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

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

"Post Crossing"

Following on from the last post, this is the second of the "snail mail"  schemes that I have recently been introduced to.....

   What exactly is Postcrossing?

    The goal of this project is to allow anyone to send and receive postcards from all over the world!

    The idea is simple: for each postcard you send, you will receive one back from a random 'postcrosser' from somewhere in the world.
See their website for more detailed instructions!
It is rather more complicated than the "Post Pals" as you have to register and sign on, sign up. Each post card you receive has to be logged on line as you are given a special ID code for each card.
So far I have been given two addresses and post cards sent out to Ukraine and the Czech Republic. I opted out of the "multiple cards all at once" as the postage will be prohibitive for me. My friend who has been a "post crosser" for quite a while sends and receives several post cards daily under this option.
Am not sure about this scheme, but will give it a try for three months and see how it goes. You can easily 'unsubscribe' so the information tells me.
So if you are interested, go take a look. 

Also if you are interested in other "snail mail" activities this site has a long list of other links

Sunday, 24 June 2018

"Post Pals"

Post Pals - Putting a Smile on Childrens Faces

I was introduced recently to two different ways of sharing my love of "snail mail" which I have since got involved with...this is the first one.

Post Pals is a charity which invites members of the public to send cards, letters or little gifts, to seriously ill children and their siblings to make them smile and feel less isolated.

There are lots of ways to help which are detailed on the website but most new volunteers follow the “3 easy steps”

1)          Click on ‘Find Pals’, select a child and read their page

2)          Send a cheerful card, letter, email, or little gift to the child via address on their page

3)          Sit back and know that a child’s day will be brightened because of YOU

Each family has their own forwarding address which can be found on that families page. Home addresses are not given out for obvious reasons.

 The term “Pals” is used to refer to the seriously ill children and teenagers “Post Pals” help.  It is very important to include siblings as they can often feel very left out as their ill sibling gets more attention, and can also in some cases be separated from their Mum or Dad for a long period of time if their sibling is in hospital a long way from home. We want siblings to feel they are just as important as the Pal. You can read one Post Pal families account of how your post supports not only their ill son but also his distressed brother and sister here.

We are told not to expect a reply, but last week I received an email and photograph of the young boy I had sent a letter and small gifts to...that was such a joy.

There is no official "sign up" or commitment involved, just go to the site, choose a child...uhm...that sounds awful, but you know what I mean I hope, then for the cost of a stamp, you can just send a card or a short note, go on, have a look at the web site at least... 

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Tuesday Tales

Apologies for such a long gap between posts, seemed to have developed 'writers block' and could think of nothing enlightening or even amusing to post...still can't so thought I would share a few photos of what has been happening in this small world of mine.

For a start, I painted  the back wall this fetching blue. Took my husband two days to notice.

Then I had a birthday last week and this popped up in my inbox from my son. He said that he couldn't think of anything to buy me for my birthday and this was my daughter in laws idea. Ideal, and very much appreciated...and soon spent.
The large parcel arrived this morning. Am not going to bore you with all the items I chose, there were many because it was a rather generous gift. But will show you the most expensive artists crayons.
In my youth I used to buy them quite regularly but in later years they have been far too expensive to justify buying them but now I have some new ones...

My husband, kindly replaced my broken mobile phone with this gloriously retro basic Nokia, that are seeing a resurgence in popularity. I love it very much. Despite my fellow crafters at yesterday's "Knit and Knatter" at church  having a very good laugh at it.

My eldest daughter, a major crafter sent me this handmade writing case, with hand stamped writing paper, and a supply of first class stamps and cat stickers too. I get through a lot of writing paper  as I correspond regularly with nine pen pals. You really can't beat a 'snail mail' letter arriving on the doormat.

And then there is this....from the elderly lady I go and visit every Wednesday morning.
Not to everybodys taste I know and she had no idea that this is something that I have wanted to have for a long time but never mentioned it to any one because it is, after all, rather naff.
What is it?.....a clock that each hour sings a different bird song...yay!!
It makes me laugh out loud every hour. The cat takes no notice and it makes my husband jump.
Thankfully the birds don't sing between 10pm and 6am.
As I am always up and about by 5.0am  I wait for the early morning call.... makes my day that does.

What more could a girl want?

A thank you to all of you who have contacted me asking about my health...to be honest it isn't too good and am still waiting for my "emergency angiogram"...waiting time for that is seven months so should be end of August, early September so will try not to die before then. Regular bouts of angina every couple of weeks which knock me off my feet for a day or two, but nothing major, keep taking the medications....it is a sorry state of affairs isn't it, that  it is possible that I will die due to NHS neglect....and  am not the only one in this area.
And on that cheery note will bid you bye for now.

Hope to have something more interesting to impart next time

God Bless all




Friday, 27 April 2018

Life......and beyond

Really have no idea what to call this post! By the time I have finished writing  there may have been a flash of inspiration...or not.

Life has been rather topsy turvy in this household, have been in hospital once more for a few days.

After the annual visit to Cardiac Clinic to check on my leaky mitral valve was told that  unfortunately I could not be given a follow up appointment to get the results of all the usual tests....why?

Due to recent NHS (UK National Health Service) cuts the Cardiology Unit in the hospital was seven doctors short......really
.......and because of that there was a back log of patient appointments....fair enough....then I was told by a very apologetic appointment clerk that the backlog was  a year......really?.....
yes, the clinic is running a YEAR behind with their appointments!!!

As I have been unwell with more angina lately was referred to my GP....but because of NHS cuts the Cardiac Clinic at the GP surgery that usually looks after me has also been closed.

Thankfully was able to be seen by my GP and subsequent blood tests and three ECG's later it was obvious that there was a problem.

The Troponin levels in my blood were elevated and all three ECG's were  'abnormal' so GP found a way to circumvent the backlog and referred me to the Emergency Chest Pain Clinic which has an obligation to see any patient within two weeks.....

....so was seen two days later and kept in for a couple of days for a battery of more tests.

Have come home again with a diagnosis of Coronary Heart Disease and Atherosclerosis which is causing the Angina; which  as a nurse of thirty something years had already worked out for myself, but good to get confirmation.

So here I am, on borrowed time, but then, aren't we all?
As an asthmatic and allergic to Aspirin, many of the 'heart drugs' are not suitable for me to take but the Consultant is  trying something new (and expensive, apparently) which no doubt will have side effects but am on week three and so far so good.

As furred up arteries cannot be unfurred, maintaining the status quo is what am aiming at for now....no more hot buttered toast for me.
Some days am fighting fit, the next am very tired, but each morning I wake up is a blessing and am in God's safe hands as to what lies a head.

Husband and I have been out walking again, though last weekend was rather muddier than expected...see above photo.

And quite unexpectedly my very old Cacti decided to burst forth into bloom. 
Looks like a summer bonnet.

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Did You Read the Fine Print?

The Sunday after the death of Billy Graham, for some inexplicable reason the early morning service(which I attend) at church was given over to a time of mourning and remembrance, with You Tube videos and television clips. If we were in America I could have understand it, but in the depths of Lincolnshire?

Am not a fan of these mega telly evangelists who are  specialists in manipulation and mass hysteria. True, many “come to faith” as they follow the crowd but what happens to them when they go home on ‘cloud nine’ Do they really know what they were getting into?

There is a well known paraphrase of Romans 7:14.25 that says:-
Being born again takes a moment of faith, but becoming like Christ is a lifelong process”

Billy Graham and his ilk do not spell out the fine print of the contract, but God plainly spells it out...

“If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me”  Mark 8:34

“It has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but to also suffer for him” Phil.1:29

God makes it clear that following him will mean real hardship. Life as a Christian is supposed to be difficult. Evangelists neglect to tell their new converts this, so no wonder so many fall away? If we are to follow Jesus, we have to follow him to Calvary. That is something God wants us to understand the moment we come to Christ. Life as a born again Christian is not easy, Jesus told us that it wouldn’t be.
Romans 5:3-4 clearly spells out why it is important for us to suffer trials and tribulations....they make us grow in faith, make us strong in the Spirit.

Billy Graham was lauded as  “an outstanding Christian”,  but all Christians are “outstanding” in their own way.

An Easter Sunday blog post by Peter Hitchens describes one such ordinary “outstanding “ Christian who is worthy of remembrance

 Why did Arnaud Beltrame give his life to save others? Christianity

 Last week saw one of the noblest acts of human courage in modern times. Yet it has been given far less attention than it should have been. We often hear it said of soldiers and others that they ‘gave their lives’ in battle. This is  true in a way, though many actual soldiers will smile at the expression and mutter that they probably did not have much choice in the matter.
But the French police officer, Arnaud Beltrame, consciously and deliberately did give his life to save another. When the drug abuser,  petty crook and jailbird Redouane Lakdim burst into the Super U supermarket at Trèbes, in southern France, he wasted no time in showing that  he was capable of murder. He shot dead two people, and was said to  have laughed as he killed them. Then he took several hostages.
He was persuaded to release all but one, a terrified woman.
Arnaud Beltrame calmly offered to change places with her. I believe that he knew as he did so that this might well cost him his life, and that by stepping forward he faced the strong possibility of a horrible and lonely death. Nobody ordered or asked him to do it. It would have been perfectly normal and acceptable for the police to have surrounded the mad killer and waited for him to give in, or kill himself, with the strong possibility that he would also kill his hostage.
Arnaud Beltrame went miles further than he was required to go by the normal rules of life, or even the normal rules of duty and bravery. The daily bargain, under which we behave decently to others and hope for the same in return, wasn’t enough for him. Most of us couldn’t have done what he did. Most of us will never be asked to.
But I very much doubt whether our civilisation would have reached the heights that it has reached if nobody had ever been ready to make such a sacrifice. I believe very deeply that Christian societies are different from non-Christian ones, precisely because all of us know that such selfless courage is the ideal of what we all should be. And I think that Lieutenant Colonel Beltrame did what he did because  of the specifically Christian saying ‘Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends’. This Eastertide it is worth noting that these words are recorded as having been spoken by Christ, shortly before he (knowing what  was coming) was dragged off to face a mocking show-trial, torture, beatings and a savage public death. For Arnaud Beltrame had come, quite recently, to embrace Christianity.
In aggressively secular, hard-boiled France, this must have been difficult to do. Those of us who try to cling to the shreds of religion in the modern world feel increasingly besieged and hopelessly unfashionable.
 My late brother Christopher was a militant atheist (but a good deal more thoughtful than most). He used to delight crowds of his supporters by demanding: ‘Name  me an ethical statement made or an action performed by a believer that could not have been made or performed by a non-believer.’
In the end he tired of his own question and told me that he had found an answer. He thought that Lech Walesa, the lone and indomitable leader of Polish resistance to the might of communism, would never have dared take on such a huge and merciless enemy without his faith to sustain him. I suspect he would have felt the same about Arnaud Beltrame. And if this is true, and I think it is, is it time the rest of us wondered whether the West’s  long mockery and dismissal of religion as childish and outmoded should now come to an end?
We need to know the difference between how things are, and how they ought to be, or what do we live and die for?

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

The 'older generation'

There are four generations in this photograph, dated June 1949.

There is me on my Mother Phyllis's lap, as I was born 30th May 1949 am not very old! Mother is 32 years old. Behind her is her sister Olive aged 27 years old, just recently married and to the left her sister Edna, aged 29 years. In front of her is their Mother Annie gently restraining Edna's eighteen month son. And there in the middle is Grandma Curzon...

Early on Sunday morning 18th February, my Aunt Edna peacefully passed away. A blessed release after ten months of torment. She was 96 years old.

This was taken Summer 2016 doing what she has always loved doing...growing flowers, lots and lots of them, she takes after her Father, who was a champion rose grower among other things, flowers filled his garden too, as well as grapes in a small greenhouse, that he kept locked to keep the grandchildren from helping themselves. It was a special occasion when he picked a bunch and shared them out between us. That's me on the right with glasses on. My cousin in the front of the picture is wearing callipers to correct her dislocated hips

Then ten months ago she bent down to pluck an errant weed from the flower bed and her back snapped......twelve weeks in hospital followed then transfer to a nursing home, she hated losing her independence and most of all her flowers......

Then my cousin and family took a long weekend away in Wales, coming back to find my Aunt had been deprived of food and water for three days, by accident or design, that is now under investigation.
My cousin called the ambulance, not the care staff and she was taken into hospital at the beginning of last week,(Monday 12th February) but too late.

No life should end like this.

As the news filtered through to the rest of the extended family I received an email that ended with the words..."What does it feel like to now be the older generation?"

The realisation that there are no more of the "older generation" left. My Mother died twenty years ago, her sister Olive thirty years ago. My Uncles also long gone. 
My Father died twenty three years ago  and his younger brother and his wife both died suddenly within weeks of each other in 2016.
There is no one left.....my cousin and I are the "older generation" 

Now that is an unwelcome and scary thought

I don't want to be all grown up, some days I miss my parents terribly, even after all these years. 
But I take each day as it comes and trust in the Lord, and one day we will all meet again