Thursday, 8 April 2021

Company's Coming!

Hello Friends!

I hope you had a blessed Easter, however you celebrate.  For some reason, it's taking me a while to get back into this week, and every day feels like Monday. 

I have a question for you.  Now, I never thought this would ever be something I would ask.  Next week, I host my first guests in over fourteen months.  The strict safety guidelines must still apply, just two guests {I can have up to six outside my Bubble} and we will be socially distanced, wrapped up warmly, outside in the garden.  No hugging, not indoors, not even sitting close, and they are even bringing their own chairs.  We are all vaccinated, but we must not let things slip now, these guidelines must continue until we kick Covid's butt.  So, here's my etiquette question.

Is it good or bad manners to place a pump of hand sanitiser on the refreshments table?  I feel, although an odd thing, it's good manners and lets your guests feel a little more secure, knowing you are doing your very best to take care of their safety.  What do you think?

So, instead of that old familiar situation of getting more cleaning done in the thirty minutes before your guests arrive, I'm mowing the garden and pulling weeds instead of vacuum cleaning and dusting malarkey!  I'm not ready to share garden photos just yet, still ashamed of the mess, and there's a long way to go. My "befores" are waiting, though, ready to go when I am ready.  It's not very nice out at the moment, cold and windy, and this is making me hold off, partly as I don't want to be out in the cold which plays havoc with my arthritis, and partly because I have nowhere that is protected enough to bring anything on by way of seeds and young plants.  It is warming up, though, next week ~ Company's Coming!

Speaking of arthritis, I feel compelled to share this with you. I have suffered with arthritis for some time, mainly in my legs and spine, but spreading.  Anyone who suffers with this knows how painful and unpredictable it can be, in my case particularly at night.  I follow a vegetarian diet, and love cheese, although I don't drink milk. I heard that milk and milk products can inflame arthritis, so although giving up cheese is my worst food nightmare, I have given it a go. Anything made with, or containing milk is out of my diet.  It didn't take long for my night time pain and discomfort to ease considerably, and I noticed I can now lead with my right leg when going up steps, something that has been painful and difficult for a long, long time now.  Then we had Easter.  I thought I could risk a little milk, milk products, just for one day.  So, I ate my milk chocolate eggs, spread unsalted butter lavishly on my Hot Cross Buns, made my richly creamy mushroom dish for Easter dinner, and treated myself to a small trifle with custard and cream.  After the following night, it turns out that may have been milk overload.  My legs burned all night, uncomfortably painful, sleep depriving pain keeping me awake.  So, that's it.  From now on, not even the smallest break from a milk free diet.  Much as I adore cheese, I dislike pain more.  I can still enjoy chocolate, just 70% dark or greater.

Having said that, there's a tad of butter to finish, and I cannot resist having a tiny amount on a slice of still warm, fresh~from~the~oven, Irish Soda bread.  If I suffer, I know what I am doing wrong.


I was recently given a couple of bags of snowdrops in the green, so have popped them into some holding pots until I know where they will go.  All of my previous snowdrops have disappeared.  Where? Why? I cannot answer.  Mice? Who knows?  I don't.  My neighbour has lost all hers too. 


Our weather, both sides of  The Pond, is bizarre.  Frankly, I'm a little fed up and more than a little disconcerted to see many on Social Media branding it as "quirky" and making jokes, when in reality it is very serious.  This is the reality of Climate Change.

Meanwhile, the garden is springing back to life.  Brambles continue to be chopped, an ongoing task, and I am frankly amazed at how much the lawn has shot up since I mowed it for the first time this year, not two weeks ago!  This year, it is actually green instead of the usual spring time yellow, and full of daisies and dandelions too.


While I watch the garden grow, from my living room, I have been painting.  I confess, I did not draw these images, but used stamps.  This first one I used some for Easter cards.







and this one is my favourite flower, a scene made using about eight or nine scene builder stamps.  I have shown it as I build it up.






Which led me to another scene, this time using stamps from two different scene builder sets, done twice on  different paper using Inktense paint pans




Easter did not go overlooked by my little helper, who was delighted with his chocolate egg




Meanwhile, back in the garden, I have discovered these, several plants that I believe are white comfrey plants.  The bees love them, so they're keepers indeed.





Before I go, I shall leave you with this quote

‘We have come as far as we have because we are the cleverest creatures to have ever lived on Earth. But if we are to continue to exist, we will require more than intelligence. We will require wisdom.’
Sir David Attenborough

Until next time
Stay safe, stay well.

19 comments:

  1. I'll start at the bottom - that quote is so right! Glad you have found a way to reduce rheumatic pains by leaving milk out of your diet, great if it helps. I hope a touch of butter now and then will still be possible! Your garden is looking good, it's great when things start growing and blooming again. The cards you made are beautiful, and you coloured them so well. Have fun with your visitors, it sounds secure to me. I think the hand sanitizer on the table is a good idea! Have fun, hugs, Valerie

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    1. Thank you, Valerie, for your kind words. Yes, I hope a smidgen of butter, maybe the odd milk chocolate, won't be too much, but it will be trial and error. Have a great weekend, we're nearly there, Deb

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  2. We've all got used to sanitizing hands on the way into supermarkets so I'm sure your visitors will just take it as normal.
    Love you cards - I never could get on with rubber stamping but they look brilliant and very good news about finding a way to ease the arthritis

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    1. Thank you. Stamping of any kind can be tricksy, leaving nasty gaps, but my Tim Holtz stamping platform is a Godsend. I've also learned to stamp and hold, keep pressing, to give the ink time to engage with the paper.

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  3. Great quote from David Attenborough :) I think it would be fine to leave out hand sanitiser - these are not normal times and if they have forgotten their own they will be grateful. I hope you have a lovely time.

    Treasure seems to like his Easter Egg :) Timothy is somewhat jealous!

    I don't have much luck with snowdrops here although two have survived a few years.

    Good news that you have found a way to ease your arthritis. But such a pain to have to give up dairy but as you say to have less pain it is worth it. At least 70% chocolate is allowed :)

    Love the paintings - I've never heard of the scene creating stamps - what a good idea. Comfrey is pretty and a magnet for bees I think.

    Take care and enjoy your entertaining next week.

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    1. Thank you. Sorry we upset Timothy. Treasure said he'd send some on, but there's none left now. Oh, dear.
      I'll get used to my life with minimal milk, it's worth it to be relatively pain free.
      Yes, bees love comfrey.
      Have a good week, my friend

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  4. Amazing about the milk products! I had no idea their interaction with arthritis. I suffer most with my ankles, knees and hands. I'm going to have to watch my diet and see if I can notice a change. I love your flowers and your drawings/stampings etc. Hope you enjoy your first visitors! I can't wait to hear all about it!

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    1. Thank you. I do hope you find dietary changes can help. It's making the decision to be pain free and without my much loved cheese that's hardest. If our weather continues to be so unseasonably cold, the garden visit may be postponed!

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  5. Love your postings, Deb! I say, “ Set hand sanitizer anywhere you wish!” What a bummer to discover that dairy products (cheese) are a factor in your arthritis pain! Dark chocolate is a bit of a comfort, though.:-) David Attenborough’s quote....quite on the mark! Sending hugs!

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    1. Thank you, Nellie. Who would ever have thought we'd come to hand sanitising etiquette for company? Hugs right back to you, my friend!

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  6. There is so much to love in this post, Deb. Your art is just beautiful. Lovely stamps and lots of work there! And the garden coming on is terrific. I had no idea about milk and arthritis and that's very good to know. It's nice to know that if you REALLY want to, you can slip and yes, pay the price, but then get it back and feel some relief after to make it up.

    As for the sanitizer, this is a new age and a new normal. It is more than appropriate. It is smart! Go for it!

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    1. Thank you, Jeanie. I've since learned others who suffer from arthritis are finding relief by eating plant based diets. I'm not fully vegan though. I confess, I enjoy the colouring in so much, and as I am hopeless at drawing, it takes the hard work out of it.

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  7. Beautiful card and I think it is smart and thoughtful to have hand sanitizer at the ready.

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    1. Thank you, and you echo my thoughts about the sanitiser.

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  8. I like learning something new and the info on how arthritis flareups can be caused by milk and cheese, most dairy in fact was interesting. Thankfully, I am not aware of any issues now, but no longer drink whole milk and as much as we enjoy cheese, I do try to limit that enjoyment. Your stamped artwork is so lovely and thanks for sharing it. We missed having Cadbury eggs somehow this Easter holiday. As for the hand sanitizer, while it does seem odd to have it at home after seeing it so many other places, it's whatever makes you and your guests feel most comfortable.

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    1. Thank you. I'm not sure anyone finds sanitiser at home odd these days. Everyone I know has it, and in their handbags. As a carer I've been using it for years, long before the pandemic.

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  9. I have pump-style sanitizer in several areas around the house, I think it's appreciated when visitors arrive. I shall give your suggestions on cutting down on the milk products a try, I haven't been diagnosed with arthritis but I'm pretty sure I suffer from it's pain, especially in my hip area.
    Your home and garden are a beautiful respite, I lived in Caerwent/Chepstow when I was first married, Wales has always been my little piece of heaven.
    Thank you for stopping by, and lovely to visit your blog.
    ~Jo

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    1. Thank you for stopping by, and your kind words. I feel sanitiser makes our guests feel well taken care of. I hope you can find relief, for arthritis pain can be debilitating.

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  10. I'm too late for your company, but I think it would be considered correct and potentially good manners to place hand sanitizer on the table these days. I never thought I'd even need to ponder that, let alone be agreeing it's the proper thing to do, but there it is.

    As for the milk thing: I'm glad avoiding it helped with the pain, so at least you can manage that better. Lucily for you, there's a whole lot of very tasty dairy-free chocolate out there these days. Well, it's lucky for me too, of course. ;) Anyway, at least there are plenty of dairy-free options for all the things you love so you can limit your dairy intake and hopefully be more comfortable. You just have to find out which ones you enjoy.

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