Saturday, January 30, 2010

And then the sun shone. Briefly......

More photos. When I left the house, it was snowing a little, and I took this photo to show you the depth of the snow piled next to the road. See the car? You can get the idea. There is no way I can see over it.

And as I left Marge, for a brief moment (actually just the length of time it took me to walk home) the sun shone, and oh, what a difference it makes.
The mist was still swirling about, and the sky was bluer than ever.......

The sun has gone again, and clouds are back. Maybe it was just a special moment, just for me....

More snow....

Morning all.....this is the Abominable Snowman reporting in. Yes. It is STILL SNOWING. But this is a village in the Alps where people come to ski and snowboard, so it is all good. I have just ventured out to the shops on foot, and believe me, the combination of snow covering me, gloves on and off, scarf throttling me, and bulky coat with hood complicates things when trying to pay. Not to mention the stick getting in the way too. However, I am intrepid. I am also back home and we will not starve.

The garden 2 days ago, in the snow. There will be after-after photos following. It is much deeper today.

Now this is for my British friends.....LOOK!!!! SNOWPLOUGHS!!!! 2 in line with each other whizzing up and down the road, clearing all the snow!! They pass by all day. They also take absolutely no notice of things like cars and people, but they clear the roads. There is no salting in the village, as I have said before. Just grit. And that shovel down in the bottom corner being wielded by Marge, clearing the drive. Wearing half the contents of the coat department. When I got back from my adventure to the shops this morning, I decided to try to clear the driveway again, as the snow is sort of deep around here, which makes things like getting to the door and getting the car out a trifle difficult. That was not a particularly good idea. No. But I managed to scoop a bit out of the way, and Peter has just taken the car out, so he will have squashed the rest. Good.
And this is Peter out for a walk with Naxos.
I made some hearts! I saw the link here and decided to try them. Teeny tiny baby hearts, so quick to make and really sweet. The hooky stuff goes on!
I have not done many of the intended "Celebrate" posts, but, looking back, I have been just a little distracted. I should however, have posted the greatest reason for celebration - Mum's slow but steady recovery. She is doing really well. And more reasons to celebrate life:
My wonderful sister, who never stops moving.
The beauty all around me, no matter what the weather is like.
The depths of friendship shown by great people who step up when needed.
My growing confidence with the crochet hook, and the bright and happy things I am making.
There are more, I am sure. But right at this moment, all is well, and I am warm and contented.
I love walking in the snow, you know, because it is not ice. And there is something to step on and sink into, which means I won't fall and it has "give" which is easier for me than hard pavements. Can't see the pavements (sidewalks) anyway. So I may just spend the next half hour getting into the snow gear and plod over to Marge for a coffee.
With my camera.
Of course.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The little snowfall.....

Yesterday morning, there were brief moments when the fog/clouds lifted, and this is what the village looked like after the snowfall the day before.....

There are many trees in these photos, but I have a thing about trees, and mountains, and snow....

The snow I talked about 2 days ago was nothing. Nothing, I tell you. Piddly little snowfall. It has been snowing all day, and this is in the fence is disappearing and the swing seat is about to be hidden from view too. Much snow. Snow in abundance. Snow everywhere. And it just keeps falling. Did I mention the SNOW??? The world is very white outside.

When, and if, it finally stops, my camera and I will venture out into the frozen wastes, and take more photos. These are the "before" ones. The next lot will be the "after" ones.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

My brain is as foggy as it is out doors....

Facebook and I are not getting along so well at the moment. Every time I try to comment or update status or even LIKE something, I get the "OOPS" message. I cannot tell you here on this family friendly blog, just what I am thinking when that Oops message appears. Suffice to say that the words axe and shriek feature prominently. I may have an escalating rage issue. I am working on it.

I have been crocheting granny squares, sitting in the chair Mum usually sits in to crochet her blankets. I mentioned this to my darling daughter on the phone last night, and she shrieked - you are turning into Granny!! Sigh. The signs are there, people.

Mum is the crochet queen, you see. I took a car load of blankets she has crocheted to a women's refuge before Christmas, and when I got here, Marge showed me the mountain Mum has produced here too. So we will have to find somewhere which could put them to good use here as well. She likes to keep busy. Busy is good.

The world outside my window this afternoon is grey and foggy, and the snow has been falling all day. However, this is Switzerland, and the snow is expected, and life carries on regardless. The grey/white world is strangely beautiful. It is as though the colour has been stripped from the world. A visual rest for the soul, if you like. And the eyes. The scenic beauty here is almost an overload for the senses at times.

My brain is not engaging at the moment. Well, it can cope with the ins and outs of the hooky stuff, but that is about it. Maybe if I actually got to sleep a little, it may click back in gear. It is in a wandering and wondering mode right now, so I will stop here, and go and pick up the hook again......

Monday, January 25, 2010

The hooky stuff........

I have fallen in love with my crochet hook. I started learning how to crochet in the first week of the year, and here we are 3 weeks later, and ....

Ta da!!!
The happy ripple, which will become a cushion cover one day.

The ripple scarf. I thought I bought the right wool and found it was the wrong shade, so I improvised, and here we are. I still need to sew buttons onto the flowers.

Many many flowers................ I may just have got a little carried away here!

Many more flowers. I have started experimenting with shapes. The buttons will be sewn on when I have the energy to go and get them from my room downstairs. Soon.

I started making stars, and they are not quite as simple as I thought. However, they are fine, and will look better when they have been pinned and starched!

And last night I finished a dolly's blanket for Missy, who will be 1 in a few weeks time, can you believe. I gave her the Fischer Price doll with stroller and car seat for Christmas, and these colours match them, so that is great.
Most of the patterns for ripples and flowers, by the way, come from Lucy at Attic 24 . Her tutorials are so easy to follow! Well, if I can make the flowers and ripples after sitting in a sea of papers printed out with step by step instructions, then anyone can. Thanks Lucy!
Mum has just been unstapled, and it all looks good. She has to do as little as possible for the next few days, to allow the skin to heal completely, and she and her puzzle book, and a cup of tea are safely ensconced on the sofa once again. It has just started snowing, as predicted, so I will now go for a walk to Marge at work and report on the visit to the doctor. And get some fresh air. Frigid air.
I lay in bed this morning, and thought of the many things I want to write about, and as soon as I levered myself to a sitting position, the brain hit "delete", and I have forgotten everything. Yes, I know, take a pencil and notebook to bed. I did. But I didn't have the glasses, you see, so was as blind as a bat. I will be prepared for noting all pearls of wisdom tomorrow morning. I will probably think of more things while out walking, when access to paper is unlikely. The story of my life. I will be back.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

As requested, some photos.....

There was only one way to keep my mind calm on the way from the airport last week.

This is the ripple scarf. I have photos of the works in progress, but need to take more of the finished thingys. They will pop up here soon! My brother-in-law was here this morning, so I went out for a short walk, with the camera. Mum can't be left yet, so that worked well. It is another beautiful day, and it was -10C earlier. Much nicer in the sun, but most of my walk was in the shade, so the temps stayed down there somewhere.
My leg really hurts - more so in the cold weather, but today I discovered an advantage to the sub-zero temps. We go through the pain part when I step out the door, and then, after a short while, everything goes numb, and I can't feel anything at all. You know how your pants (trousers) seem to shrink and cling in sub zero temps? Well, that acts as a support. The pants clinging. See, there are hidden perks! However, when I come back indoors, the thawing process is a trifle painful. Pins and needles. Worth it, though!

The river is frozen in most places, but that makes it particularly beautiful. Most of the ice is covered with snow.

And a part of the lake is frozen too, I have no idea how the ducks survive - that water must be SO cold!
If you have been popping in here for a while, you will recognise the photos....I have my favourite places, you see, and I always go back to them. The sun only reaches the valley for a few hours a day. Marge's house gets sun for about 2 hours in winter.

I was COLD. And numb. And red in the face, and no I did not have a hat. I forgot. I won't do that again. I loved being out in the snow. I loved having a brief walk with my sticks. I loved the crispness of the air. The silence. The crunching of snowy ice under my boots. And the warmth of the house when I got back too.

Nap time, now that I have thawed.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Bright sun, blue skies.....

Morning, all. The sun is shining in the Alps, and the sky is deep blue, the snow is white, and I have some coffee. Coffee is wonderful. I am almost taking it intravenously at the moment. I can see a paraglider hovering over the valley from the window next to me as I write. Everyone should have a view like this outside their window. One of God's mega masterpieces. Mum is watching the tennis with her tea, and my hair has been tamed. I lost the adapter for the straightners this morning, and closely resembled the Wild Woman of Borneo for a while there. It was not a good look.

We should have been arriving back home around now, but clearly, we are not. I have lost track of how many air tickets I have bought and then not used for one reason or another. Ho hum.


The crocheting. I spent the evening finishing off all the things I have made so far. Sewing in the ends. I am really pleased with the way the flowers have turned out, and the ripple cushion will look great when I finally make it up. I may sew a flower or 2 onto that as well. It will look good with the Happy Quilt. Today, I think I will make stars. It is never too early to plan for Christmas, after all. And if my brother-in-law is home at lunch time, I may just go for a short walk around the lake with my camera. I want to be out in the fresh air a while. Maybe that would wake me up! My snow boots and Leki poles have to have been 2 of the best investments ever. The sun is now creeping into this room - beautiful.

Nap or stars? Hmmmmm.............

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Sudden change.....

Ayeyaiyai, what a week this has been.

The week since last Wednesday, that is. My Mum was rushed into hospital last Thursday morning for emergency surgery, and Marge and I have aged 50 years each since then. Mother, may I add, is doing splendidly, after her major surgery. The first in her life and she is 84. She came out of hospital this morning. Marge and I need a month in a spa, or on a tropical island to recover. My hair is grey, and the wrinkles have increased overnight.

I was looking at the list of instructions the doctors in Bath gave me back in June last year, and top of the list is "avoid stress", followed by "pace yourself", and "do not be tempted to do too much, even on a good day", and " spoil yourself". There is more. I am supposed to go for another appointment to see how I am managing the above instructions next Monday. I have just cancelled that appointment. I may have displayed ominous signs of hysteria if they had asked re stress management. Straight-jackets spring to mind. I think it is quite safe to say I am failing miserably on all counts there. But when it is your family, you toss personal things to the wind, don't you. Consider mine tossed. This is my family.

And for good measure, my daughter, down there at the bottom of the world, has wrecked her knee and is being referred to a specialist. Her computer has also expired. And Glynis went into hospital yesterday for an op to correct the break in her wrist. The one she broke just before Christmas when she slipped on the ice. It has not healed correctly and needed a metal plate. So she is in pain and can't drive for another 6-8 weeks. Her sister is due to fly home next Monday.

HELLO 2010, CAN WE START OVER AGAIN???? This is not quite what I had in mind for the new year.

So all has not been paradise, sweetness and light around my little world. However, I have conquered the crochet hook, people. I am now drowning under flowers, large and small, ripples, circles, snowflakes and the like. Thank heavens. I have sat beside Mum's bed in the hospital with hook flying at the speed of light each day. Balls of wool spilling out of the bag at my feet. Manic is an apt word here. It has been a sanity saver.

I have never under-estimated the importance of my family to me. In this family, everyone feels the same way, and nothing has been more important than getting Mum fixed and back to full health. Whatever that takes. And thankfully, she is doing brilliantly. It takes time to recover from major surgery, and as she is no longer 20something, it may take a little longer in her case, but we are made of strong stuff in this family, and she will be FINE.

So, here I am. I have said so many times before that life can change in a second, and it is up to us to learn how to deal with the fallout. It is not about me, after all. And as I am in the mood for day at a time. The greatest of thanks go to those friends IRL who have kept things running for me, and sorted out all the day to day things. The support has been absolutely stunning, and it is so appreciated by us all. And for all the prayers - a huge thank you.

Just one other thing.....did I mention that the emergency surgery happened to be in Switzerland??? See - nothing this family does is simple, it seems. Planes, trains, trains, and more trains, me, stick, plod, hobble....... And snow and ice and mountains, none of which I had seen till today. Up and off early and back late. The Germlish is improving in leaps and bounds, though. Germlish is what I speak - a total mix of German and English. It works.

Iam a little tired. Well, to be honest, I am unspeakably exhausted. I need a nap. Right now, I am dealing with a German keyboard which has moved all the letters around too, and I am not in the mood. I will be back.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


It is snowing again, and has been all day. I will say NOTHING FURTHER about the precipitation other than it must stop. This is definitely a stay at home and do not venture out of the front door kind of day. We are all turning into hermits in this village.

I have made a pile of leaves to go with the flowers now, people. It is seriously addictive. Now I know why my mother has crocheted enough blankets to warm the country in her time. I think it is time to start trying the ripple. Or the stars.

I lay in bed last night listening to the reports from Haiti re the earthquake - there were no pictures on tv of the devastation at that stage. What a disaster for an already impoverished country. I just hope and pray the international aid gets there as swiftly as possible. At times, I think I have very little, until I see what very little, or nothing really is. I - we - are so incredibly rich in comparison to the world's poorest, and we should never forget that. We need to do something about it.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Back to the empty nest again....

There are no longer any of my children resident here at home. David has returned to the snowy south, and a new university term, and happily, there were no disasters awaiting him. I had visions of burst pipes etc etc. As there are more bouts of extreme weather around the corner, it seemed a good idea to get him back while the roads were reasonable, but the whole of the south east is blanketed in snow. And fog. And I think the highest temp reached was 1C. Almost tropical!

There was also a brief visit to cheer me up as well - to watch Missy re-arranging the furniture while we had coffee. The child moves at the speed of light, and three quarters of the photos have some blurriness in them. She is up and moving all the time!
Snow. And David. He stocked up with food, and we took a trip up to the university to see what the roads and pathways were like. Roads were fine. Pathways not. And it is at the top of a steep hill, so I have a suspicion he will be using the bus till everything thaws. I think he looks rather happy to be back, don't you??!

He left his mark on the driveway at home. Footprints!

And here are some of my flowers. I made a whole lot more last night as well. This crochet lark is highly addictive.
And 3 of the snowflakes. They still have to be pinned and starched and then they will be done. They look complicated to the novice, but actually were quite simple to make. After a few failed attempts, that is.
And so now I am going to make more coffee, and curl up on the couch and do nothing. Maybe a few more flowers. I need a nap. The thaw may have started, but it is still perishingly cold.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Celebrate - Week One

Well, what have I done to celebrate life this week then?? I have to confess that my mood has been anything but celebratory when I look out the window in the mornings and see yet more snow piled on my car, driveway and the whole entire world. Snow in the Alps is one thing. Snow at home is totally another.


I can celebrate the thought that all those horrible bug things will not be about to devour my garden come spring or summer time. I hope. This cold should finish them off. By the way, can anyone tell my why birds don't freeze?

I celebrate the beauty of the snow in the fields (that is entirely different to snow on top of my car, of course).

And I celebrate the friendships I have, and the friends who have called to ask if I need anything, instead of having to venture out myself. Thoughtfulness is such a blessing.

I celebrate the joy of learning a new skill too. I am churning out little flowers at the moment. I have no idea what I am going to do with them, but it is such fun!

I am celebrating the fact that I have dealt with the current paperwork. For now. Living life to the full does not include periods of ostrich-like behaviour. Groan.

I am celebrating the last few days I have with David home. He should be going back to uni this weekend, but the weather....... Having one of my children around is a reminder that I am still a Mum.

And I celebrate the opportunity to spend time with friends. To skype with friends. To write to friends.

To be able to read, to be transported by words on a page. The smell of baking bread, stew bubbling away, apple spice candles burning in the lounge. Smells of home. The sight of the candles flickering, the sounds of the music playing on my ipod, the voices of my children, whether in reality or on skype or the phone. The little one laughing. The taste of fresh clementines, and of home-made cookies. The feel of the warm jumper I am wearing, and the feeling of achievement I had when I made those wristwarmers. Not to mention the snowflakes and the flowers......

You know, when I started this post, I was battling to think of things to celebrate. Nothing leapt out and shrieked "choose me!!" This, then, is why having a word to focus on for the year is so good. As I started thinking and writing, so much came to mind and ironically, I would never have realised, if I had not started focussing on the word, and what it actually meant to me. I could carry on all evening.

Each Saturday, I want to remind myself of the things I have celebrated during the week. It changes one's perspective!

Friday, January 08, 2010

I actually left the house today...

You will all be thrilled to know that Easter has arrived at Hobbycraft, and every possible item your heart could desire in pink, yellow, purple and green is there waiting for you. I know this, because I dug out and dusted off the Spirit of Adventure and ventured out of the igloo in search of wool. A couple of ladies on the search for the right wool and I compared notes, and came to the conclusion that Hobbycraft fails miserably on the wool front. But on the Easter front, if any of us were remotely considering Easter on the 8 January, they come up trumps. And you will be happy to hear that I have finished the other wristwarmer, and have made a snowflake! Sigh. There is no end to the excitement around here. Mother's stash of wool in her cupboard is disappearing fast.

The bookclub ladies and I went to see "Julie and Julia" last night, and we can all heartily recommend it to those of you who may not have seen it yet. That also involved dressing like eskimos and driving at -3 miles an hour on icy roads. I did ponder the wisdom of going anywhere, given that it started snowing yet again, but cabin fever was starting to set in, and I needed to re-connect with the world. The snow fell yet again during the night too. And this morning.

The news channel showed an amazing picture of the British Isles - all white and icy taken by Nasa - I must find it.

Here it is - amazing, isn't it?? It reminds me of that movie - The Day after Tomorrow. On the topic of snow and ice, my sister wants to know why the UK bother with salt on the roads. In Alpine villages, they use only gravel, so the cars have traction. And the bodywork of cars is not ruined. They save the salt for the motorways. Or roads down the mountain. Salt melts the ice, but then that freezes, and so the next morning, you have skating rinks, as we know all too well around these parts. The gravel would go a long way to filling the ridiculous potholes appearing all over the country too. Ice is the mega problem.

The curry is bubbling away on the stove, so I am off. Stay warm!

Thursday, January 07, 2010


I hope you are impressed. I have made a wrist warmer. Complete with bobble edging......
See? BOBBLE EDGING!!! Granted, I have only made one. So far. The other one is a work in progress. I made it long, because the wonderful glove thingys I bought have one failing and that is that they are not long enough, so this is perfect.

Sigh. I have actually made something other than a square or a rectangle. I am so excited, I had to show you all. The tension is quite loose, but that makes it easier for me to see the pattern and any mistakes. Oh yes - this was my first attempt at changing colour too.
Excuse me, as it is still Arctic weather here and I have hot coffee, I am heading back to the couch and my stripey crochet masterpiece. I need to cover both hands and get them warm asap. I am on a roll, people.....

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Snow yet again....

This is ridiculous. The snow keeps falling and then freezing and then snowing and then freezing and we have no grit on the roads and no snow tyres in this country and yes, I have said this all before, but it is crazy. Schools closed, people warned to stay off the roads unless absolutely essential.....

I did say this was turning into a weather blog. My life is being ruled by the weather at the moment. I cannot risk falling and damaging more of me. Enough already. So today, as it is Epiphany, the tree came down, and all the decorations are now packed away. I will miss the lights on the tree, and the warmth and cosy atmosphere the whole thing helped to create in my home. I don't have a fireplace, so I have no dancing flames to watch and so the tree did splendidly instead. Having David around to pop everything back into the loft helped too. He will be going back to uni soon, so I am making a list of things for tall strong young men to do before then!

And I have Shanghai Pork bubbling away in the slow cooker. It smells wonderful, and if it tastes anywhere near as good as it smells, I will post the recipe. I had to make the marinade yesterday and leave it to sit in the fridge overnight.

So that is my rivetting news for the day. My crochet hook is calling.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Ice and snow.....

I have decided that if I never see another shop, that is fine. For now, at least. So, feeling a bit of cabin fever, Jean and I popped up to our local garden centre for a coffee and a delicious fruit scone. Yesterday was beautiful. Freezing, of course, but sunny and blue skies .....well, you can see that in the photos.

In a stoke of genius, they decided to put in a real ice rink for the holiday season. Real, not artificial ice, that is, and it has been unbelievably popular. I love the little penguins to help little ones learn to skate!
And this gives you an idea of how cold it is. Has been. Continues to be. The fountain is frozen. And, acknowledging that this seems to be turning into a weather blog, the snow is on the way again. It has been snowing this morning but the main lot is due to deposit itself on top of us tonight and tomorrow. Oh joy. This does not happen in the UK.
The crochet attempts are coming along swimmingly. I have mastered the half treble now, and finally got the left hand to work smoothly, feeding the wool through, so I was really pleased with myself, and imagine the excitement when I looked at the ripple blanket pattern and I UNDERSTOOD it! Eureka! I know how to do the stitches!! I need to practice more though before I start that. Maybe next week. When I find the right wool. A small one. Very small. However, I have learned a new skill and it is just January 5th today, so that is a good start. In the creative department at least.
Now, if we could just extend the good start to all other areas of my life, that would be wonderful. I spent yesterday sorting paperwork. I would rather do just about anything else on earth. Such fun.
Missy gave me a lovely slow cooker cookbook for Christmas.....and I do believe I am going to go and find a recipe to make now. This is definitely slow cooker kind of weather!

Monday, January 04, 2010

A link to the post of the day....

I cannot begin to tell you how loudly I am cheering here, after reading Michelle's post today. Go now to Scribbit and read for yourself. Superb!

The story about Psalm 46.....

My fingers are flying over the keyboard here, people, in an effort to thaw. And we will not mention the toes. This is apparently the coldest spell of weather for over 25 years. I KNOW this. I am freezing.

Ah well. I have a warm recession heater on my lap and hot coffee next to me. It is not all bad. And the sun is shining. This makes me see the dust and the state of the windows, so I am ignoring it all. Lalalalalalala.

Remember back in early November when I said I would tell you about Psalm 46? I just remembered that I have yet to do so.

The day before I went to the other inquests in Oxford, I had a call at the crack of dawn from the Coroner's Office to tell me that a lawyer was coming down to attend the inquests and wanted to speak to me, and here was her number and call her now goodbye. I was still in bed at the time, and hurtled out of there (in a manner of speaking) and flew down stairs (in another manner ...etc etc).

As I reached the lounge, en route to the computer to google her and make sure she was real, I had the overwhelming urge to sit down and open my Bible. I had been praying for a miracle/angel/divine intervention for a while, because, my friends, I was tired. Very weary. Battling the giants has been hard. I had been reading through the Psalms, and even though Psalm 46 was one I had read a week or 2 before, I knew I had to re-read it. Right then. Before I googled her. Before I spoke to her.

Now, if you know me, you know that if I am On a Mission, it is head down and full steam ahead around here. But this time I stopped. Sat down and opened the Bible. Re-read Psalm 46. The words "Be still and know that I am God" really have had a huge impact on my life in recent months. And I stayed on the couch for quite a while thinking about the words I had read, and why I had to read them.

Anyway, I emailed Glynis and Jean, who were coming with me, and told them Psalm 46 was required reading before we set off for Oxford the next day. And then I googled the lawyer, and eventually spoke to her, and made arrangements to meet before the inquests etc etc. You know that bit.

And the next morning, off we set at the crack of dawn. A stunning day. Bright blue sun rising. Glorious scenery. We talked about it as we drove. And when we arrived at the courts, Jean got out of the car and said to me - "You get the UCB Word for Today notes, don't you?" "No", I said, I don't. She stood there and looked at me and said "Are you sure?" Well of course I was sure.

And then she hauled out her copy of the Notes and said "Read this. I thought you got the notes, looked at today's words and then asked us to read Psalm 46."

No. I had not.

Wednesday Nov 4 Comfort in troubled times

"......God will help her at break of day."

When your world is suddenly turned upside down, remember, God's plans for your life haven't been cancelled! When you feel trapped with no way out, here are some things to remember:

  1. Look for the river. There is a river whose streams make glad.... (Psalm 46:4). In Old Testament symbolism, rivers represent God's supply for for your every need. When every human source of supply seems to have dried up, don't fear, look for the river. (We crossed many beautiful rivers on the way into Oxford, and we talked about them as we drove over the bridges)

  2. Look for the city. God has planted His " of God, the Holy place where the Most High dwells" (Psalm 46:4), right in the middle of your circumstances. God's city, the symbol of His presence and power, guarantees He's still in control and that He will restore peace and order to your troubled world. (I was giving Jean directions into the city, and told her to head for the beautiful church spires we could see. The ones belonging to the churches and chapels in the centre of the city.)

  3. Look for the signs of God's presence. "God will help[you] at break of day." (Psalm 46:5) Daybreak, a symbol of new beginnings, gives you confidence that beyond this time of trouble and testing, a new day is at hand. "Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning". (Lamentations 3:23) (The most stunning sun rose as we journeyed down, and we talked about the beauty of the rising sun, and the dawn of a new day, and we speculated about what it could have in store for me/us.)

  4. "Come....see the works of the Lord..." (Psalm 46:8) Reviewing the record of His mighty acts builds your faith and reminds you that He is the..."same yesterday and today and forever". (Hebrews 13:8). If He took care of you then, He will take care of you now. (I have made no secret of the fact that I have only survived the past few years because He has most certainly taken care of me. Then. Now. Forever.)

  5. Look to God and be at peace. Based on the tested and proven foundation of His power and faithfulness, you can live by the Scripture, "Be still and know that I am God..." (Psalm 46:10). (I loved that verse so much, I had even embroidered it onto the Happy Quilt I made in the weeks before.)

I stood there with the booklet in my hands and looked at my friends. I could hardly believe the message we had been given. If anyone had ever had a shred of doubt, there was no way to possibly explain the series of coincidences. No doubts. No coincidences. Just absolutely real. Confirmation that He had me in His hands. He had the court, the lawyers, the hordes. In. His. Hands. He was pulling the strings. He was in control, and He made absolutely sure I knew that.

So when, a few hours later, the message from the Coroner and the lawyer came that I was going to be back in the hot seat asking the questions, I just grinned and said fine. I can do that. No problem. No panic. No notes. No information re the deceased people....BUT......I had every assurance on earth and in heaven that whatever happened, He was there.

You know what happened at the inquests. The posts are back up again, by the way.

I will say it once again. He is what has sustained me. He has given me the strength. He has given me the courage. And in the end, I have had no option but to rely totally on Him. He has never ever let me down. Not for one second.

This, then, is my God.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Day 2 of the new decade......

We have now mastered the treble stitch. Great. The only problem is that I have forgotten the 2 I learned yesterday. This is going to take some time I feel. However, perseverance is going to be my second name.

I don't know what has happened to global warming. Here in the UK we have apparently moved to global colding. It is perishingly cold outside and the snow is threatening to reappear. The ground is frozen solid. Up north, the snow has not gone at all. More keeps falling. Thank heavens for the recession heaters I made. I am tired of wearing 47 layers of clothing, though.

This post is moving all over the place, much like the mind is at the moment.

Late this afternoon, I happened to be outside, and looked up into the darkened sky, and I saw so many planes criss-crossing the heavens, in all directions. I stood there looking at those flickerign lights, and wondered about where they were going, who was on board, and what kind of adventures they were about to have. I wondered about far off places I have only dreamt about. New beginnings perhaps. I thought of places waiting to be explored. Of hemispheres, and different stars at night. Of friends and family scattered all over the world.

This is what happens at the start of a new year. A new decade. The wondering. The dreaming. The open notebook time, with pristine pages waiting to be covered with writing. My writing. A story yet to be lived and yet to be told. This is the second day in a new decade for me. A new year for me. For each of us. What, I wonder, will the writing tell of? Where will I go? What will I be doing?

There are 2 ways to look at the wide open spaces, aren't there - with fear or with anticipation. The unknown can be a frigtening thought. Change can induce fear. Or, anticipation can generate excitement, and change, delight. Ah, I am thankful I was born with an adventurous spirit.

Change. Adventure. New opportunities. Climbing out of the rut. Doing something different. Pushing aside the familiar, and trying something new and challenging. Getting out of the comfort zone for a while. These then are the thoughts chasing about my head at the moment. The thoughts which have made me restless.

It is possible that I have spent the last 12 months marking time. Perhaps for the simple reason that I needed to rest and gather strength for what may be waiting this year. Or that I was not ready. Or maybe there is another year of marking time ahead for me. I have no idea. Anything is possible. Wildest dreams become attainable when we leave ourselves open to those chance opportunities which pop up now and then, but only if we have the courage to grab them with both hands. We have to be willing. To trust. To go. To try.

This is a time of wonder.

Friday, January 01, 2010

I am learning.....

Well. This morning, I decided that Today Was The Day I learned how to crochet. So, armed with the 99p magazine Glynis bought for us both which promises to teach us to be experts (after heaven knows how many issues at a great deal more than 99p each and to the tune of around £300) I had a go at it. I may well be stopping at issue 1. Or 2. Maybe 3.

And after fumbling my way through the "how to get started" bit, and trying to work out where the wool in my left hand actually goes without being too tight or too loose, I managed a little square. I learned how to chain, and do slip stitch and double crochet. They even supplied the wool and the crochet hook. I know it has mistakes and a few holes, but it was MY FIRST ATTEMPT!!
And then I scrounged around in Mother's cupboard and found a ball of wool and tried a larger version. I am now as blind as a bat, because I had the hook and wool so close to the eyes to see what I was doing that I gave myself a headache. And the world is blurry. And yes, the pink version also has mistakes, but I am getting there. I am intent on making stars and ripples and fun things as soon as possible. I did tell you that the patience needed more work, didn't I! So I am On a Mission. Keeping the tension even is hard!

So that is how the first day of 2010 has been spent. I was too busy trying to get it right to cook, so we had breakfast for supper, aka egg and bacon.

This bears no relation to the post I intended writing. Tomorrow. If I can see straight by then.

Happy New Year!

May 2010 be filled with love, laughter, health and happiness for all my family and friends!