari @ Miss Bloggypants

Mel @ My Diary of a Cat Owner

Jesselle @ Oh For Sweetness Sake

Hannelore @ Paper Beads Inspiration

Milly @ Millyanatrees

My 11 Nominees Questions:

  1. What was the very first thing you made in your chosen craft?
  2. What is your favourite TV show?
  3. Do you drink Tea, or Coffee – or something else – all day?
  4. Who is your favourite TV Chef?
  5. Where is your most favourite place to eat out?
  6. Have you got a bucket list, and if so, what’s at number 1?
  7. Do you have a favourite pet?
  8. If you had a choice from all over the world, where would you prefer to live?
  9. Do you play any sport and, if so, are you any good at it?
  10. Are you a morning person, or a night person?
  11. If you were stranded with a flat tyre, could you change it yourself?

       So there you are – all done!
       Now let’s see what answers come back 🙂


Filed under Friendship, Learning, Writing

10 Things of Thankful #7

I feel so bad that I missed last weekend’s TToT but, having had a couple of really bad weeks, healthwise, it just wasn’t possible for me to come online and participate, unfortunately 😦

Because hubby has been so marvelous in his care of me, though, I really feel that I should dedicate my 10 things of thankful to my him as, without all of his loving care, I wouldn’t be doing it this weekend, either. 

So without ado, here are my 10 things:

I’m thankful for such a loving husband, who has stood beside me for this last 30 years, through good times, and especially through the bad. It’s our 30th wedding anniversary in October, and I can’t believe so many years have flown by.

Signing the register, 8th October,1983

I’m thankful for the loving and dedicated father that my hubby is, and that he would walk on hot coals for both our daughter, and myself.

Brex born, 13th August, 1984

I’m thankful for hubby’s great sense of humour, as it has been the difference between laughter and tears at times – and occasionally both, as I’ve cried tears of laughter more than a few times! 🙂

Messing around – as usual! Lol

I’m thankful for his gentle, and humble, nature, and the way that he cares for everyone, and everything, to the very best of his abilities. 

Looking after Holly & Bramble

I’m thankful for the amazing green thumb my hubby has, how he managed to shape the bit of field he divided off from it to be our garden – and the way he has made sure that there is always something lovely to see through our bedroom window, to cheer me up on my down days 🙂

In the garden, July, 2013
Side view of garden, July, 2013

I’m thankful for his gift of making friends so easily. Having always been the opposite to him, and finding it very hard to open up enough to make friends with people, my hubby has been very patiently guiding me over the last 30 years, and has brought me out of myself, and into the great world of friendships, extended families, and the best Céilidh’s in Wales!

The Backroom Boys, @ our Summer Ceilidh

I’m thankful for the way he has always helped around the house without hesitation or complaint, and especially the way he took over cooking and housework after I fell ill – all the more so as he could barely boil and egg at first 🙂

Spag Bol! Yummy

I’m thankful for his love of nature, and his patience over the years as he taught this town girl how to see the most glorious gifts of God’s creation.

Yellow Rose, blooming outside my bedroom window

I’m thankful, too, that he brought our daughter up to fully appreciate all of God’s creations – including spiders, unfortunately {shudders} 🙂

Brex’s photo of Jiminy Cricket, our garden, 2010.

Mostly, though, I thank God every day for the miracle of finding my heart’s ease, and for knowing the instant I saw him, that he was the other half of my soul 🙂


Filed under TToT

New Software & Crochet (again)

I’ve been very quiet on the web this last few days, due to the frequent bouts of ill health that this constant change in the weather produces, but I managed to finish off the Little Boy Owl Outfit I’ve been crocheting for Jo, which pleased me enormously 🙂

I’m really happy with it all, especially the little cloak that I had to make up a design for myself, as I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted in the patterns I searched through 🙂

I’ve also been playing with the Picasa 3 software I recently uploaded onto my laptop, and discovered the collage-making facility again – so here’s one of the Owl outfit 🙂

Jo hasn’t seen it yet, so I’m hoping she’ll be pleased with it all 🙂

I’m becoming ever busier with my crochet now, as I’ve taken on the trialing of a pattern for a brilliant designer – in the ‘very amatuer’ category, of course! Lol

I’m enjoying it very much so far, although I’m dreadfully slow, as I’m learning how to do the Crocodile stitch as I go – but I figure it’s yet another stitch learned, which will help me develop my crochet work enormously 🙂

I’ve not only taken this on, but I’ve also offered to make some bunting for a friend’s stall, which I’m really looking forward to doing and, not only that, but I’m now taking part in a ‘Granny Square Swap around the World’ thing – which I’ve only just started, but the first 2 squares are on their way to the USA as I write this 🙂

Hubby keeps telling me off, and saying I shouldn’t do so much at one time but, like every other crocheter I know, I’m not happy doing crochet in a linear way – it’s gotta be 3, or 4, or more, projects on the go at the same time for me!

I’m also continuing to crochet the squares for my future granddaughter, though that’s at a halt until I get the yarn I ordered weeks ago but, until it comes, I think I’ve got enough to keep me busy for a while – don’t you? 🙂

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Filed under Crochet, Disability Issues

10 Things of Thankful #6

I can’t believe another week is over, and that, once again, my list of Thankfuls is due 🙂

I’ve been thinking all week about what I should list, and I came to the conclusion that, this week, it will all have to do with my ability to read, as this is something that has been so important in my life that, at various low points in my life, it has kept me sane 🙂

So, this is my 10 things of thankful:

  1. I’m thankful that, due to being born with multiple health problems, my mum taught me to read at a very early age. I was reading junior level books as I first began infant school and, although this set me apart from the other children, as I was already a loner, and a total bookworm, this never bothered me, and gave me the chance to keep on reading in every spare minute I had during school, which I loved! J
  1. I’m thankful that, due to my ability to read so well, I was chosen to read to the class whenever our teacher had to leave us – I still have very fond memories of sitting perched on a cushion at my teacher’s desk, and reading Hansel and Gretel to the class J
  1. I’m thankful for the wonderful schooling system I grew up with, as it gave me a firm grounding in all the subjects I needed to fire my imagination J
  1. I’m also so very thankful for the brilliant English teachers I had throughout my school life, as they encouraged me to express that imagination, and taught me the value of learning as much as I could, about everything I could. My Senior English Teacher, one Mr Cyril Smith, gave me the encouragement to try my wings at writing, and helped me to build up the skills needed for this.
  1. I’m thankful for the centuries upon centuries of amazing literature and poetry that is available to me, especially now in our age of the internet.
  1. I’m thankful for the countless authors and poets whose words gave me a springboard to my imagination, and whose example has kept me going, no matter what J
  1. I’m thankful for the opportunity I was given, so long after leaving school, to continue on with my interrupted education, so that I was able to study part-time for 6 years, in order to get my much-wanted degree J
  1. I’m thankful to my darling husband and daughter, who encouraged me, and supported me in everything I did while I worked toward my goal, and who were the first ones to congratulate me for the effort I’d expended in reaching it.
  1. I’m especially thankful to my husband for nursing me so tenderly, and willingly, when my health took such a nosedive, after the strain of studying with so many things wrong with me took it toll.

  1. I’m so very thankful that my all-time favourite book, the Bible, was written, so that I could learn the Word of God, and use it to aid and sustain me through all the bad times – and that it was there for me, throughout my life, to help me, and teach me the ways in which I can give thanks to God for all the many good times I’ve had in my life J

Ten Things of Thankful


Filed under TToT