Sunday, 28 June 2015

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
(4th April 1928 - 28th May 2014)

Friday, 26 June 2015

Nikki is home



Here's my brave little poochie, home again after her leg op.  Dad and I picked her up late this afternoon ~ she was really pleased to leave and would have jumped into Dad's car given half a chance!

She made herself at home in the little duvet nest I made under the dining table, and will be confined to a small part of the dining room for the next six weeks.  She can only go outside for a wee, on a lead, and mustn't run or jump.  She's been really sleepy as she was given a sedative earlier to have the bandage changed.  She wasn't interested in any food but I'm sure she will be eating again soon.  She was quite happy to have her Tramadol tablet wrapped up in a piece of corned beef, though LOL  She's had a good drink and a wee, so I'm satisfied with that.

We have to take her back again next Wednesday, when she will be sedated so that the bandage can be changed again.  The sutures will need to come out in 10-14 days (we can take her to our own vet for that), then it's back to Davies in six weeks for x-rays to see how things are progressing.

It's good to have my precious little Nikki home :-)  


Meanwhile, Matty has been very confused these past few days ~ pretty much his usual state of mind, though, really ;-)  My friend Olive came to dog-sit whilst I went to collect Nikki, as I couldn't risk the big-lump-of-a-dog that Matty is treading on her leg in the back of Dad's car!    

Update on Nikki

image from ClipartPal


Alan, the vet specialist from Davies, left me a message late yesterday afternoon to let me know how Nikki was getting on.  He said that she had eaten a little that day, but he thought she was getting a bit fed up with them and with being at the hospital!  Apparently, she didn't want to take her medication and when the vet nurse gave it to her, Nikki tried to bite the poor girl!

Apart from that bit of naughtiness she is doing well and hopefully we will be able to bring her home later on today :-)


Feel-good Friday


Thursday, 25 June 2015

The Thursday Poem

Potted Flowers with Books IV
Eric Barjot


To My Mother

Most near, most dear, most loved and most far,
Under the window where I often found her
Sitting as huge as Asia, seismic with laughter,
Gin and chicken helpless in her Irish hand,
Irrestible as Rabelais, but most tender for
The lame dogs and hurt birds that surround her, -
She is a procession no one can follow after
But be like a little dog following a brass band.

She will not glance up at the bomber, or condescend
To drop her gin and scuttle to a cellar,
But lean on the mahogany table like a mountain
Whom only faith can move, and so I send
O all my faith, and all my love to tell her
That she will move from mourning into morning.

George Barker
(26th February 1913 - 27th October 1991)

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

My beautiful little Nikki....


.....had her leg operation today.  Alan, the vet specialist at Davies who carried out the surgery, phoned me just after 5pm to say that all had gone well.  He told me that when he opened up the area around the joint, the tissue looked (to use his phrase!) "ugly".  He said that she had obviously had a lot of trauma to the joint :-(  Everything has now been removed and Nikki has had a metal plate  put in to fuse her leg.  

Whilst Adrian and I were out walking Matty, one of the vet nurses phoned to give us a further update.  She told Sam that Nikki has been up, had a wee ~ but turned up her nose at food!  I must say that I rather think I wouldn't be hungry either if I'd had an operation like that earlier in the day!  Her appetite does vary from day-to-day at the best of times, though.  I have had to go back to making their meals from scratch again (they are on a raw food diet, which seems to suit both of them very well indeed), as Nikki wasn't too keen on the "complete" ready-made raw food I tried them on.  I can only suppose that she prefers the variety of different vegetables I give them; the ready-made packs only contain peas, carrots and swede.  I give them a much bigger variety with things like cabbage, parsnips, broccoli, beetroot, tomatoes, apples.....

All being well, we are hoping to be able to bring her home on Friday :-)

Words on Wednesday

Alphabet Overlay 1


Character is the diamond that scratches every other stone

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

The task ahead: Angel House Galleria


So here it is, Captain Jack's Folly in all its glory!  It's a perfectly nice house but just wouldn't be suitable for my dolls' house "town".  It was given to me by my parents ~ I think my Mum just lost interest, so Dad didn't get it finished.  The interior decor that he did does not fit in with what I have in mind for the various shops, so it will be changed quite considerably.

Externally, Dad used brick and stone-effect paper on the walls, which I don't like at all.  Some of it is starting to peel slightly, so I think I will try to remove it altogether.  I will also remove the strip of wood beneath the windows on the ground floor, as I will be using just one finish rather than the two Dad has used.  The house is a pretty hefty beast so I want to clad it with lightweight materials; I am thinking of using Richard Stacey brick slips from his Versi range, in yellow/buff, which I will continue around the sides of the house.  I am happy to keep the upper floors as a simple painted finish, although I may repaint the walls in Annie Sloan's Paris Grey.  The roof will be tiled with Richard Stacey Versi slates, and I am considering putting in a couple of simple windows in the roof on the right-hand side of the tea room.  I am thinking that the frames could be painted in a shade of grey to blend in with the slates so that they are less obtrusive.

I realise that these changes are not very in keeping with a Tudor look, but after all it is very much a mock-Tudor building and Captain Jack had to use what materials were available locally ;-)


As I have already mentioned, internally there will be a lot of changes to the decoration.  The layout is fine, although I will be replacing the existing stairs with right-angled ones: 


stair kit from Dolls House Direct
It's not easy to see from the photo of the house but the stairs on the ground floor are really close to the front wall, and are not in the least bit realistic!  Right-angled stairs will sit further back from the front of the house, and I'm hoping that I will be able to fit a toilet beneath them on the ground floor.  I won't then have to use up space in the tea room for a toilet :-)

I am also going to replace the doors with something like this:

door kit from Susi's Miniatures
  I will only be using doors on the ground floor ~ one exterior door to the upper shops in the Galleria, and one each for the delicatessen and the arts and crafts guild.  I will have to re-jig the windows for these two shops to accommodate the doors, but it will mean that they won't need doors inside the building (which will also make having a toilet on the ground floor much more feasible).  The upper floors will be open-plan, with the doorway into Tabitha's shop made a little wider.

Internally, all the woodwork and ceilings will be white; the stairs and upper floors will be stained.  I have some vinyl floor tiles leftover from our real-life house, which I will use throughout the ground floor.  As for the decor of each shop, well, I certainly have a lot of ideas swirling around in my head but I think I had better get all the basics done before I commit to any of them LOL


Thanks to Christopher's research into the life of Captain Smith and Lady Constance's suggestion of turning the house into a collection of little shops, Angel House will now be used for the benefit of the folk of Groatie Bay, just as the Captain had wished.


By a stroke of luck, Lady Constance's son, Sir Peter Buchanan, is an architect.  When he heard of his mother's idea for how Angel House could be put to use for the community, he offered to donate his services for free in drawing up plans for the redevelopment of the building.  As you can imagine, this went down very well indeed with the town council ;-)

Well, it all sounds very simple written down on here but I have a lot of work ahead of me!  Before I can actually get started with the Galleria, though, I will have to finish sorting and rearranging my craft shed.  It will be much better to work on the house out there rather than on the dining room table, so that will be my first task.

I will share photos as the project progresses, and will give you a little background to the folk who will be having their shops in the Galleria in another post :-) 


Sunday, 21 June 2015

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
(4th April 1928 - 28th May 2014)

Thursday, 18 June 2015

The Thursday Poem

Potted Flowers with Books IV
Eric Barjot


Those Winter Sundays

Sundays too my father got up early
and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold,
then with cracked hands that ached
from labor in the weekday weather made
banked fires blaze.  No one ever thanked him.

I'd wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking.
When the rooms were warm, he'd call,
and slowly I would rise and dress,
fearing the chronic angers of that house,

Speaking indifferently to him,
who had driven out the cold
and polished my good shoes as well.
What did I know, what did I know
of love's austere and lonely offices?

Robert Hayden
(4th August 1913 - 25th February 1980)



Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Words on Wednesday

Alphabet Overlay 1


The object of education is to prepare the young to educate themselves throughout their lives

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Nearly there!

image by H. Armstrong Roberts


This, my dears, is how I feel today ~ absolutely pooped!  I spent all day yesterday tidying our living room ~ a job that I have been putting off for far too long.  I confess that I was just too ashamed to take any "before" photos but once I have finished the tidying/sorting/rearranging/cleaning process, I promise I will take some :-)  The room is in dire need of redecoration, so you will have to excuse the tired and shabby decor, but I know that I will be feeling so much happier once I have got the room clean and tidy that it truly won't bother me quite so much.

I may feel brave enough to take some photos of our dining room before I start the herculean task of clearing it ;-)  It looks rather like the "before" stage in one of those hoarder programmes, but in my defence most of the stuff in there is from my shed that I am slowly but surely sorting through.  I am trying to be sensible and rein-in my over-enthusiasm for the next new craft that catches my eye ~ and stretches my purse!  To be honest I really haven't settled down and got stuck into any of the crazes I have fallen for, and at last I have realised that there are only so many hours in the day for hobbies anyway.  So I am making a concerted effort to just concentrate on those hobbies that I actually do and really take pleasure in!

I have let the house slide terribly.  It is well over a year since I wrote a post about rekindling the love for our home, and in truth I am no further forward than I was back in February of last year.  I have been struggling with bouts of depression and back pain for quite some time.  Still, I am starting to feel much better again so I rather think I'd best make hay while the sun shines!

Sunday, 14 June 2015

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
(4th April 1928 - 28th May 2014)

Thursday, 11 June 2015

The Thursday Poem

Potted Flowers with Books IV
Eric Barjot

Spleen

I was not sorrowful, I could not weep,
And all my memories were put to sleep.

I watched the river grow more white and strange,
All day till evening I watched it change.

All day till evening I watched the rain
Beat wearily upon the window pane.

I was not sorrowful, but only tired
Of everything that ever I desired.

Her lips, her eyes, all day became to me
The shadow of a shadow utterly.

All day mine hunger for her heart became
Oblivion, until the evening came,

And left me sorrowful, inclined to weep,
With all my memories that could not sleep.

Ernest Dowson
(2nd August 1867 - 23rd February 1900)


Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Words on Wednesday

Alphabet Overlay 1


Silence is one of the hardest arguments to refute

Sunday, 7 June 2015

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
(4th April 1928 - 28th May 2014)

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Happy Birthday....

image from www.allposters.co.uk


....to me!  54 years old today ~ eeeeek!

Friday, 5 June 2015

Bolero ~ Torville and Dean

I have just been listening to Ravel's Bolero on Radio 3.  It's such a lovely piece of music and I can never hear it without remembering Jane Torville and Christopher Dean's magnificent ice skating routine at the 1984 Olympics.  I hope you too like both the music and the skating :-)


Feel-good Friday


Thursday, 4 June 2015

The Thursday Poem

Potted Flowers with Books IV
Eric Barjot


From Adonais
An Elegy on the Death of John Keats,
Author of Endymion, Hyperion, &c.

He is made one with Nature: there is heard
His voice in all her music, from the moan
Of thunder, to the song of night's sweet bird;
He is a presence to be felt and known
In darkness and in light, from herb and stone,
Spreading itself where'er that Power may move
Which has withdrawn his being to its own;
Which wields the world with never-wearied love,
Sustains it from beneath, and kindles it above.

He is a portion of the loveliness
Which once he made more lovely; he doth bear
His part, while the one Spirit's plastic stress
Sweeps through the dull dense world, compelling there,
All new successions to the forms they wear;
Torturing th' unwilling dross that checks its flight
To its own likeness, as each mass may bear;
And bursting in its beauty and its might
From trees and beasts and men into the Heaven's light.

The splendours of the firmament of time
May be eclipsed, but are extinguished not;
Like stars to their appointed height they climb,
And death is a low mist which cannot blot
The brightness it may veil.  When lofty thought
Lifts a young heart above its mortal lair,
And love and life contend in it, for what
Shall be its earthly doom, the dead live there
And move like winds of light on dark and stormy air.

Percy Bysshe Shelley
(4th August 1792 - 8th July 1822)


Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Words on Wednesday

Alphabet Overlay 1


Circumstances are beyond our control,
but our conduct is in our power

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Catching up...

image from www.allposters.co.uk



My word, it just doesn't seem possible that we are now in June and thus far I have blogged about nothing of any substance in 2015!

To be honest, I haven't really done anything that has inspired me to actually sit down and blog.  The past few months have been something of a "black hole", with the combination of depression and menopause making my life a tad miserable.  All in all, it's been very much a case of living with the "downs" rather than the "ups".  Still, here I am once more, finally feeling much better and more balanced :-)

Our dogs have both had problems recently, and have both been referred to Davies Veterinary Specialists.  Daft Matty managed to slip two discs in his neck ~ and I still don't know how he did it!  In the end he was able to avoid surgery with some hefty doses of various medications and rest, thank goodness!  He did have to spend a few days in Davies' hospital, though.  We were told that he should not wear a collar for walking purposes now, so we have bought him a very good walking harness from a company called Dog-Games.  They don't supply one-size-fits-all harnesses, which have never been a good fit for any of our sighthounds in the past.  Instead, the three components of the harness come in different sizes, so you measure your doggie and select the appropriate pieces.  We bought the fleece-lined components for Matty as we thought they would be more comfortable against his skin.  We will be getting one for little Nikki shortly, too :-)

Because both dogs have various joint problems we decided that it was probably a good time to get them new beds as well!  We finally went for the Muttress solid memory foam beds from Tuff Mutts.  (I'm not being paid to "advertise" these companies, by the way, just letting you know what we have bought for the mutts!).  These dog beds are pretty fab, actually ~ my son was very impressed LOL

As for Nikki, well she has had another flare-up of the wrist joint problem in her front right leg.  She has been on Rimadyl (an anti-inflammatory) for a number of months and the dosage has recently been increased.  She has also been on antibiotics, along with Tramadol for pain relief.  Our vet told me that really there was nothing more they could do and referred us to Davies.  Alan, the specialist vet I saw there, examined Nikki and took x-rays of both her front leg and also the back left leg in which she was shot before she was rescued.  She is scheduled to have an operation on the front leg on 24th June, to remove the joint completely and fuse the leg with a metal plate.  She is currently on antibiotics again to ensure that there is no chance of infection in the leg before the op.  All being well, she should only be in the hospital for two or three days.  When she comes home she will have to be confined to one room and not exercised for a certain amount of time.  The complete recovery period is about 12 weeks.  Hopefully, with having the joint removed she will no longer have the pain and swelling that she has been suffering with.

Alan also talked to me about her back left leg and showed me the x-rays.  She has about half a dozen shotgun pellets still embedded in the bone of the ankle area, as well as a couple more in her lower ribs :-(  We knew that she still had pellets in the bone but hadn't realised that there were so many, nor that she also had them in her ribs ~ my poor little baby girl.  The good news, though, is that she may be able to have similar surgery on the leg, i.e. removal of the joint and fusing with a metal plate.  We will have to see how things progress, and how well she heals from the first operation.

In other news, we had our annual holiday up to Orkney last month.  This time we stayed for a fortnight, which was just as well as it turned out!  This year we had decided to go by train to Edinburgh and then fly to Kirkwall.  Neither of us particularly enjoys flying but we felt that we ought to at least give it a go LOL  Actually, the flight wasn't bad at all to be honest and was certainly much quicker than our usual journey up there.  I have to say, though, that we both missed the lovely views from the train between Inverness and Thurso, and also coming into Stromness on the ferry.  We will most likely be going back to our usual route again next year.  It may take longer but the journey is much nicer ~ and a fair bit cheaper too!

Unfortunately, we were both pretty poorly whilst we were away.  Adrian came down with the most dreadful cold and looked absolutely awful whilst we were waiting for the bus at Kirkwall Airport; he was as white as a sheet and just couldn't stop shivering.  He was really unwell over the next couple of days, and spent most of the time dozing in bed.  I too came down with the cold, albeit I wasn't quite as ill as he was.  The trouble was that I was running a couple of days behind Adrian, so the first week was more or less a complete wash-out!  Still, I suppose there are worse places to be ill in ~ at least we had lovely views from the bedroom window of the flat we stay in!

The cold left us with horrible coughs, which still flare up from time-to-time.  (Apparently, there is a lot of whatever this particular bug is going around and the cough can last for a number of weeks.)  By the second week, Adrian was feeling a fair bit better (apart from his cough) but I felt very tired, so we didn't do much at all this year.  We had had plans to visit various places on the island but sadly we just weren't well enough to do the trekking about.  Oh well, we will just have to wait until next year ~ yes, we have booked two weeks in the flat already LOL

Well, I think I should finish this post here now that I have relayed our tales of woe!  I promise to post about more cheerful things soon :-)