Shall I or not?

Reluctant to begin the day on Tuesday, that would be the 17 th, I lay there in bed making all sorts of excuses to remain there. However, lying in bed too long is not something I find easy to do so up I got though still reluctantly. The promise I made myself the day before was to skim over the wall I had rendered and for some reason I didn’t want to. Perhaps I had enough of the mixing of cement and wanted a rest from it. I eventually arrived downstairs for breakfast but made no effort to start work afterward. E came into the room around nine-thirty and as she sat down to her breakfast we watched tv. Before breakfast I had placed some articles in the washing machine and now they were ready to hang up to dry. The day was damp with the odd spot of rain now and then so the washing had to be hung up in the cellar. I did that and whilst down there I looked in on the work I had done the day before. I still couldn’t make up my mind whether to continue with it and went upstairs. With thoughts of ‘shall I or shall I not’ running around in my head I finally gave in and donned my overalls. I was now decided and off I went to skim the wall. I spent an hour or so trying to level it all off but didn’t succeed completely though it was far better than the way I had left it the day before. I was satisfied that it was good enough but then changed my mind and decided I would go over it again where it was necessary but using plaster next time. It wouldn’t need much plaster to fill-in the odd few spots and there was plenty of plaster in storage for the job. Having cleaned all the tools and buckets I returned upstairs happy that I had made the effort instead of letting the day pass-by without doing what I knew needed to be done.

Shirley Anne


Dragging on a bit

It was Monday (16) again at last and I could get on with the work in the cellar. I must admit that this particular project seems to be dragging on a bit insomuch as I don’t feel I am making progress fast enough. First of all I had those large holes in both the walls and ceiling to contend with which took quite some time to complete when I filled them in. Unfortunately the holes couldn’t be filled in one go but had to be done in stages. The same principle applies with rendering the wall and that is why I say it is dragging on. Even though it has taken days for me to get anywhere with the rendering I have made progress and at the time of writing all that needs to be done is to skim over it in places. I took this picture soon after I had finished for the day.

It looks dark because it is still wet. If I am able to skim over it tomorrow, that is Tuesday, it will take a further two or three days to dry out, maybe even four or five. I will be able to continue with the decoration of the rest of the room while it dries and then I will be able to seal the wall and later on again paint it. That may all be delayed a little as I may fill in the holes in the floor of the room and carry on doing the same in the gym whilst I am working with the cement. If my readers will remember I did mention I intended doing something with the floor in the gym. We have decided to paint the floor in there so it needs some filling in beforehand. Monday afternoon turned out bright and sunny and all I wanted to do was sit out on the patio to enjoy it. That I managed to do for a while. As the weather gets better I will want to be outside more often though not just to sit about doing nothing, I have a couple of outdoor projects to keep me occupied in the months ahead.

Shirley Anne

Sunday was

Sunday had been a totally different day and although the weather forecast promised rain it stayed dry during the day. It was much cooler too with an overcast sky. Not really a great day but I wasn’t going anywhere, I remained indoors throughout, didn’t even go into the garden. My day of rest meant just that but I wasn’t idle, I did some baking. I had gotten up around eight in order to get some exercise on the treadmill and cross-trainer before breakfast. I was just finishing breakfast when E appeared. It was approaching ten o’clock. I had to return upstairs to get out of my sportswear and get dressed for the day. After a spot of reading and checking emails I became bored so I decided to do a little baking, this time a very simple bake-rock cakes. They are so easy to make a child could do it…..Ingredients:
1/2 lb self-raising flour
1/4 lb butter
3 oz caster sugar
4 oz mixed dried fruit (I used sultanas and currants)
1 standard egg
1 or 2 tablespoons milk.
Rub butter into flour with fingers in a bowl until it forms a crumble
Add fruit and sugar and mix
Beat egg and milk then add to form a stiff mixture but not sticky.
Take portions of mixture and either roll into a ball or simply stack on a well buttered baking tray leaving plenty of space between each portion to allow for expansion.
Place in the centre of a pre-heated oven at 400 deg F (204 deg C) or slightly less if fan assisted for fifteen to twenty minutes. When done transfer to a cooling rack before storing unless they are to be eaten immediately.

I like them because they are so easy to make and very tasty.

It was almost time for lunch when I had finished but I didn’t eat until two o’clock. I had been browsing my personal writings which I keep in ring binders and books and one of them I post here….

O the glory of His presence
Fills me each and every day
And I get up every morning
With the urgent need to pray
For my Saviour has reminded me
That by my side He’ll stay
My Saviour rests with me.

As I go about my daily tasks
He whispers in my ears
And I often have to stop and think
For well I know He cares
He’ll be guiding me and moulding me
Throughout the coming years
So faithful is my Lord

O so often I do think on Him
For His sweet and saving grace
His persistence and undying love
The warmth of His embrace
So I’ll honour Him as best I can
‘Till we meet face to face
My great Redeemer King

Copyright Shirley Anne (1989-1998)

In those days I never recorded the date I wrote my songs and poems I only know which era. I wrote something each and every day so there are literally hundreds of them. Some are posted in my blog pages. So that pretty much summed-up my Sunday. Monday would again see me active on my project.

Shirley Anne

Too tired

English: Sleepy Head Usually the bats sleep in...
Sleepy Head Usually the bats sleep in the roof. This one was so tired, it fell asleep above a kitchen window for the day. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You might think that for someone who is very tired sleep comes easy but unfortunately that isn’t always the case for me. Although I had been very busy on Thursday and was tired when I went to bed getting to sleep eluded me. I tossed and turned throughout the night and felt awful when I got up in the morning. After having something for breakfast I felt so much better though I did remain a little sleepy. I spent some time on the project (see yesterday’ post) and by the afternoon I was ready to go to bed but of course I didn’t, not at that time. Later however when I did go to bed sleep came very easy and I was out for the count in minutes! I had a really good night’s sleep and should have been ready to do some more work but I decided to take a break from it and have the next two days off, Saturday and Sunday. I decided a walk was on the cards so before breakfast, which incidentally I missed altogether, I dressed to go for the walk. It wasn’t that warm on Saturday morning as I left the house but it wasn’t cold either. About half-way through the walk things changed, the clouds rolled away and it became warm in the bright sunshine. By the time I had returned home my coat was beginning to make me feel uncomfortable wearing it. I was ready to eat something so had a slightly early lunch, though it was by then approaching one o’clock. E had been busy at the top of the house and didn’t have lunch until two. I in the meantime went onto the patio to sit in the now warmer sunshine. E joined me not long after but neither of us sat there too long as we began digging out a few sycamore seedlings and weeds. We did return to the patio however to make the most of the fine weather while it lasted. Sunday looked gloomy as plenty of rain had been forecast but during the week ahead we had been promised high temperatures and bright sunshine. When we returned indoors we sat and watched the Grand National horse race, the only horse race we do watch throughout the year.

Shirley Anne

Just takes time…..

It just takes time especially if you are shall we say an amateur. Well I have to admit that for the many jobs I tackle I am indeed an amateur but I am an experienced amateur all the same. I think experience counts a lot and skills can only be improved by actual hands-on experience. The more we do certain things in fact anything at all the better we get at doing them. Even very experienced people get as the saying goes ‘rusty’ if they lay off doing things for long periods. I remember when working as an electrician for the supply industry I used to get rusty now and then when I hadn’t done certain things such as working with conduit or mineral-insulated cables. It was bending the conduit accurately and stripping off the exterior copper on the mineral-insulated cables which I found I had to spend a little more time in doing in order to get it right. Now it has been a long time since I applied a render to a wall whether that was plaster or cement. They are not the things I have needed to do on a regular basis. Those who do it for a living on the other hand will find it easy, that’s why they are professionals in their disciplines. Anyway I don’t make excuses for the work I attempt but at least I have a go! As my readers will know my latest project or rather part of it has been to render a wall in the storage room down in the cellar. Not being confident in doing it all in one go, for I know my limitations, I partitioned the wall using wooden battens and applied the render in stages. On Thursday morning (10 th) I began the work and the following day I reached this far with it.Aside from the top portion the base coating is done. It is anything but level of course and that was intended, the wall will be skimmed over when it has dried out to allow that. I also need to remove the battens later and fill in the spaces they leave. It takes time but time I have a plenty!

Shirley Anne

Without the mixer

I write this shortly after twelve noon on Thursday 13 th having returned downstairs and dressed to dine out for lunch with E. She is presently doing the weekly shop and won’t return until one-thirty. It is a good arrangement we have as she likes shopping for groceries whereas I don’t. I only do it if I have to. Now as she doesn’t like doing many of the things I get up to, though she does like some of them, it makes sense. Anyway my aim this morning was to mix some cement render and begin applying it to the cellar storage room wall. Soon after breakfast therefore I went into the garage where the materials are stored and I began mixing two of the ingredients by hand in the wheelbarrow. I didn’t wish to use the cement mixer for this job as it will be done in stages, a little bit at a time. What I do is mix the two ingredients which are sand and granite dust (granno) and then add the cement only when it is needed. I then take a small quantity of the mixture and add the cement to it before adding the water. This way I only have to mix the amount I need each time without adding  the cement to the whole batch then having to use it all. This is as far as I got today

Each side of the wooden battens were cemented in. Once the whole spaces are filled and dry the battens can be removed and the spaces filled-in too. I applied a coat of oil to the wood before the cement was applied. This prevents the cement from adhering to the wood and should make them easier to take out. Yesterday I gave the ceiling a coat of emulsion though it will require another coat later and then I added a piece of architrave to the left side of the door as there wasn’t one there and it left a gaping hole along the door frame.Notice the door art has changed from the previous picture (ha ha). The door will get painted properly eventually of course. It is now getting near to E’s return and I am getting hungry.

Shirley Anne

Fact or fiction?

Many people when asked about The Bible say it is fiction, a compilation of fairy tales and shouldn’t be believed. Others believe part of it is true but still cannot see its message. Many of these people probably have never read it or studied it in-depth. The problem is this, verses, selected texts, chapters and individual books cannot be properly studied in isolation because a distorted message may result. People will point fingers and quote verses to those witnessing to them in an effort to belittle them and maybe to give themselves an excuse not to believe. Even those who witness are sinners just the same, it isn’t about scoring points, it is about realising our sins and repenting of them. It is about trusting in Christ Jesus who paid the penalty for them and accepting him as Saviour. The Bible is His Story……try reading it through and perhaps, if your heart is open, you will gain the understanding….

Shirley Anne

A bible from 1859.
A bible from 1859. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How Do We Know the Bible Is True? (Hebrews 4:12)

According to the Bible, all Scripture is God breathed (2 Tim 3:16). Peter confirmed this when he said that those who wrote the Bible were not speaking on their own but spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit (2 Pet 1:21). Many parts of Scripture are directly attributed to God through use of phrases like ‘This is what the Lord says’ (e.g., Ex 4:22). Finally, Jesus often quoted from the Old Testament and affirmed it as being God’s Word.
Prophecies that were later fulfilled are corroboration of the accuracy of the Bible’s claim to be God’s Word. For example, the vision recorded in Daniel 7 correctly predicted the rise of the Medo¬Persian Empire, the Greek Empire under Alexander the Great, and the Roman Empire.
Archaeological discoveries are also important evidence of the Bible’s accuracy. For example, for many years King David was believed by some to be a fictional character. But recently a composition from a king of Syria referring to the “house of David” was discovered at Tel Dan. This writing provides tangible evidence that ancient rulers indeed recognized the dynasty of David in Judah.
Another reason for confidence in the Bible’s authenticity is its internal consistency. The Bible is actually a compilation of 66 books written over a period of 2,000 years by more than 40 different authors, and yet there is a unified message and a striking theological coherence—something that clearly speaks of God’s guidance throughout the process of writing, transmitting and assembling the Biblical texts.
It is important to remember that the original Biblical documents no longer exist. We are dependent on copies, and copyists can make mistakes. However, scholars have carefully tracked the accuracy of ancient manuscripts from different centuries, and their consistency gives us good reason to be confident in the Bibles we read today. Furthermore, rigorous standards were applied to determine the canon—both by the Jews, who determined the collection of books that make up the Old Testament Scriptures, and by the early church, which decided the books to be included in the New Testament.

Taken from NIV Quest Study Bible

Shirley Anne


Tuesday (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Things once again didn’t go to plan on Tuesday. Following on from yesterday’s post I had plans to do certain things on Tuesday but nothing went the way I had planned. Yes, work was done but it could have been better in its execution. The main problems started when I arose rather later than I had expected. I had been rather tired when I went to bed just after midnight. I don’t usually retire at such a later hour but I had been watching a particular and interesting program which didn’t end until midnight. Often as not when I stay up too long I get ‘doll’s disease’ a condition in which my eyes automatically close shut if I recline too far on the sofa! Do you remember dolls which did the same? Joking apart it all meant that what I had planned happened later than I had expected. It was raining heavily for a time but I had to take the walk to the surgery to hand in my blood pressure results as I had promised the doctor I would do so. Once that was done I walked to the chemist to collect my prescription medications before returning home. As I hadn’t eaten breakfast beforehand I ate a little something and then with E’s well-needed assistance tackled the fitting of the replacement shower glass panel. It didn’t go well because we were attempting to install it the wrong way! Eventually E saw the problem and we started over, doing it right this time. Finally we got it in place but by now it was way past lunchtime. After lunch we sat and watched some catch-up tv together until four o’clock. I did do some preparatory work on the wall in the cellar storage room so that I could get started on rendering the wall the next day.

I coated the end wall with a silicone sealant and then screwed four battens to it. These will make it easier to apply the cement render and also make it reasonably level!

Shirley Anne

Total disruption

My life has always been governed by routine and I suppose that is true for most people despite what they may say to the contrary. Routines are one thing and plans another. My life is also governed by plans and yes, probably everyone else’s are too. We all make plans in life. Plans are the promises we make to ourselves but sometimes don’t receive or carry out. After a complete rest on Sunday I was ready to resume the routine of working on my plan, a project I had given myself (like all the others) to fill a portion of my days with something to do but something else had to be done first. I had to have my six-monthly appointment with the doctor for check-ups and prescription renewal. I planned to do a little shopping after the appointment and then do a couple of other errands before returning home.  The appointment was for 0910 but as is usual I didn’t get to see the doctor until twenty minutes later. On leaving the surgery I walked into town to purchase a few things one of which was a blood pressure monitor before returning to my vehicle to drive home. According to my doctor my blood pressure was again just as the previous time very high. On that occasion I had subsequently been loaned a monitor to carry out the tests at home and they proved my blood pressure wasn’t high at all. The doctor suggested I might purchase a monitor or have another check-up by the chemist. I chose to purchase one so that I could take several tests and submit them to the surgery. Later at home my tests showed once more that my pressure levels were not high at all. I told the doctor that my results were always high when I visit the surgery. Now I suppose the reason for that is I don’t find it easy to relax at the surgery. I took my purchases home and immediately drove off again to dump some rubbish and unwanted items at the waste recycling depot returning home via the builder’s depot to purchase granite dust and cement. It was lunch time when I got home and after lunch I didn’t much feel like working but did a little plastering in the cellar storage room. The day hadn’t turned out anything like I thought it would, it had been totally disrupted. I thought later that I should have concentrated on installing the replacement shower cubicle glass instead but there was always tomorrow.

Shirley Anne

Fickle or what?

Have In Mind
Have In Mind (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As the saying goes, women are fickle creatures who quite often change their mind about things. Decision making can be a yes, no or maybe then switch at the blink of an eye. I used to think that I was good at making decisions but often as not I found myself changing my mind on many occasions. It is frustrating to me that sometimes I cannot make up my mind though I have to say those things under consideration are most of the time small. In design and construction for me they will be the smaller things, the details for major things like projects usually get started upon straight away. I will have already given those things plenty of time for thought long beforehand. One thing that amuses E is when I cannot decide upon what to eat at mealtimes. I will say one thing and within seconds will have changed my mind in favour of something else. All well and good but then I will revert to my first choice soon after! On Sunday (8 th) after a reasonably good night’s sleep I thought I would go for a walk before breakfast but on arriving downstairs had second thoughts after E had asked me what I had planned for the day. I ‘hummed and ared’ as we say but finally decided a complete rest would be wisest and I would forsake going for a walk. I more or less achieved that and was glad I stuck to that decision knowing I had plans for the week ahead regarding the cellar storage room project. As the work on that project has progressed I have changed my mind on several things along the way. The latest one is regarding the rear wall of the room which I have endeavoured to seal and it appears to have been successful but I have decided to render it with concrete too. When that has been done I will seal it again. It would be a shame to have stripped the room bare, refurbished it and later discover the paint was falling off the wall because I had taken a short-cut. So the work will take longer but I always knew it would because I keep changing my mind by moving the goal posts!

Shirley Anne