And now?

So then here we are again on the brink of another new year and what have we done. John Lennon asked that same question some years ago in his song ‘So this is Christmas‘. Did you think about the question then? One of the things I tire of about the perpetual merry-go-round we in the western world ride each year is that nothing ever changes. It isn’t so much the things which people cling to in order to keep up with the Jones’ or follow like sheep in the tradition of others else feel left out, no, it is more the stupidity of their mindset. We are after all free spirits are we not? Why then is there the need to do anything because others do it? We can think for ourselves, do as we please (within the constraints of a civilised society of course) and live how we wish, it is entirely a free choice. No-one pressures anyone else into doing something they really don’t want to do you would think but often the opposite is true. The bland statement of  ‘Oh well we are human beings and expect and accept our behaviour’, is a measure of our own defeat. It’s about time we stopped following all the other sheep who eat in the same old pasture and go find another field, do our own thing.

If you could start your life anew
What would you think or say or do?
If everything you did before
Could be wiped clean and be no more
Would you respond and let it be
Or stay still blind and never see?
You may not think that this is true
But all these words apply to you.

Shirley Anne 21 Dec 2017

So what will change for you this year? Have the promises you made to yourself last year been kept? Probably not in most cases or if they have they probably didn’t take root because they were starved of nourishment and consequently died to become a forgotten memory. Well another year has passed and you are still stuck in the rut, still doing the same old thing, still supporting some nasty habits and maybe now regretting your lack of will-power. Do something different, make some changes and keep them, you owe it to yourself. Who knows how long we may live, chances missed, opportunities passed-by, reluctant attitudes and by this time next year you will look exactly like you do now. Whatever paths you take make sure they are good ones, ones which will stay the course in your life. Make this year the best you’ve ever had but for all the right reasons.

Shirley Anne

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Last working day of the year

As long as it didn’t rain on Saturday (23) I intended to spend some more time in the garden again. It would be the last day in the year for doing any work for me but alas it didn’t happen. I had gotten up early and went for a long walk down the coastal road to Ainsdale. I chose that route as it was still dark at the time I went, 7.30. I wanted to take the route through the sand dunes but that could have proved very difficult in the dark. However, by the time I decided to return home it was light so I walked back through the dunes. When on the beach the sky was clear toward the south but northward it was dark and heavy. To the south I could see the mountains of North Wales, easily seen when the skies are clear. The oil rig westward out to sea was still fully lit against the dark sky. This time the tide had receded before I arrived but it had left an enormous amount of seaweed behind! I walked northward again along the beach to the point in the dunes where I would turn into them and off the beach. I was back home before 10.00 and had breakfast whilst E was busy doing something associated with her crafting hobby. As I mentioned I wanted to do a little gardening but events got in the way during the rest of the morning. After lunch I just didn’t feel like doing anything. It has been quite a busy twelve months with all the projects that I have been involved with both inside and outside the house. It helped not having to do electrical work for others, at least for the last nine months anyway. My time became my own and I could concentrate on my little domestic projects, and there were many! Just the way I like it, better for my health and well-being to have things to do to wile away the time. When I look back on the year I am amazed just how much was done, all of them written about in my posts, and there was still plenty of time to relax too. Saturday afternoon being one of them. There was always Sunday for a potter around the garden!

Shirley Anne

Not quite to plan

In yesterday’s post I mentioned I was leaving off working on any projects at home until the new year. However, as I am too active a person I didn’t include that to mean I wouldn’t be doing anything! For a time now I have been considering moving the rhubarb from the small bed the corms were in and putting them in the raised bed between the two greenhouses. I had cleared the bed some months ago so it is lying empty at the moment.

With that in mind I dug them out and now have a small spare space in which to plant something else.

For the time being (as I write this on Fri 22) I have placed the corms on the large empty bed. I intend to dig in some compost from the compost bin before planting them. They will occupy the far end of the bed next to the main garden wall as E wishes to grow some vegetables in the same bed later. I think she’s intending to plant beetroot and maybe some other root vegetables though not potato, not this time round anyway. I have been wondering what to put in the spare space, another dwarf fan palm? A dwarf conifer? Flowers? I am not sure right now but I would prefer something on the taller side rather than ground-hugging. I have also been busy digging out a few montbretia plants that have been popping up here and there. If my readers remember I spent the first three or four months of the year digging out those rascals along with bluebells. I expect I will be doing much the same these next few months too although on a much smaller scale as I expect there to be far fewer.

Shirley Anne

 

It is the start

English: Gayle Beck After a morning of constan...
Gayle Beck After a morning of constant drizzle, Gayle beck is seen flowing through Hawes with a fair volume of water. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am writing this on Thursday 21 after having my lunch. I had missed breakfast as I tend to do when I plan going for a walk in the morning. This morning was no exception. It has been a wet and dull morning with no prospect of any sunshine at all today. It wasn’t raining heavily when I went out but there was a constant drizzle, fine rain, the sort that drifts slowly down from the sky and seems to get into every nook and cranny not effectively screened from it. Even such fine drizzle can lead to streams of gushing water in some places. Anyway, it wasn’t going to prevent my enjoyment and off I went. I headed to the beach and walked toward the pier at which point I took to the roadside because there was too much mud on the beach for the next couple of hundred metres. I decided to remain on the roadside and continued as far as I wished until turning off to return homeward along a different route. I did return to the seafront for the last part of my walk. By the time I arrived home I was ready to do it all over again……but I didn’t. It proves a point, one which I already knew anyway, that the more we exercise the more we want to and are able to. It is all about building up stamina. When we exercise our bodies produce endorphins, ‘Any of a group of hormones secreted within the brain and nervous system and having a number of physiological functions. They are peptides which activate the body’s opiate receptors, causing an analgesic effect.‘ In other words exercising makes you feel good. It is the start of Winter (Dec 21 or thereabouts) today if it can be pinned down to the calendar of course. It is so mild despite the rain. For some time now I have done little in the way of work at home though there are some things in the pipeline ahead which I plan on doing. I made the decision to put off all little projects until the beginning of the new year and simply enjoy doing nothing for a while, apart from my exercising of course.

Shirley Anne

 

Meeting people

A Walk to Remember
A Walk to Remember (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was getting back into the routine of exercising yesterday, that would be Monday 18th and today I resumed my walking routine too. Quite often when I go out for a walk I meet someone who knows me, even when I am distant from home. That’s to be expected considering I have spent many years working in the area until earlier this year. Often I am taken by surprise when people approach and greet me by name for I can almost guarantee I have forgotten theirs. I remember their faces and even after they have reminded me that I worked for them and where they live I still cannot remember their names. So on Tuesday I planned to walk for five miles and headed northward on roads a little distance from the seafront. I passed along the Promenade to the other side of  the town centre then took another road off the main route. At this point I was greeted by a man walking his dog but I didn’t recognise him (or the dog!). “Hello Shirley Anne” he said as we approached each other. He was wondering why I was so far from home as I told him I take long walks frequently though not always in the same direction. He was doing likewise but as he admitted he was more or less obliged to so the dog could get the exercise. I think he enjoys it too. We parted company and I continued on my chosen route. As I headed toward the coastal road I met the same guy again walking toward me. He had taken a circuitous route which crossed mine so we were bound to pass by each other again. This time I quipped ” We’ll have to stop meeting like this” and he smiled. I apologised to him for not remembering his name and asked him what it was. His name was Andrew. He headed home and I headed for the beach, if you could call it by that name for at that point it is all grass! I could see the tide was turning and beginning to come in but the water was still far off. I walked the whole way back toward home on the beach until eventually the grass gave way to sand and I was standing beneath the pier. The water was much nearer there but still far enough away to allow me to continue to my exit point a mile away. A guy had come onto the beach near to the pier with his bicycle and had proceeded to fill a large bag with seaweed. There is always a lot of seaweed washed up on the beach. Saying hello I asked him why he was collecting it and he told me that he uses it as a compost in his garden. He told me he grows vegetables and that the seaweed is an excellent fertilizer as it contains high amounts of amino acids, iron and other nutrients ideal for his plants. I had thought he was collecting it to eat though no-one in their right mind would eat the seaweed that washes up hereabouts. Maybe it is safe to eat but I wouldn’t like to try it. I might consider trying it as a fertilizer though. I continued along the beach toward home thinking about seaweed as a fertilizer additive to our compost bin.

Shirley Anne

 

 

 

The way it goes

Gym Cardio Area Overlooking Greenery Category:...
Gym Cardio Area Overlooking Greenery Category:Fitness_training Category:Elliptical_Cross_Trainers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It was Monday 18th, a week before Christmas day and I was set to resume my workout regime after a week of abstinence. The reason for the abstinence I mentioned in a previous post but essentially it was to allow my muscles to recuperate after I had overworked them on our new elliptical trainer. Now that they had recuperated I was eager to resume exercising. Although I had been for a couple of short walks during the week in order to do some exercise I needed to get started again on the gym equipment. Maybe it was that I simply wasn’t tired enough but I found it very difficult to get to sleep on Sunday evening. I found myself tossing and turning throughout the night until eventually I fell asleep properly. However, it was by then 4.30 which meant I didn’t wake until almost 11.00 . E had gone out somewhere and probably wouldn’t be home until late in the afternoon. I dragged myself out of bed and dressed in my sportswear. After a short warm-up and a spell on the vibrating machine which helps loosen up the muscles I got on the treadmill and began my exercise. Half an hour later I mounted the elliptical trainer and began exercising on that, very slowly and only at a walking pace. I was determined not to do any strenuous exercise on the machine this first time after abstaining from using it. After about fifteen minutes I stopped. Maybe at the next visit I will begin to extend my time on it. Although I wasn’t too warm after my exercising I went into the garden to cool off anyway and as usual with me I am looking to see if there are any weeds which I can pull out when out there. This time I ended up sweeping leaves and putting them in the wheelie bin!. It was time to return indoors and change out of my sportswear and dress for the day. It was 1 o’clock. Time for lunch. I had it in mind to go for a walk but changed my mind, I would be going for a long walk the following day and didn’t want to overdo things by exercising too much. According to the weather forecast we were in for some fine weather for a few days which is always nice when going for walks.

Shirley Anne

With all my heart

I’ve a wonderful love
That’s so deep in my heart
Came into my life
Gave me a new start
Through all of my sorrows
My troubles and pain
Whenever I fell
I was lifted again.
The joy of this love
Gives to each one a share
With no special favours
To black, brown or fair.
Take hold of this love
There for each one of us
The love of my Saviour
My sweet Lord Jesus.

Copyright Shirley Anne 31 March 2003

Dear Lord my God, my Heavenly Father I give you praise

You are worthy to receive honour and glory and praise

For You are the I AM, you are the Creator of all things

You created all things through your Son my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ

He is my Redeemer my Saviour God

Today the world celebrates your birth, the day you came down from heaven to live amongst us

Immanuel! We cry out Immanuel – God with us

You take away the sins of the people that we may be presented pure and holy before The Father

For all those who believe on your name there is Salvation.

Thank you for the greatest gift we could ever receive

Thank you Jesus for loving me.

Today as in every day my soul rejoices in the knowledge of your love

I pray for those who don’t know you, for those who reject you

Forgive them Father for they know not what they are doing forgive them in Jesus’ name I ask

Give them O God another opportunity today to get to know you.

Thank you Jesus

Amen

 

Shirley Anne

Why do we say that?

Most of us will have used and still do use the phrases seen below and many more besides. Not all the origins if any of these sayings and phrases will be known by most of us either I don’t suppose. The reasons we use them are usually to enhance the meaning of something we have said or to give it an analogy. Many of these phrases are also often used in error or they are misquoted in ignorance.  We may think these sayings are relatively new but in fact many of them originated centuries ago. Their possible use was first of all to add humour to a situation or to explain graphically an event. Whatever their original use they still maintain a presence in our lives today. Probably most of the time we don’t think about using them because they have become a part of the way we express ourselves.

Pulling out the stops
Head over heels
Dressed to the nines
As dead as a door nail
Sleep tight
Raining cats and dogs
Gordon Bennett
A little bird told me
A load of cobblers
Motley Crew

Here is a site which traces the origins and use of the sayings we use..

https://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/index.html

Have fun reading about them.

Shirley Anne

Beans at the ready

If there is one thing you could say about beans it is that they really let you know who your friends are! I refer to the following day after eating them of course but we’ll not explore that. It has become somewhat of a small tradition with me that I have beans on toast on Christmas day instead of a roast dinner with turkey (or some other unfortunate bird), roasted potatoes, vegetables and all the trimmings that come with a Christmas dinner.

English: Beans on toast
Beans on toast (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What is so special about a Christmas dinner anyway? Many folk have roasted dinners every week which are not any different from a Christmas dinner. The real difference is probably the company with which the meal is shared, this is what makes it special. For myself I no longer eat Christmas dinner. One reason, probably the main reason is I have no-one with which to share it but there are other reasons too, I don’t really want to stuff myself silly with a large roast dinner. The tendency is to eat far more than we should on such occasions and that habit I am happy to forego. I spend Christmas day, that is the afternoon and early evening alone. E spends the day with her mom and brother and some members of the family. I am never invited just as her sister now isn’t either. This doesn’t bother me and it doesn’t matter as I don’t celebrate the day as they do anyway. So much for the love we are supposed to be showing to others at this and any other time of the year. The secular Christmas should have no meaning to a Christian except maybe to have an opportunity to witness. So as long as I can have my beans on toast, with a fried egg or two on top I am happy. Why did Christmas get hi-jacked by the secular world? They saw it as an opportunity to revel, to party and to have a good time (nothing wrong with all that) but it lacks endurance, it simply doesn’t last and at the end of the day (literally) doesn’t really satisfy completely for if it did there wouldn’t be a reason to do it all over again. Having Jesus as your Saviour however does satisfy because that lasts forever.

Shirley Anne

New start

Today, well sometime today it will be the event we call The Winter Solstice.

English: The Earth at the start of the 4 (astr...
The Earth at the start of the 4 (astronomical) seasons as seen from the north and ignoring the atmosphere (no clouds, no twilight).  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is that point in the Earth’s orbit about the Sun whereby the north pole of the Earth begins once again to tilt toward the Sun. At the same time the south pole begins to tilt away from the Sun and for those living in the southern hemisphere it marks their Summer Solstice. Our hemisphere will slowly become warmer and theirs gradually will become cooler over the next few months. The major parts of the Earth feeling those effects are the temperate regions, for anyone living near or in the tropics the effects are less noticeable. Whichever way you look at it the year is starting over, new beginnings, new possibilities, new promises. Yes, we can promise ourselves all these things and many do just that at the start of the new calendar year by making resolutions. Nothing will change however unless the spirit is willing. Many promises are not fulfilled, not even to ourselves. There is hope. Try promising yourself something new, something that will be worth the effort. You will finally gain the victory over empty promises and a future of uncertainty…….

Shirley Anne

JESUS’ VICTORY (John 12:31–32)

31 Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. 32 And I, when I am lifted up[a] from the earth, will draw all people to myself.’

This verse marks the declaration of Christ’s complete victory over the kingdom of the world. Jesus foretold this event in John 12:31–32, and in Revelation his promise is manifested. After Jesus’ victory was declared, the 24 elders “fell on their faces and worshiped God” (Rev 11:16). Five times in the book of Revelation the elders similarly demonstrate with their bodies the posture of their hearts (5:8,14; 7:11; 11:26; 19:4).

This absolute victory should cause those who rebel against Christ to shudder. Their doom is promised and assured. They will face the tribulation and punishment described in John’s vision. Yet, Jesus’ ultimate victory is a great hope for his followers. Though the world is in chaos, believers can be assured that Jesus has already won the victory over sin and death, and that the whole earth will soon see this victory. The kingdom of God will fully and finally come on earth as it has been in heaven (Mt 6:9–13). At the end of time, God’s promise from Genesis 3:15 will come true as the offspring of the woman will crush the serpent’s head forever.

Jesus, I can’t wait to fall on my face and worship you in your presence. Until then, please help me keep the right posture of my heart, always submitted to and honouring you. Amen.

Taken from NIV The Jesus Bible

Think what it would be like to know you gave yourself the opportunity to start afresh instead of each year ending up with empty promises. The promise of salvation and eternal life is yours if you want it, just believe in Jesus Christ.

Shirley Anne

 

All been said before

Deep in the valley of sorrow and sadness,
Where my life was ebbing away,
I saw a light, it was shining so brightly,
That my eyes did draw me to stay.

Out of the darkness a hand pulled me gently,
And effortlessly lift me above,
I felt the warmth and a power surround me,
The power of ineffable love.

Copyright Shirley Anne 19 Feb 1999

The above poem was dedicated to my father just before he died.

The Power to Believe
The Power to Believe (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

He always maintained a belief in God though I was never quite sure because he didn’t talk about it. However his way of life and his love for my mother and we his children would indicate he was a God-fearing man. When we as Christians talk about fear in this way we mean having respect for our Creator, His awesomeness, His power, His love. It is not fear in the everyday meaning of the word as in being frightened or scared. True love casts out all fear. If we love God and we know He loves us we have the assurance of His love. Does everyone love God? Unfortunately no. often simply by the way they live they show a lack of love for Him. People might say they just don’t understand but God says in His word that there is no excuse for not believing because of the evidence which surrounds us…. Romans 1:20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

If knowing this people who still remain stubborn still remain in sin and will be judged accordingly. It seems stupid to me that people will reject the free gift of Gods love by rejecting His Son our Lord Jesus Christ and be set free from their sins. Why face God as a sinner when you know that He cannot look upon sin? It will be too late to do anything about it once you have died. So if you are about to celebrate Christmas think about the reason for Christ‘s birth, what was the purpose? He came to save sinners from eternal damnation and give them eternal life. All He asks is they repent and believe in Him. Make this Christmas one to remember, one that changed your life and gave you hope.

Shirley Anne

A step too far

Ever regretted having done something and paying the price for it later? I was browsing my dashboard here at Minkyweasel World and noticed a couple of readers had browsed and presumably read a post I had written two years ago in late December. You can read it here…(https://minkyweasel.com/2015/12/29/counting-the-cost/). At the time I was referring to the financial cost of Christmas and why people impose upon themselves the burden. Later in the post I talked about the real reason for Christmas. As often I re-read a previous article when someone else has taken an interest in it just to remind me of its content. Having re-read that article it reminded me of something that has happened to me a few times in my life, the penalty one pays after overdoing something. I wouldn’t call myself an alcoholic but have over-indulged many a time in my past. I hasten to add here that I haven’t touched a drop of alcohol in over five, or is it six years? There was a reason for my abstinence this last and final time though. I had never considered giving up the habit, I saw no reason to give it up completely. Whereas before I would ‘go on the wagon’ for a few years for one reason or another this last time was different. I was sitting at home seated quietly on the sofa and half-watching the television as I recall when I heard a loud voice speaking to me as if someone was standing close behind. Two words were spoken, ‘Stop drinking’, and then all went quiet again. I really thought that someone was standing behind me but I was alone in the room. My personal belief is that God was telling me to stop drinking. It wasn’t the first time God had spoken to me, there were two other occasions but they are another story. Many times I suffered from the after effects of drinking alcohol but repeatedly continued again once sober. I wasn’t addicted insomuch as I could take it or leave it, I wasn’t dependent upon it but perhaps had I not ceased I might well now be an alcoholic. Like many things in life there is often a price to be paid for our overindulgence. It is Tuesday 12 as  write this and I can hardly walk a step without feeling pain. In fact I have been finding it difficult to stand up from a seated or lying down position since yesterday morning, my upper leg muscles won’t lift my body. My condition is slowly improving but in the meantime I have to remain patient. The cause of the problem is my overindulging activity on the new Elliptical Trainer followed by a stint on the Treadmill! Put simply my leg muscles were not used to the type of exercise the Trainer gives and although I was cautious in using it I wasn’t cautious enough. Now I have to wait for restoration before I can resume my exercise regime. Naturally I will have to resume slowly else get myself into more mischief! One step too far…..something to be avoided.

Shirley Anne

Feels so strange

At this time of year I was always busy working but this year all that has changed. Since my retirement back in April I have not done any electrical work to speak of, just a couple of very minor jobs and some of them were at home anyway. From around September until the week preceding Christmas I was kept busy doing electrical work with little time for myself. I was used to the pressure but then again I worked better under pressure, still do. However over the last few weeks I have had very little work to do, certainly no contract work and what I have been doing at home wasn’t that taxing. Don’t misunderstand me here, I am glad the pressure has been lifted from my shoulders and that now I can please myself what I do and when I do it. It is simply that it feels a little strange having all this freedom. I have been occupying myself outside of any domestic jobs I do by taking walks and exercising more on what equipment we have accumulated over the last few years. I am currently getting to grips with the new elliptical trainer we purchased a week or so back. Having not used one before it certainly felt strange when making the first attempt! I am more used to the treadmill, that is my muscles are more used to it.

Collage of several of Gray's muscle pictures, ...
Collage of several of Gray’s muscle pictures, by Mikael Häggström (User:Mikael Häggström) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With the elliptical trainer however those muscles are exercised in a different way and other muscles not exercised much when running or even walking have to adjust too. I wake up in the mornings with a kind of joy in my heart knowing I haven’t any reason to rush into the day so in a way that too feels strange, though I am getting used to it. To be honest I rarely lie in bed for long once I am awake and half the time I have something in mind I want to do anyway. I never thought of it before but having one’s remaining years free to one’s self is often not appreciated until the time it arrives. I’ll try to make the most of them.

Shirley Anne