Little things

Don’t you find it is the little things that mostly annoy? The spot of paint on the floor despite the fact there was a ground sheet, the splash of gravy or wine on that clean white skirt or dress, the appearance of a spider’s web after you have vacuumed the house! The list could go on and on, you could list quite a few I’m sure. Something out-of-place annoys me. I would be sitting quietly and resting and then something attracts my attention. I try to ignore it but it begins to play on my mind. After a short wrestling with my thoughts I have to get up and fix the problem. The problem shouldn’t exist and in fact if you think about it the problem lies within ourselves if we let things get to us. When I was young and growing up I was noted for my dedication to detail, everything had to be spot on perfect and my endeavours merely were an exercise in time-wasting, not intentionally, I simply had to concentrate. No matter how hard I tried my efforts always proved pointless though I didn’t know that because my efforts often put me top of the class. Whatever I did was close to being as perfect as anyone could make it but in life nothing really is perfect is it? When we grow up we begin to see our limitations but we still strive for perfection if we are conscientious. In the end we just do our best. My attention to the out-of-place things which annoy me is my own downfall but I think to myself ‘I’m not going to be defeated’. I am my own worst enemy I suppose. On Sunday afternoon I was out on the patio sitting down and simply wiling the time away. I saw a fallen leave near to where I was sitting. Eventually I picked it up then noticing another I picked that up too. I ended up picking up leaves from everywhere and then realised it was an impossible task. Why was I doing that instead of simply sitting down for the rest I should have been taking? I stopped doing it but a few minutes later I found myself trimming back a bush and pruning another! That’s the way I am, I cannot relax, I’ve got to find something to do. The small things get to me and I wish they wouldn’t!

Shirley Anne

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It is finished

 

Cross

IT IS FINISHED (John 19:30)

“It is finished”—a simple sentence, made of only three simple words, but the significance of this sentence has eternal consequences for billions of people. When Jesus declared, “It is finished,” he indicated that his work of salvation was finished; that he had paid the full price for our sins. The cross is about so much more than a man enduring pain and suffering; it is about so much more than a man being abandoned by his friends and family. The cross is about Jesus, the eternal Son of God, being forsaken by his Father. Jesus, who had forever been one with the Father, was willing to come to earth and identify with sinners like us. He was even willing to become our sin (2Cor 5:21), so that on the cross he could die in our place. On the cross, the hellish punishment that we deserved was placed on him; he willingly endured God’s wrath in order to set us free.

The prophet Isaiah says of him, “You who have drunk from the hand of the Lord the cup of his wrath, you who have drained to its dregs the goblet that makes people stagger” (Isa 51:17)—this is what Jesus did on the cross for everyone who believes in him. Our sins have been paid for, and the work of redemption is, gloriously, “finished”!

Jesus, I shudder to think that you became my sin. It’s unimaginable what you must have endured to finish this fight for us. Thank you, Saviour. Amen.

Taken from NIV The Jesus Bible

Yes my friend Jesus did that for YOU. Maybe you don’t believe in Jesus, maybe you don’t believe in God but I ask you this….just what do you believe? Are you simply a by-product of The Universe? Were you thrown together by chance? Are you a believer in evolution? None of these things will save you from the wrath of God. Be sure of one thing, you are destined to die and you will face judgement, we all will. You will be judged on what you have done in your life both good and bad and you will accordingly come up short. Only those whose sins are already paid for in full will escape God’s wrath. The ONLY way that your sins can be paid for is through Jesus Christ. If you believe in your heart that God sent him and that he died that you might go free, if you place your trust in him and ask him to be your Saviour then you will be saved. Don’t take your chances elsewhere for there isn’t an ‘elsewhere’.

Shirley Anne

Just stuff

Yesterday (13 th) I received a mail from my youngest brother. He is the only one of my family who bothers to stay in touch, my other three siblings stopped communicating with me more than ten years ago, possibly fifteen years. He himself hadn’t written to me for a few months but in his case it was more a case of forgetfulness I suppose. He actually asked if I had heard anything from my other brother and sisters which I hadn’t. In a previous mail he had asked if E and I might like to pay he and his wife a visit. Naturally we said we would and he replied that he would get back to us to let us know when. The problem at that time was their schedule, holidays and her dad’s illness. We didn’t receive a reply until he wrote yesterday. He wondered why we hadn’t visited yet. Now I know he is losing his memory! Ah well that’s the way it goes sometimes. His mail did cheer me up though and of course I wrote back as I always do if someone takes the time to write to me. It was a very dull day yesterday but today it is back to wall to wall sunshine though the temperature isn’t as high as it has been. It is 23 deg C. I was up early again at 4 o’clock and was out of the front door at five o’clock on my walk. At that hour it was cooler but still 18 deg C. It felt a little damp and indeed we had dew on the ground which kept the grass and soil moist. As expected there was hardly anyone about as I walked along the route. When I returned home it wasn’t yet 7 o’clock. Time for breakfast and after which I watered the rear garden, including the grass even though there was dew on it. The garden probably didn’t need the watering but I didn’t want it to start drying out, some of the plants are only relatively newly planted and need watering frequently. One part of the garden in particular is often left dry even after a rain fall during the summer months because of the trees nearby sheltering it. This time however the rain had gotten through to the ground but I still watered the area. I must add that I don’t usually water the gardens as often as I have been doing lately. It is because of the long hot and dry spells we have had. When the watering was done I went into the cellar and gave the new fence sections another coat of wood preserver, the third coat. Even after three coats the wood is still acting as a sponge and soaking it in. Probably another coat or two should be enough. I will install it on Monday rather than today. One of the beetroot plants had fallen over during Thursday night’ rain. It was ready for picking anyway. It was the nearest plant in the picture below…

Beetroot

The beet was the size of a large orange or apple. I took it inside and cooked it in boiling water. After removing the skin I sliced it up and placed it in a jar together with the water it was boiled in and some malt vinegar. It half-filled the jar. We buy pickled beetroot regularly in large jars and it was one of those jars I used. The beet tasted lovely freshly cooked. Funny thing is we seldom eat it unless it is pickled! I prefer it pickled anyway. Maybe that’s why I am pickled!

Shirley Anne

Yippee!

An expression sometimes given when filled with happiness, joy and glee. I woke up early on Friday (13 th) and it was still dark outside. At four-thirty it should have been much lighter at this time of year unless there was a heavy cloud cover. It had been cloudy throughout Thursday but it remained dry. However on Friday it was raining and looked as if it had been raining for some hours. I was overjoyed to say the least for I had been praying for rain for a few days in the hope that the gardens wouldn’t need hours of watering by hose for a while. Nature does it better than me anyway. Rain had long been overdue, everywhere I saw grass it was straw-coloured and dry as a bone. This had resulted in many wild fires across the country although some of those we were told had been deliberately caused. What kind of person thinks that is a good idea to set fires this way especially as there had been a water shortage? In fact what kind of person wants to set fires going anywhere in the open countryside? It is bad enough dealing with urban fires and many were indeed set off in urban areas. How long would it continue to rain or how frequent would they be? Those were my thoughts but the forecast looked gloomy, it would be dry again for at least five days unless the forecast was wrong. At least the rain gave everywhere a good soaking and it gave me a little respite from having to use the hose for a day or so. Rain threatened to fall throughout Friday but little did. I was up early and after breakfast I carried out some adjustments to the small fence sections I had made and made them sturdier. I then gave the parts a coat of wood preserver and left it to dry, returning later to give it all a second coat. It would probably get four or five coats before it was fitted. For the support bracket I flattened a piece of copper pipe, bent it in an ‘L’ shape and drilled fixing holes in it ready for use. It is lying on the long fence part between the two upright smaller parts in the picture below. I was hoping there would not be a need for further support but wouldn’t know until I began installing the fence.

Shirley Anne

Just can’t hold me back

There’s just no stopping me sometimes. I had quite a busy day on Thursday, that is up until after three o’clock in the afternoon.  At that time I decided to take a break and rest up. The evening before I had watch England dismally fail to get to the Fifa World Cup Final. After scoring a goal in just over five minutes of play and remaining in the lead until well into the second half when their opponents, Croatia, equalised. Extra time had to be played to decide the winner and Croatia scored during that period. It also meant that I had stayed up just that bit longer to see the final result. Despite that I was still in bed before ten-fifteen and slept through until three-fifty and that is when I arose. No early morning walk as I would be doing the weekly shopping at eight. I had planned to water both the front and rear gardens and that is why I arose as early as I did. So at five o’clock I was out front doing that and by six-thirty I returned indoors having watered the rear garden too. Time for breakfast and a short break before I drove to the supermarket. I was back home before nine-thirty and had stored everything away. I wanted to make a start on that little fence I had planned to make but before that I had an hour’s break watching catch-up tv as I had missed a program I wanted to see because of the football. Once that had finished I set about measuring and constructing the fence. It would be in three sections and be assembled together when it was to be installed a couple of days later. Before then it would receive several coats of penetrating wood preserver just as the gate I had constructed twelve months ago.

The fence would be fitted on the right of the brick column, turn toward the corner (above the pot on the ground) then turn to the right again to meet the wall of the patio. Like the letter ‘Z’ but with right-angles. Here are the parts (three of them) on the workbench.

I also need to make a small corrosion-proof bracket that will support the fence near the middle and fix it to the natural stone capping at the joint so as not to drill the stone itself. I will probably use copper to make the bracket, a simple ‘L’ shape will suffice that can be screwed to the wood. Where the fence meets the brick wall and column it will be screwed through the timber. It will therefore be fixed at three points. It was a nice little project to work on whilst the weather had cooled down to a more respectable 21 deg C or thereabouts. Thursday began with a completely cloud-covered sky and it stayed that way all day. As I was driving to the supermarket, in fact I was still in my own street, it began to rain. However the amount we got amounted to a bucket to cover a football field and then it stopped. I was hoping it would return by nightfall but as yet at the time of writing it stays persistently dry. Maybe tomorrow?

Shirley Anne

Harvest time

Well okay it is a little early for harvest but that all depends upon the crop. I am told by E that there are many crops which can be grown at unspecified or preferred times, within reason of course. Crops such as wheat, corn, barley and potatoes are usually grown in season, that is they have a starting point for sowing which is limited. That is because the crop takes time to grow and if sown too late in the year will end up immature at the normal harvest time and be useless. Potatoes have a long growing season, that is they can be planted early or a little later and still produce a crop. Cabbages are another example. E tells me that beetroot can be grown almost throughout the year and I imagine it can for it grows to maturity quite quickly making it possible to have several crops throughout the normal growing season. We planted both potatoes and later beetroot and both are doing very well. Both pictures were taken a couple of weeks ago. The first shows one of the areas where we planted beetroot and you can see how well it has done in a matter of a few weeks. In case you don’t know which plants are the beetroot they are two in number and are at the near left side. Behind them stands the small Phoenix Canariensis (Palm tree) and to the right is a chrysanthemum or ‘Mum’ not yet in bloom.

Beetroot

As the picture was taken about two weeks ago the beetroot now as I write is twice the height and the root is almost ready to harvest. The second picture shows the potato plants beginning to flower.

Potatoes

They too have grown higher since the picture was taken. Rhubarb is growing at the back of this bed on the right in the picture. So in the next few days I hope to harvest some of the beetroot. The other beetroot plants are all at different stages of growth and are dotted about the garden. the potatoes have a few weeks to go before we will consider collecting the crop. It takes almost no effort at all to grow these crops. As long as they are kept well watered there should be no problems. The apples are coming along fine too despite the lack of rain we’ve had recently. It is nice to see a harvest for our efforts nevertheless.

Shirley Anne

New regime

Slowly I have been getting to bed earlier each night and only stay up if there is something I wish to see on tv. Even then I sometimes watch whatever it is on the tv in my bedroom. Going to bed early allows me to arise early too which has been so beneficial especially now during the summer months. I can take my walks early while it is still cool. An added bonus to this new regime is that I feel I am sleeping more soundly and have more energy during the day, well the morning specifically.  My exercising is taken seriously though I don’t regiment it. This morning (11 th) I enjoyed a really nice walk after leaving the house at a few minutes after six o’clock. Getting back home before eight allowed me to eat breakfast before watering the rear garden once more.

Rain showers

Now after reading the headlines it appears we might get a   ban because of the drought. I think it is disgraceful that having paid the water company for my water supply they have the impudence to inform people they intend to impose the ban. In this day and age there is no excuse for there ever being a water shortage. There was talk many years ago regarding the construction of a national grid system similar to those we have with the electrical and gas supplies. There was also talk of creating more reservoirs in order to maintain supplies. In foreign countries where there is little rainfall they still find a way to supply water. In Cyprus I believe, where it hardly rains at all, there is never a water shortage. In Israel, a desert country with little or no natural water resources, they are still capable of supplying water to the whole country. It is said that because of the infrastructure of their water supply system water could still be provided even if it never rained there. What is wrong with our country? Why is it we have to endure shortages of water during a few weeks of fine weather. Similarly why do we always struggle when there is a fall of snow? It is all down to greed I suspect, or perhaps very poor management or again the billions of pounds the water companies have as well as the government being directed elsewhere. Managers pockets, shareholders coffers? Who knows? Perhaps if they went to bed and got up earlier they may gain some wisdom and do their jobs properly. Rain down wisdom and water too.

Shirley Anne

Inching forward

I like that title. I am inching forward. Inching forward only really makes sense for anyone who uses or has used the old ‘imperial’ measurements of the UK. It somehow loses all meaning if we were to say ‘centimetring’ forward. In fact there is no such word as ‘centimetring’ as this spell-checker keeps telling me as I write! Inching forward means slowly creeping forward little by little or in tiny steps. Well what am I inching forward to? The weather has begun to change a little, at least for a short time and it means the temperature has dropped a few degrees. Today for instance it is 21 deg C though it is supposed to be increasing again tomorrow (11 th). Cooler temperatures mean I am more likely to do a little manual work outside where there are a couple of things I wish to do. While it has been hot and sticky I found it hard to do anything except water the gardens. In fact that is mostly all I have done over the past few weeks as far as work is concerned. The longer I have had to wait for it to get cooler the more reluctant I have become to do anything. Only my determination will prevent that. So what are these small jobs I am wanting to do outside? One is to finish fixing eye bolts around the garden, especially around the patio. They will be used when it comes to protect some of the plants from winter’s chill. Another is to manufacture a small wooden fence to replace the temporary brick one I fitted on the small wall near to the side gate. I could have done both of them today as it has been cool but other things got in the way. I can wait, there is no hurry, just as long as I can do these things when it isn’t raining. Rain, yes I remember that stuff, it used to fall around here up until a few weeks ago! When it gets much cooler I will do the internal jobs I keep promising to finish, the gym floor being the biggest of them.

Shirley Anne

Clearing up the mess

Waste removal 1

One thing I learned from an early age was that it is impossible to make an omelette without breaking an egg. It meant that in carrying out any work it  often left a residue of waste, an unavoidable small amount of debris and something which required clearing away to make the job complete. Sometimes doing a job of work leaves us covered in dirt, dust or grease. Even in the kitchen baking cakes can leave a mess. Flour seems to get in some strange places! I would always say that a job isn’t complete unless the mess is cleared away too. I know a few guys who don’t seem to recognise that principle. Whenever I was engaged on a project involving workers of other trades I often saw the mess they had left for others to clean. It was said that the cleanest workers on a site were the electricians and the worst were the joiners and plumbers. I always cleaned up after myself. Over the weekend, actually from Friday (6 th) there was the annual air show here in Southport. That meant a lot of people along the beach and seafront and the possibility of waste being left lying about. I had gotten up very early on Monday morning specifically to go for a walk whilst it was still reasonably cool. I left the house at six-twenty but soon discovered it wasn’t that cool at all. It felt like 24 deg C and probably was. I walked through the town heading north and eventually turned left and on toward the seafront. My return journey took me along the beach and beneath the pier to the area on beach where they had held the land-based part of the air show program. There were temporary metal barriers everywhere and dotted along them were wheelie waste bins. I was surprised to see that there was hardly a mess to be seen anywhere, though one bag of rubbish had somehow been torn open leaving the contents on the sand. No doubt it would be cleared away in due course. Outside of that main area however one or two people couldn’t be bothered to take their rubbish home or at least deposit it in the many bins provided. Why are some people so lazy and anti-social? Makes me wonder what their homes are like. Sadly I have been in many people homes when working as an electrician and had seen the appalling conditions that some of them are willing to live in because they were too bone idle to clean it up.

Shirley Anne

Noisy Sunday

Peace Bridge Calgary

I can remember a time when in this country working on a Sunday was frowned upon. Strict Christian ideals were the norm and Sunday was a day dedicated to God and going to church. Neither seems to be the case for may these days. When once this country could boast the majority of its people were church-goers now less than fifty percent attend church on a weekly basis. Of course going to church didn’t mean and still doesn’t that people were true believers giving their lives to Christ. Secular society demanded changes and changes they eventually got now hardly anyone obeys the Sabbath’s requirement to rest. Exodus 20: 8- 11 ‘Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labour and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.’ For unbelievers this is nonsense so they do as they please. However Scripture does say that the sabbath was made for man(kind) and not that man was made for the sabbath. It is supposed to be a day of rest. Your sabbath may not fall on a Sunday but whenever it is you should take it. There are some folk though who will work each and every day of the week. To what end I say? Anyhow the long and short of it means that the old days of quiet and relaxing Sundays have all but gone. On Sunday (8 th) after breakfast I went into the rear garden to sit in the shade for even by 8 o’clock it was bright, sunny and warm. For ten minutes it was all peace and quiet then I heard the noise of a chain-saw being used intermittently, which I think is worse than having it run continuously, at least for a short time. Thankfully after twenty minutes it stopped but I thought to myself who on earth wants to use a chain-saw at eight in the morning, especially on Sunday? Don’t they consider others who might want to actually take a day off and have a lie-in? Later it was vehicles and police sirens vying for position as to which could make the most noise. After lunch we had another couple of hours of propeller-driven aircraft followed by jet engine craft. It was the last day of three for The Southport Air Show. Thankfully I find weekdays are often quieter these days.

Shirley Anne   Continue reading “Noisy Sunday”