God has wonderful promises for us as we travel on through life and into later years.The best news is that,inside we need never grow old because He has actually promised to renew our youth day by day.

Isaiah 40:31



Monday, 22 August 2016

Summer Musings


It has been nearly a month since my last blog post so on this wet and windy August morning thought that I would share some of the various happenings of the last month.

We have had a few sunny days, and the cat makes the most of them by sun bathing on this shelf in the garden. It did have plants on at one time but after several were  nudged off by a cat trying to find a comfy spot it was safer to remove them.

Then there is this fuzzy flower....

In late spring I had rescued a small plant that was put out in the rubbish at a local supermarket. Always one for a challenge where plants are concerned it came home with me. 
(I did ask and was given permission to take it)

It had just two very small, glossy leaves, no label. 
 Over the months it grew into an odd shaped plant with five tall spikes of leaves
.....uhm...not very exciting.
Then it developed flower buds at the very tips of the spike. 
These turned into these pink fuzzy flowers.
These in turn made me laugh as I had just been knitting a pair of socks in some pink fuzzy yarn that a friend had given me. It wasn't until I looked at the photo on my camera that I realised that my shirt is a very similar colour.

Still have no idea what the plant is called, must go a Googling.

My two son in laws have both been taking part in charity events


Erin, one of my eldest grandaughter's joined her Dad on the local 10k run, both did very well.


Then my eldest daughter's husband took part in a twenty mile walk in aid of their local hospice in Birmingham


He was a very successful triathlete up until his mid forties.
Now he still cycles and does long distance walking
He is now sixty nine and two years older than I am.

My two daughters paid us a visit, we talked a lot and drank gallons of tea.

My husband tried to take a 'sensible' photograph of us all but all three of us dislike having our photos taken and  we always 'strike a pose'...these are the best of the bunch!






Now I am back to walking, (though not over rough terrain like the fields), husband and I took a 'town walk' one day during his week's holiday. He wanted to show me where he now works...in an office block near to the docks. It looks rather grim don't you think?


On the way we came across this sign on one of the many small factories that are situated around the dock area.

All things plastic and artificial for your garden landscape!!

Then he took me up a walkway that comes up in the centre of the busy motorway..in order to get to the walkway that led down to the other side we first had to walk along this footpath in the central reservation...imagine...cars zooming by on both sides and a very low fence  to keep us safe...



The view from the top looking out over the  docks and the Humber was worth the unease...though was very glad to get down and get the bus home again.

Now August is nearly at an end,
 My two grandaughters did well in their first year exams and so are back to College for year two, 

Their mother (my middle daughter) has taken the great step of giving up her part time job to start this year as a full time degree student. For the first year she worked as well as studying.

Eldest daughter has also returned to her studies to become a Child Education Psychologist, These studies were cut short in February 2008 with five hours of emergency  surgery for cancer.


Think that is all the news for now.

Hope you all had  enjoyable summers and ready for the glories of autumn.

God Bless 









Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Thistledown


In the spring a large thistle sprang up next to the bird table. 
I assumed that it was an uneaten seed that had escaped from the "Bird Cake" I make every winter for the birds.

As Blue Tits and Finches are rather partial to thistle seeds I let it grow......
it did indeed grow and grow and grow.

And then the Goldfinches came....

Great entertainment as we either sat outside or stood at the kitchen door watching the antics of three, sometimes four Goldfinch as they tugged at the seed heads with such speed that the back garden became  covered in the fluff of thistledown as it blew everywhere


I made several attempts to get a photograph of these little birds but they were just too speedy,

 but I kept trying....


...eventually I caught this one which I think is a rather superb 'action shot'


Next year the whole street will find that they have thistles growing in their gardens....






Friday, 15 July 2016

The Boots Are Back........



My walking boots are out of the cupboard and back on my feet....whoop whoop!

Having got the "all clear" from the physiotherapist on Monday to try a 'long walk'...
ie: my usual three mile hike.

The brace supports the knee very firmly and the walking boots have specially designed soles to give me that extra support and to ease the pressure of the heel- toe repetition.

On Tuesday I walked into town at quite a reasonable pace, but caught the bus home again. 
The bus ride causes more pain than walking...see previous post about  the disabled seats on buses.


After watching the events unfolding in Nice on the early news this morning I felt the need to get out into the fields, to find solace for my soul and to find peace to share my thoughts about this world with God.
So once my husband had gone off at 8.0am to catch his bus into walk, off I went.....

I took my phone as 'ordered' by husband..... daughter has set up an emergency function on the phone that automatically rings my ICE numbers at the press of a button. I do worry about pressing it accidentally though! 
The GPS system is activated so if I keel over in the middle of a field I can be found.
If you think about it, there could be worse places to die than in a corn field listening  to bird song and watching the clouds drift by!

I took the walk that I shared with you in a previous post, but went the opposite way round than I usually take so that I finished the walk by coming out on to the main road, just in case I needed to catch the bus home for the rest of the way!


The wheat is standing tall and slowly ripening. 
We have had rather a lot of rain recently, which waters the crops and makes it grow but does not aid  the ripening.

There were not many Skylarks about today, instead  I was dive bombed by Swallows skimming the tops of the crop in their pursuit of insects.


As you can see it was rather muddy in places.

I didn't see another soul, which was just what I needed.
There is something extremely soothing about a solitary walk in nature communing with the Creator.
I returned home restored, though in need of a sit down and a cuppa......

........ and one of these!


Have only recently discovered that they are in fact vegetarian friendly, as they contain NO marshmallows which I assumed they did for some reason!


YUM!

(The blue wrapped ones do contain marshmallows)



This morning I discovered that this box is now empty...uhm
...think husband has had something to do with that!

Our neighbours were on holiday recently and returned with this gift as a thank you for watering the garden and taking in the post.

Now back to the knitting......












Thursday, 30 June 2016

Visitors With a Purpose


Each Monday morning two people (whoever's turn it is on the rota), go into church early and dismantle the floral display. Then the flowers are made up into three, sometimes four, bouquets.

These bouquets are then taken out to people who the weeks Pastoral Visitor chooses.

This Monday it was a friends turn on  the rota so she turned up on my doorstep , accompanied by another lady from church, with this bouquet.

Visitors with a definite purpose!

Unfortunately, I do not now have a vase large enough to hold an entire bouquet. 
Did once upon a time but it got broken when we moved house.

So had to set to and divide the flowers up so they would go into two vases instead.


The pink Carnations went into one tall slim  vase



The other wider vase holds the  Lilies. 
The kitchen and hall way smell divine.


Then there was this flower...is it a sort of Chrysanthemum?  
 Am really not sure at all.


....and then there are these. Have absolutely no idea what these are!

They do look a little worse for wear and even though there are several buds waiting to bloom they are drooping badly and turning brown.

Should have taken photos straight away on the Monday, but these photos were taken yesterday, Wednesday so they are not at their best.

I don't mind at all. The only time I get a bouquet/basket of flowers of any size is from my son on Mothering Sunday.

I tend to pick single or a couple of flowers to put in a small vase instead, or more often then not some greenery or sweet smelling herb. 

My visitors came, and went again after thirty minutes. 
We chatted and prayed together and shared God's love for all His children.

Great to share hugs too.

Happy Day





Monday, 27 June 2016

A Small Garden!



This is the view from my front doorstep as I saw my husband off to work at 8.0am this morning.
It is a dull day and heavy rain fell in the night. 
The rain just seems to make this small wild patch of garden blossom..so I went and got my camera to share it with you.

As you can see...it is not over large!!

The Gleditsia tree always makes my heart sing, it is such a glorious shape , the leaves are very tactile and the colour is wonderful.

The green Dalek shaped object is my compost bin, and the boxes are for recycling; there are three of them, and hidden from view by this green fence arrangement.


Have now taken a few steps down the garden path.
There is an abundance of Foxgloves this year, no flowers at all last year but that is what Foxgloves do...all leaves one year, then flowers the next.
They are rather battered by the rain now and past their best and in need of a prune to encourage a second flowering.


Tucked in a small patch of soil next to the fence and front window I planted  several Broad Bean seeds last winter. The first lot of small plants were eaten by slugs and snails so this is the second planting and they have produced a nice small crop of fuzzy pods.
I am the only person who loves them so I get to eat them all. 
They will soon be ready to pod...yum!
I see that there is a dratted orange poppy popping up, they self seed everywhere and the ones in my garden have blown in from somewhere.


In the far left corner my Rhubarb crop is struggling this year and has been completely covered by the fallen Foxgloves.  
Not sure what to do for the best with it as the crop has been thin and spindly...but very sweet and juicy.

The Marigolds have just been dead headed as the seeds get every where .
I have picked a lot this year to make Marigold Oil as the batch made two years ago has all but run out. And they do look wonderful in a small vase to brighten up a dull day.




This gigantic Foxglove has self seeded itself  and keeping guard over the dustbin. Isn't it glorious.?



Thought I would share this with you, something all cat lovers will understand:-


It had started to rain...the cat hates rain but loves sitting out in the garden... 
"shall I go in, or stay out and hope it soon stops raining?"


Think that face says it all!

Have no idea what she decided to do in the end as I got on with what I was doing and left her to it!





Friday, 24 June 2016

Visitors



Since my accident  and being  mostly housebound I have been a sitting duck for "visitors".

I have to confess here that both my husband and I are not at all fond of "visitors". By that I mean those folk who turn up , usually unannounced, for no reason at all, just for a "chat".
They tend to plonk themselves down in a seat and stay put for quite a while. One visitor I had stayed for two and a half hours...just talking. Not about anything specific, not gossiping, just...talking.

We do have visitors, but they come for a purpose and have rung before hand to ask if and when it is convenient.  They turn up, stay for a short while and then go again.  That is what a visitor should be and do.

We prefer to be contacted by phone, letter or cards rather than being "visited"...especially when I am stuck inside with no escape!!  At least you can make excuses to postpone a visit if someone phones first.

We are a small family and apart from one daughter who lives round the corner, they are not nearby so visits have to be organised and co-ordinated...just how we like it.

People have their own lives to lead and don't want all and sundry turning up out of the blue, I don't do it to them and hope that they don't do it to us!   My family are well aware that if I am ill or in hospital then I want leaving alone to  hibernate and recover.

As a child my Mother was a 'professional visitor' who made it her business to visit anybody and everybody  who had been taken ill or had problems or difficulties. This visiting was reciprocated and our house always had an assortment of unknown folk traipsing in and out, so am guessing that my dislike of the ad hoc visiting stems from that.

No doubt a psychologist would have a field day with that.



Before we moved to this town I too was a 'professional visitor', but structured and trained within the Methodist Church as a Pastoral Visitor.   We were each assigned  two or three church members who we  'kept an eye on', some we visited  more regularly than others, at their request and with their permission. Pastoral Visiting is something non conformist churches are very good at.



Am sure that many of you love visiting just to chat  but I have never been part of the drop in for coffee brigade that many of my neighbours seem to be. It is unnecessary. That doesn't mean that I don't talk to my neighbours, we all get on fine  but we talk about specifics..for example, I have been asked to water next doors plant whilst they are on holiday and we all take parcels in for one another.
Now my mobility is increasing and I can get out and about am hoping that my ad hoc visitors will take the hint.





Monday, 20 June 2016

Progress....


I finally got to church on Sunday...it took me ten minutes longer walking than normal as I can't go at my usual moderate pace. Slow but sure, as the Tortoise said to the Hare!


This is what it looks like on a weekday .....

this is what it looks like Sunday morning....


Had numerous offers of lifts but as knee does not bend enough that leg sticks out making it impossible to sit in a car or anything else.  Did manage to make it through the whole service as standing up for hymns meant that I was not sitting for long periods at a time.

Had such a warm welcome , lots of hugs, so great to be back.

Have to admit though, by the rime I had walked home I was rather tired and my knee hurt so spent the afternoon resting with my legs up.


Have been busy working on the cards and envelopes found in this wonderful book that my daughter had sent me..


Since my accident have found  solace in colouring. It is very therapeutic and calms the soul. And kept me sane before I was allowed out again!

Now I am walking  short distances outside, though rather slowly as any speed puts pressure and therefore pain on my knee even though it is tightly encased in the brace.

Am at the stage now when I feel well in myself, the pain is minimal unless I do something to aggravate it...yet my body has to go slowly in order to heal. It has only been a month after all and there are many more weeks and months ahead. So am learning to be patient!!

Have also taken a three trips into town on the bus...physios suggestion to get me used to 'sitting' in awkward situations. 
Have discovered that the 'disabled seats' on the bus are not really fit for purpose.


As you can see in the photograph the 'disabled seats' are the first two on left and right. 
The spaces in front are for  wheelchairs but more often than not these spaces are occupied by mothers and children in buggies.

As I have said before, my right leg does not bend so can only really sit on the outside seat on the left of the photo. When this is occupied I have to stand. Once when I got on the bus in town to come home an able bodied person was in the seat and I did politely ask if they would move.
Another time I had to sit  on the far right of the seat on the right of photo. A mother with twin buggy got on and asked me to move my leg. When I said that I couldn't she tutted very loudly and nicely manoeuvred the buggy so it slammed into my knee.

My eldest daughter is physically disabled and uses either two crutches or a rollator, every day, all day.
My experience has given me new insight to the difficulties disabled people have. 
The list is long...including shop doors that are very heavy and my left wrist is also in a splint so hard to push and people seem to rush through without noticing my struggles.

However, there has been a lot of kindnesses shown to my plight, holding doors open, a helping hand under my elbow on steps that turned out to be too steep.
These helpers have all be men...not one woman has offered  help. 
That has made me think too.

Am learning a lot.


On a lighter note..... can you spot the pigeons waiting for me to feed the birds early morning?

There are actually five of them, but couldn't get them all in shot.


The Tree Bumble Bees are still nesting in the bird box, they keep themselves to themselves unless we get too close.