Got the chance

I was determined to go for an early morning walk on Saturday (12) and put aside for a while the things which have been taking up much of my time. It had been around a week since my last walk as I hadn’t the time to spare. This is where having something to exercise on at home is handy, you still get some exercise even if you can’t do it outdoors. I had spent Friday morning doing just that because of a tight schedule. Anyway the day was beautiful on Saturday, nice and sunny with a slight breeze and comfortable in the not so hot temperatures. Although I had the time for a long walk I chose to walk only four and a half miles. On my return home I came across the postman delivering mail close to my house and he stopped me saying that he had mail for me. I took the two small packages and a letter from him as he delivered next-door’s mail. On going inside I gave the smaller package and letter to E and opened the larger package which was addressed to me. Finally the mask I had ordered had arrived so I put on my overalls and the new mask  and asked E to take a photo…

Very becoming don’t you think? At last I could finish painting the cellar storage room floor and less than an hour later it looked like this…

I don’t know why the walls seem to be different colours but I suppose it is just the way the light is hitting them. The upper of the two pictures reflects more accurately the colour in the room. Now all I need to do is touch-up the walls here and there and put a threshold across the entrance. That won’t take long and I can then say the project is complete.

Shirley Anne

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One thing or another

A Different Kind of Pain
A Different Kind of Pain (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There’s always something going on in life as the saying goes though at this time those ‘somethings’ are not exactly what I have in mind. Another day passes by without anything further done on my projects but still I am active though in a different way. Yesterday we had bright sunshine and it was reasonably warm, only kept cooler because of the breeze. Today (Friday 11) it is quite cold, overcast and windy, a complete change. I would have taken a long walk in the morning but for the fact that I had to drive E to the hospital for her to keep another appointment. Instead, I spent time exercising on the gym equipment before breakfast and waited for E to be ready to go out. This time she was having steroid injections in her left foot in order to alleviate pain in some of her toes. Next week she has further appointments so now I have to plan my work, if I am doing any, around those times. Everything moves at a snail’s pace if I am out with E these days whereas years ago I sometimes had difficulty in just keeping up with her! Strange at it may seem her spinal problems (spina biffida) don’t appear to be causing her as much pain as the other problems she has. Until she contracted the back pain, shoulder pain and problems in her feet she managed to get around quite well. To be honest I don’t know how she would cope if I wasn’t around but I suppose she would somehow. It’s not all doom and gloom though, just something we have to cope with in our lives. I often wonder how we as human beings manage to survive the many health problems many of us face during our lives. If it isn’t one thing it’s another which strikes us unless we are very lucky though some of us are more vulnerable than others I guess.

Shirley Anne

Stop and go

 

All the things I feel I want to get on with I find I am unable to and other things which sometimes or otherwise take second place I find I am doing instead. Work on my little project for the last week or more has been stop and go and at the time of writing this (on the 10 th) it is still in abeyance. To complete the work, which is only to paint the floor and that won’t take long, I need a mask for protection. As my readers will already know I ordered one days ago but have still to receive it. That in itself isn’t a problem but I wish it will come soon so that I can write off the work. Normally I would just get on with other things  but even there I find I am prevented from moving on. The reason for that has been due to my taking on other responsibilities, things which E would normally be doing had she not been incapacitated. Today I had to get in the weekly shopping and ferry her to her appointments so there was little time for anything else. I am not complaining about having that responsibility, I am happy to be able to help her even if it does mean I have to put on hold my little jobs. She is making good progress with her back problem and hopes to be back in circulation soon. Her spinal problem is another matter but she has been coping with that as best she can. It is her muscular back pain which is currently the main issue. After lunch today I was able to do a little gardening maintenance and E came out to see what I was doing.

CDC beets
Beetroot (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A few days ago I planted some seeds in the greenhouse and wondered if any of them would grow for the seeds were old. I planted flowers, tomatoes and beetroot but at this moment only the beetroot seeds have sprouted, all twenty-six of them! E decided we should pot them on into larger pots and she took charge of that and I became the assistant.  The plan is to plant them in one of the flowerbeds between the other plants but only when they are large enough not to be mistaken for weeds! Now E had already planted some melon seeds in several small pots with my assistance and some of them have begun to grow. We are hoping they might produce fruit later in the year and of course they will have to remain in the greenhouse to give them a fighting chance. So although I am not doing much on my projects just now at least I am getting something done and E is benefiting by getting involved with outdoor jobs too.

Shirley Anne

 

 

 

Gone dull again

Never a Dull Moment (EP)
Never a Dull Moment (EP) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The day and the events in it were both dull, at least that’s how I felt it to be. Yes, the day was dull insofar as the weather had reverted to cool and cloudy with spots of rain heavier late in the afternoon. I did spend some time outside but only doing things which were necessary like putting stuff in the bins and putting them out for collection the next day. It was Wednesday (9 th) and according to the old wives’ tale Wednesday’s child is full of woe. Yes, I was born on a Wednesday around nine o’clock in the morning but don’t hold to the belief that I am full of woe! Of course I have bad days as well as good ones, who doesn’t? This day however was the kind of day in which I felt empty of enthusiasm, purpose and inclination yet would gladly jump at the chance to do something constructive given the chance. My problem is I sometimes let things get to me instead of tackling them head-on and getting them out-of-the-way. There was work to be done but I was reluctant to do it and other work I wanted to do but couldn’t because of a lack of materials. There was my tax return to sort out but I put that off too. The silly thing about my tax return is that there is little to put in it having ceased work thirteen months previously. I could have it filled in minutes but it bothered me to even think about it! Had I indicated that I had retired on my last tax return I wouldn’t have to submit one this time. I spent that much time thinking about what could be done there was no time left to actually do anything! However, there was one small job I managed to do during the day and that was to mix a wheelbarrow load of sand and granite dust for use when I tackle filling in the floor of the gym prior to painting it. All I need to do is add the cement as I go along when I decide to do it and that is the crunch as I keep putting it off. I will have to take the plunge and get it done or something else might get in the way……..like lethargy!

Shirley Anne

New editions

At last the weather turned to conditions more to my liking on Tuesday (8 th), cooler (17 deg C) and with a very slight breeze. For most of the day after eleven o’clock it remained cloudy and overcast and it rained once or twice too. It had been bright in the morning and E and I spent an hour or so outside just before lunch. I was dressed and ready for some exercising on the gym equipment soon after arising at eight o’clock and was about to go downstairs when I received a call from a lady for whom I had done electrical work  a year or so back. She wanted to know if I could do a small job for her. After I had explained that I was now retired I asked what the work involved. She wanted an outdoor circuit disconnecting from its source so that the wiring could be removed. I explained I couldn’t do anything immediately as I was about to spend time exercising but offering my services I said I would do it later in the morning. I went there at ten o’clock and was back home an hour later with a little extra cash in my purse. Around twelve-thirty I checked to see if the exercise bike I had ordered the previous week had been scheduled for delivery and discovered it would be with me within the hour. When it arrived the guy carried it into the garage for me so I could then take it indoors later. It came in a large cardboard box and only for the picture on the box could you tell it was the exercise bike. Obviously it would need assembling and that is what E and I did later and after lunch.For the moment we are keeping it where it stands because there is a spare power outlet there. If we decide to move it across the room I would have to install an extra power outlet there as I explained in earlier posts. So the machine represents the latest edition to our equipment but there is one final piece of equipment I am thinking of purchasing later in the year, a rowing machine. That would be the last purchase we make should we decide to buy one.

Shirley Anne

Not bored

English: August Bank Holiday weather. A sudden...
August Bank Holiday weather. A sudden thundery downpour turned The Street into a stream just before midday. A couple of hours later the sun and wind had dried it out completely. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Traditionally E and I have never gone away from home whenever it is a national holiday such as the recent one we had two weeks ago. For many a year the weather has proven to be poor especially on the Spring bank holidays and many folk will take a break in a foreign country for that reason. This year the Spring bank holiday weather was exceptionally warm and sunny over the three-day period so staying at home was fine and there was no need to go chasing after the sun elsewhere. I took advantage of the fine weather to get a little gardening done, setting in five new shrubs, weeding and watering and such but it wasn’t all work as I spent some time relaxing too. One thing I didn’t do was to work indoors though it might have been a possibility had the safety mask been delivered for that was holding up finishing off the little project I had been doing over the previous weeks, the cellar storage room. I needed the mask in order to paint the floor because the floor paint gives off noxious fumes when it is wet. It would have taken less than an hour to complete and I could have done it and still have had plenty of time to relax. As I write this on May 7th I am still waiting on the delivery of the mask. Everything in the cellar room is therefore on hold until the floor is painted but I have not been bored. I am hoping that I will receive the mask tomorrow so I can write off that job. There is always work to do in the gardens of course and while the weather is fine I can get on with them. I have it in mind to carry out repairs to the driveway to the garage E uses and want to get that out-of-the-way too. It looks like I won’t be able to spruce up the gym floor just yet as I thought I might. We are still awaiting delivery of the exercise bike too so I will probably need to install another power outlet for that before I can even think about the floor. It is almost impossible therefore to get bored in this house as long as I wish to do any work.

Shirley Anne

Enough already

Remembering how bad the weather was during the Winter, though in fact it wasn’t that bad at all, I was happy to finally see the thermometer reflecting much higher temperatures. Apart from a couple of really nasty weeks when we had ‘The Beast from the east’ the winter was for the most part reasonably warm. As usual we moaned about the lack of sunshine and a warm breeze but now that the warm weather is here there should be nothing to moan about, unless it rains too much! Over the recent Bank Holiday the weather really had been nice and I for one spent much of the time outside either doing a spot of gardening, mainly weed removal and watering, or sitting on the patio just relaxing. I had been for an early morning walk on the Sunday and had returned home by nine o’clock. After a quick breakfast I went into the garden with a cup of coffee to sit for a while on the bench in front of the patio in the sunshine but soon moved to a shady spot on the patio itself because it was unbearable sitting in the bright sunshine.

The only shade on the patio was that behind the nearest column of the archway or in the ‘secret’ garden behind the gate in front of the garage at that time in the morning. The bench shown above faces slightly south of east and by nine o’clock in the morning the sun is quite high in the sky at this time of year. I often sit there for that reason but on that Sunday I’d had enough of the sun already having walked about in it for a couple of hours. After lunch it was a different story and although I was on the patio in full sunshine again I didn’t complain. The sun is in the sky above the garage and we get the benefit of it for around four hours there on the patio if it isn’t cloudy. Of course much of the garden remains in full sunshine most of the day anyway at this time of year. One good thing about having sunshine and warm weather is that I can get the outdoor jobs done so as much as I like sitting and relaxing if the weather is fine I can’t do that for long. Sometimes though it can be too uncomfortable working in the heat.

Shirley Anne

Fast or what?

 

I could be writing about myself for I was often told how fast I worked and how fast I got things done. However, I did not consider myself to be a fast as was suggested though I do admit to making it seem that way! Experience cultivates a quick resolution to any problem. To us some insects seem to move with breakneck speed but from their point of view, if they had one, I suppose they would see us as lethargic creatures. Many things in nature move quickly by our standards. We all know how fast ants move about especially when disturbed and how quickly flying insects move about, so fast we cannot see them much of the time. Trying to swat a fly will remind us that we move much more slowly than they do. In the plant world there are those which takes ages to grow and those which can even be seen growing before our eyes if we have the patience to sit and watch. In extreme cases plants can grow at an enormous pace, like some species of kelp whose growth rate per day is measured in many centimetres, even up to a metre! Thank goodness it isn’t a land growing species but there are nevertheless some land-based plants which can grow very quickly too though not perhaps as fast as kelp.

A plant finds a nook and grows on the side of ...
A plant finds a nook and grows on the side of a building. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The plants we often don’t think about as fast growers are some species of weeds. I was talking with E a few days ago regarding the frequency we have been digging out weeds lately. I am not talking about dandelions here though they grow fast enough, no, I am referring to the smaller weeds that are often missed when trying to eradicate them. One particular weed which I have endeavoured to identify but have not been able to seems to pop up all over the place in the flowerbeds with great frequency. It has a small cluster of ground-hugging tiny leaves out of the centre of which grows a very thin stem the top of which has tiny white flowers. They grow to about ten centimetres high I guess and are very easily plucked out of the soil as the roots are small and don’t grow far down below the surface. They are more of a nuisance to pick out than a threat to the other plants. Oh well that is what gardening is all about, growing those plants you want and removing those you don’t. As I said to E, I think it would be far easier to grow weeds than have to keep digging them out.

Shirley Anne

 

Wait ’till Tuesday

Bank holiday
Bank holiday (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is late Friday afternoon and this weekend here in the UK it is the Spring Bank Holiday which means no work, generally speaking, until Tuesday. I have not long returned home from a short walk to the chemist to collect some tablets I was prescribed for a fungal infection in my toenails. I should have collected them earlier but other things got in the way and I simply forgot. I was up early and spent some time on the treadmill and cross-trainer before having my breakfast. I had to wait for E to get up and come downstairs before deciding to take a shower just in case she needed assistance. There would be no work today for at eleven-thirty she had an appointment at the local hospital and I had to take her there. She is presently unable to drive herself because of her condition and the medication she is taking. The appointment took about a half-hour after which we would normally have driven back home but we made a detour and paid our neighbour who was admitted to hospital a few days earlier a brief visit, (see earlier post). Although she has lost an awful lot of weight she is looking much better though she always was slim anyway. She is however very poorly and knows herself she is living on borrowed time but she remains jovial and positive. Hopefully she will be able to return home by this coming Tuesday (8th). We spent over an hour with her before finally leaving for home. It was way after two o’clock when we had lunch and then I had to go out again for my prescription. Now as I write it is almost four o’clock and that is why I say there will be no work for me until Tuesday. I have just received a mail indicating the face mask I had ordered in order to protect me from the floor paint fumes is on its way so I could do some work tomorrow but I won’t. I propose to take full advantage of the three-day break which as it happens is forecast to be hot and sunny.

Shirley Anne

Faith to believe

The post is mainly aimed at those who doubt, who do not believe in God or Jesus Christ but it equally applies to believers too. Since becoming a Christian believer myself almost thirty years ago after a lifetime of staunchly adhering to atheism it has always been my passion to introduce others to Christ. Some say that to believe one has to have an inclination that way in the first place and for many I guess that could be true but I also think that many would turn to Christ if they really knew more about him. It is true that a desire to know more and to have an inquiring heart really does help and even Scripture tells us this. God says that those who earnestly seek Him WILL find Him. I always say too that the alternative does not bear thinking about! All I can add is to reach out to God and He will respond……..and He already knows what you will do………..

Shirley Anne

Now That's What I Call Faith
Now That’s What I Call Faith (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

FAITH AND UNBELIEF (Mark 5:24–34)

Faith is different from feelings. Feelings are based on circumstances, and they change like the weather. Faith involves acting, trusting and believing that God is real, at work and working for believers’ good—regardless of what one may happen to feel at the moment. In fact, sometimes faith leads believers in the opposite direction of feelings.

The woman in this passage had been suffering for a long time. As her disorder involved blood, she was perpetually “unclean” (according to Jewish law), and as a result had likely been ostracized by her community. When she heard about the healing power of Jesus, she boldly braved the large crowd and reached out to him in faith. His response: “Daughter, your faith has healed you” (Mk 5:34).

God invites people to faithfully trust him for all of life (Pr 3:5–6). The way of Jesus is the way of trust. All throughout his life on earth, Jesus demonstrated absolute faith in his Father and challenged his followers to exercise the same kind of faith.

For many reasons, people are prone to doubt. Modern western culture is fraught with skepticism. The contemporary search for truth says, “Understand in order to believe.” And against this thinking, Jesus has always maintained, “Believe in order to understand.” In the struggle with doubt and unbelief, Jesus encourages people, “Don’t be afraid; just believe” (Mk 5:36). The way of Jesus is the way of trusting God every day, for this life and the next.

Prayer
Jesus, please don’t let me get distracted by feelings, which can be so fickle. I want to believe in you, trust in you and surrender to you, even when I don’t feel like it. Amen.

Taken from NIV The Jesus Bible

Shirley Anne