Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Thank you

Thank you everyone for your incredibly kind and thoughtful comments on my last post and to those who e-mailed me as well.  You are all so very much appreciated and your words and thoughts do put things into perspective.  I am constantly amazed by people, their ability to feel and be kind and caring and sharing is a wonderful thing.  Thank you a thousand times.

As you may know, I have struggled with replying to comments, and some time ago reached the decision not to always reply to every comment.  So although I don't generally reply to every comment, I would normally for something like this, but the number of comments, combined with the fact that I cannot reply to everyone as some people are no reply and so on, meant that I thought it better to do a big thank you to everyone all together.  I hope that you don't mind.

I sent my polite (gosh I hope it was!) reply to the sender of the e-mail that upset me.  I have since spoken to them once and they were pleasant on the phone.  So I have taken away from this - because I always try and look for the scraps of silver linings - that perhaps indeed it is easy to say something in an e-mail that might not come across the way you intend, and that therefore you should always check what you write, and if someone writes something to you, don't take it so personally unless you are sure it was meant that way. 

Having taken a few days away from the computer - in general - has been good, and although I haven't done anything much, and although things are getting worse every day and more issues are appearing every day, I am feeling better for the break from the computer. 

I don't know where things will lead right now, but I do know that I am quite emotional - did you notice! - and so any blog posts are likely to head that way too.  So my decision is, just for now, that I will continue to take a little blog break as I don't feel that I can burden you with what is going on, and also I don't want my happy place here to descend into gloom and doom - for my own benefit as well as yours! 

So for now I am on a blog break, I don't have any idea when I will return, but I will return.  A few posts may appear at random for things such as Armistice Day though.  I will also keep reading your own posts as and when even if you don't realise because I haven't commented.

I have turned off the comments on this post, but, as always, if anyone wants to get in touch, please feel free to e-mail me, address is on the "about" page.

Take care of yourselves my dear bloggy friends.  Love yourselves and your families and friends and those around you as much as you can in your own situations.  Keep on crafting and all the other good things of life and know that I love you.

Amy xx

Friday, 24 October 2014

Writing

Some of you have recently left comments here, or replies in comments on your own posts saying that I say the sweetest things to others.  Thank you for that, I really do try hard to make sure that I only say positive things.  Not in a saccharin or fake way, just that I try and be nice to everyone in thought, word and deed.  It is very important to me, sometimes it takes work to say something nice to someone that I am not feeling very nice about, but still I do it.  Of course most of the time it is easy, especially when writing to such lovely people as ya'll are. 

I am sure that you do the same too.  In fact, I know that you do - from your own lovely comments!  Thank you for all of your kind comments to me, especially lately.  I appreciate them so much, and I am doing all that I can to take care of myself as you have instructed me to do.

So bearing in mind that I try and just look at the positive things - because I really do - and that I am trying to take care of myself - which for me means not getting stressed out - why can I not shake the one little tiny thing that is bothering me so very much.

It isn't the fact that I have ill family members that need caring for.  It isn't even the fact that hubby is, as I write this, at the funeral of a young 20 year old friend who died in a car crash 2 weeks ago.  It isn't the difficulties that have reared their head over who is going to have who or go where for Christmas.  All stressful or difficult things, but I can cope with all of those.  I take them in my stride and handle them. They aren't fun, but I can deal with them.

No, instead, I pick the one little phrase from an e-mail from a family member to get totally upset about.  The e-mail as a whole wasn't unpleasant in any way, but instead of just saying thank you, or sticking to purely factual information, they had to stick in a phrase that has just gone into my heart like a dagger and stuck there.  Instead of saying thank you for driving miles up and down the motorway, for stepping in and helping, for committing to visits all through this month and November (which no one else has done as far as I am aware) and just leaving it at that, they say about my suggested dates for visiting that it is OK "unless anybody feels inconvenienced in any way".  That is, inconvenienced by my visits.

Over the last few weeks I have written so many posts and e-mails only to outright delete them or change them in some way - and then probably still delete them! - because I try so hard to get the words right.  Now I know that if I look at this rationally they probably didn't mean anything by their comment, and didn't mean to upset me, but frankly they have.  I guess because I try so hard to be nice I would hope that I would never say anything like this.  Indeed I spent ages trying to compose a polite reply to the e-mail so that I could not be dragged into anything in any way, or cause upset to anyone in any way.

Anyway, I am rambling now.  I am going to take my broken heart and try and drag my sorry behind into a better mood and frame of mind, to put this behind me and move onwards and upwards.  Sorry that I don't have pretty pictures or words to share right now.  I am trying to keep them as pleasant and happy as I can though.

I will be back.  In the end.  In the meantime, I am reading your posts - I am soooooooo behind it isn't even funny, but I have decided to follow my own advice to many of you and not comment on every post - sorry!  As soon as I am all caught up reading I will be back to it.  I promise.

Thank you again for your support.  I am constantly amazed that so many people take the time to leave a nice little message.  I really do appreciate all of your comments and e-mails and so on.

So, in lieu of comments on your own blog, I hope that all will be well with you, that you will have a good weekend, that your garden grows, your crafts continue so beautifully, that you have great times with your family.  I am there in your sorrow and am thinking of you.  I share your joys and am glad that you are having happy times.

Take care of yourselves my friends.  I may return shortly, or I may take a little time - depending on how quickly I can get my sorry behind back into gear again.  So see you as and when.

Amy xx

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Grace

Today I was at the nursing home visiting for most of the day.  By the time I left I was so tired and as I started the drive home this song came on the radio.  It just spoke to me.  The words said so much about what I had learned today about Grace.  Don't you just find it amazing how the right song can appear on the radio just when you need it.

(I tried so hard to put the video in, but couldn't get it to work, I will have another go another day when I am less tired, but please do click the link and listen to the words)

It is a rubbish time right now, but a good time too, learning about myself, good things and not so good.  I am incredibly impatient at times, and yet I am learning patience.  I am also learning things about others too.

Mostly what I learned is the way that others can act with such grace, despite what they are going through.  Gosh, if only we could be more graceful in our dealings with others and in our lives.

The good news is that in a sense I have been more graceful since my visit last week, because I haven't been attacked by any more anti rain weapons (love that term Red Setter!) and I am wearing flat shoes too - no heels!! 

Still managed to spill my lunch down my front today though, drive the wrong way into the petrol station at the motorway services and nearly walk off with someone else's credit card too - can you imagine how awful that would have been!!  Oh, and horror of horrors, set the personal attack alarm off on the phone of the Lady I was visiting.  It shrieked and wailed like nothing I have ever heard and who knew that phones could have personal attack alarms.  Oh the shame!!!  At least I didn't set her alarm off for if she needed a nurse!

They had a raffle today, I didn't win a prize, but at least it meant that I didn't win the basket of dodgy looking toiletries that was left as the last item to be claimed either!  No one seemed to want it.  I think that it went to some poor man in the end, I cannot imagine what he would do with the contents of the basket.


Small blessings!

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Thank you for your comments and understanding at this time, your words and thoughts are so appreciated, more than you might know. 

I am sorry that these posts are not perhaps the most cheering things you have ever read, or perhaps they seem irreverent, but Lady is someone very close to me (as is Third Person).  I have to find the funny side and perhaps the black humour in all of this as if I don't I will be a sobbing mess in the corner no good to anyone.   In the last six years we have had pretty much a continual stream of ill health and worse in our friends and family and as I will perhaps someday explain more about, if I don't look at it in this way I cannot look at all.  Please don't be offended though.

Thank you again for your kindness.  Best wishes to you and yours.

Amy

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Around and about Boston

Some more views around and about Boston for you to - I hope! - enjoy.

These are some of the beautiful architectural details inside and around the Boston Public Library.  It is a beautiful building that I was delighted to come across as we were walking.  Inside it is just amazing.










Looking out from the windows on the staircase the view was lovely too.  This is in the courtyard.







The courtyard is stunning too.







Outside the building is amazing and has so many wonderful decorative details.




We know some people who don't think that there is any history in America - truly, that is what they think!! - and so we kept saying as we walked round, really, no history, really.....  This just goes to show that there is history and beautiful architecture as well doesn't it!

Amy

Thursday, 16 October 2014

You will never believe this one.....

This is a true story that happened to me today.  For real.

Third Person from my story on Monday was going on holiday today hence my visit to Lady on Monday to take over care duties from Third Person.  Third Person came to my house to be picked up and taken to the airport.  Third Person lives about 2 hours drive from me.

For some unknown reason Third Person decided to check her passport to make sure it was hers.  No idea why.  Turns out that it wasn't her passport.............  Oh no.  It was her Husbands!!!!!!!!!!  Husband is currently driving the 2 hours drive home.

What to do???

Third Persons neighbour goes to Third Person's house, collects correct passport, meets up with husband halfway between where Husband is and where passport is.

Husband then drives back towards my house.  In the meantime I have put Third Person and their luggage into my car, and am driving towards Husband to meet.  A meeting place is finally agreed upon about an hour from my house.

We meet at the agreed point, and amazingly arrive within just a few minutes of each other.  Passports are exchanged and double checked and then checked again, oh and possibly again.  Husband and Third Person hug and get back into the relevant cars.

I then drive back home to my house arriving about 2 minutes before car is due to collect Third Person to take her to the airport.  Third Person runs in to go to the loo while I take luggage from my car to the car going to the airport.

Third Person thanks me and my Hubby who has just arrived home from work and departs.

The day is saved. 

Hubby asks me while I am smiling.  I tell him that I am actually probably slightly hysterical especially given Monday and then this............

While this has been going on Hubby has also been making rearrangements himself.  Tonight is Hubby's 25th anniversary at his job and he is having a dinner with colleagues to celebrate.  I am supposed to be acting as chauffer and also going too.  Of course the fact that I am currently driving across the countryside and not knowing if I will then have to drive on to the airport or not is causing a wrinkle in the plans for tonight.

So Hubby rearranges travel plans just in case.  Then when I got home Hubby cancelled the emergency rearranging plans.  We are just sitting and having a cuppa before we get ready to go out.

Sometimes people ask me what I do all day, and do I get bored in what I do - because I don't go out to work in an office of people all day they seem to think that I don't do anything and would therefore be bored.

Take today, out tonight, this afternoons little shenanigans, this morning I washed and changed the bed linen, did a grocery shop, tidied up the house, emptied the dinner things from the dishwasher and put in the breakfast things and then the lunch things, sent some e-mails, went to check on my geraniums in the garden, fiddled with Halloween decorations and probably a load of other things I have forgotten about.  You know the kind of things.

So no, I am never bored, and I don't sit doing nothing all day!  I can make my own schedule, and just as well that I can when days like today happen.  Today was supposed to be a "free" day for me to do not a lot.  Well, that didn't happen did it!!

You know that they say that the truth is stranger than fiction, well it really is.  I could never think to make up something like this - can you imagine!!

Amy

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Trickery in Films

Thank you so much for your kind words on my last couple of posts.  They are so appreciated as are your good thoughts and wishes.  You know already I hope, but just in case you don't, you really are the nicest group of people!

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I have various posts about Basildon Park sitting in drafts from time to time waiting to be posted, so I thought that today I would share this one with you.

When we have filming work done at Basildon Park sometimes they bring in their own furniture, sometimes they use ours. 

When they filmed for Pride and Prejudice they actually built a whole room inside another room.  They also used the Dining Room as the ballroom at Netherfield Park, but decided that it needed more columns.  So they added some of their own!  As you do.

This is the inside of one of the fake columns.


Here you can see three sections.


And the base of a column.



This is what the real columns look like.  You can see that the "fakes" are a very good match.


The columns in the picture are the ones that are always in the Dining Room.


There is in a way a bit of a joke to all this though.  The columns in the Dining Room aren't real.  In the 18th Century when the house was built it was more fashionable to have an artist come and paint fake columns than to have real marble.

The reason?  It meant that you were rich enough to afford to pay the artist!

Amy

Monday, 13 October 2014

Just me?

Nursing home in the countryside.  Lady needs to see outside for a "walk" so that she is reminded that there is a life worth trying to get better for.  Lady is helped into wheelchair, wrapped up in coat, hat, blanket etc etc.  An escape is effected out of nursing home (once the keypad on the door has been negotiated).  It is raining, but only lightly.  Lady in wheelchair is given umbrella to keep her dry.  Lady has a lovely "walk" and goes back in with a bit of a smile.

Person pushing wheelchair.  Pushed wheelchair along on slippery leaves and negotiated gates while pushing wheelchair.  Wheelchair is very low, so person pushing has to keep stooping down.  Person pushing wheelchair is wearing high heeled boots and has no coat on.  Route chosen is seemingly uphill.  There and back.  How can that be.  The ground is all level because it is a nursing home.......  Lady in wheelchair has no idea that she is banging umbrella into the forehead of stooped over person pushing wheelchair.  A third person is walking alongside the wheelchair and tries to hold another umbrella over person pushing wheelchair, while talking to the lady in the wheelchair.  Third person also has no idea that she is banging umbrella into the side of the head of the person pushing the wheelchair.  Third person is happy that lady has been outside.

Person pushing wheelchair returns to nursing home with head that has been bashed in the forehead and side by two different umbrellas, has backache from stooping over to push wheelchair, exhausted from steering on slippery leaves and pushing uphill all the way - or so it seemed.  Person did manage to remember the different code to get back into the nursing home though.  Why it is a different one to get in.  Person has no idea, surely if they have escaped out no one is going to prevented from escaping back in?

Lady needs to be returned to her room.  Person pushing wheelchair inserts lady in wheelchair in lift, doors close.  No room to turn or breathe.  Person pushing has to reverse out of lift.  Thanks to audience of nurses who appear out of nowhere person manages to steer wheelchair into door frame.  Person has to effect 200 point turn to get wheelchair heading in right direction while nurses look on.  Person then has to remember way back to ladies room, as nursing home has miraculously turned into rabbit warren and all corridors look the same.

Person pushing wheelchair  is now exhausted and roasting hot.  Person pushing is sure that nursing home is heated to 1000 degrees.

Person pushing wheelchair is happy too though because lady has been outside and managed to hold an umbrella (sort of).

Guess who was pushing the wheelchair and now has a dent in the side of her head where the umbrella held by the able bodied third person hit her.........

Lady says she has never read Winnie the Pooh and asks person pushing wheelchair to read it to her on next visit.  Person now has to ransack house to find copy of Winnie the Pooh.  Person hopes that she doesn't sustain any book related injuries because she had no idea she would sustain an umbrella related injury.....

Amy

p.s. the leaves were being cleared and were only in places where residents don't walk on their own so it was safe, it was only slippy because person pushing wheelchair chose to go that way.

p.p.s. person is more than happy to do anything to try and cheer lady up and get her well again so that she can go home as lady doesn't like being in a nursing home and doesn't want to have to stay there.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

My Yucca baby

I was going to call this post having a baby, but I thought you might get the wrong idea!  I'm not having a baby, but..... my Yucca that just flowered for the first time is.  I am very over excited about it.

Having spent the morning doing some clearing out and cutting back of the flowerbed in the front garden, as I was nearly finished I discovered this little fellow lurking underneath the plants.  It is a little baby Yucca plant.  At first it appeared to be a baby Phormium (New Zealand Flax) which would have been good, but it is even more exciting that it is a Yucca!


It is too small and young to move at the moment, but next summer when it is (I hope) bigger, I will cut it off the parent plant and move it somewhere else.


You can see how beautiful the flowers are on the Yucca, even more have come out since I last showed it to you and it really is looking splendid.



I think that this is the best display of Yucca flowers that I have ever had in fact.


There are still more flowers to come out, I hope they make it!




I didn't take any before pictures, but you could hardly get past here before I cut back.  It has made a massive difference.  Although it seems harsh to cut the Phormiums (one at either end) back like this, if it snows in winter I find they get very mashed down by the weight of the snow and if it rains you get very wet trying to walk past them which isn't fun either!  Cutting them back prevents both of these things happening and next year they will grow lots of new pointy leaves so that the whole cycle can start again.



Hubby did some hedge cutting to the Holly.


He also cut the top out of the Yew.



I gave the Hornbeam hedge a little trim just to neaten it up.  The leaves are really starting to change colour now.




After all that hard work, a cuppa was definitely in order.  You have to have tea after a stint in the garden.



I also wanted to show you this little fellow.  He isn't flowering at the moment, but, this is big news for me!  I have had this little Kalanchoe for nearly a year now.  It is the longest that I have ever kept a houseplant alive.  I cut back the dead flowers, water occasionally with tap water and he just sits on the windowsill the rest of the time.  It is very exciting that he is still with us as I can kill houseplants just by looking at them.


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I might not be around so much in the next few weeks and months as I normally am because we have some family stuff going on that needs my time.  I am fine and so is hubby, and we are fine together as well.  You probably won't even notice, but in case I do disappear, please don't worry and please know that I will return and won't be totally gone.  Even if I don't get chance to comment on your posts, I will still be reading them so I will keep up with all that you are up to.

Amy

Friday, 10 October 2014

Featuring Colour - autumn tones

It has been a while since I have shared any Featuring Colour posts, but with so many autumn colours around it just seemed right for today.

















You can see other Featuring Colour posts here.

I wish you all a good weekend.

Amy