Sunday, 30 August 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, 27 August 2015

Leaking legs...

image from Public Domain Photos

Yes, you did read that correctly ~ I do indeed have leaking legs!  Granted, the photo above is a slight exaggeration of what is happening to my own legs but it was the best image I could find online, as I really didn't want to inflict a photo of my own pair of pins on you LOL

So I went to see my GP yesterday since I figured it couldn't really be quite right to have leaking legs.  She told me that I have folliculitis, which is basically an inflammation of the hair follicles, commonly caused by shaving.  I think I may have set it off when I shaved my legs last weekend, as I used a new razor and managed to cut myself.  She prescribed a week's course of antibiotics, so hopefully it will clear up soon.

She has also put me on a diuretic, as my feet and ankles have been swollen for a while now.  I am suffering with dry skin in various places over my body since I entering these delightful menopausal years, and my lower legs/ankles/tops of feet seem to get particularly bad.  The area feels even more itchy when the skin is stretched with the water retention and often I find that I start to scratch before I can stop myself.  I think I may have damaged the skin somewhat, which the shaving has probably exacerbated *sigh*

Of course, I probably wouldn't get the fluid retention (or at least, it wouldn't be so bad) if I were to lose weight.  Yes, it's back to that old topic yet again, I'm afraid.  I can't pretend to myself any longer that I am going to be okay just carrying on the way I have been.  In my heart-of-hearts I also know that I really do have a "problem" with wheat ~ I think the bloating and skin irritations when I eat a lot of bread, etc, would rather prove the point, don't you?  It's just so hard to make the changes I know need to be made, changes that will have to be for a lifetime rather than a quick fix.  I'm having other issues as well, such as the IBS occurring more frequently, my back pain not going away, and recently my knees/hips have started to ache much more than they ever have done before.

I am currently the heaviest I have ever been; I never dreamed I would get to weigh this much!  I am scared, too, that if I do manage to lose the weight I will be left with masses of ugly sagging skin ~ but, of course, I can't deny that I have brought it all upon myself by not tackling the problem years ago.  I will just have to hope that if I manage to lose all the weight that I need to and find that as a result I am left with loose skin, then perhaps I will be able to have it removed.  If not, then I will just have to live with it ~ at least being so much slimmer will be healthier.

I'll let you know how I decide to tackle this once-and-for-all in an upcoming post :-)   

The Thursday Poem

Potted Flowers with Books IV
Eric Barjot

How do I love thee?  Let me count the ways

How do I love thee?  Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day's
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
With my lost saints - I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! - and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

 Elizabeth Barrett Browning
(6th March 1806 - 29th June 1861)

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Words on Wednesday

Alphabet Overlay 1


It's a terrible shame if you're born the brightest in your class.
If you're not, then you have to hustle - and that's good

Sunday, 23 August 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, 22 August 2015

Spreading the blue and white love...

Now, before you look at these photos, promise that you won't judge me by how badly my home needs decorating! I promised to show you the living room in this post and I have finally got round to taking some photos ~ better late than never, eh ;-)    


I have quite a collection of blue and white china and it's getting to the point where I am running out of space in the cabinet I display it in.  The cabinet is in the dining room, so I thought it would be nice to put some of the pieces in other rooms too.  As I mentioned in the previous post, I asked the lady who cleaned the living room for me to put all my ornaments in a box as she moved them for cleaning.  Very few have actually made it back into the room ~ instead, I have replaced them with some of my blue and white china.

The shelf you can see reflected in the mirror used to be on the wall above the two seascape paintings.  When I have finished sorting/downsizing all the craft stuff currently in residence in the dining room, I will be able to get to the cabinet where most of my china is displayed.  I know that it really needs to be rearranged and some of the pieces can come out to be displayed on the little white shelf unit.


This is just one of three book shelves in our living room!  The lower two shelves house my collection of cookery books, plus there are a few more on the fourth shelf too.  The pretty begonia was a gift from my friend Christine; she brought it when she and her hubby came for lunch a couple of Sundays ago :-)


And to round off this post, here's my lovely boy doing what he does best ~ snoozing! 

Friday, 21 August 2015

More deep-cleaning....

....in the kitchen, this time!  As with the bathroom, I was too embarrassed to take "before" photos and confess that these photos have been rather strategically taken ;-)  I am really out of practice with taking photos, so you will have to excuse the rather poor quality I'm afraid!  There is still rather a lot of deep-cleaning to do but I have made a good start.

Like the bathroom, our kitchen is also not very large at all but it still seemed to take a long while to do the relatively small amount of cleaning that I've tackled so far.  I suppose it's a combination of not having been properly cleaned for a long while and the limitations my back places upon me.  Still, I will get through it all eventually :-)


I could see that the window was grubby but even so I was still rather taken aback at how much clearer the view is now that it's been cleaned.  I did struggle somewhat with reaching the top of the window but managed to do it.  I have ordered a tension rod to hang some pretty cafe-curtain style net ~ I'll take a photo when I have put it up.  Although the windowsill is pretty full it doesn't look "crowded" now like it did previously. 


This is the only working area I have really ~ you can't see in this photo, but the worktop goes all the way to the window.  I don't have much drawer space, which is why our cutlery lives in this wooden holder which used to live beside the hob.  I previously kept my KitchenAid mixer on the above worktop, but whilst I was cleaning it dawned on me that it made more sense to swap them over.  The brown dish used to belong to my Grandma ~ she kept sugar in it :-)

The pile of stuff you can see through the hatch is waiting for me to sort through it!  We can't use the dining room at the moment because it is full of everything I took out of my craft shed when I decided that I needed to downsize it all, so at the moment we have our meals on trays on our laps.


This shelf is above the doorway into the hall.  I used to keep cookery books on it, but in the end decided that a small steamy kitchen probably wasn't the best home for them!  Besides, I have far too many books to fit on that one shelf so thought that they may as well all live together in one place.  It does make a nice place for a little chicken-themed vignette, though ~ you may have already noticed the chicken theme going on in the kitchen LOL

Believe it or not, I worked on this little bout of deep-cleaning over two days, taking rests, although that did also include the fridge and washing machine.  I was sensible for a change and listened to what my body was telling me ;-)  I will get it all thoroughly cleaned over time but for now I am really pleased with what I have managed to get done :-)

Feel-good Friday

Thursday, 20 August 2015

The Thursday Poem

Potted Flowers with Books IV
Eric Barjot


As Kingfishers Catch Fire

As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame;
As tumbled over rim in roundy wells
Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell's
Bow swing finds tongues to fling out broad its name;
Each mortal thing does one thing and the same:
Deals out that being indoors each one dwells;
Selves-goes itself; myself it speaks and spells;
Crying What I do is me: for that I came.

I say more: the just man justices;
Keeps grace: that keeps all his goings graces;
Acts in God's eye what in God's eye he is -
Christ-for Christ plays in ten thousand places,
Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his
To the Father through the features of men's faces.

Gerard Manley Hopkins
(28th July 1844 - 8th June 1889)

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Words on Wednesday

Alphabet Overlay 1


Better to be ignorant of a matter
than to know half of it!

Sunday, 16 August 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, 13 August 2015

The Thursday Poem


Potted Flowers with Books IV
Eric Barjot


No, I'm Not Afraid

No, I'm not afraid: after a year
Of breathing these prison nights
I will survive into the sadness
To name which is escape.

The cockerel will weep freedom for me
And here - knee-deep in mire -
My gardens shed their water
And the northern air blows in draughts.

And how am I to carry to an alien planet
What are almost tears, as though towards home...
It isn't true, I am afraid, my darling!
But make it look as though you haven't noticed.

Irina Ratushinskaya
(4th March 1954 - )

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Close to nature...



I was doing the washing-up a few days ago when I spotted a bird on our neighbour's fence.  From the kitchen I couldn't make out what it was so decided to abandon the dishes and investigate LOL


The patio door was already open and I was able to gradually make my way further and further down the garden, thus getting closer to the birdie.  I was taking photos every few steps as I didn't know how close I would be able to get before it decided to fly off.  It was keeping an eye on my progress but I was able to get almost to our garden gate before it flew away :-)  

It looks like a young blackbird to me but I confess that I am no expert!  Quite a few of the blackbirds that we see around here have these white markings on their feathers ~ I've always assumed that they are related to each other.


I took this photo of a very sleepy Matty yesterday, toasting his back-end in the sunshine :-)  He seems to have accepted that Nikki is no longer with us but has now become somewhat of a "shadow", following me around the house and garden.  Her presence was obviously more reassuring to him than we realised.....

Words on Wednesday

Alphabet Overlay 1


Never let a day pass that you will have cause to say:
I will do better tomorrow

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

The gang's all here!

I suppose it would be fair to say that the following photos may not be everyone's cup of tea LOL  I know that some of my family and friends find dolls, large or small, somewhat creepy and I fully expect them to find my latest haul extremely so ;-)  Neverless, I am very pleased indeed with the new additions to Groatie Bay ~ especially since all 22 of them only cost me the princely sum of £15.94 including postage!


The seller didn't offer any "history" to the dolls, and simply described them as in good condition (!) but unfinished.


They are all going to require a fair amount of "surgery".  In fact, I may well take each one completely apart and rebuild them from scratch.


I can imagine that some of you are wondering why I didn't just buy complete kits, or even ready made dolls, since some of these little folk are most definitely going to need limbs.


To tell the truth, I bought them because of their unusual faces.  They are so different to the porcelain dolls I already have!  These little Peedikins have such characterful faces, don't you think?



I'm pretty sure that at least some of them are home-made from something like Fimo.  I don't know for sure, because I have never dabbled with Fimo, but they don't all appear to be porcelain like most of my other dolls. Whatever material they are made from, I really like them ~ but I don't care for the way their bodies have been made at all!  So, as I have said, methinks it will be a case of completely dismantling each one and building again from scratch. 



I recently came across a tutorial showing how to needle felt a body onto a wire "skeleton" and I have to say that the idea really appeals to me.  I'm sorry but although I copied-and-pasted the tutorial onto my computer, I didn't keep a note of where I found it in the first place.  All I can tell you is that I think the site may have been Russian!  I have tried to find it again, but so far with no success.  The translation is a teensy wee bit odd in parts so if I am successful in following the instructions, I will show you how I did it.  I know that I won't be able to model hands and feet so I will be buying them, most likely from either Recollect Dolls Hospital or World of My Own.

I have got an awful lot of little Peediekins stashed away now ~ quite enough to fill several houses and shops!  I think I had better try to resist temptation for a while and get on with making the little folk somewhere to live ;-)   

Monday, 10 August 2015

The delights of deep-cleaning!

Yes ~ really!

I confess that I was way too embarrassed to take "before" photos of our bathroom but suffice to say it was pretty grubby in there, and I am rather ashamed to admit that it had been for quite some time.  But friends we hadn't seen for a long while were coming over yesterday and I really didn't want them to see the bathroom in such a state.

So Adrian helped me to deep-clean on Saturday and although (as you can see) it is only a very small bathroom, it took us quite some time to get through it.  I did the higher areas of the walls as I am taller than Adrian, and he did the lower parts so that I didn't have to bend so much.  I was then able to finish the rest of the cleaning myself.  It was tiring, to be honest, but now that it has been deep-cleaned I will be able to keep on top of it so it won't be such a hard chore in future :-)


It was really difficult to take photos of the room, and I have had to do a fair bit of adjusting on PicMonkey, but the walls still look creamy-yellow!  They are actually magnolia, much truer to life in the photo below.  As you can see, there is a bit of a coast/beach theme going on :-)

We still haven't got round to having cushionfloor laid but hopefully we will get it done before too much longer.  The big hook above the window is where my lovely spider plant usually hangs.  I took it down when I did the cleaning and it is waiting to be repotted before I put it back.  It really seems to like growing in front of the window and has grown quite large.


I love going in the bathroom now, it makes me smile each time I walk through the door.  Everything is so clean and shiny, and it smells gorgeous as I've got lemon verbena oil in the reed diffuser, and also sprinkled on cottonwool in some of the little ornaments and shells.

It is quite amazing what one can achieve when long-time-no-see friends are due to visit!  

Sunday, 9 August 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, 8 August 2015

Error message...


So there I was, all ready to jump in with a post ~ but I can't upload any images!  I just keep getting a box coming up saying "Bad Request - error 400".  Is anyone else having the same problems?  

Oh, and what's happened to the followers list on the blogger blogs!

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Hello Dollies...

...is a fab 30 minute film about dolls' houses ~ enjoy!





The Thursday Poem


Potted Flowers with Books IV
Eric Barjot

Love

Love bade me welcome; yet my soul drew back,
Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning
If I lack'd anything.

'A guest,' I answer'd, 'worthy to be here';
Love said, 'You shall be he.'
'I, the unkind, ungrateful? Ah, my dear,
I cannot look on Thee.'
Love took my hand and smiling did reply,
'Who made the eyes but I?'

'Truth, Lord: but I have marr'd them: let my shame
Go where it doth deserve.'
'And know you not,' says Love, 'Who bore the blame?'
'My dear, then I will serve.'
'You must sit down,' says Love, 'and taste my meat.'
So I did sit and eat.

George Herbert
(3rd April 1593 - 3rd March 1633)




Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Words on Wednesday


Alphabet Overlay 1


Men show their character in nothing more
clearly than by what they think laughable

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Don't leave your dog in your car......

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)