Friday, May 30, 2008

The Buffet Table
The Fairy Muffin Cakes

Well, it was quite a busy day yesterday....and today I am resting from my labours! The evening went well and we all enjoyed the commotion and visits....despite seating being just a tad cramped in our little flat. We survived by sharing the guests between the lounge and dining room so it all worked out just fine!

This was a most wonderful outcome for me after so many years of wondering if I'd ever again feel well enough to cater to a large-ish gathering. I am so very pleased that there were no anxious moments in executing the fact I found it all quite enjoyable, if a little tiring. I am chuffed to bits to know I've got "me" back again!

Not bragging at all you understand! (hehe)

It was also great that our friends Den & Sha could at last meet Brenda's hubby Bryn and be introduced to the 17 month old son they've also had. They're now a family of Brenda, Bryn, Josh, Matty, Iona-Mae and Nathaniel. They are a lively, lovely bunch....again, not bragging at all (blush)....just fabulous grandkids of course.

So the weekend is almost upon us....I've got some more potato salad and coleslaw to make for a family friend who also enjoy my homecooking and want some goodies for the birthday party for their little man "Luke."

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I've finally been able to get a couple of photos of our new bathroom refit. It doesn't show it off to best advantage but take my word for's luxurious, convenient and very easy to keep orderly and cleaned.

I'm loving it! Enjoy the piccies (if I manage to get some piccies of the old bathroom from the fitters I'll post them too....not sure when though!).


I mustn't leave out my lovely have found a couple of photos taken in the last week. They are lovely boys...Josh is 7 and Matty is 6. Nathaniel brings up the rear...and he is almost 17months and a very proud "new walker"...with his first pair of shoes!
Josh is on the left; Matty
on the right...................................and here's little brother Nathaniel!

Whatever did nana's do before grandkids I ask myself? Having the gift of 4 lovely grandkids is truly a blessing...and don't they grow up so very fast!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

In order of friend Ann on the same beach! (as mentioned in my previous blog post), The second photo is Carol and I (we shared the early days of formation and leadership in the establishment of a local women's ministry) taken in the garden behind her lovely home in Borth, North Wales (nr. Aberystwyth). She moved there about 4 yrs. ago and we made a surprise visit to her on our was fun!

And the third photo is my gorgeous princess of a grandaughter, Iona-Mae. She is a delight and clearly enjoys the photo opportunity. She is a proper little girl...loving all things pink/purple and frilly. Her favourite shoes are her Lelly-Kelly's resplendent in sparkly trims! We laughed at her the other day. She had nana's camera and was taking some photos of her brothers in our home. We overheard her to say to her brother....."Matty....stop fooling around (Matty is the clown of the family....)....oh I am so proud of you." We all cracked up with stifled laughter!

I will now have to find some photos of our grandsons to complete the family brag!


This is me on the beach in Wales. I have a second photo of Ann but will need to publish that in the next post! Oh how I would enjoy not being so computer-challenged! (lol)

I have heard back from Ann to say she has returned home safely and is travel and time worn but had a happy reception from her hubby. It's always good to return home after such a fantastic holiday.

It seems an eon ago already that we visited so many wonderful places and shared so many laughs. Isn't life so was only yesterday that I bid her farewell at the airport and I've only had one night's sleep since....and it feels such a long time since I've seen Ann!

I had a visit from the grandchildren yesterday and my grandaughter asked where my friend was...awww! She spent a lot of happy minutes having colouring competitions with Ann...they had a whole routine all worked out. It was a "Ready, steady, go" kind of competition. Iona, being four is still into "fast" scribbling colouring and Ann is the "perfection" type of colourer (just like me!) so of course Iona always "won."

I have so enjoyed the last two weeks and now my home beckons for retrieval from all the dust bunnies! I have still to finish putting away all our belongings in our newly refurbished bathroom. It was completed just the day before Ann arrived so I still have some work to do on that room. And there are redecorating projects galore! I'm going to be kept out of mischief for some time.

And the garden....well, that's just an awful jumble of huge weeds (how can they grow so fast in just two weeks!!!). That needs total revamp....and then there's the garage that needs sorting.....I think you get the picture! (lol)

It's a beautiful day....lovely sunshine and a gentle breeze. I feel so good! Long may it last.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

I've been one busy lady! I've had a wonderful two-week visit from a high-school best friend, Ann. She came from Vancouver, B.C. for a visit and has this morning returned to B.C. We sure had a fabulous (awesome even!) 2 weeks.

It was through Ann that I met my husband...I was bridesmaid at her first wedding and my hubby (then unknown to me, but friend and workmate of the groom) was best man...and as they say, the rest is history. Hubby and I have been married 37 years (38 on 1st July) and Ann has now gone on to meet and marry her second lovely hubby Jim.

We visited Cardiff, Aberystwyth, Llandudno, Llangollen and York (and many points inbetween). I think we just about managed to draw breath....we laughed, reminisced, visited with her cousin and a good friend as well as a few outings with meals out etc. It's been so much fun.

I will be resting up now as we covered a lot of miles by English standards and I am weary but content. Housework (dusting, vacuuming and washing all await).

I feel so blessed to have such a friendship and I know Ann has returned home with may happy memories to a hubby and a family dog who are missing her very much.

Jacquie x

Thursday, May 08, 2008

I was replying to a forum post on Brocante this morning about my thoughts on my beloved sister's death in January '07. I realized I hadn't blogged much about that time in my life and it was so therapeutic to write that forum post. I want to share it here on my it part of my healing process and indulge me. There is also a link to a tribute website which our son started at the time of her passing which you might like to take a look at. It could use an update...but that will be for future months. The addy is

My post read....

When my sister died in Canada in January '07 she was cremated immediately and her ashes were collected by her married daughter (placed in an urn on her dining room table...."because it felt like mom hadn't left yet"...I think you'll understand those kinds of feelings).

With me being in the UK I had been rather detached physically from her final 2 months of illness in hospital until her death and then at the point of death I had just had those kind of phone calls or webcam chats with her daughter where sobbing happens and you just indulge one another...there is just such a depth of sadness. Being an ocean away (my sister lived in Canada...our birthplace, and me in the UK) it all seemed so real and yet so far away.

Her Memorial Service was held 3 months after her death (due to poor weather conditions and my inability to get away for the service until then) and we planned it, printed up service sheets etc. over the phone and fine-tuned it all when I arrived at my niece's home. It was a kind of surreal time between death and the Memorial Service. Yes, my sister had died and I was distraught. Yes I had the trip back to Canada (accompanied by my daughter, her hubby and our 4 grandkids..her first return journey to Canada since leaving for the UK at the tender age of 7 yrs.), the opportunity to connect with some family and friends and especially get all those hugs of comfort and understanding.

The most beautiful and for me concluding act following her death, was upon my return to Canada. We returned with niece & family and daughter & family to the small island where we had grown up and carried out my sister's wishes of scattering her ashes on the beach. It was a most holy event. I felt such a connection to was sad and healing all at once. For me, that was my final good-bye, my opportunity to "release" her. It felt so right and as a proper end to her life...and what she had asked to be done.

We travelled on after 3 days of family visits on the island to the home of my niece, went through a lot of my sister's belongings which my niece had stored in her basement, shared all the good and not-so-good memories of our childhood and made that important link between the generations. Now, more than ever, I feel such a connection with my niece. We clung to one another like flotsom in a ship wreck...and still do.

I miss my sister a lot...she was 18 yrs. my senior...and it was awful the last 3 years of her life to watch her decline from Parkinson's. I wasn't even able to understand our phone calls the last 3 months of her life, she couldn't write because it was just too we cried and laughed on the phone calls. I got to "speak" to her on my niece's cell phone barely an hour before she passed away...I read her "our" psalm 139 which holds so much tender meaning for us both and I released her into God's loving arms. Another "right" moment.

It's good to share. If you are travelling through a time of grief I hope it helps to know many others survived that journey too. "God is my refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."

Sunday, May 04, 2008

I am floundering with this blog. I am finding so many beautiful blogs with pages so wonderfully presented, feminine/pretty/inspiring/lots of links etc. I'm trying to sort all that out on this blog so I hope you will stick around and be ever so patient with me. One day I will conquer all things to do with computer/internet/blogging etc.....hope you last the course!

Here's to a refreshing change in nana's news!


: Anyone Missing Me?

<CENTER>PICTURES, POTS AND PENS</CENTER>: <strong>Anyone Missing Me?</strong>

Saturday, May 03, 2008

The weekend has arrived! This was my first morning of not being in our shop and it has already made such a wretched morning routine into a blissful one.

I slept in my chair last night for a couple of hours and then toddled off to bed where I slept another 4 hours! I went to bed last night knowing I would not be required in the shop in the mornings and I'm certain that contributed to my restful sleep. I'd forgotten what it was to sleep in our bed with the comfort of our down duvet and no alarm clock ringing in my ear willing me to get up and at it for another day! I was awake early as if I was getting ready for work....but only needed to get myself ready to face the day. I will not miss those anxious and fretful hours of work/recovery. I do have issues with feeling guilty about the extra workload for hubby and am practicising letting that go!

It isn't exactly a cloudless sky....not sure what the day holds weatherwise. Lots of activity here with the bathroom refit and my decluttering and reorganizing. I love spending time in our home and making it a pleasant, clean and welcoming place.

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Friday, May 02, 2008

I've made the decision today to discontinue working in our shop completely for the foreseeable future. The mornings in the shop, although only an hour or so in duration, have unsettled me not only at the time I am in the shop/stockroom but for a couple of hours afterwards. Thankfully hubby is supportive and has been gently understanding. It does increase his workload and he will miss his Saturday return to bed for a well-deserved rest. I do worry about the inevitable stress and longer hours of work for him....and pray for strength of mind and body for him.

I have a myriad of medical appointments in the next week or so and there will be evaluation of my mental health and appropriate treatments set in place. I can't praise the NHS and my family GP enough for their response to my health issues. It is a comfort.

Our bathroom has been gutted today and the workmen will return tomorrow to begin the plumbing work and setting the new suite in place. They did estimate the work would take 5 days so we will have a bit more disruption and I anticipate the enjoyment of a luxurious, relaxing soak in our new tub (I've already bought the lavendar essential oil!)

This is a Bank Holiday weekend and the workmen will work throughout to keep the refit on schedule. If you are celebrating the Bank Holiday may it be an enjoyable and restful one.