Friday, 30 September 2016

Fridays Fave Five 30/9/16

It's Friday so it's time to join in with Suzanne's Friday's Fave Five. 
It's a place to come on Fridays and think back over your week and just post about 5 favourite things from your week. It can be anything that tickled your fancy over the week. Favourite quotes, posts, happenings, scriptures, recipes, pictures, great internet finds, etc., etc.

If you want to take part or visit other Fave Five posts, click on the picture above to go to host Suzanne's site and check out the linky list.

I didn't join in last week so I was determined to be here today.  Here are mine:

1.  Me time.  It's been a mad 2 weeks with works going on and then a couple of funerals to attend so today I was just glad to make some me time to just chill, read and catch up on some taped TV.

2.  A clean bill of health.  I had my annual medication review today (I take medication to keep my blood pressure at normal levels) and it was all fine.  I need to get some blood tests done but hopefully they won't throw up any issues.

3.  A family outing.  Last Saturday we celebrated hubby's sister's 60th birthday.  All the siblings and partners got together for the day.  We went for a walk in the nearby forest park during the afternoon and then for a meal in the evening.  It was lovely.

4.  Family Sunday lunch - all the kids and their partners were here for lunch on Sunday.  It was the first time we were all together since the end of August.

5. Faith.  The funerals we were at this week were both for people who had died suddenly and unexpectedly.  Despite how sad these funerals were it served as a reminder that there is more than this life here on earth.

Tomorrow we're off to a happier event - a family baptism.  Have a great weekend all.

Book Review - The Girls by Lisa Jewell

The GirlsThe Girls by Lisa Jewell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Really liked this book. Clare and her two daughters, Grace and Pip have moved to a flat on a large communal garden in London. On Grace's 13th birthday, following the annual summer garden party, Pip discovers Grace in the garden, alive but with her clothes in disarray and in a coma.

The first part of the book gives background on all the various charaters and events leading up to that day. Then it moves on to the aftermath and the truth of what happened to Grace is gradually revealed.

I enjoyed the book as the characters are given depth and although we're drawn to one explanation of what could have happend to Grace, the answer is actually quite different.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge 28/9/16

Wednesday's Hodgepodge is brought to us courtesy of Joyce at 
Pop over there to see other posts and if you want to join in add the link to your Hodgepodge blog post to the Linky List at the end of Joyce's post and don’t forget to visit at least your neighbours on the list.

Have fun!

1. Have you ever been to and/or lived near the desert? What did you think? Travel and Leisure lists the 'coolest' American desert towns as-
Palm Springs CA, Virgina City NE, Bend OR, Winslow AZ, Marfa TX, Grand Junction CO, Silver City NM, Moab UT, Taos NM, Yakima WA, Borrego Springs CA, Terlingua TX, and St. George UT, and Tubac AZ
Never have, never would (at least not through choice).  I live opposite a large open green space and wouldn’t want to swap that.
Have you been to any of these? Would you like to visit a desert town? Which on the list would you most like to see?
Haven’t been to any of them and unlikely to so I don’t have a must see from the list.
2. What's a plan or project you've deserted in the past year? 
Home makeover.  When I first gave up work it was my intention to start making over the house.  Dealing with giving up my job and other issues has been a difficult journey but I do feel I’m getting back on track now.
3. Desert-dessert? Share two or three words you find yourself having to think twice about when it comes to spelling.  
Don’t usually have too much trouble with spelling but things like practice and practise can trip me up.
4. High and dry, like watching paint dry, dry run, dry as dust, not a dry eye in the house...which phrase can you relate to currently? Explain. 
Watching paint plaster dry.  Waiting for the plaster to dry so that we can start painting.  Then it’ll be watching paint dry!
5. How often do you frequent the dry cleaners? Starch or no starch?  
I don’t often use the dry cleaners – I tend to check labels when I’m buying things although with all the weddings we’ve had I do have a few things that have to be cleaned.  I’ve never been asked if I want starch or no starch.  Maybe because we don’t take shirts there.  Only hubby’s suits.
6. What's a food or beverage you enjoy that's named for a place? 
Mississippi Mud Pie is about all I can think of.
7. Do you need solitude? 
Definitely.  I love having the house totally to myself if only for a few hours and I’m more than happy to go off for a walk on my own.  I’m more productive around the house when I’m on my own.  Adjusting to having hubby home an extra 2 days per week is proving a challenge.
8.  Insert your own random thought here.
When hubby had a serious accident (11 years ago now) it made us very aware of how short life can be and for a while we were more focussed on living in the now.  Gradually though you slip back into old ways but we’ve been to two funerals this week which have reminded us again that life doesn’t always turn out the way you expect and you shouldn’t keep putting off the things you really want to do.

Thanks Joyce for another set of challenging questions.  Have a good week all.

Monday, 26 September 2016

A load of waffle and total chaos 26/9/16

It's been a busy time here.  We've had two rooms plastered but the plaster is still drying out so we can't move forward with painting just yet.  This means the house is still upside down with the stuff emptied out of the two rooms being plastered.  I've decided that the room that will be a spare bedroom is the priority so I will probably move as much as I can into the other room so that at least the rest of the house can get back to normal.

I'm not sure what normal is anymore though.  Hubby is supposed to be at home Mondays and Tuesdays but it doesn't always work out like that.  He was at work last Tuesday for example but this week looks like it will run to schedule.  

But of course DIY never runs smoothly.  My son and his wife were down for the weekend so we needed to put the mattress on the floor of the room that has just been plastered for them to sleep on.  The mattress (and the rest of the dismantled bed) were in our box room.  Long story short, we managed to break the window moving the mattress as the uprights toppled sideways!  This was at about 7.30 pm Friday evening.  Thankfully the damage is covered by our building insurance and they organised someone to come and make the window safe and they will also organise for it to be properly repaired.

But things could be worse.  Today and tomorrow will be spent at funerals.

Today we went to the funeral of an old friend who we hadn't seem much of over the last few years as he and his family had moved out of London to Kings Lynn in Norfolk.  In his late 50s, he was a keen cyclist and was fit and healthy.  He was out on a cycle ride with friends when he just collapsed and died from a heart attack.  A prime example of the fact you never know what life holds in store.  Although it was shocking, Ray had led an active busy life.  He had lots of interests and many friends.  There were lots of people at the funeral celebrating a life well lived.

Unfortunately tomorrow will probably be harder.  This funeral is for the nephew of hubby's brother.  Sadly he was born very disabled and cognitively impaired.  His parents have been brilliant at caring for him at home but he died suddenly of natural causes last week.  He was only 30.  Parents are not supposed to outlive their children so this will be a very sad day.

Both these deaths have reminded me how short life can be.  One of the Hodgepodge questions last week was about being a people pleaser.  I'm definitely one of those but I think I'm going to try and please myself more, as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else.  

We had a lovely outing on Saturday for my sister-in-law's 60th birthday.  All the siblings and their partners met up for a walk (most of them meeting at our house) and then we ended the day with a meal out at a local pop up restaurant near us.  Prior to the event though I had quite a chat with one of the younger sisters who had agreed to arrange a collection from the rest of us and organise presents for the birthday girl.  She was getting quite stressed because although she had ideas for what to do (including a trip away) she hadn't been able to finalise everything and was worried the rest of us would be cross.

I managed to reassure her that would not be the case if they were all like me and just glad not to have the responsibility.  We also agreed that we won't do presents in future once people get past 60.  If we make it to 70 or even 80, we'll make do with a get together of some sort.  We still have quite a few 60ths to come though so the gift dilemma won't be finished with just yet. 

Another instance of pleasing ourselves.  No one should be stressing out over buying presents on behalf of other people, although it does make sense to club together to get something worthwhile.

With all these things going on I haven't felt very motivated to blog.  It's a bit disconcerting having a disorganised house and not being able to restore some order.  Hopefully on Wednesday I'll be able to make a start on moving things out of my bedroom and lounge.  Fortunately my son and his wife did take almost all the wedding things that were still here home with them yesterday.  We still have a dried flower arrangement as it wouldn't fit in the car but I can live with that a bit longer!

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge 21/9/16

Wednesday's Hodgepodge is brought to us courtesy of Joyce at 
Pop over there to see other posts and if you want to join in add the link to your Hodgepodge blog post to the Linky List at the end of Joyce's post and don’t forget to visit at least your neighbours on the list.
Have fun!

1. Thursday (September 22) is the first official day of autumn in this part of the will you /welcome the season? I know some of you have been celebrating way too early, but it's official now so permission granted. House Beautiful recently listed ten ways to make your home smell like fall (you can read the list here) What's a scent you love this time of year and how will you add it to your home?
Well my house is upside down at the moment due to plastering being done so the most thing you’re likely to smell in my house are cooking smells.  Hopefully they’ll be appetising.
2. Apple pie or pumpkin pie? Apple cake or pumpkin bread? Warm apple cider or a pumpkin spice latte?
Apples all the way although I’m not a cider lover.  Pumpkins are still a pretty new thing here in the UK and more likely to be used for Halloween lanterns than for food.
3. Do you suffer from what is sometimes referred to as an afternoon slump? What helps ward it off before it hits and/or tell us what helps you shake it off once it's here?
Not really.  I often get out for a walk in the afternoon, either to the library, the shops or just for walking.  If I do feel a bit tired I’ll have a cup of tea with something sweet and just take a break for a bit.
4. Ladies-how have your friendships with women inspired you or made you a better person? For the men here today- how have your friendships with men inspired you or made you a better person?
Some of my friends are incredibly positive people and that helps me when I’m not feeling so upbeat.
5. Are you a people pleaser? If you said yes, do you think that's a good or bad thing? If you said no, do you wish you were more of a people pleaser?
I think I am a people pleaser and it’s not always a good thing because sometimes keeping everyone else happy means you sacrifice your own needs.
6. The seasons are a-changin'...share a favorite song relating in some way to change (not necessarily seasonal change, it could be change of any kind).
Well nothing sprang to mind but I googled on YouTube and came up with this:
7. What do you wish would never change?
I’m not sure what makes a good answer to that.  If things didn’t change we wouldn’t experience new things. 
8.  Insert your own random thought here.
As usual another challenging Hodgepodge.  Thank you Joyce.  And thanks to all those who visit me and comment. I love the interaction. Apologies if I miss responding to anyone.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Works in progress! 20/9/16

It seemed a good idea initially to get all the plastering that needs doing (ceilings of two rooms plus walls in one) but now I'm not so sure.  These are the rooms being done.

This one will be done as a guest room.

This one, which is a bit smaller will be my work room.  Not sure how much work I will get done in there but there is a bureau there for paperwork/computing and my sewing machine will go in there when it's finished.


However, as you can see both rooms are empty apart from the larger items of furniture.  And even those (wardrobes and chests of drawers) have been emptied.  Plastering is a messy job and the dust will get everywhere but I wanted to avoid it getting on things like my clothes, bedding etc.

I'm sure you can begin to imagine what the rest of my house looks like.  The stuff had to go somewhere!  The bed from the bigger room has been dismantled and is in the box room we use for storage - hopefully we won't want anything from the shelving in there just now as the mattress is in front of the shelves and you can't even get in the room!

Other items are either in my bedroom or in our lounge.  The whole house looks like a tip at the moment.   It will be another couple of days before the plaster is finished and then I can start on trying to restore some sort of order.  My son and his wife are due at the weekend but they will have to make do with just the mattress on the floor!  I will also have some of hubby's siblings and partners here at the weekend as we are going on a walk and then out for a meal locally for his sister's 60th birthday on Saturday.  Thankfully the kitchen/diner is unaffected by all of this.

My to do list has also grown somewhat.  As we emptied out the rooms I was making mental notes of things that needed to be sold/donated/trashed or just rehomed.  Some of it needs to be rehomed with our kids but that won't be happening in the immediate future.  One couple are currently living with us and the other two are both in rented properties without too much space.  

But despite all the chaos and mess I do actually feel more in control.  Getting this work done is the first step really on a long term project of getting the house how I want it post children.  There is a plan, although it's not going to be done quickly.  But that's ok.  One day, one job at a time. Well maybe not every day (there has to be blogging time) but I'm sure you get the idea.