Saturday, 30 June 2012

Crafty News

Have you noticed I appear to have stopped crafting?  Teehee, I haven't really, I have just given my crafts their very own blog spot, you can find it by clicking the link below.

My latest post shows what I have been up to this week.

Take care for now x.

Friday, 29 June 2012

Wet and Wild.

We have had such wet weather in the last few months that I have managed to do very little in my garden.  I thought it was probably time to record just how overgrown it is all looking at the moment.  It is very easy to read blogs and look through Pinterest and feel like everyones gardens are beautiful and perfect.  I have to say that I do feel that mine has a sort of beauty to it at the moment but there is certainly no perfection at the moment.
This is my front patch.  When we bought our house 10 years ago the grass went right up to the front window, I planted 2 evergreen Clematis plants and one everygreen honeysuckle to hide the fence that is immediately outside the window.  As you can see they are now in desperate need of a good cut down.  When/if it all dries out this is one of my my priorities.

As you enter the garden through the side gate this is the first of our beds, the layout is what we inherited with the house, it is all paved with just a few raised bed areas.  The japenese anemones and geraniums are going weld in here.  Eventually I think i am going to have to take this bed right back to basics.  I can see how strange the weather has been by the plant at the back of the bed, this is my pride and joy and the only original plant from the garden, a beautiful bottle brush.  It normally bursts into it's beautiful red flowers at the beginning of June, however there is still no sign of it's tight buds opening.
Behind that bed is my relatively newly planted rose garden.  I have five rose bushes and have added a few alpine plants, 2 Carnation plants (which I got for £1 each!) and some cat mint this year which is finally starting to give it the look that I wanted.

next to this bed which used to be a pond is this seat, it is badly starting to erode and I am desperate to get it pulled out and maybe put another flower bed in here.  The bright purple flowering bowl of flowers are Nemisis, they are an annual however this spot has obviously given them just the conditions they needed to survive through the winter and they are looking (and smelling) absolutely gorgeous again this year.

My veg patch is the one area that has had some new work done to it this year.  My dear husband kindly moved and built up the beds so that I can reach them without any need to bend or kneel.  In the top photo are my lovely sugar snap peas, behind them I have brocolli which is very happy, a couple of pumpkin plants and lots of strawberries.

In the other bed I have (from the front), lettuce, carrots, beetroot, spinach and dwarf beans.  These were all planted quite late but seem to be getting on with growing.

My rhubarb has been spectacular this year even with us rumaging all around it, I also have chives, lemon and normal mint here as well.  In the blue pot is one of my big casulties this year.  My beautiful acer which normally looks gorgeous by now has had a black aphid attack and lost almost all it's leaves.  It will be the first time in 10 years that I do not have it's beautiful reds in the autumn.  I am praying it might survive and come back to life next year.

Can you see all the weeds peeping through the wooden slats and in the ground around the beds - they will get pulled, one day!
I made this bed just a couple of years ago by removing some more of the slabs the adorn the whole garden.  Again this has got overgrown with everything.  My ceanothus has been the best ever this year despite my constanation when dear hubby thought he could prune it last year!  I have added into the centre of this bed some lemon lavender which smells absolutely devine.
My wiggly border has done me proud through the spring with lots of mini daffs, blue bells, and tulips and is now literally bursting at it's seems.  A little tidy up and it will be looking tip top again.
This is my little shady area.  We get the sun all day in the whole of the back garden which makes it very very hot (when the sun comes out).  We bought a gazebo when the children were young (for £25) which we dismantled every autumn, the last couple of years I have been convinced it would not cope with a take down and put up again as it had started to rust very badly.  However despite the rain and wind and winters it is still standing and gives me a couple of shady spots to plant in to.  In the background you can see my Helebores are very very happy.  I put 4 ferns in last year on the other side (the right of the picture), only two seem to have survived, though they are looking good, I quite fancy planting some foxgloves behind them - maybe next year.

We haven't had a lot of produce yet, but here is the first lettuce, sugar snap peas and strawberries of the season - we have had lots of rhubarb much of which we have eaten but the freezer is getting well stocked as well.

How does your garden grow?

Monday, 25 June 2012

Puppy Dogs and Broken Toes.

It is now two weeks and two days since my puppy dog was involved in a 'squirming when held' incident. The result of which was a broken toe - here is a picture of her after she had her leg splinted and bound two weeks ago at the vets
Doesn't she look sad.  I am pleased to say that after a couple of days she got her bounce back and the challenge since then has been to get her to take it easy.  She is not a dog that does anything slowly, she has two types of movement, stop and go go go go go.  She was supposed to go outside for toilet breaks only at the beginning, however we soon discovered (by her standing at the bottom of the drive barking very loudly at the open road and refusing to come back in) that she needed a little more.  A little 10 minute walk around the block has been enough, until the last few days.  Now she is desperate to go for a run, we are keeping her on the lead to stop her from doing this at the vets insistence, however it is so difficult watching her desperation.  I have made her a little sleeve that goes over her plaster for when we are out, which makes her runny hop thing quite amusing to watch, my husband took this video of her yesterday:

I am so hoping that when we visit the vets again this Wednesday she may be freed from her restrictions!

790. Bright green leaves against brilliant blue sky.

791. Listening to a church service while sat a distance away in a beautiful garden.

792. His words that pierce through my self preservation and remind me that NOW is a pin prick compared to the eternity He gives me.

793. Balls of beautifully coloured yarn triggering my creative mind.

794. A happy 11 year old returning from a residential trip to London.

795. My cosy ripple blanket keeping my toes warm on very chilly 'summer' evenings.

796. Resurrecting an old flapjack recipe much to the delight of all the family.

797. Surprise fairtrade roses from my hubby.

798. Helpful dog wardens.

799. A light week ahead of me.

Continuing to count my blessings along with Ann Voskamp at

Thursday, 21 June 2012

The Law is an Arse

Something I have felt very tongue tied to talk about on this blog has been my nieces father, this is mainly because I have never wanted to write stuff that is just my opinion and not particularly based on out right facts.  However I was put through a Tribunal process yesterday to try and prevent us having to pay £1000 back to him via the Child Support Agency.  I think my husband has rather succinctly summed up the situation with this statement:

"Since niece's father divorced her mother he has done everything in his power to avoid supporting her financially and emotionally. After marrying his divorce lawyer they fiddled matters so he would pay the bare minimum, and has now moved to Canada where he cannot be traced by the CSA. When niece came to stay with us we should have transferred payments to us, but in between dealing with a traumatised 13 year old who had just lost her mother leading to self-harming and attempts on her own life, a suicidally depressed mum who had lost her daughter, coping with the loss of Jane's sister, and adjusting our own lives and the lives of our younger children to cope with this - it kind of got overlooked. Not that the arrangement was permanent at the time - who knew what was going to happen?  When we did get round to reassessing matters, nieces father kindly pointed out to the CSA that her living arrangements didn't tally and so after a tribunal hearing today we have been ordered to pay it back. It took the lawyers themselves five minutes of rummaging through the books to pinpoint the letter of the law regarding this, so how are we supposed to know any better? How can a father so selfishly despise his daughter? Why are we continually being pounded while we hold up the roof and steady the walls?  The law is an arse."

I could not even speak to the judge at the end of the hearing I was so upset, I have no idea how they are able to so remove themselves.  He had even made comments about how sad the whole situation had been for our family.  We stood no chance, the Child Support Agency were present in the form of a solicitor on video - camera.  A very nice way of them keeping themselves removed from the reality of how unsupportive they have been to this particular child!

My tears subsided after a couple of hours and a little sleep.  I did end up going to the local shop and buying wine and comfort food while my husband lit a fire in the garden for us to sit around.  Fortunately my daughter is away at the moment, she would have been so upset seeing how upset I was and is still too young to fully understand the story.  My son sat in the garden with us and we told him a little bit about why we were both feeling so upset and cross.  The last thing I wanted was for him to think that he might have done something wrong - at 12 years old he listened and was quite amazed that such things can happen.

Dear husband was on a night shift last night so I sat and had some lovely chats on facebook with some close friends and then retired to bed with my puppy dog (this only ever happens when husband is not there!).  I am so thankful that I did get a good sleep, even being woken by very heavy rain at 3.30am reminded me of being refreshed.

At least it is over - this has been hanging over for us for almost exactly 2 years.  The money will be found some how. 

Monday, 18 June 2012


I found myself writing this status on facebook the other day:

.......Has had a productive day at last.

As soon as I had written it I felt dismal - I automatically felt as though the rest of my week obviously had not been productive at all.

Was this true?  Of course not!  So what had I done for the rest of last week.  I had blogged, I had managed to scrape through a painful anniversary.  I had done some research on emotional issues.  I had attended a very difficult emotional meeting.  There seems to be a thread here....... my week seemed to be dominated by mentally and emotional laden tasks.  Was there anything productive in going through these issues - of course there was!

I suppose my lesson for the week is to remember that there are at least two types of productivity that I need to consider in my life to get a fair idea of how things are going.  There are the emotional/mental productivity as well as the physically productive activities.

Maybe it is time to count my blessings for this week.

780.  The time to rest.

781.  Roses blooming in the garden.

782.  Veg patch loving all the rain.

783.  Puppy dog loving her medication so no having to force anything into her.

784.  Difficult meeting got through.

785.  Getting creative with my crochet, recycling plastic bags.

786.  The chance to share about counting your blessings at a workshop at our church service for all ages.

787.   Daughter coming and telling me about a spillage on her carpet even though she had managed to erase it all.

788.  A pair of trousers made to fit after an accidental shrinkage.

789. Three loads of washing, washed and dried on the line in one day :o).

Thursday, 14 June 2012

False Memory Syndrome

Did you know that it is possible to truly believe that something has happened to you when in fact it hasn't?  That you might have flashbacks and nightmares that are your mind has created because of other trauma that has occurred?

I have been doing lots of reading about this recently as I am currently having to deal with allegations being made against people I know and love.  Unfortunately it seems that the only way of ever getting to the bottom of false memories is by getting all parties to talk about it to find where the distortions of memory may have occurred.  For my situation this is not possible as there are no mentally reliable people left to talk.

Most of the reading I have done seems to centre on sexual abuse by parents or grandparents, the majority of stories and research also centre around poor therapy where abuse may have been inadvertently suggested.

However there is a smaller body of evidence that seems to show that it is possible that people are able to start to recount false memories or flashbacks in order to avoid looking at real trauma.  This is not done on purpose but is a coping mechanism of a damaged person.

I am now tasked with finding a way of living with the information that I have been given.  Reading this article has helped.  This encourages the focus to remain on the person who may be having false memories and remembering that they are occurring for a reason, even if it is not the reason they might believe it to be.  What I am surprised by however is the lack of conversation that has occurred with any professionals that we are involved in to discuss False Memory Syndrome at all.  I have stumbled across it (and the fact that there is a British society of it!) because of deep gnawing feeling and some pretty reliable evidence that suggests these allegations are not true.  I had presumed that they were just lies - but now I can see that there is far more to it than that.

I do not know whether there will ever be a conclusion to the situation that I am in, I have been told not to expect one.  It has made me turn whole heartily to my faith in God, it is a burden far to big to be able to bear alone.

Matthew 11:28  (NIV)

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."

Amen to that! 

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Sad Birthdays

Today should have been my Daddy's 67th birthday, but sadly for us, along with my little sister who will remain 36 years old for ever more he will always remain 66 years old. I miss you both x.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Throwing the Baby Out with the Bathwater.

Okay okay okay, I have calmed down now and think I may have been a wee bit hasty last week when I said I was going to stop this blog.  With hindsight getting upset by one bad response in one post out of 300 posts was an over reaction.  I am very grateful to all the lovely messages that I have had encouraging me to continue writing.  My husbands particularly struck me, as he says this is sometimes the only way he knows what is going on in my head.  I have to say I think he is correct - this is often my thinking space.  Hopefully I will learn to be a little better at expressing myself without causing the offence that I did.

As it is Monday I thought a good place to start would be to continue counting my blessings with Ann Voskamp over at Holy Experience, it is a practise I thoroughly enjoy:

770.  The freedom to choose when to take offence and when to get over it.

771.  The pause and reflection which has provided me with a new blog - check out Mrs Craftypants!

772.  Pet insurance, the first claim for two years is more than paying for two years of subscriptions.

773.  Our lovely local vet who has gently treated my little doggy for a broken toe!

774.  Flowers in the house to brighten the dull rainy days outside.

775.  Half term holidays with the children, not doing a lot, just enjoying being together.

776.  Getting together with old friends and giving new ones a chance to develop.

777.  Sitting round the fire pit in the garden on our one dry and not to cold evening last week.

778.  Catching up on films recorded months ago off the tv.

779.  Helping my children decide what to spend their birthday and Christmas money/vouchers which they have been saving up.


Monday, 4 June 2012

300th post.

It should be a good milestone, but appears to have become a mill stone.  My last post which I have now removed has caused much offence to the person who had blocked me on twitter.  My writing has been described as nasty and vindictive.  So sadly it is time to take a break.  Thank you to all those lovely people who have followed me and supported me as I have 'Tried to find me'.  I am sure I will be back someday and I shall certainly continue to read some of the fabulous blogs from bloggers I have met through this delightful world.

Bye bye for now,  Jane x.