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 woman under stairs I must apologise for the long time between my blogs but I ventured into the “cupboard under the stairs and have only just managed to find my way out again !!  How many of you have one of these cupboards ? One tends to open the door, throw something in, then shut the door very quickly before everything escapes ?  Believe me it takes a very brave person who actually fights their way into one of these, you never know what is in there !  It is amazing the things that I swear actually somehow managed to clone themselves, I am pretty sure that I never put all those shoes, bags, boxes, coats, dusters, vacuum cleaners, dog baskets, polishes, books, magazines, newspapers, letters, bills, toys, electric toasters, electric fires, broken thingies, dead computers, mice …..MICE????  surely not !!!!!   eeekkk !!!stress

Anyway that is what I have been doing, and I am feeling very smug because when people come now I can open THAT cupboard door and hang their coats up, mind you I am not sure that it will last very long, I am utterly convinced that “things” put themselves in there when I am not looking !

So my de-cluttering is still going on, have not got round to the loft yet, wonder what I will find in there ?  Will keep you posted !


full cupboard After my mammoth paper shredding exploits I though I would move on to the next stage, I was going to start on the cupboards first, but I had a plastic bag put through the letter box from The Salvation Army asking for clothes, so I thought “right Marjie, that will be your next project”.

My goodness what a task I have set myself, I thought all the papers were bad enough, but honestly I just did not know where to start. Why on earth do I keep clothes that I probably would not be seen dead in now , come to think of it I don’t think I should have been seen in some of them when I bought them !

Now when I decided that today was going to be the day to start I had no idea that it was going to be the hottest day we have had in weeks, but I was determined that I had to do it because the bag is going to be collected on Monday, so I started.

Clothes woman Me, being me, did not try one drawer at a time, oh no, I decided to tip everything out on the bed and start going through it, honestly I could not even find the bed under all that lot, in fact I had a bit of a panic at one time because I could not find the dog !! but sensibly she had put herself in her basket downstairs.

I then took it into my head that the clothes really ought to be tried on before I finally decided to get rid of them, BIG mistake, I am sure any woman reading this will agree that trying on clothes at any time is a pain, but when the temperature is over 30 deg you are really asking for trouble !   I was practically a grease spot on the carpet !

Next it was my husbands turn, now he is convinced that EVERYTING still fits him, so I had to use all my persuasive charms to get him to try on his clothes,  more than once I got “well it might fit again soon” or “Oh I had forgotten I had that, you cant give that away”.   He then put what he thinks he should keep in a pile, and says the couple of shirts and and trousers he has put in another pile can go.  HaHaHa guess what ?  woman with clothes I am sure he wont ever notice just what has gone !!

I am now feeling quite smug that I have got a little bit further on with my clearing out, the problem is, that with all that clearing out I have discovered that an awful lot of the stuff left could really do with putting put through the washing machine …. washing machineThink the shoe cupboard will have to be next !!!!

Recently we went on a trip to Staffordshire, the journey there went off fine with no problems. We were staying in a very old hotel in Rugeley called The Cedar Tree, very old building which suited us fine as we live in a very old building so was a bit home from home !

We had a fabulous time at a Golden Wedding Anniversary Luncheon for my cousin and his wife, it was lovely to have such a happy occasion for us all to be together, it does not happen very often, as usually happens with cousins we mostly only meet up at funerals.

My Husband has always said he would like to visit Iron bridge, on checking the map we found it was about 50 miles away from where we were staying, so off we went.    We got there and enjoyed a pleasant couple of hours before setting off for home.     That is where our problems started !

We put our home destination into our Sat Nav (we call her Maggie) and off we went.  Well I have no idea what was wrong with Maggie but it was almost as though she was drunk !!  Somehow or other we ended up in the middle of Birmingham going round and round in circles …… we would get the command to “turn left” and there was no left turn, other times it was “continue for X number of miles, then suddenly “she” would say “recalculating ,recalculating”  in fact it seemed that after almost every direction we were given we were then told “recalculating” in the end we were shouting at the stupid machine like a couple of idiots !!   Eventually we pulled into a MacDonalds  to see if we could find a human that could help us. We parked next to a very posh Mercedes with three young Indian males sitting in it.  We told them that we were lost and were trying to find our way back to Essex, can you believe it but they knew exactly where we were supposed to be ?

I have always hated Motorways and we always try to avoid them, but after following the men’s directions we suddenly saw M6 London, and I have never been so pleased to see a Motorway in all my life ! so from trying to avoid them we ended  up using the M6, M1 and the M25… a journey which should have taken about three and a half hours took over six ! to make matters worse because of missing meals and getting right stressed out my blood glucose reading was nearly 20 when I eventually got back to my daughters and I took my test.

However after a lovely soothing cup of tea, a very welcome lasagne, followed by a couple of glasses of wine all was well with my world again.

house full Last week I went with my husband to remake our wills, and it seems to have started a chain re-action in myself to get things sorted out. Now I have to admit that I am a hoarder, I have cards, letters and papers from where I was very young, along with various papers & cards which I have kept from when Mum died and also Dads bits and bobs.

full cupboard

So I started, and what an emotional journey it has taken me on. I found an old school report where I had come 2nd out of a class of 48, I could see myself again taking it home to Mum and Dad, Mum was thrilled, but I can still hear my dad saying “when you come 1st that is when you can be pleased with yourself”. I can remember crying myself to sleep that night, I dont think I ever quite got over that. I never did come first !happy child

I found a poem that I had written to my Mum when I left home at sixteen, I did not know that she had kept it until I came across it a few years ago after she died, I can still see myself in the horrible little bedsit I had, writing to her, really wanting to be home but knowing that I could not.

I discovered a tiny little red notebook that I had written in when I was planning my wedding when I was eighteen. In it I have a list of the guests that we were inviting, a menu of the food that we wanted for the reception (only a buffet) the pattern of the wedding dress that my Mother-in-law made for me (she was lovely,) there was also a note of what we were putting on our wedding list. A bit different from todays lists, it had things like egg cups, t-towels, dusters, and then the more expensive items like sheets, towels, pillow cases and really hopefully saucepans and a teaset !!

I have the cards that I had for my 21st birthday, along with the cardboard silver keys, (you were not considered adult until you were 21 then), I remember being really put out because at 19 I had to get my husbands signature to get a library card (he was 21 !!). Can you imagine that happening today ?

Next I rediscovered the cards I had for the births of my two lovely daughters crying baby Sorry cannot ever get rid of those, that will be down to them when they have to sort through my stuff !

I sat for ages going through papers charting the following years, eventually feeling incredibly sad when I got to my divorce and the pain and heartache that we all went through, I must admit that I did shed quite a few tears again, remembering.

Anyway I decided that it was time I stopped going down memory lane and start shredding, what a marathon job that turned into shredder I shredded my very first payslip (£3.0s 6d from my job as office junior at BHS) plus dozens of following wage slips from over the years, bank statements from 1991, letters and quotes from various firms, newspaper cutting, recipes cut from magazines, also diets from same magazines (never tried but for some reason I had hung onto to them). We have been in our house now for over thirty years, and I dont think either me or my husband can EVER have thrown anything away !!!

I still have to go through a big suitcase full of cards that I have had over the years, but I cannot face that just yet ! Can you believe that we have 5 big sacks of shredded paper to go out for the recycling —- I am exhausted !


I have found it an incredible journey really and I am left wondering what happened to the child, young girl, young wife and mother that I was. I suppose we all eventually wonder that.

Anyway I am feeling quite proud of myself for at least making a start — must be time for a celebration

older woman dancing

I cannot claim credit for this and I have no idea where it originated but I thought that some of you would appreciate it. It is a bit long but I think worth the read.

Garter Snakes (Thamnophissirtalis)Garden Grass Snakes also known as Garter Snakes (Thamnophissirtalis) can be dangerous. Yes, grass snakes, not rattlesnakes.
Here’s why: A couple in Sweetwater, Texas, had a lot of potted plants. During a recent cold spell, the wife was bringing a lot of them indoors to protect them from a possible freeze.
It turned out that a little green garden grass snake was hidden in one of the plants and when it had warmed up, it slithered out and the wife saw it go under the sofa.
She let out a very loud scream! The husband (who was taking a shower) ran out into the living room naked to see what the problem was. She told him there was a snake under the sofa. He got down on the floor on his hands and knees to look for it.
About that time the family dog came and cold-nosed him on the behind. He thought the snake had bitten him, so he screamed and fell over on the floor. His wife thought he had a heart attack, so she covered him up, told him to lie still and called an ambulance.
The attendants rushed in, wouldn’t listen to his protests and loaded him on the stretcher and started carrying him out.
About that time the snake came out from under the sofa and the Emergency Medical Technician saw it and dropped his end of the stretcher. That’s when the man broke his leg and why he is still in the hospital.
The wife still had the problem of the snake in the house, so she called on a neighbour man.
He volunteered to capture the snake. He armed himself with a rolled-up newspaper and began poking under the couch. Soon he decided it was gone and told the woman, who sat down on the sofa in relief.
But while relaxing, her hand dangled in between the cushions, where she felt the snake wriggling around. She screamed and fainted, the snake rushed back under the sofa.
The neighbor man, seeing her lying there passed out, tried to use CPR to revive her.
The neighbor’s wife, who had just returned from shopping at the grocery store, saw her husband’s mouth on the woman’s mouth and slammed her husband in the back of the head with a bag of canned goods, knocking him out and cutting his scalp to a point where it needed stitches.
The noise woke the woman from her dead faint and she saw her neighbor lying on the floor with his wife bending over him, so she assumed that he had been bitten by the snake. She went to the kitchen and got a small bottle of whiskey, and began pouring it down the man’s throat.
By now the police had arrived. They saw the unconscious man, smelled the whiskey, and assumed that a drunken fight had occurred. They were about to arrest them all, when the women tried to explain how it all happened over a little green snake.
The police called an ambulance, which took away the neighbor and his sobbing wife.
The little snake again crawled out from under the sofa. One of the policemen drew his gun and fired at it.
He missed the snake and hit the leg of the end table. The table fell over and the lamp on it shattered and as the bulb broke it started a fire in the drapes. The other policeman tried to beat out the flames, and fell through the window into the yard on top of the family dog who, startled, jumped out and raced into the street, where an oncoming car swerved to avoid it and smashed into the parked police car.
Meanwhile, the burning drapes, were seen by the neighbors who called the fire department.
The firemen had started raising the fire truck ladder when they were halfway down the street.
The rising ladder tore out the overhead wires and put out the electricity and disconnected the telephones in a ten-square city block area (but they did get the house fire out).
Time passed! Both men were discharged from the hospital, the house was repaired, the dog came home, the police acquired a new car, and all was right with their world.
A while later they were watching TV and the weatherman announced a cold snap for that night. The wife asked her husband if he thought they should bring in their plants for the night.

That’s when he shot her!

Remembering Mum’s Clothesline

(This was sent to me as an e-mail, I have no ideal who the original writer was but I thought it was so good I just had to share,  Thank You whoever you are. )

There is one thing that’s left out. We had a long wooden pole (clothes pole) that was used to push
the clotheslines up so that longer items (sheets/pants/etc.) didn’t brush the ground and get dirty.
You have to be a “certain age” to appreciate this one….
(But you YOUNGER ones can read about “The GOOD old’ days”!!)
I can hear my mother now…..

(If you don’t even know what clotheslines are, better skip this.)
1. You had to hang the socks by the toes… NOT the top.
2. You hung pants by the BOTTOM/cuffs… NOT the waistbands.
3. You had to WASH the clothesline(s) before hanging any clothes – walk the entire length of each line with a damp cloth around the lines.
4. You had to hang the clothes in a certain order, and always hang “whites” with “whites,” and hang them first.
5. You NEVER hung a shirt by the shoulders – always by the tail! What would the neighbours think?
6. Wash day on a Monday! NEVER hang clothes on the weekend, or on Sunday, for Heaven’s sake!
7. Hang the sheets and towels on the OUTSIDE lines so you could hide your “unmentionables” in the middle (perverts & busybodies, y’know!)
8. It didn’t matter if it was sub-zero weather… clothes would “freeze-dry.”
9. ALWAYS gather the clothes pins when taking down dry clothes! Pins left on the lines were “tacky”!
10. If you were efficient, you would line the clothes up so that each item did not need two clothes pins, but shared one of the clothes pins with the next washed item.
11. Clothes off of the line before dinner time, neatly folded in the clothes basket, and ready to be ironed.
12. IRONED???!! Well, that’s a whole OTHER subject!

Wash day

And now a POEM …

A clothesline was a news forecast,
To neighbours passing by,
There were no secrets you could keep,
When clothes were hung to dry.
It also was a friendly link,
For neighbours always knew
If company had stopped on by,
To spend a night or two.
For then you’d see the “fancy sheets”,
And towels upon the line;
You’d see the “company table cloths”,
With intricate designs.
The line announced a baby’s birth,
From folks who lived inside,
As brand new infant clothes were hung,
So carefully with pride!
The ages of the children could,
So readily be known
By watching how the sizes changed,
You’d know how much they’d grown!
It also told when illness struck,
As extra sheets were hung;
Then nightclothes, and a bathrobe too,
Haphazardly were strung.
It also said, “On vacation now”,
When lines hung limp and bare.
It told, “We’re back!” when full lines sagged,
With not an inch to spare!
New folks in town were scorned upon,
If wash was dingy and grey,
As neighbours carefully raised their brows,
And looked the other way.
But clotheslines now are of the past,
For dryers make work much less.
Now what goes on inside a home,
Is anybody’s guess!
I really miss that way of life,
It was a friendly sign
When neighbours knew each other best…
By what hung out on that line !

Clipart Illustration of a Female Nurse In A Green Dress, Holding A Syringe High Above Her Head

Today I had my 6month check up to see how my diabetes was doing.  I must admit that I do not like going to any medical establishment at all, and I am one of these people who ALWAYS have higher blood pressure when it is taken, so when the Doctor said that my BP was up, I smugly produced my home readings for the past 3 weeks to prove that I am one of the hundreds that have “white coat syndrome”.   The next thing was “well your cholesterol has definitely come down (from 7 to 5.5) but we would still like you to consider going on Statins”  My answer to this was a resounding NO, I know of too many people (my Husband included) who had big problems once they started on those, and I do not intend to be another one of them!  In any case seeing as it was on the way down anyway why should I need medication. As you have probably gathered I am very anti-drugs unless my life depended on them of course, I must be a Doctors worse nightmare !

We then got to my blood sugar levels and I am pleased to say that he considered that my Diabetes was very well controlled, so well in fact that he has put the insulin down yet again,(I had already reduced the dose twice on my own initiative since coming out of hospital) I am really pleased about that as I have had several times when it has been so low I had HAD to have chocolate, or sweets, or high energy drinks to bring myself up to an acceptable level, I always had to have a drink and biscuits before going to bed otherwise I would drop too low in the night.  Luckily I am one of those people who get warning signals when too low, so I have managed very well, but obviously with a lower insulin dose, I should not have to keep having to “eat up to it”.

All in all the Doctor was well pleased, and said that generally my health was very good, I can alter my insulin if and when I feel it necessary and I have no need to see him again until my next check which can be 8months this time –YAY !!!

So to sum up I am pleased to report that I am living with my diabetes very well.  Ideas have changed very much in the last few years, I remember 40 odd years ago when my Mum was told she had diabetes, she had to weigh practically everything she ate and had to count her carbohydrates at every meal.  Now we are told that, within reason ,we can eat what we like, but EVERYTHING in moderation.

With the nicer weather coming up I am looking forward to some lovely walks and with a bit of luck a nice holiday somewhere.

big toe This afternoon I had the dreaded visit to have my ingrown toenail seen to. I was not looking forward to it at all, but anyone who has had one will know how painful they are.    I hobbled into the surgery and the first hurdle was having to climb two flights of stairs.  On meeting the chiropodist I was stunned to recognise him as a farmer who used to live in our village !  I had a  grin to myself as I had a mental image of him grabbing my foot and clamping it between his knees as though I was one of his cattle or horses !!  However the grin did not last for long once I was settled on the couch with my poor painful toe exposed to the gaze of the expert !!  I have to admit that I sat there as rigid as a tree trunk, trying not to look at the array of evil looking implements lined up alongside my throbbing toe !!  I do believe I lost a good pint in perspiration and gritted my teeth so hard that they are now about an inch deeper into my jaw than they used to be !!   I must admit though that the relief was fantastic once the offending nail was cut away from my skin, how on earth can a small piece of nail cause such pain ?  I almost skipped down the stairs and practically danced back to the car.

Now my toe is sore, but I have just got to bathe it in salt water to help the healing, but I can cope with that !!

I was asked today if I was still doing my blog, and have to admit that I have been sadly lacking in writing anything.  I have not even got a decent excuse except pure laziness !

After all the drama’s of last year, the worries with my Dad and his dementia, the trauma of watching him suffer and his eventual passing,  plus my own problems with shingles and diabetes I found that I seemed to come to a mental standstill.    I have not even commented much on blogs that I have followed, although I have kept up with you all in the most part.

It has taken quite a long time to come to realise that Dad is no longer here. Because he was in the stage of his illness that he was in, it had not been possible for some time to telephone him or even have a proper conversation with him when we saw him, so sometimes even now, 6 months later, it still seems as though he is still in the Nursing Home.  When we visit my Sister, it feels really strange not to go on and visit Dad, but it is getting easier.

I am coming to terms with having Diabetes, initially I was shocked and angry.  I had been suffering  with Shingles for months, and had been back to the surgery several times and just been given different painkillers, my weight had dropped by a stone and a half and I was so weak I could barely function, as I explained in a previous blog I was taking every high energy drink I could lay my hands on and pushed my glucose levels to a dangerous level, which resulted in me eventually being admitted into hospital and being diagnosed with Diabetes.

However the anger has now passed and I have settled into having to inject myself twice a day, and make sure I eat at regular times.   I am slowing regaining the weight that I had lost but have still not fully regained my strength.  I guess it will take time.

My problem at this moment is an ingrowing toenail !!! believe me it is no joke — they are very painful !!!

I have an appointment to see the chiropodist on Thursday — I am not looking forward to it !


Why is it that we all have such high hopes that when the clock strikes midnight on the last day of the year everything will magically be different ?   Deep inside we know that nothing will change, the people that we have lost will not be coming back, the people that are suffering through some terrible tragedy will still be suffering, we will still feel utter helplessness because we cannot help the people we love through their pain. We know that we will still be in fear of  losing our jobs, health or security, but still we stand , glass in hand, waiting for that final strike of the clock and then we all put on bright faces and wish all who will listen “HAPPY NEW YEAR”.

So although this is how I feel at the present time I still want to wish all my family, friends and cyber friends, all the very best for 2012 and I really hope that things WILL be better next year xx

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