What I learned in 2016


Instead of a ‘What I’ve Learned This Week’ post (which I normally share on a Friday),   I felt it would be appropriate to make a post about some of the things I’ve learned this last year which we’ve just said goodbye to.

Some of the things life taught me during 2016 are fabulous, and some aren’t.

I’m a believer in a particular ‘thing’, which life taught me when I was in my early teens, which I call:  If something happens,  it happens For A Reason.

It might be a truly wonderful, amazing, biggest wish and want of your heart and soul.  Or it could be something not so wanted or desired.  However, what ever this ‘thing’ is, it will have been placed on your pathway for a reason, and you are meant to learn something from it.

So let’s begin the journey of discovery about what I Learned during 2016, shall we?  Are you strapped in securely?  Do you have your crash helmet secured?  Clean underwear on?  Okey Dokey, hold on tightly to the person sat next to you, because that way it’s less likely that you’ll fly off half way round the ride!

I learned last year ….  that when I finally find some moccasin slippers which fit beautifully, with good soles, and are lined with cotton inside them (because of my stupidly sensitive feet) …  I should buy two or even three pairs, because when the pair I originally chose, and have been wearing till they fell apart, I won’t be able to find any more, anywhere near as comfortable or lovely as them, and the place I bought them from changed the design and put non-cotton linings in their new design.  I’ve been looking since February of 2016 for a new pair, and so far I’ve found nothing which comes anywhere near.  I’ve bought new slippersin fact I’ve bought four pairs of different slippers since then, but none of them are anywhere near as comfortable and, to be truthful, I hate them all.

The older I’ve got, the more I’ve grown to appreciate bits of my body, in particular my feet.  Look after your feet people, because they have to last you for the rest of your life.  Buy shoes which fit.  Don’t wear heels every day – swap things around – to give your feet chance to work properly.  And don’t wear anything which is tight around the toes. It’s not brain surgery, and it’s simple to understand.  Look after your feet.

I also learned that I need to Plan Ahead.  Not for the emergency things, like a power cut and we had no electricity – because I plan for all emergencies like that.

(In fact, I plan so ‘beautifully’ (?) for that sort of emergency that if there were an actual power cut here where we live, I could give every neighbour candles and still have enough for us).

I need to stop waiting till the last moment to do some of the regular things – like make an appointment for the doctor (I wait until I’m ready to be admitted to hospital before I’ll give in and make an appointment),  – and instead of putting things off,  I need to do things there and then(!) so that they’re already done and ready for when they need to be ready.  Case in point:  This Post!

I knew I was going to do this post and I knew when I needed it done for.  And yet, here I am, on the last day of 2016, tapping away on my keyboard knowing that this post HAS to be ready to ‘go live’ in the early hours of 2017.  Why on earth didn’t I begin building this post when I sat having a rest or a coffee, or even last week?!  The answer is:  Because I’m a dimwit!  That’s why!

PLAN AHEAD WOMAN ... and stop leaving ‘it’ till the final moment!

Next!:

I learned during 2016  that Crafting is an obsession to me.  And not only is crafting itself the obsession, but crafty shopping is also an obsession.  I will go to a store with a list of (say) three or four items that I need.  However, when I hit that shop with all those lovely crafty goodies, I go batship crazy and am like a child who’s on a sugar high and been given permission to have as many things as they can stuff into a trolley within two hours.  Yes seriously.  I will sometimes catch the bored stiff eyes of ‘Cobs The Bogeyman’ (aka Mr.Cobs) as he wanders around after me (following me like a little lost puppy) asking …  “can we go now?”. 

The man should be awarded a Knighthood in the New Year Honours List (which we have here in the UK), for Services to Retail;  Excelling in the Art of Husbandry; and generally being Mr. Wonderful.  (although that last one can sometimes come into question).

“Arise Sir Cobs.” she says. [as the Queen finishes dobbing him on each shoulder with her trusty sword].

NEXT!

I’ve learned this year that …  New Years Eve is the only acceptable time to wear glitter without being mistaken for a stripper.
As a crafter this is the saddest bit of stuff I’ve ever learned in my whole life.  I’m always twinkling with glitter, even if I haven’t used any for a week.  A spell in my craft room seems to cover me in glitter, which I leave trails of behind me, wherever I roam, or go.  (Including into the loo – which tickles Mr.C – but I won’t tell you what he says about it.  Suffice to say it has something to do with storage of the twinkly stuff and my knickers)

NEXT!:

I won’t make up stories about my parents being the most amazing parents in the world.  My parents weren’t the best parents in the world,  but they were the best ‘THEY‘ could be.  They taught me many lessons.  Life Lessons about:

  • appreciating every thing I had.  From the toys that were given to me as a child, to the teachers I had at school and the lessons I learned from them.
  • How to make friends and be a friend.  ( I still have problems making friends because I’m SO painfully shy).
  • Ensuring that I knew the importance of keeping Sunday as a family day and Christmas and Easter,  and Birthdays, as special days and honour the family by spending time with them – all of them – from my parents to my Grandma & Grandad, Uncles, Aunties, Cousins etc.
  • To look at both sides of any choices which were placed in front of me.  Good-v-Bad.  To make sure that I had looked at things from every angle in order to make sure I made the right choice for me.
  • To have an opinion.  Aw heckaroonie,  I could count on my Mom to have an opinion, and to feel free to voice it –  even if I or anyone else disagreed with her, she had her opinion and would stick to it too.
  • To be willing to help.  From the age of around 12, I used to do the family weekly shopping all by myself.  My mother would be working and my father wasn’t the shopping sort of chap, so I was left a list next the kitchen sink, every Saturday morning, along with money, and I had to go all by myself to the local shopping centre, and visit the big Supermarket;  greengrocer;  butchers;  newsagent;  and possibly the pharmacy too, in order to get all the things on the list, within the money that I’d been left to buy it with.  Then bring all those groceries home – walking all the way home carrying four bags full of groceries.  This taught me a huge lesson as a child:  How to be an important part of the family.  How to manage money;  How to Budget;  How to Shop for a whole family with all their various likes and dislikes;  and …  Spend money on the right things when that was the only option open.  As an adult, when I married, I was so grateful for those shopping and money management lessons.

I learned many more lessons from my parents and I’m grateful for them.  However, a lesson they never got the chance to teach me (and I so wish they had)  was how to deal with someone, a family member in this case, who not just wounded me but broke my heart with their words,  all within about 90 seconds,  and without me getting chance to ask why?  What?  How?  When?  Who?  Why?  WHY??

My parents aren’t around now for me to talk to and ask advice from on how to deal with what happened and to share with them how it’s affected me, and over the last year I’ve wished daily that I had someone older and wiser to advise me, and to just listen.  Before now, I’ve had my mother in law to chat with, and she’s been brilliant.  But she’s getting on in age and is showing some signs of a dementia type of illness so of course I simply won’t give her a problem like this for her to listen to.

So it’s been left to me to ‘grow up’ and get to a place where I have come to a decision about what I have to do.

This whole thing happened because I’d offered this particular family member help to clean their house.  I’d offered before and they seemed to welcome the idea of this help –  things were getting on top of them and all sorts of stuff had become very difficult for them as they were suffering with depression.

Offering to help with the cleaning was the only thing I knew how to do which I thought might help in some way.  But I’d been waiting for them to tell me when they’d like me to come over – for it’s how we’d left it.  I offered, they brightened up and said yes, and said they’d let me know when.  I’d waited weeks and weeks, and wondered if perhaps they didn’t like to ask, so I offered again, and it tipped this person over the edge of reason and they simply exploded.  They shouted an awful lot of hurtful things at me, and told me that they didn’t love me, or like me, and that they didn’t want anything more to do with me. It was such a total shock because we’d always got on really well.

So … I finally learned in the last week of 2016,  that for my own sake, I have to leave this deep wound alone and move on.  Mr.Cobs has helped me see that after 15 months, if nothing has put things right after this length of time, then I HAVE to let it go and move on from it.  For the sake of my heart, and my health, I have to leave this behind me and allow my heart time to heal.

It’s difficult because I hate to see how depression is keeping this person fixed, almost like a prisoner, in one place and no longer enjoying life.  But, as Mr.Cobs has said over and over – I have to let it go.  I cannot continue to fret over this.

I’ve learned that I’m grateful for my parents being the best parents they could be, teaching me, showing me and making me aware of the things that are important.  And … I think they would have told me I realised,  probably about eight months ago,  that I HAD to just let go of this ‘thing’,  stop turning it over and over inside my heart and mind,  and instead move on.

So that’s what I’m doing.   I’m moving on Mom. ❤

Y’know …  I felt as if I just heard her say, over my left shoulder,  ‘Good girl.’

*I tell you none of this for sympathy …  and I want none.   I’m simply sharing what I’ve learned last year, and this was a really BIG learn for me.

OK… moving on:  NEXT!

I learned, during 2016, that it takes me two months to learn to write the new year numbers down on anything that I need to write it down on.  So I’m going to try harder with 2017!

NEXT!

I learned all over again in 2016, how much I enjoy writing posts for this blog.  I’ve ‘met’ so many wonderful people via the blog and I cannot begin to tell you how enriching it is to know you all.  YOU reading this now.  YOU enrich my life by being in it.  So I take this opportunity to thank you for being who you are.  You’re truly amazing.  (And boy oh boy, you’re such a blessing!)

NEXT:

I’ve learned how much I adore the simple jokes in life.  Complicated jokes are great … but sometimes they can be a bit too clever and they make my brain hurt trying to keep up with them.  But the simple, almost childlike jokes … aw, they are the jaw achers which I adore.  I shall attempt to remember to add a small handful at the end of this ‘ream of internet paper’.

NEXT!

I’ve learned the importance of an afternoon snack. 4pm (ish) seems to be the point at which my sugar levels drop to a low and I will either fall asleep in my chair or take myself off to bed for a nap.  However … if I have something snackwise, at around 4pm, then I’m good to go for the rest of the day.  Have a snack!

And finally….

I’ve learned the importance of not hitting your knee on a substantial coffee table, made of 2″thick pine and made in such a way that a family of four could live in it in an emergency.  Actually … I learnt this lesson on the closing moments of 2016 … so only just, and the swear words are still bouncing off the walls of my brain!  Grrrrr!  Gosh, that knee hurts now, and it’s really, really hot to touch and swollen too!

OK…  I know you’ve been waiting for this part ….  here come the jokes:

On New Year’s Eve, Marilyn stood up in the local pub and said that it was time to get ready. At the stroke of midnight, she wanted every husband to be standing next to the one person who made his life worth living. Well, it was kind of embarrassing. Because,  as the clock struck, the bartender was almost crushed to death.
~~~~~~~
What’s the difference between a ‘hippo’ and a ‘Zippo’?
 . . . . . .  One is really heavy, the other is a little lighter
~~~~~~~
Two Clowns divorce.  A Custardy battle follows.
~~~~~~~
Question for you …  Why is the winner of the Miss Universe contest always from earth?
~~~~~~~

An annoying person told me “People have 2 Ears and 1 mouth, so they should listen more than they speak.”

I replied “People also have 1 mouth and 2 legs, so maybe you should shut up and go away.”

~~~~~~~

In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth. After that, everything else was ‘Made in China’.

~~~~~~~

WomenA species that loathes you for asking their age,but will torture you forever if you forget their birthday.

What is red and bad for your teeth?  . . .   A brick!

Isn’t it scary that doctors call what they do “practice”?

Love means nothing to a tennis player.

Knock Knock
Who’s there?
Who.
Who who?
What are you? An owl?

Knock Knock
Who’s there?
Smell map
Smell map who?
If you’re not giggling by now,  say it out loud.  If you’re still not giggling after that then click and hold the click over this —>“Smell map who?”  sounds like  ‘Smell my poo’ when said out loud<—

Knock Knock
Who’s there?
Doris.
Doris who?
Doris locked that’s why I’m knocking.

Knock, Knock
Who’s there?
Hatch
Hatch who?
Bless you and cover your mouth next time.

Knock, Knock
Who’s there?
Spell.
Spell who?
OK, W. H. O.

Knock, Knock
Who’s there?
Mikey.
Mikey who?
Mikey doesn’t fit in the keyhole

Knock Knock
Who’s there?
I eat map.
I eat map who?
Oh yuk!   That’s disgusting!  (you might have to say it out loud if you haven’t got it yet).

And finally …..

Wife texts husband: Where are you? Why aren’t you home yet?

Husband texts back: Love, do you remember the jewellery shop on Regent Street where you saw a diamond necklace and fell in love with it and I couldn’t afford it then, but I said ‘I will get it one day for you’?

Wife replies (all excited): Yes I do, I do.

Husband texts back to her: I am in the pub just next door to that.

fnar fnar!

Well I guess that there’s only one thing left for me to do now and that’s this (It’s only 34 seconds long):-

 

Remember you can reset your resolutions on January 14th (Orthodox New Year) and February 8th (Chinese New Year). After that, even I can’t help you.
I personally have only one resolution. To rediscover the difference between wants and needs. May I have all I need and want all I have.
May love, peace and harmony be yours in 2017, and my greatest wish for you is for contentment to be yours.  For when you have contentment, you then have everything you could possibly want.  Happy New Year to you!

With love ~

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I spy with my little eye: a Chat Noir upon a Mer de Bleu!

Did you ‘get’ it?  Did you?  eh?  If you didn’t then it’s probably because you don’t remember the school  lessons in basic French.  Don’t worry, you’re not alone,  … I don’t remember that much about those lessons either.  Although I do remember:  ‘La plume de ma tante est dans le jardin’.  What a useless bit of French was that?  How on earth was I going to use that in every day talking?  My aunt would never have left her pen in the garden, because if she had, one of her three children would have squirreled it away and produced it in a quiet moment when she wasn’t looking, and the hall walls were ready for a hand drawn masterpiece on them.

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I’m really honoured, very flattered, and, I admit, a little bit embarrassed, about receiving 3 awards in 3 weeks.  And I’m so sorry if I’m boring everyone to pieces with little snippets of ‘me’ all over the place, but I promise that this is the final of the three awards, – so after this you’ll be so full of ‘Cobs’ you won’t want to hear from me for weeks-on-end until you’ve finally filtered all the ‘Cobs’ through your system, past your kidneys and … well  you know how your internal system works,  so we’ll leave it right there shall we?  [nod & a wink].

A blogger who I just adore,  The Chicken Grandma  nominated me for the Black Cat Blue Sea award.  I apparently one of the people who, she said (and I quote)  “made me think, they have made me laugh out loud, they have inspired me but most of all they have made me wish I could meet them in person”  …  Now I have to say that she might have been suffering a moment of ‘delusion’ when it came to nominating me, but she can’t take it away now ’cause I have it in writing!  [nods firmly as if to seal the deal].  Thank you Chicken for honouring me in this way.  Bless your beautiful heart.

Anyhoo .. the rules are as follows:

black-cat-blue-sea

Ok .. that seems simple enough, even for a person of little brain and bad headache like me.  We’ll begin with the questions that The Chicken Grandma asked me to answer:

1. How do you find your inspiration for a blog post?

Well, the obvious answer is my crafting.  Whatever I make will inspire the blog post.  However … I don’t just blog about crafts, so, in truth, it’s my life which gives me the inspiration.  Things happen, good and not so good, and when they happen I tend to try to look for the either the silver lining, or the humour in the situation, and from that comes the inspiration.  I love fun.  Not to the exclusion of anything else you understand.  But I love the fun which lightens the days.  Fun which is harmless to anyone else.  You’ll never find me having fun at someone elses expense for example.  If there is to be someone who is the brunt of my fun then it’s me.  But I’m in my element when I can share the fun with someone else.  I have a little handful of bloggers (yes YOU know who YOU are) who have that same little streak of naughtiness running through them.  A kind of gentle rascal naughtiness.  Something like two girls giggling in the corner of the playground, and no one really knows what they’re giggling about, but everyone DOES know that it’s totally harmless, not offensive or rude and just simply two minds going on a carnival ride together.

2. What do you enjoy most about where you call home?

Oh, well that ones easy! ...  Mr Cobs, my dog, my cats, my rabbit, and my chickens are all there.  Oh … and my craft room is in the garden.  umm…  Did I mention my craft room?   Or as my friend calls it:  The ‘executive art annexe’.  (Posh friend with just a hint of crazy and an extremely large dash of fun. lol).

3. What is your favourite thing to do?

Oh heck … I have lots of things I love to do .. but I have to tie it down to one … lemme think for a moment …..  hmm..  It seems to be the simple pleasures that I enjoy the most – so I’ll choose ….. Visiting the sea.  The sea is just a few minutes away from our home, and I love to visit just to sit and look and watch it.  To feel it’s power and yet it’s gentleness.  The sound of the sea is a music like no other.

Sitting with the sea cleanses my mind and my soul and seems to slow down my pulse and heart rate.  It allows me to stop thinking and instead, let another power take control.

Right – that’s the questions answered,  …. now I need to name 7 blogs I want to pass this award onto, and set them three questions of my own … here goes…

Gail at Truly Jewellery and Crafts

Sarah at The Handmade Card Blog

My Paper Rose Garden

Paintbox Mum

Imagine Blog

Puddle Side Musings

Linda Simpson Crafty Piece of Heaven

And my  3  questions for these people to answer are as follows:

  1. If you won a prize for a crafty item or craft related ‘goody’ … what would you really want that prize to be … and why?
  2. If you were asked to demonstrate how you made a particular thing … for one of the main Craft channels on TV … would you say yes? and .. what item would you demonstrate that you’ve already made?  (Give us all a link to that too, so that we can share the enjoyment).
  3. You’re going to be stranded on an island all by yourself, for one week.  What 5   (only FIVE)  crafty items would you take with you?  Or ... would you take none and just enjoy the total peace and quiet?

And that, as they say, is all there is to it.  BUT … if any of the people I’ve named for nomination of this award choose not to accept the award then that’s absolutely fine and groovy.  No one is under any obligation to accept the award or to answer the questions.

Thank you again to my fabulous Chicken Grandma for nominating me for this award. I’m honoured, and so blessed to know her.  Please go and check out her blog (see the link towards the head of this post), and get to know her.  She’s an absolute delight and makes me smile so very much.  Her blog posts are such an enjoyment to read.  Go check her out.

Well today is Monday So let’s get this week off to a great start, shall we?  Could you, do you think, do just one act of random kindness today?  Could you perhaps buy a little bunch of flowers and give them to a neighbour, just to make them smile?  Perhaps give a sweet card to someone to bring cheer into their life?  How about making a cake for someone?  Or even buying a pack of biscuits?  One of my most favourite things to do where I used to live was something I called  ‘Get your neighbour fat day’ … while out shopping I’d buy a couple of cakes from the bakery department and have them packed singularly so that I could take one to one of my lady neighbours, and the other cake to another.  I’d sometimes stand on their doorstep singing:  “A very happy UnBirthday to you . . . “ (from Alice in Wonderland).  Which made them hoot.

Go on, give it a go.  Do a random act of kindness for someone.  You don’t have to spend any money if you can’t…  you could pray for the next person who passes you in the street.  Or you could simply share a smile.  Sometimes it takes the smallest act of kindness to change a persons day,  or even their whole life.

You really are the greatest bunch of folks, y’know, and if I could give you one thing in life it would be to see yourself through my eyes.  Only then would you know how incredibly special you are to me.

So .. come on Team!   Let’s do it to them before they do it to us!  (a kindness that is).

Sending you a wish for a truly magnificent Monday.

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Things I learned this Week . . .

Happy Friday!  …  and welcome to Cobs Lessons of Life.  A snapshot of a week spent being taught certain lessons which we all run into from time to time – but I’m sharing my lessons with you so that you learn in a fun way, . . .  and have a laugh at my predicaments.  or even go away after reading this post feeling so much wiser and far more clever than you started out!

Regular readers may remember that last week I told you my tale of woe about having absolutely no electricity in my craft room.  All the electrics went pop on Wednesday of last week and despite Mr. Cobs efforts, the electricity was no more.

Thankfully, my Super Hero:  Electric Man,  came Friday morning last week and managed to locate the problem, sort it out, and the magic which is electricity was restored!

But I still haven’t told you what caused the loss of electricity in my craft room yet.

I bet that you couldn’t ever guess what caused all the electricity to suddenly disappear in my craft room – not even if I gave you two weeks to come up with your best guess.  But .. let’s give this a moment, and let you have one stab at what you think it might have been.

Go on…  I’ll give you chance to make just one guess.  Just one.  Make it outrageous.  See if you can guess.

Now let’s see how many of your were right ….

What caused my entire craft room to be plunged into the bleak dark ages of no electricity was … A WEB SITE.  Yes, you really did read that correctly.  Maybe I should be more specific so that you can picture how this loss of electricity occurred ….  I lost all the electricity in my craft room simply because of a particular type of web site,  more commonly known as . . .  a spider’s web.

Yes, honestly truthfully.  Honest to Dog.  Cross my heart and all that stuff.

A spider had crawled into an electric socket and decided that he would make his home there.  He’d spun himself a rather intricate web (my Super Hero Electric Man told me it was really quite pretty one).  And it was this web which shorted out all of my electricity!

Can you believe it?  No me neither.  If this was anyone but my Super Hero (aka Chris) , I would have given them a shifty look which told them that I didn’t believe them.  But Electric Man is brilliant.  He doesn’t tell me tall tales.  He also told me that it was something that he’d actually seen before!  Along with he told me, slugs and snails which had crawled into sockets, and wiped out the power!  And there was I thinking being a Super Hero was a glamorous job!

What else did I learn this week .

  • That I miss the funny people who were around (well-known folks of TV and Stand Up comedians on tours in theatres etc) in the 80’s  and 90’s  – such as Pam Ayres, Mike Harding,  Brian Connolly,  Robin Williams, Steve Martin, John Candy, Mel Brooks, Bob Newhart.  Do I miss them … or is it that I miss the  whole era when comedy wasn’t filled with filth, filthy words, and downright disagreeable subjects – all of which todays comedians seem to earn a fortune from injecting into their acts.  I don’t understand it and can’t understand why people find it funny.

I also learned that …

  • Harry Potter’s house is valued at £475,000 ($615,000)  (The house where he lived with his uncle and aunt).

and . . .

  • That I really like this blog and LOVE blogging.  I’ve ‘met’ so many really lovely people because of this blog;  and I’ve also learned tons by reading other blogs.  Yes .. blogging, for me at least, is an experience I’ve found to be truly wonderful.

also . . .

  •   More than 200 UK drivers are at least 100 years old.

and …

  • The best coffee can be found in our cottage, at 4pm every single day,  especially after a tough day, a painful day, a miserable day, or just any ol’ day …  and it’s made by Mr. C,  – just to make me feel human again.  ( what can I say? The guy’s brilliant.  I got a good one.)

Oh ... and this one made my eyes stretch to the size of saucers:

  • The ad executive behind the Nike slogan  “Just do it”  got the idea from the final words of condemned murderer Gary Gilmore.  Ohhh, this made me feel like I didn’t want to ever buy Nike again.  What a way to get a slogan!

And finally … I’ve learned that if I don’t get enough sleep, the sleep I do get is peppered with the strangest dreams, which ‘feel’  like it’s real and that the *things* actually really have happened.   I need to get more sleep.

So … that’s what I’ve learned this week.  Now it’s over to you.  What lessons has life taught you this week?  Not to spend so much money?  That you won’t die if you eat some treat or other?  That she was right …. Your Mother DOES know best?    Or something else?  Do share it with us all.  We won’t judge and we won’t laugh … unless you want us to, and then we’ll howl with laughter so loud that you’ll hear us!

In the meantime …  may I wish you a totally Fabulous Friday.  A very special Saturday, and an easy, peaceful, gentle, and sunny Sunday.

Be careful out there.  There are nuts on the road and there might even be one in your car too!  

Squidges from me in my corner to you in yours …

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Things I’ve learned this week

Aaand  it’s Friday again.  Can you believe how quickly Fridays seem to arrive?  Or is that just me being old and weird? 

Well we’re here to find out what I’ve learned this week  and I’ve learned a lot…

Dragonfly

I’ve learned that although I’m scared stupid of spiders, I’m not scared of Dragonflies.  In fact, I’m SO not scared of them that I tried to collect up and save the life of a Dragonfly who’d popping into my craft room, through the open window.  I was trying to be so very careful with him and not hurt his little wings or anything – but I was being too careful and so couldn’t catch him.  In the end I called on Mr.Cobs to come and help, as I was concerned that he could end up not being able to get out and then I’d find his little body,  lifeless, on the windowsill …  and then I’d feel a huge sense of guilt,  for ever and ever, that I hadn’t tried harder.

Mr.Cobs thankfully managed to guide him to the open window where he neatly popped out and flew away.  (The dragonfly flew away, not Mr.Cobs.  I think Mr. Cobs would have great difficulty getting off the ground).

and

I learned that the ampersand (in the picture above and here: &) has a most fascinating history.  It first came to light over 2,000 years ago!  Now that alone was enough to turn my eyes into the size of saucers.  I mean to say … look at that funky shape (above) …  that isn’t something which you perhaps would have expected to be around over 2,000 years ago.  But there’s more: …  It started out as the Latin word: et – which meant  ‘and’.  But because of the way Latin was written (all curls and flicks) the ‘e‘ and the ‘t‘  sometimes looked as if they were as one letter, which was the beginning of the ampersand  ‘&’.

BUT … the actual name ‘ampersand‘ didn’t exist until around the 1830’s, when ‘&’ was (would you believe it ..) … the 27th letter of the alphabet!  WHO KNEW?!    The ‘&’ mark ended the alphabet like this: X  ..  Y  ..  Z  ..   and per se and‘  (and=&)  –  and since ‘and per se’ meant: ‘and by itself’  …  this final phrase ‘and per se’ was lazily mumbled and stumbled over by English school children when they were reciting the alphabet,  it was, through use of the mumbled English,  eventually re-born as  ‘ampersand’

(If you say the original  ‘and per se and’  out loud a few times until your mouth gets used to saying it, you can eventually ‘hear’ how you could slur it, as a bored child would do when being made to recite the alphabet for the fourth time, and make it sound like ‘ampersand’)

I’ve also learned this week that a picture very much like this little picture (below) hit just the right spot in me and spoke to me like it was the Lord talking gently over my shoulder, into my ear:

Love what you do 02.09.16

My incredible, amazing,  the funshine of my life Grandson,  Little Cobs, has developed an all-encompassing love of his teddy bear over the summer (school) holidays, and that teddy bear travels everywhere with him.  From morning till night, that little bear is carted around like it’s tied to him.  His mummy (our daughter) sent a text message to her father (Mr. Cobs)  asking if he could make a bed for ‘Round‘ (the name of Little Cobs teddy bear.  I know!  RoundI have no idea why either, but that’s the name Little C. gave the bear and we know better than to question it).   I said I’d design it, and Mr. Cobs could make it.  But until it’s made we sorted out a lightweight (so easy to pick up and carry for a small boy), plastic (but that flexible plastic which you can bend – so that it won’t break) box,  which I donated from my craft room, as a bed for ‘Round’,  and when Little Cobs came to visit for the day on Wednesday this week, I told Little C that I would make a pillow and bed throw (duvet) for Round so that she (oh yes, ‘Round’ is a girl, I think I forgot to say that) .. so that Round would have a comfy pillow to rest her head and a lovely bed throw to cover herself up with so that she was snuggly in her bed.

Mr. Cobs lifted my sewing machine from its sewing bag and set it down on the table for me, . . .  and as I sat cutting some material to make the throw …  I became aware of a performance over to my right, coming from the living room.  I stopped what I was doing to see Little Cobs fighting his way through the living room with one of the chairs from his drawing table.  …. huff, puff, huff  ….  He was rather firmly informing Grandad that  NO, he didn’t need any help, he could do it himself!  So Mr. Cobs opened the door wider so that Little C could manly bring in his own chair to sit and keep me company as I sat sewing bed ‘stuff’ for Round. (Keep in mind that this little boy has cerebral palsy which affects his walking and co-ordination, and his articulation of words to some degree, and you’ll understand why seeing him struggling purposefully with this chair made my heart sing).   It was right then, as I looked at the little man now sat to my right, that I realised I couldn’t have a more perfect moment than those few seconds.  Here was this tiny scrap, sat on a chair a quarter of the size of mine, keeping me company and watching me sew and make things for his beloved bear,   as he sat hugging said bear and waited for the magic to happen.  In that moment I knew that I LOVED what I am able to do.  I love that I can craft.  That I can paint, stamp and colour things with him. I love that I have a pile of stuff in my craft room which is just for him.  I love that there is a huge jar filled with all manner of wonderful craft goodies, which he’s seen and knows is sat waiting until this Saturday when he and I are going to have a crafting day, just Grammy and Little Cobs.

And I loved and gave thanks, in that very moment, that I knew enough about sewing dolly and teddy things from when our girls were young,  to quickly make a quilted bed throw and soft, squishy pillow for  Round the Bear, who has a fluffy  heart on her bottom, and holds my grandsons heart in her paw.

Hello God, it’s me again.  Please don’t let him lose Round,  for he will be inconsolable if he ever does. Thank you.

When I had finally finished sewing, and cut off all the loose threads, I gave the new bedding to Little Cobs and helped him put them in Rounds temporary bed, with Round tucked up snuggly, like a bear should be.  He gazed at the bed throw and touched it gently.  Feeling how soft and squishy it was and then he looked at me in a way which I hadn’t seen him look at me before.  I saw that his little brain was trying to work out something that he hadn’t noticed before – that being that his Grammy obviously had a magic wand and was a witch who could magic up wondrous things he’d never dreamed of.  I’m dreading him coming on Saturday and asking me to make him a full size Racing Car.  There’s only so far that my magic can stretch to.  I’m great with ‘swish and flick’  for small things   … but anything big requires Harry Potter himself!  lol

And finally …

I’ve learned that I care more deeply about the blogging friends I’ve made here than I realised.

I received a message from a blogging friend who I ‘met’ when I first began blogging (2 years ago).  I clicked to follow her, she clicked to follow me, and so it went on.  We would read each others blog posts and comment, like you do.  Then … she posted a blog post on June the 30th this year in celebration of being married to her husband for 50 years!  I can tell you that this surprised the heck out of me – and told myself that I’d obviously read it incorrectly because I ‘knew’ she couldn’t be anywhere near 50 years old!  She was too vibrant, too ‘with it’, too …. aw – just TOO.   No way could she have been married for 50 years!  However, when I checked with her, she told me that yes indeed, she and her wonderful husband had been married for 50 years!  (You could have knocked me down with a feather!  I was SO surprised).

Then, last week, I heard from Beverly after a  period of ‘quiet’  (I’d noticed a lack of posts on her blog for about a month, but guessed that they may be away on a summer holiday or off seeing relatives).

Last week Beverly commented on a post on the blog here and told me that she had something to tell me and she would tell me later.  True to her word, she came back and told me that she has lost her husband a few short weeks after their 5oth Wedding Anniversary.  He’d had a fatal heart attack.  When I read the message I felt like someone had placed a hand around my throat and was holding it in a tight grip.  I couldn’t swallow, couldn’t breathe properly and neither could I make this news register with my brain. This surely couldn’t be correct.  It COULDN’T be.  They’d only just celebrated their anniversary.

I read that message three times,  and on the third reading I had to read it out loud so that I could be sure that I was understanding what I was reading.  And then … I didn’t understand why.  Why was this man taken?  What exactly was the ‘plan’ here?  How could it be that there were really bad people left alive and roaming the planet, killing people, blowing them up, and causing so much heartache, anguish and pain, and yet, here was this man,  a wonderful husband to Beverly and father to their children, taken – without warning.  Why?   I don’t understand the plan.

Hello God, it’s me again.  I don’t understand.  Forgive me.  I know you have a plan and that it’s probably a great plan, but sometimes I have to admit that I wonder why some things happen, when there are, to me, more obvious things that could have happened which surely would make the world a better place.  Aw, I know I probably don’t know what I’m talking about … but you know how I like to run these things past you when I can’t figure them out for myself.  Thank you for listening.  ~ me. x

I’ve always known that I develop a feeling of ‘caring’ for people I get to know via my blog here.  The ‘comments’ facility is such a wonderful thing.  I get to know people because of it, and more often than not, we get to have a bit of a giggle together.

And … if one of you doesn’t post for a while then you’ll no doubt find me putting a comment on your blog saying hello and trying to make sure that everything in your world is groovy.

This heartbreaking loss which Beverly is coping with,  has shown me exactly how much I care for all of my blogging friends.   Don’t get me wrong I knew I cared …  I care enough to go up and down my list of blogs that I follow, every month,  in order to look for names of people who I haven’t heard from for a few weeks and will pop to their blog and leave a message saying hello.  But I didn’t realise how much I cared.  I do now.

I’ve learned a lot this week.

And now … it’s your turn my friend(s).  Tell me, in the ‘comments’ facility,  what you’ve learned this week.  Let’s turn this into a mutual learning experience.

Don’t think you have to use the comments to ‘comment on a post’any post.  You can use the comments simply because you have something you wanted to say.  You can chat away to your hearts desire.  If you have a problem and need to off-load it, then you’re very welcome to do so.  It can be a craft thing, a worldly thing, a ‘which dress to wear’ thing …. a heart thing …  any  thing.  If you want to talk about ‘it’  then go for it.  I think the ‘Comments’ should be re-named.  Not sure what to …  maybe you have a suggestion?

Sending you my love and good wishes for a wonderful weekend my friends.  Be safe out there.  Oh … and make memories.  Days are made for you to make memories.

Thanks for coming and sharing a coffee with me.  I love seeing you here.  Have a truly blessed rest of your day,

Sig coffee copy

Friday Post:- Things I’ve learned this week!

I’m hoping to begin aFriday Post’, as each Friday comes around (and boy do they come around quicker the older I get!).  Each week I find I’m learning something(s) new and hoping to share these with you  …  if my one remaining brain cell remembers to do this, of course.

Before I branch out into this weeks life’s lessons can I just take a moment to say  ….

Hello and Welcome to a handful of new followers who have joined us.  It’s fabulous to have you joining the team here and so lovely to see and meet new folks.  Please don’t be shy.  Chat to me and the rest of the great team in a comment, so that we can get to know each other.  Talking in blog land is something I heartily encourage as otherwise it’s just like another Facebook – and we don’t need another one of those.  So … in the words of someone famous though sadly not here with us anymore...  Can we talk?

Anyhoohere’s what I’ve learned this week:

1.  As I’m sat here right now, in my favourite grey t.shirt which is all wet down the left hand side (visibly wet), I’ve learned that I should ensure I put the cap  PROPERLY  on my plastic see through squash tumbler/flask before I tuck it into the crook of my arm and hold it firmly against my body (left br3@st) so that when I bend slightly to pick up the crafting freebies which came with my magazine this morning, the said ‘orange squash’ doesn’t leak all over my t.shirt,  causing me to look for all intents and purposes like a heavily lactating new mother!  (*Dear God, it’s me again.  Can you make sure no one comes the door right now because I look a total mess.  thank you God ~ me. x).

2.  I’ve learned this week not to put my glasses (spectacles) down on my crafting surface, anywhere near where I’ve dropped a small bit of the opaque, removable Scotch tape which I use to keep my dies in place during the cutting process in the machineBecause … if  that tiny bit sticks to a lens of my glasses, I instantly think I’ve gone ‘wonky’ in one eye and a tiny bit of panic steps in.  (Hey, so much  is going wrong with me over the past .. what?  Donkeys years??  –  yeah, that will do, – that a wonky eye just seemed like another laugh which my body was having at my expense).

3. I’ve learned to stop checking if air dry clay is  …  dry yet?.  . . .  And now?  . . .   Is it ready Now?  . . .  And NOW? [sigh]  Leave the darn thing alone over-night, woman! [double sigh]

4. I’ve learned that there are some of the most incredibly wonderful people in blog land, who turn from blogging pals, into blogging friends,  into incredible blessings in my life.

Mentioning no names   (The Artisan Duck).  . . .  I had a lightbulb moment a few weeks ago when perusing a blogging pals blog, and I mentioned the idea in a comment to her.

She took that idea and had a play around and improved on it, and from that initial play, she produced the most incredible, darling Hat Pins,  which the scrapbookers and card makers amongst us like to use in our crafting.  But .. Hannah’s  whoops I almost forgot I wasn’t mentioning any namesthese Hat Pins are different and so wonderful for card makers/scrapbookers because …

  • instead of the mile long hat pins (which Hat pins are normally made in), Han  … ‘Miss Maker & Amazing Talented Artist’ makes her hat pins on shorter, lighter weight, pins, so that we crafters don’t face either having to try to cut pins down (a dangerous affair as I know to my cost)
  • or trying to work out a way of covering up a huge stem of a hat pin in ways which we really don’t want to. 
  • Neither do they weight a card in such a way that they cost more to post,
  • nor drag the front of a card forward or even make it fall down because of the weight. 
  • Neither are we faced with trying to ‘hide’ the sharp points of the pins so that the receiver or someone in their family doesn’t get stabbed by the point of a hat pin.

In photographs the pins look great.  But in real life …  the pins are little stunners.  The beads and pearls on the pins twinkle and shine and sparkle beautifully, and the length is totally perfect.  More than perfect.  And on cards – they are the perfect length.

How do I know this?  –  My blogging friend sent me the selection of pins to say thank you for the idea . . .

Hat Pins1

. . .  and a handmade card, made by her herself with two of her pins added as embellishments. 

Hannahs Card

See the two handmade hat pins?  Aren’t they pretty!

I’ve had ideas popping out of my head and fingers for donkey’s years and I’ve shared them with the folks who I thought might like the idea(s), but this is the first time anyone has ever made me feel like Hannah has. She validated my suggestion, and let’s be honest here, we all need validation sometimes in our lives.  I had ‘an idea‘. Nothing else. Just an idea which I shared with her.  Hannah liked the idea, ran with it, (not while holding scissors) and then thanked me and is thinking of making them and putting them for sale.  (I hope she does because I’d buy these.)

 I know I simply won’t be able to give these particular pins up by using them on cards because … well to me, they’re not a ‘for crafting’ item, these are a special gift, handmade and given to me from a special blogging friend.  No, I cannot part with these, not for all the tea in China.  They’re mine

So … I’m wiser (and older) this Friday, but not just for the 4 points mentioned above.

What about you?  Have you learned anything this week?  Do share!  If it’s something funny then you’ll make us laugh.  If it’s something you’ve cried over, we’ll hold your hand and cry with you.  If it’s something which has made you wiser .. tell us and share the wisdom.

[Looks down at her t.shirt]  …..  ooo goody!… it’s dry now!   (Hello God, it’s me again.  You can cancel that last request and let folk come to the door.  The t.shirt is dry now.  Thank you.  ~ me. x)

Wishing you a truly great Friday and promising that normal service (of crafting and making a beautiful mess with scraps and glittery things) will be resumed on Monday.  In the meantime … I’m cleaning my craftroom.  It looks like someone had a right old paddy in there at the moment.  I swear I don’t make THAT much mess when I’m crafting – so it certainly can’t be me! (I bet it’s that cat of mine!) lol.  We also have our own little star coming to stay over the weekend, and although we love, love, love to have him – but we both feel twice our age by the time he’s gone. 🙂

Have a truly wonderful weekend all.

Sig coffee copy

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