Saturday, 28 February 2015

Give yourself a pat on the back ...

I found this whilst trawling the net recently and had to re-post it here.  I love the way it gets straight to the point, yes, it's motivational, but not in a softly softy mamby pamby self pitying way.
There were some pictures which I have removed for privacy of the blogger.

If this has come from your blog please let me know so I can give you the credit.
The blogger says that even though these things may not be 'novel worthy' these 9 sure-fire things prove you’re winning at life - Give yourself a pat on the back.

1. You have interests

I’m starting with this one because I think it’s one of the things that gets forgotten. Having a passion, hobby or release that is external not only to work and home but may even not interest a single other person in your life, but to you it matters. Find a hobby.

2. You trust your gut

Whether it tells you the alley you’re about to walk down isn’t safe, or keeps you awake whilst you agonise over a relationship or job, chances are it’s right. If you feel you need some space, some distance from the world, chances are you do. Turn off your phone and go somewhere that makes you happy.
Listening to your instincts is a good thing. Stay true to yourself – it will keep you in check.

3. You’re not the same person you were last year

Pick up any self-help book and the words “personal growth” will crop up more than a handful of times. There’s a reason for that. Growth breeds change, no matter how small a change, however tiny the steps forward you’ve taken, they are steps all the same and should be celebrated, even if only to yourself.

4. You’ve learnt what real friendship feels like

Not just what it feels like to have good friends, but how it feels to be a good friend. Sure, your list of close friends may only fit on one hand, but the one thing age has taught me is that it truly is quality, not quantity, when it comes to mates. I have a close group of girlfriends and they know when I’m down before I have realised myself. We’re there for each other when we’re sick, when family stuff happens or just when we can’t sleep. Really great friendship is the feeling you always have people on your side. It honestly is the best feeling.

5. You pay bills…mostly on time 

We all have slip ups on occasion, but on the whole if you don’t have bailiffs knocking your door down, you’re doing good. Sure, you might not know to the penny what you have in your bank account, but you know that you can buy food, keep your home warm and maybe have the occasional coffee out when it gets to the end of the month. That my friend is a life victory for sure.

6. You understand the concept of eating well 

That’s not to say you ‘eat clean’ or have yourself on a strict diet, but more you know when you’ve had enough donuts/chocolate buttons/ice cream. You understand how treating yourself works, and although you may not always stick to it, you know the principles of eating well and notice the difference when you do.

7. You question yourself

Not in a Spanish Inquisition kinda way, in an introspective objective and self-aware kind of way. The best people go home at the end of the day and, rather than have a tantrum because life didn’t go to plan, they think: “maybe there’s another way to do all this.”
Doubt is only a negative if you allow it to cloud life, just like failure. Being a grown up means learning to befriend those foes and use them to your advantage.

8. You’ve loved and lost 

The lost aspect of relationships, although devastating, proves that you have the capability to have a relationship at all. You opened your heart up and survived the breakage, and whilst learning from the past you still have faith in the future. Learning not to settle for anything less than you want and deserve is tough, but necessary.

9. You could tell your younger self “It worked out ok, kid”

It’s so easy to blame our behaviour as adults on our life as kids. We drag past trauma through into present day life so often without realising that we have moved on and we are more than the sum total of our mistakes.  If you can get up 99% of the time, get dressed and leave the house, you’re winning at life.

So there it is, 9 things to remind me that, although freelance business is tough, my love life is bleak and everything seems very much up in the air, I’m doing ok. I’m putting one foot in front of the other, usually in nice shoes, and walking towards a goal. An aspiration. And at my side are friends I can drink coffee with.
It’s so easy to beat yourself up, to only see the darkness in the clouds above, to feel defeated. But know that I’m on your side, I’m cheering from the sidelines, I believe in you.
Have a little faith in yourself, reward your achievements, no matter how small. You’re winning at life, I promise.


Thursday, 26 February 2015

Moving on - I can actually see my sewing machine ....

Welcome to Pam from A New Life in Wales - Pam has a very chatty blog and makes lovely crochet and patchwork items.

My sewing machine has been hidden underneath loads of 'stuff' and I haven't been able to see it for a while let alone use it.

I've had a couple of hours sorting 'stuff' out, it's not rubbish and not clutter just items that  I just don't have room for in this tiny house yet can't bear to part with.  Anyway I rearranged it all and can now at least see my sewing machine, I'm sure I'll actually be able to sit in front of it soon and use it.

It's so frustrating when you have a head full of ideas and inspiration for things to make but can't make a start. I've been working on knitting and crochet for a while because I can do that whilst watching TV and don't have to make a special  space.

I've also, at last, got to a plastic box full of knitting patterns.  Tomorrow I will have a lovely couple of hours sorting through them all and planning what I'm going to make this year.

I sold a jewellery box on Ebay.  The buyer wanted me to address it to her daughter, she's only 6, the box is a present for getting a good school report, and the little girl has started taking an interest in collecting play jewellery.   I wrapped it up in pink tissue paper with pink and white spotted ribbon and addressed it to her personally.  I put in some charms and bits and pieces including a silver plated chain bracelet as a bonus.  I'd like to be a fly on the wall when she opens it.

I'm off now to see if there is anything worth buying in the reduced cabinets at Asda.

Burning a candle for Stephen ...

I had to take two cats to the vet today, I knew it would be sad.  It's Stephens funeral day.

The atmosphere of sadness was tangible with the girls with red faces and eyes.  Two of them have gone to the crematorium and taken the flowers and cards that have been left at the surgery.

They have had a beautiful white leather Book of Rememberance made and it was on the desk for anyone to read and sign, it is trimmed with black ribbon.  I opened it but only managed two lines before I had to close it and take a deep breath to hold back the tears.  Above the book is a picture of Stephen, smiling, that was enough to start the flood of tears, yes, I embarrassed myself in the surgery, but wasn't alone.

They said they were going to light a candle at 4 pm, the time of the funeral, I have done the same.

Stephen was a very private man and his relationship with clients was purely professional, but he had that undefinable 'way' with him that endeared him to so many.  His kindness and compassion was so much appreciated by those who needed it.

One of the girls said that on the last occasion she saw him, he had told her to remember him to me. That means so much.

I always sent Christmas cards and a small present for him and asked after him during his last months when he wasn't fit to work any more.

I think the funeral will be over now, time to blow out the candle and say goodbye Stephen.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Feeling washed out and doing my bit for animal charity ...

I'm really  feeling drained and washed out right now.  This year has been hard going so far, what with having viral pneumonia which started with flu at the beginning of  December.  Then the infection which resulted in the huge swelling on my face, it's going down now thank goodness, but I've had three courses of anti-biotics this year already, each one stronger than the one before, and I'm not happy with that.  I'm wondering if that's contributing to this feeling of exhaustion.

My three elderly cats have all decided to become poorly at the same time as well.  Each one needs different treatment and meds, two of them are showing signs of improvement but Sopicat is struggling bless him.  He has heart problems and FIV which means health problems hit him harder and take longer to clear up.

Itty the Kitty has taken up  residence on my bed and won't come down, so that means I'm up and down the stairs more times than a yo-yo on a string, that's wearing me out too.

Also I feel emotionally drained due to hearing of Stephens death (my vet).  I took a condolence card over to the surgery earlier today,  two of the girls are going to the funeral tomorrow, they will pass it on to his partner.

I've had lots of fishing equipment hanging around here for ages that I've been trying to sell on Ebay but not had any luck, so I took it all to the local dog's shelter charity shop this morning, its worth around £250-£300 for the lot, I hope they get good prices for it all, every little helps the animals.

I'm off now, one of the invalid felines is shouting for food ...

Monday, 23 February 2015

Oh dear, such sad news today ...

My lovely vet who I call 'Saint Stephen' is on 'long term sick leave'  -  reading between the lines, and gleaning bits of information from the girls in the surgery, it is clear, Stephen is very sick indeed.
 Please God, help this wonderful man who spends his life helping our much loved pets
The above is part of a post I made in 2013.  I had to take Sopicat and Lady Leah 1 to the vet today and was told very kindly that Stephen had passed away.  I am gutted.
Without  his compassionate care I wouldn't have my cats now.  My new vet,  Mike, is straight out of the same mould, and does everything he can to help animals, he keeps my lot going.
I am lucky to have had these two guys to care for my feline family.
I am honoured to have been asked if I want to go to  his memorial service.
Rest in Peace Stephen.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Busy Hands ...

First of all welcome to a  new follower - Gill - that British Woman, thanks for joining Gill, hope you find some things of interest here.
I've been catching up on crafting whilst having my tiny entitlement from the NHS.

This is stuff I've made for my Etsy shop, I'll get it put on later or tomorrow, I have about as much energy as a limp lettuce right now.  I enjoy the designing and making process, but then tend to leave stuff waiting to be made up because I want to get started on the next item, so I've always got a plastic box of finished  things putting pressure on me !

scarves, legwarmers, wristwarmers etc.,
This is something new for me.  It's yarn/twine made from handspun fabric strips for use in embroidery projects, couching etc.,  I'm also working on some wristwarmers/texting gloves in a new (to me) crochet technique which I love but it is time consuming.  I have finished one and will show you pics when both are done.
Do you have an Etsy shop ?  do you sell your craft work ?  I'd love to know what you do and if it works for you.  It's well known that craft workers never really get a fair price for their work.  Crafting takes a lot of time and the items would be ridiculously overpriced if we worked out the prices per hour.  I did that once and it turned out I was working for 20p an hour !  It's more a way of  expressing creativity I think than making money.
Let me know what you do.
That's it for today, hope you are having a better weekend than me.

Saturday, 21 February 2015

OMG - I've grown an extra head ... !

Let me explain - are you sitting comfortably ... ?

As a pensioner, I've never been able to afford much dental treatment.  I've always done my best and still have my own teeth minus 2 which were extracted at an early age.
I don't eat sugar or sweet stuff and brush regularly and use mouthwash.

My only problem is that last year I thought they needed a clean up, a scale and polish if you like.  I had no other problems.

What happened on that visit scared the ***** out of me !

Now bear in mind I said I had no problems, but the dentist said I would have to go to the local hospital, have a general anaesthetic and have 'several' teeth extracted  !!!  well after they picked me up off the floor I asked why, and he said that because of 'my age' it would be better to do it now rather than later - !!!

I asked him how many teeth were affected and would have to be removed and he said he didn't know, in spite of the fact that he had done an exray.
'So' I said 'you want me to go to the hospital, have an anaesthetic, then when I come round I may not have a tooth in my head ?'
'yes' he said
I was out of that place quicker than a rat up a drainpipe !!  and never went back in spite of being sent three reminders - was he having a 'larf ??

This scared me and I haven't been to a dentist since.

Are you still with me ... ?

Sooooo, last night, I felt a 'slight' ache in one of my teeth, not enough to make me too concerned, I took a couple of Ibuprofen and forgot about it made a mental note to consult a dentist on Monday.

Now when I went into the bathroom this morning and looked into the mirror I nearly collapsed with shock !  I had a H U G E  swelling on the side of my face covering my jaw, extending into my neck and up towards my eye and ear - I can't tell you how horrified  was.

After I'd stopped shaking, I realised 'something' had happened in the night and had to be dealt with immediately.  Long story short, after trying to get in to several emergency dental surgeries, I phoned 111 in desperation. 111 is the new number in UK that you phone if you think your problem isn't bad enough to warrant a paramedic or an ambulance.  I've never phoned it before and felt rather guilty.  I'm one of those people who only go to the doctors about once in 5 years - sometimes not as often as that !

Anyway after taking details they decided I had to be seen immediately especially as I had the feeling that my throat was 'closing up'.

At the emergency dental centre, I was diagnosed with 'severe infection in the lower gums' and given yet more anti-biotics, the third lot this month !

I'm at home now recovering  from the shock, the pain has increased, I've been told I can take paracetomol (sp) but the good thing to come out of all this is that when I recounted my story of my other visit to a dentist and the threat of having all my teeth pulled, he was as horrified as I was and said that should never have happened and thank goodness I didn't take that advice as apart from the current problem, which is in the gums not the teeth, my teeth were in very good condition and there is nothing that a little work can't put right.  A clean up, a couple of fillings and possibly a crown.

The dentist this morning completely reassured me and when my other head has disappeared I will go ahead and start treatment. (or perhaps I may keep it - they say two heads are better than one don't they?)

I'm disgusted at what happened to me but am thankful I thought it through for myself and declined the offer to become 'toothless'.

If anything like this happens to you, always, always check it out and think it out for yourself.  I 'knew' my teeth were good and strong and anyway I've been told that even if they were loose as sometimes happens with age, there is no need to extract them as something can be done.

In the meantime, if you see someone out with what looks like two heads - it will be me !!

Friday, 20 February 2015

My son's business - from a Mother bursting with pride ... !

My youngest son has always been a hard worker, and has always had ambitions to succeed and provide his family with a high standard of living.

He worked hard at an apprenticeship, attended college regularly studied and worked hard.

It wasn't easy for him but he was committed to owning his own business and never gave up.

He has had his own business for some time now, he is successful and is well thought of and praised for his commitment to his work. He is a perfectionist.

His business is kitchen/bathroom/bedroom/office supply and fitting.  Many of his orders come from word of mouth from 'very' satisfied customers. He is based in Shifnal, Shropshire.

Needless to say I am bursting with pride.

Here are some pictures of the inside of his showrooms.

You can see some of his 'thank you' cards here, he doesn't have them all on show, he is a very modest man.
That's a very strange looking woman with that camera !!  must tell son to stop allowing the riff-raff in off the street !
I occasionally go over and 'mind the shop' for him while he's out measuring up and giving quotes, this is where I sit.

I love this little sign he has on show, you can see it on the worktop in the picture above.
That's my Honda there, and the pub opposite that tempts me !
I know the pics are a bit 'grainy', the batteries packed up shortly after taking these pics, and  didn't have time to take them all again.
So there's my unashamed 'gloating with pride' post for today.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Buying sensibly can save you £4.44 on just three everyday items ...

I thought this morning I would share how to save £4.44 on just three items that we all need everyday.

First, a large tub of butter/spread - usually around £2.49/3.99, Iceland sells for just £1 - that's a saving of £1.49/2.99 (and it's not rubbish either).

 Milk usually around £1.49 for a large bottle (4 pints) Iceland and Asda now sells for 89p - and most of the larger supermarkets sell it for £1 now.

 Bread can be had for 40/45p own brand - a saving of 85p on the cheapest 'brand' loaf.

So you see that's a total saving of £4.44 without having to change your shopping habits too much or hunt around for bargains. (I hope I've done my sums right, my brain still isn't functioning properly)

Iceland prices are well worth checking out i.e. large packs of veggies for just 89p, can be cheaper than fresh and just as nutritious.

I just have to mention here how I was totally shocked yesterday morning when in Asda.  I was checking the price of the margarine/spreads to compare them with the product I get from Iceland, most were between £2.49 (special offer) and £3.29, many were more than that, but I had to do a 'double take' when I saw Lurpak Light - IT WAS £6.24 FOR A 1 kg PACK !!!! - yes you did read that right.  I just couldn't believe it.  Are there really people out there so lacking in brain cells that they actually pay that ?
well there must be I suppose or Asda wouldn't stock it.

Then some people wonder why they have too much month left over at the end of their money !

PS - the wine you can see in the picture isn't included in the bargains !  actually it's still there because

a. I've been on anti-biotics and other drugs so can't touch alcohol and

b. it's ******* awful !  it will be used in cooking, that's all it's good for !

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Mama's got a brand new bag ...

My old, well loved bag finally gave up the ghost just after Christmas and I've been searching for a replacement since then.
I've been 'managing' with this little one, nothing wrong with it, it's real leather, but ridiculously small.

As you can see, when my purse and specs case go in, I can't shut the bag !  I also need the large purse for my cards, bus pass, bank cards, and special offer coupons of course, so a big bag is a must.

Now when it comes to a new handbag, I have needs !  not for me an overpriced designer jobbie with a 3/4 figure price tag, no, my bag needs to be functional, practical, spacious and hard wearing.  You would think that's not too difficult to find, but other considerations have to be a flat bottom (I hate floppy bottoms ) they make a bag look like a sack.  Also loads of compartments, compartments within compartments, and more compartments.  Separate sections for all the odds and ends we carry about with us, you know what I mean don't you girls ?  oh, and very important, a looooong shoulder strap.  I have small shoulders and can't for the life of me keep a shoulder bag in position so I wear mine across the body 'nerd style'.  So that was my list for my perfect new bag.  Now when I say 'new' I mean new to me, definitely not brand new, that is against my principles, it would have to come from a charity shop.
Several weeks of looking yielded nothing except me getting more and more annoyed having to cope with the 'Barbie' bag above, also with having to be confined to quarters for a while whilst being poorly I haven't had chance to look around for a while.
This morning, out and about for the first time, I went to do the round of the charity shops and came across this little beauty
Now when I say 'little' it isn't really it's at least twice the size if not more of the old one.
It's a BHS bag and is just perfect.  Everything I need and then some.
Even little loops for my pens
Loads of compartments too which I can't photograph very well 'cos I've only got two hands.
Now there is/was a 'but' -  nooo shoulder strap.  I bought it though because it's just what I needed in every other way I thought I may be able to get a strap from a charity shop, or upcycle a belt or something, when I had a lightbulb moment - the strap from my laptop bag would be just fine. 
I never use it, and it has fitted perfectly
Ta Dah - a 'perfect for me' bag for just £3.00.  Just goes to prove 'everything comes to he/she who waits.
And if that's not enough, I called in at the next charity shop and picked up this little number
Again, lots of compartments plus the shoulder strap already in place.  The little bit of silliness i.e. the silk kerchief will be removed and used in a craft project.
This one has a nice lining too.  Just like the buses, you wait for ages and then two come along at once
 The price of this one ?  a whopping £2.00.
Sorry about having to hold it open, but it's the best I could do.  I asked Sopicat for help but he didn't want to know - typical.
I thought you'd like to see these flowers I was bought last week to help me get better.


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