Category Archives: TToT

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


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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


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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 🙂


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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


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10 Things of Thankful: # 5

I have to admit that this listing of things to be thankful for has become quite addictive for me. I was writing to my pen-pal yesterday, and I was telling him about my new pastime of writing thankful lists in my Blog when, before I knew it, I had written a list of 10 things that I’m thankful for in our relationship as pen-pals! 🙂

Because my pen-pal is within the prison system in the USA, I won’t give any details about him, but I will be using some of the thankful points I’d written to him, in my Thankful list today, as there really is a lot I’m thankful for in having got to know somebody who is living in a worse situation than my own.

I won’t go into the reasons, or the moral issues, of his situation, as they are between him and God but, because of a strange quirk of fate, we were connected, and I’ve gained much insight, and felt much compassion, for everyone who might be in his situation – the phrase ‘there, but for the grace of God, go I‘, always comes to mind when I read his letters.

So, here is my 5th week of Thankfuls: 

1.     I’m thankful for my step-daughter, who has honoured me with the title of Grandma, even though she has her own mother to fulfil that role.
2.     I’m thankful for the gift of being taught how to type – so many years ago now – as it enables me to keep in contact with everyone I know, without going through all the pain I feel when I try to write with pen and paper. 

3.     I’m also thankful to the Open University, who provided me with the software that allows me to talk to my laptop when my hands won’t do as they’re told! 

4.     I’m thankful for the gift of patience – a lesson in life I needed to learn, in order that I could then understand the problems that other people have in life. 

5.     I’m thankful for the many gifts of friendship I’ve been given, as friendship is such a precious commodity in our day and age, and it’s something that I treasure all the more as I get to know all of my friends around the world. 

6.     I’m thankful every day that I have the freedom to be able to keep in contact with my friends, wherever they are in the world. 

7.     I’m thankful that I saw an article in one of my course books while I was studying, as it made me aware of the desperate need of pen-pals within the prison system, and then led, eventually, to me coming into contact with my new pen-pal. 

8.     I’m so thankful to God that He gave me life, as this is a precious thing – even when things are so bad that I don’t know how to go on. 

9.     I’m thankful for God’s forgiving spirit, and that he loves us all so much that he was willing to allow his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to sacrifice himself for our sins – and that, through acts of genuine repentance, we are freely forgiven of those sins. 

10.   I’m so very thankful for the gift of prayer, 
     so that I can speak to Jehovah God about 
     anything in life that bothers me – or that 
     makes me glad – and to know that, no 
     matter what ask of Him, He will listen 
     to me, and answer my prayers, even 
     when those answers are ones I don’t 
     expect – or if the answer isn’t the one 
     I was waiting for! 

So, these are this week’s list of my thankfuls – and if you feel like joining in, please click on the following, and it will take you to one of the brilliant organisers of this hop, where you can then join in with this merry band of people, who find the Thankful in everything they do, or are:
Ten Things of Thankful


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10 Things of Thankful . . .

 . . . . are sometimes very hard to find, let alone think about.
When life starts handing you the pits, instead of the cherries, all the stuff that can weigh you down can get in front of what’s still good in your life. 

But, if you just take a few minutes, and try to think of the pluses, instead of the minuses, it’s amazing how many things you can come up with.
So here are my cherries:

I’m thankful that God had such a sense of humour that he made me. I know he has a sense of humour, because I do, too, under all the pits 🙂

Start as you mean to go on? 🙂

I’m thankful that I was given the gift of carrying a child for 9 months under my heart. Having been told I’d never have children, this was such a gift for me that I still thank God every day for my beautiful, amazing girl 🙂

Hubby, & Brex at 1 hour old 🙂

I’m thankful for a husband who is so unselfish that he always puts myself and our child before himself. My hubby is an amazing man, and we will be married for 30 years in October – and I love him even more than I did at the beginning and, even better, he loves me like that, too 🙂

True Love 🙂

I’m thankful for a warm, dry house. We lived in so many places that were falling down around our ears – houses that weren’t that old, but so badly built that we had to battle mould or drafts all the time. We now live in a 300 year old house that is as warm, and snug, as we need, and wanted 🙂

Fred, guarding the house 🙂

I’m thankful for the gift of love that our dog, a Jack Russell Terrier called Fred Barker, gives unstintingly to us. He will be 19 next march. He is as deaf as a post, and is so arthritic he has a job stepping over the tiny lip on his bed but, the minute he sees either of us, his tail wags, and he gives us that amazing doggy smile we fell in love with when we first rescued him 18 years ago. 

Fred, aged 10.

I’m thankful for our cat, Kushka, who was rescued as a tiny kitten. We took her into our home, and our hearts, when she was barely 6 weeks old, and had to keep feeding her replacement milk for a month as she had been in such a bad way. She’ll be 5 next birthday, and she is my constant companion, lying as close beside me as she can – she has always seemed to be aware that sitting on me would only bring pain. She purrs like an engine when pain takes me over, as if she is trying her best to soothe me, and she has always been there for me, no matter what.

Kushka, breaking in the new cover I crocheted 🙂

I’m thankful for the gift of crochet. I hadn’t crocheted before I started to learn last July, and had got into a bad place in my head when I’d had to give up knitting and cross-stitch, as my hands couldn’t cope with either any more, so to find that I was able to hold a crochet hook enough to use it, was a fantastic thing to happen to me 🙂

My Spring Fling cushion cover.

I’m thankful for the internet, as it took me out of myself, and brought a world full of the most amazing people into my life, and into my heart. After I got housebound, the world became a very drab place, as I had come from a large family, so was used to company, and noise, and all the other things that come with family life. I had always loved visiting all of our many friends homes, and going places and seeing people whenever I chose to, so to be housebound was a kind of torture for me but, once I had the internet in my home, it opened up a world of possibilities I couldn’t have imagined – and also enabled me to keep in touch with my daughter, wherever in the world she goes 🙂

Brex, in an Amazonian village, in Peru 🙂

I’m thankful for the bounty of things that surround me, for internet shopping, for a free health system that is very much needed for me now, for the chance to be able to do what I can to stay focussed on the future, so that I can stay true to myself, and true to God.

Me, on our 29th wedding anniversary 🙂

I’m thankful for the chance to have lived this life that I have – whether good or bad! To have been born in a time, and a place, where women are able to make whatever life they dream of, and for the chance to be able to have my voice heard all around the world.


Ten Things of Thankful



Filed under Crochet, Daughters, Disability Issues, Faith, Family, Travelling, TToT

10 Things of Thankful . . .

I’ve decided that I’m going to try and get my 10 Things done well within the weekend this time, so I sat here, trying to get some sort of list together, and heard the sound of numerous tractors going past, and that gave me my thankful list:

1.   I’m thankful for our very first tractor, Cedric, an old 1952 Fordson County, that hubby bought to help with his work in the Forestry here  in West Wales. Cedric had a life of his own and, because the headlamps and grill looked like eyes and a smiling mouth, we had to give him a name J 
  1. I’m also thankful for the Igland Winch hubby fixed to Cedric, as it allowed him to move a lot more timber than using any others available at the time J  
  1. I’m thankful for the tractors that slowly rumble by our house every year, either taking manure to the fields to fertilize them, or groaning under the weight of bales of hay and straw at harvesting time. They are the lifeblood of our area, and the farmers would have a much harder job than they already do without them.
  1. I’m thankful that the yearly steam engine fair has just this minute finished! Don’t get me wrong, I like to see the old steam tractors chugging by as they join the crowds of people going to the fair, but we are so close to the fields that it’s held in, we quite often can’t hear ourselves think because of the noise of the tannoy. It’s great that so many people still go to these fairs, but it is a relief when they all go home again! J
5.   I’m thankful for the term Tractor, which is derived from the Latin word ‘Trahere’, meaning ‘to pull’, and is also a shortening of the term Tractive Effort (or Torque), which gives the power to pull a trailer, plough, or any other machinery used by the tractor. 
  1. I’m thankful that we now use the term Tractor, rather than Traction Engine, which was used until 1859. Although I must admit, I do love the term J
  1. I’m thankful to John Froelich, the inventor and builder of the first gasoline/petrol-powered tractor in 1892, in Clayton County, Iowa. His invention made the tractor a more manoeuvrable beast, and enabled it to be made lighter, so that it could cope with a better variety of terrains.
  1. I’m thankful that tractors improved no end by the 1920’s enabling them to be used for a variety of different uses. I’m sad they totally took over the jobs of horses, though.
  1. I’m thankful for the skilled wood carver who made a wooden tractor for my daughter, when she was 3. It was strong enough for her to sit on and move around the house with, and she cried when she got too big for it a year or so later 🙂 

  1. I’m thankful for the many varieties of tractor available today. From farming to felling, from clearing snow, to helping to prepare the ground for building work, they’ve made life so much easier for people.

There are well over 16 million tractors being used in the world today 🙂


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