Sunday, 29 June 2014

The Sunday Prayer

Dove of Peace by Pablo Picasso

Father, Mother, God,

Thank you for your presence during the hard and mean days.
For then we have you to lean upon.

Thank you for your presence during the bright and sunny days.
For then we can share that which we have with those who have less.

And thank you for your presence during the Holy Days.
For then we are able to celebrate you and our families and our friends

For those who have no voice, we ask you to speak.

For those who feel unworthy, we ask you to pour your love out in waterfalls of tenderness.

For those who live in pain, we ask you to bathe them in the river of your healing.

For those who are lonely, we ask you to keep them company.

For those who are depressed, we ask you to shower upon them the light of hope.

Dear Creator, You, the borderless sea of substance, we ask you to give to all the world that which we need most.....PEACE.

Maya Angelou

Friday, 27 June 2014

Still something of a taboo subject...



I'm 53 and I still remember my first period ~ not least because I was still at junior school and had only just turned 11.....and I was the only one who had started menstruating.  I didn't have a negative experience at school, to be fair, and the teachers were very nice about it, but I felt different to my friends ~ and I cried.  I really wasn't ready for such a life-changing event; I was still a child, not a woman.  My friends and I still played with dolls and although we had had sex education lessons at school, none of us related what we were being taught to ourselves.  It was something that grown-ups did and didn't interest us in the slightest.

And then my Mum gave me "the talk"......which consisted of these wise words: "you must be careful with boys now".  That was the sum total of the sex education I received from either of my parents, so I guess it was just as well we had lessons at school!

Thankfully, my husband and I have always been able to be open with Sam and Beverly.  I think it has probably done Sam good to have grown up with a sister, at least all the female hormonal stuff won't come as a shock when he eventually settles down with someone! But I am pretty sure that there are still plenty of young men and boys who haven't got the faintest idea of what goes on in a woman's body ~ nor even why, despite the sex education they will have had.  And I suspect that there are also plenty of folk (men and women) who view menstruation as something to be feared, something "unclean", something gross.

But isn't it instead something that should be celebrated, something really rather wonderful?  Oh you can trust me when I tell you that I know only too well how painful/heavy/debilitating periods can be.....but still, aren't our bodies the most amazing creations?  Our wombs can prepare to grow and nurture a new life every single month!  I think we should give ourselves a hug, gently caress our stomachs and say thank you to our gorgeous, beautiful bodies for what they are capable of doing! 

Feel-good Friday


Thursday, 26 June 2014

The Thursday Poem

Potted Flowers with Books IV
Eric Barjot


Giving Up Smoking

There's not a Shakespeare sonnet
Or a Beethoven quartet
That's easier to like than you
Or harder to forget.

You think that sounds extravagant?
I haven't finished yet -
I like you more than I would like
To have a cigarette.

Wendy Cope
(21st July 1945 - )

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Diary of a Dieter Week 24



start date: 22nd January 2014
start weight: 22st 13lbs (321 pounds)
current weight: 21st 13lbs (307 pounds)
total loss to date: 14lbs

I am so pleased ~ I have lost 1 1/2 pounds this week, bringing my total loss to 14 pounds.  That's a whole stone!  I also got a certificate and sticker to mark the occasion LOL

I had such a grotty weekend (really bad hayfever, not been so badly affected for years!) that all I did was stuff myself.  Obviously, though, I didn't stuff myself quite as much as I thought I did ;-)

So onwards and upwards, my lovelies, just need to keep up the good work!

Words on Wednesday

Alphabet Overlay 1



Big jobs usually go to those who prove their ability to outgrow small ones

Sunday, 22 June 2014

The Sunday Prayer

Dove of Peace by Pablo Picasso

Father, Mother, God,

Thank you for your presence during the hard and mean days.
For then we have you to lean upon.

Thank you for your presence during the bright and sunny days.
For then we can share that which we have with those who have less.

And thank you for your presence during the Holy Days.
For then we are able to celebrate you and our families and our friends

For those who have no voice, we ask you to speak.

For those who feel unworthy, we ask you to pour your love out in waterfalls of tenderness.

For those who live in pain, we ask you to bathe them in the river of your healing.

For those who are lonely, we ask you to keep them company.

For those who are depressed, we ask you to shower upon them the light of hope.

Dear Creator, You, the borderless sea of substance, we ask you to give to all the world that which we need most.....PEACE.

Maya Angelou

Saturday, 21 June 2014

At last.....


...Hazel has some clothes!  I had a hankering to do a spot of miniature knitting, so thought it was an ideal opportunity to give the poor girl some clothes to cover her modesty ;-)

The shawl was simply a garter stitch rectangle, using 3.5mm needles and 2-ply yarn.  I thought the colour would co-ordinate nicely with the outfit I knitted.


I knitted the skirt first, following a pattern in Helen Cox's first miniature knitting book.  Even for me as a somewhat inexperienced knitter (especially in 1/12th scale!) it was a pretty easy pattern to follow.  The nice thing is that the patterns are designed to use 2mm needles and 2-ply yarn, which thankfully does make knitting them less tricky!  The only "problem" was that it came out a little too large for Hazel.  Helen's patterns are all designed to fit the Heidi Ott dolls, which are a tad more well-built than my little people are.  I think next time I will try using 1.8mm needles and see if I get a better fit.  I did remember to cast on using smaller (I used 1.5mm) needles, though, and I'm really pleased with how much neater the cast-on edge looks.  


I cobbled the sweater together myself, using a Barbie pattern as a starting off point.  I'm pretty pleased with how it has turned out, although if it hadn't have had a boat-shaped neckline I wouldn't have been able to get it on Hazel LOL  I used 1.8mm needles for the sweater but on reflection, perhaps 2mm might have given me a bit more leeway with the fitting.

Hazel is very pleased with her new outfit but I think she is right when she says that she really thinks she needs some undies!

Thursday, 19 June 2014

REMEMBER.....


TED Talks: How we can eat our landscapes



The Thursday Poem

Potted Flowers with Books IV
Eric Barjot


The Divine Image

To Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love
All pray in their distress;
And to these virtues of delight
Return their thankfulness.

For Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love
Is God, our father dear,
And Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love
Is Man, his child and care.

For Mercy has a human heart,
Pity a human face,
And Love, the human form divine,
And Peace, the human dress.

Then every man, of every clime,
That prays in his disresss,
Prays to the human form diving,
Love, Mercy, Pity, Peace.

And allmust love the human form,
In heathen, Turk, or Jew;
Where Mercy, Love & Pity dwell
There God is dwelling too.

William Blake
(28th November 1757 - 12th August 1827)

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Oh no, needles!


Actually, to be fair, my acupuncture treatment this time wasn't really painful nor even that uncomfortable.  Sometimes, if I've been overdoing things, my sessions can really make me wince!  I have got to the stage now where I go for a treatment every 10-12 weeks.  And despite what some people say about the lack of scientific evidence for the effectiveness of acupuncture, I personally have found it of great benefit.

A number of years back (haha!) I had a prolapsed disc and my word, it was quite the most painful experience I have ever gone through!  Unfortunately I ended up being taken to hospital one evening when I just totally seized up and couldn't move.  In the end I spent two and a half weeks in there being "treated aggresively" with various strong painkilling medications and it was a long, slow road to recovery once I was allowed home again.  Touch wood, things are so much better these days although I do still have to be sensible about what I do ~ well, I try to be sensible!  The acupuncture sessions definitely help keep my back on track, as it were, and to be honest I have found them to be of more benefit than the physiotherapy I had for a while.

It seems to me that once one has damaged one's back in some way it is never quite the same again.  We take our backs so much for granted, don't we?  It's only when we hurt it in some way that we realise just how, literally, central it is to every movement we make so let's take good care of our precious backs!

Diary of a Dieter Week 23


start date: 22nd January 2014
start weight: 22st 13lbs (321 pounds)
current weight: 22st 0.5lbs (313 pounds)
total loss to date: 12.5lbs

I am such a happy bunny tonight ~ I have finally had a half-decent weightloss of three pounds!

I am SO pleased, especially since I only started following the plan "properly" again on Monday.  It's not that I have been horrendously bad this past week, but I certainly haven't been eating as per the Slimming World plan!

Over the weekend I had a good long think about how my life is going.  Hitting 53 on the 6th June was another factor to consider; none of us are getting any younger but I really don't want to face the coming years being fat and unhealthy.  Life is hard enough as it is at the age, and size, I am now and it won't get any easier with the passage of time if I don't get my act together.

So, onwards and upwards eh :-) 

Words on Wednesday

Alphabet Overlay 1



How can something bother you if you won't let it?

Sunday, 15 June 2014

The Sunday Prayer

Dove of Peace by Pablo Picasso

Father, Mother, God,

Thank you for your presence during the hard and mean days.
For then we have you to lean upon.

Thank you for your presence during the bright and sunny days.
For then we can share that which we have with those who have less.

And thank you for your presence during the Holy Days.
For then we are able to celebrate you and our families and our friends

For those who have no voice, we ask you to speak.

For those who feel unworthy, we ask you to pour your love out in waterfalls of tenderness.

For those who live in pain, we ask you to bathe them in the river of your healing.

For those who are lonely, we ask you to keep them company.

For those who are depressed, we ask you to shower upon them the light of hope.

Dear Creator, You, the borderless sea of substance, we ask you to give to all the world that which we need most.....PEACE.

Maya Angelou

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Diary of a Dieter Week 22


start date: 22nd January 2014
start weight: 22st 13lbs (321 pounds)
current weight: 22st 3.5lbs (313 pounds)
total loss to date: 9.5lbs

It was back to the slimming group last night and I had somehow managed to lose 1/2 pound!  If you had been watching me eat over the last couple of weeks, then you would most likely have been convinced (as was I!) that those scales were going to show an upwards trend LOL

Still, eight ounces really isn't much to get excited about and I only have myself to blame for that.  So I have given myself yet another good talking to and pulled up my big-girl knickers once more.  It's time to get serious about all this weight-loss malarky, folks!

The Thursday Poem

Potted Flowers with Books IV
Eric Barjot


From Love's Labour's Lost
Act V Scene ii

When icicles hang by the wall,
And Dick the shepherd blows his nail,
And Tom bears logs into the hall,
And milk comes frozen home in pail,
When blood is nipped and ways be foul,
Then nightly sings the staring owl,
Tu-whit,
Tu-who! a merry note,
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.

When all aloud the wind doth blow,
And coughing drowns the parson's saw,
And bird sits brooding in the snow,
And Marian's nose looks red and raw,
When roasted crabs hiss in the bowl,
Then nightly sings the staring owl,
Tu-whit,
Tu-who! a merry note,
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.

William Shakespeare
(23rd April 1564 - 23rd April 1616)

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Sunday, 8 June 2014

The Sunday Prayer

Dove of Peace by Pablo Picasso

Father, Mother, God,

Thank you for your presence during the hard and mean days.
For then we have you to lean upon.

Thank you for your presence during the bright and sunny days.
For then we can share that which we have with those who have less.

And thank you for your presence during the Holy Days.
For then we are able to celebrate you and our families and our friends

For those who have no voice, we ask you to speak.

For those who feel unworthy, we ask you to pour your love out in waterfalls of tenderness.

For those who live in pain, we ask you to bathe them in the river of your healing.

For those who are lonely, we ask you to keep them company.

For those who are depressed, we ask you to shower upon them the light of hope.

Dear Creator, You, the borderless sea of substance, we ask you to give to all the world that which we need most.....PEACE.

Maya Angelou

Saturday, 7 June 2014

A surfeit of celebrations!

image from freedigitalphotos.net


Do you have months in your family where lots of celebrations seem to be clustered?  In our family we have two such months, June and August!

June starts off on the 2nd with a dear friend's birthday, then the 6th is my birthday (I turned 53 yesterday!).  Tomorrow is our niece's 23rd birthday ~ Happy Birthday Michaela, hope you have a lovely day sweetie :-)  My sister-in-law will be 60 on the 17th ~ Happy Birthday for next week Elaine!  Then we finally have two sweet little family friends, sisters Freya and Niamh, who will be turning one and five on the 14th and 20th.  Oh yes, and Father's Day falls in June too ~ like I say, it's a busy month!

July is very quiet but the madness starts again come August LOL  My father-in-law, who passed away some years ago, was born on the 1st.  The 3rd is my parents' wedding anniversary ~ they will have been married for 55 years this year, their emerald anniversary.  Then my Dad will be 78 years old on the 6th.  My Mum's birthday is on the 25th, when she will be 76.  Then we finally come to the 31st when Adrian and I will be celebrating our 30th, pearl, wedding anniversary!

Just three days later, on the 3rd September, it will be mother-in-law's 91st birthday then thankfully it all slows down again, with just the odd birthday popping up here and there, until we roll round to Christmas ~ better start getting organised for that soon, methinks!   

Friday, 6 June 2014

Diary of a Dieter Week 21


start date: 22nd January 2014
start weight: 22st 13.5lbs (321 pounds)
current weight: 22st 4lbs (313 pounds)
total loss to date: 9.5lbs


Well, I'm afraid I actually have nothing to report this week as I didn't go to the slimming group!  

Now, before you start to think that I'm on the slippery slope to giving up, I must hasten to tell you that I had a very good reason for not going LOL  I was rather stuck at home to be honest as I one of my infrequent periods put in an appearance *sigh*  I'm getting them every three to four months now but I shall be so glad when they finish altogether.  The trouble is that when I do have one, it is so heavy that even just walking around the house is enough to send me scurrying off to the loo to change yet again.  So as you can no doubt imagine, it's pretty awkward actually going anywhere for the first two or three days!  Still, at least the bloating/fluid retention should hopefully now calm down again for a few weeks.

Ah, the joys of being a middle-aged menopausal woman eh!

Feel-good Friday


Thursday, 5 June 2014

The Thursday Poem

Potted Flowers with Books IV
Eric Barjot


From The Triumph of Charis

Have you seen but a bright lily grow,
Before rude hands have touched it?
Ha' you marked but the fall o' the snow
Before the soil hath smutched it?
Ha' you felt the wool o' the beaver?
Or swan's down ever?
Or have smelt o' the bud o' the briar?
Or the nard in the fire?
Or have tasted the bag o' the bee?
O so white, O so soft, O so sweet is she!

Ben Johnson
(probably 11th June 1572 - 6th August 1637)

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Words on Wednesday

Alphabet Overlay 1



Don't wait for your ship to come in; swim out to meet it

Sunday, 1 June 2014

The Sunday Prayer

Dove of Peace by Pablo Picasso

Father, Mother, God,

Thank you for your presence during the hard and mean days.
For then we have you to lean upon.

Thank you for your presence during the bright and sunny days.
For then we can share that which we have with those who have less.

And thank you for your presence during the Holy Days.
For then we are able to celebrate you and our families and our friends

For those who have no voice, we ask you to speak.

For those who feel unworthy, we ask you to pour your love out in waterfalls of tenderness.

For those who live in pain, we ask you to bathe them in the river of your healing.

For those who are lonely, we ask you to keep them company.

For those who are depressed, we ask you to shower upon them the light of hope.

Dear Creator, You, the borderless sea of substance, we ask you to give to all the world that which we need most.....PEACE.

Maya Angelou