Wednesday 9 December 2015

A Quick Hello ~~~

Gentle Reader ~~~ nothing much is happening here at the moment, well, plenty is happening but nothing I feel you would want me to share, so I have generally been quite quiet.  I'm sitting here today trying to unfrazzle myself from a stressful, pear shaped morning, gathering my thoughts while sipping a mug of my favourite Constant Comment tea, and nibbling Lindor limited edition Orange ~~~I'm in heaven as orange is a favourite flavour of mine in anything ~~~ chocolate, Cointreau, tea, cakes, trifles, juice, even shampoo, soap and bubble bath, not to mention the real thing peeled and juicy, freshly dripping segments.  So, here I sit and thought I'd just type a few words to let you know I'm still around, mainly having a quick read of other journals drifting in the ether and leaving a scattering of comments ~~~ This poem just about sums up me and the weather at the moment ~~~

The Sky Is Low, The Clouds Are Mean
by Emily Dickinson

The sky is low, the clouds are mean,
A travelling flake of snow
Across a barn or through a rut
Debates if it will go.

A narrow wind complains all day
How some one treated him;
Nature, like us, is sometimes caught
Without her diadem. 


The weather is cruel now. The winds have blown almost relentlessly for the past three or four weeks now and suddenly winds of 20 mph seem calm by comparison. The rain when it falls is torrential and drives sideways.

So far, in less than a month, we've had Abigail, Barney, Clodagh, and lastly Desmond. Today's map has the all too familiar big, white arrows again ~~~ Just look at the wind speed today {the black circles, below} and this is fairly typical. Some days it is easier, others much worse. Bah Humbug!  I'm fed up with this now. As for the poor people in the north of England, my heart goes out to them ~~~ I should not complain about my weather ~~~

Every morning now I open my laptop to my Jacquie Lawson Advent Calendar to see what magical delight is ready to greet me, even distract me for a while as there are many activities, such as designing a snowflake, or decorating the grand tree that stands in the Square in the Victorian village ~~~

I have been doing a little more painting and reading some new books, most recent of which is Bill Bryson's latest release, "The Road to Little Dribbling: More Notes From a Small Island" which is a jolly good laugh and a pick me up guaranteed to make you smile as he writes in his inimitable style. I was fortunate to be able to secure a signed copy too ~~~

Here are my latest Folk Art attempts {only my second effort at this} and I have to say I'm very happy how they are turning out ~~~ I'm getting the hang of this distressing technique that is quite the rage these days with the favouring of vintage ~~~The Eiffel Tower isn't finished yet, I have to work out how to make it stand up or turn it into the Leaning Tower of Pisa ~~~

For those of you who are my friends on Facebook, I have disabled my profile. I do not know if this is a permanent move or a temporary one. Let's just say 'until further notice' and I'm getting a lot more things done since I've made this move. It is a very distracting activity, and I don't think I realised how distracting until this last week or so. I confess I am severely lacking in self discipline {I think it is that free spirited inner child and the artist within} and I am easily led astray with distraction activities ~~~

The freezer is emptied, defrosted, cleaned, and now reset and filling up with goodies for Christmas, and to see us through the Winter months ahead. I feel happier with it full at this time of year just in case the weather turns really bad and deliveries cannot get through.  My dry store cupboard is due to be turned out later this week and have it's quarterly sort through.

The rest of this week I will be baking cakes and mince pies for the freezer and finishing off and labelling jars of Raspberry Jam and Cranberry Jelly I made earlier this week.

Did I mention previously that I won £50.00 of Lakeland vouchers? Well, I did, and this is what I spent it on ~~~ a lovely hamper of treats. I decided to treat myself and not spend it on mundane necessities ~~~

Doesn't it look scrumptious? And, there is a lovely wicker hamper for picnics later on too ~~~ I could tuck in right away but must be good and keep it for Christmas ~~~ The bag of fudge is particularly endangered!

Here is somewhere you might like to visit Susan Branch's latest blog "On with the Dance!" It's a real happy place to visit and there's snow ~ and you can sign up for the "Cookie Jar Willard" too, arriving in an inbox somewhere near you any moment now ~~~ I'm over there reading right now, see, I told you I am easily distracted ~~~

On that note, Gentle Reader, I must fly ~~~ I have never been so behind in the run up to Christmas, there are cards to write, there are jobs that are waiting my attention and I cannot keep putting them off just because I don't want to do them ~~~

Until next time

Sincerely yours
Deborah xoxo


  1. The weather is lovely here in Cheltenham today but the wind is biting, I went and had a look in Lakeland today, didn't buy anything though. Enjoy your hamper, so nice when you win something. Love your creations, I need a creative outlet but not sure what to try x

    1. Oh, you have a real, live Lakeland store nearby? I have never been to one but it is one of my heart's desires to do so.
      Why don't you take a look at the Folk It! kits? You get everything you need except a jam jar of water and a palette, including an instructional video and the results are quick and very rewarding. So many crafts with easy access and availability to chose from these days we are spoiled for choice. xo

  2. Hello Dear!
    I am visiting on my brand new (super cheep red) computer! My other one shut down every 5 mins and was so frustrating! But I must say I did get loads done,(less time spent on the computer) and I must try to keep this in consideration as to try, as you are, to have off time! Trouble is there are so many DELIGHTFUL friends to keep in touch with!! :-D
    Enjoy your holidays dear friend!! XX OO hugs and warmth, Linnie

    PS my Auntie sent me the Jacquie Lawson Advent Calendar and it is extremely delightful :-)

    1. Hello Dear Linnie! I missed you. Good to see you back.
      Well, in my opinion super cheap is where I go for computers after a very expensive one failed miserable and left me with deep holes in my finances and no working computer. Cheap and Cheerful it is for me from now on. Of course, I do miss my lovely friends on FB but I've got to be more disciplined and keep away from the distractions :(
      Isn't the calendar such lovely fun? Also a distraction! What can I do with myself? lol ~~~
      Hugs, Deb xo

    2. Hoo hoo hee yes this advent calendar is a true delight, and what has hooked me (for the first time ever~ ever) is the break the ornament game!! I have never ever been for computer games, not even solitaire, but this one nabbed me in for some good "time wasting)) Hee xx oo

    3. I confess my weakness is the jigsaw puzzles! I will now add you to the list of people I think of when I'm playing Smash the Ornaments!

  3. Dearest Deb, I've been thinking of you and am happy to see this post. I'm sorry about the poor weather you have been experiencing. I hope your beautiful hamper filled with goodies is cheering you up! How wonderful--I spy Farrer's tea in there. I love their Earl Grey!!! I bought some when we were in Grasmere! SOOO delicious! I allow myself a pot of this tea in the afternoon as a treat and a reminder of our visit to that gorgeous part of the world. My heart is so sad to hear and see the devastation in the Cumbria and Lake District area. We saw the flooding and the damage is too much to take in. I do hope the weather will cooperate for those poor folks so they can get back on their feet again.
    Your orange obsession has my mouth watering. We bought oranges last week. Florida citrus is now in season and we are getting great fruit.
    I'm with you about social media. Though I do love it, it takes up lots of time.
    Your hearts and Eiffel Tower are charming with pretty roses upon them. And I must say your header is lovely. Sending you wishes for a wonderful week, my friend. xoxo ♥

    1. Martha Ellen, it saddens me to tell you that those poor people in Cumbria and the northern counties will be having more rain again in the next few days. It is so desperate, for many have not long recovered from the last 'big' one just ten years ago. How much more can they take?
      I remember the wonderful oranges from Florida, when I lived there, and seeing the heaters in the groves to help protect from frost! Yes, even in Florida!
      I'm pleased you like my painting efforts!
      Wishes for a wonderful week for you too, Deb xo

  4. I have the new Bill Bryson On order from the library, have heard good and bad reviews so will wait and see. To make you envious - I shall be popping into the Ipswich Lakeland very soon, may not buy anything but I just like looking anyway.The hamper looks scrumptious.....

    1. Overall, I am laughing and enjoying the book, but I can see why there are good and bad reviews. I shall read them after I'm done and see how my observations compare. Quite envious of your trip to Ipswich Lakeland. Hope you have a good visit!

  5. So good to hear from you, Deb! You have been so busy in your cozy kitchen! Enjoy a bit of relaxation with the heavenly goodies from your beautiful hamper. I adore your Folk Art projects! Painting must lighten your heart on these dreary, rainy days. Here in the Midwest, we have been blessed with a week of mild temperatures, 20 degrees above average. Today I drove into the countryside with my sunroof open! It was a lovely December day to remember! Heavy rains are on their way here, too. It's always so nice to hear the latest news from the Cottage in The Shire. Warm hugs, dear Deb! ♡

    1. Although the winds howl and the rain comes in torrents, the temperatures seem surprisingly mild, although are not that much different from our Summer which only shows how cold our Summer was!
      Hugs, Deb xo

  6. What a lovely little poem. I think you are coming along quite well with your painting. I remember my Mom doing such work some years ago. I have always liked the look of it. I did not inherit her talent. She could look at something and paint it. Sigh, I sure wish I could do that.

    The picnic basket looks delicious. And what a wonderful hamper when you have enjoyed the contents. Take care and enjoy your treats.

    1. Good Morning Dear Friend ~~~ I am quite fond of Emily Dickinson's poetry. I am sure you could paint something! Folk art is quite easy and I know you'd do something great; all it takes is practice to get the brush strokes right!
      I will enjoy that hamper!
      Hugs, Deb xoxo

  7. What a wonderful hamper of treats! I, too, find myself a bit behind where I would like to be at this time of the season.

  8. Deborah, I'm severely behind on my social media reading as I've been busy preparing for my Susan Branch Christmas Luncheon (held yesterday) for the Take Joy Society (I posted about it on TJS last night). And now I have to start preparing for Christmas!

    I feel for you concerning the weather--and whatever else might be putting a damper on your holiday festivities. So I wish you the JOY of the season and none of the hassle.

    1. I must make sure to read that, I know it will be good reading for later today. Yes, Christmas will be over and it will be Boxing Day a fortnight today. Scary!
      Blessings and Joy to you too!

  9. Nice to see you blogging again. Even though I don't have time just yet to read your blog. Will do it more thoroughly tomorrow I hope.