Friday, August 31, 2018

Up and Away!

Well, I will be in the morning. I'm flying out early to daughter's in Minnesota. I'm hoping the flight will be uneventful. I have finished packing. The clothes part wasn't difficult but it was the what-else-should-I-take part that I had trouble with - crafts and books. You would think I was going for ages! I'm not checking a bag on the plane as that costs money - that seems utterly pointless to me because the weight of the plane is the same it's just packed inside with people trying to get cases in the overhead bins! Oh well.

I will be there at 8.04 in the morning and hopefully daughter will pick me up. I can't wait to see her again! I'm hoping this time I won't get sick and we'll have some fun!

Thursday, August 30, 2018

A Kind Word Goes a Long Way

I think that sometimes, rushing through life as we do, we sometimes forget to extend a kind word to someone. Something so little as a few words can really make a person's day. Take today for example. I was just having a generally sh***y day. Nothing seemed to be going right. I was ready to sit down and have a cry. Out of the blue my phone pinged and an old friend sent me a really sweet video of an older lady in Japan taking the art world by storm with her photos. She had only learned photography at 72. My friend posted how she thought that would be me in a few years. I replied with lol I wish and then she sent me a really sweet message about how much she enjoyed seeing my photographs and she thought I was talented. Those few words cheered me up more than she will ever know.

They taught me that it doesn't take much to extend a kind word and you never know how much those few words could change a person's day.

I know I don't always reply to comments but I do read them and I really appreciate them!

Monday, August 27, 2018

Hot and Humid

After a nice few days of reprieve the weather has turned horribly hot and humid again. It was uncomfortably hot last night (about 23c/73C) and I didn't sleep much at all. It felt like I was tossing and turning all night. I was finally glad when everyone had gone to work and I could get out of bed. I just didn't get up any earlier as I hate interrupting their routine. I didn't like anyone interrupting mine while I was getting ready for work so I try to be considerate. Needless to say I haven't got a lot done today. I did go for a walk, but even that was horrible. I was sweating by the time I was done (and not because I'd exerted myself!).

I'm going to do soft shell tacos tonight so I don't have to turn the oven on. I got ready to chop things up and found out the tomatoes I got yesterday are not good on the inside. Not exactly sure what's wrong with them, but yuck. I ended up asking hubby to pick some up on his way home from work.

I did decide to try to find up my living room projects that I had put away before I went to England. I thought perhaps I could sit and do one of those. I found the knitting project - still on needle - but couldn't find the other needle or the pattern. Sigh. I did find them in the end, but it seems to hot to even knit. I got my cross stitch out that I was working on - that was all together - but I've closed the curtains to keep out the sun (gasp!) and can't see to stitch. Instead I'm going to look through a couple magazines I brought back with me and maybe dream of more projects I can do someday!

Here's a card I made for Mum. Her birthday is next week. I left a card and some GC with my sister before I left, but I wanted to send another little homemade card.

Friday, August 24, 2018


Another week has already passed and I admit to it not being a very productive one. I really need to get back to the list making as it helps me keep on track. There is beginning to be a chill in the air (at least for the last few days though the weekend looks really hot) that makes me think of Autumn. I can't wait for it. Autumn is one of my favourite times of the year. I love all the gorgeous colour changes. I did book our mid-October trip up to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to see the colour change. It should be really beautiful. Hopefully we picked the right weekend - too early and there isn't a lot of colour, too late and it's all gone. 

I did manage to finish my 100 days of All About Me book. Yeah! I will get it out on Monday and take photos. I quite enjoyed that project. I also worked on a couple of cards - will also take photos on Monday. At least the crafty mojo seems to be coming back a little. 

I've been out at the woods taking walks and photos. Sorry if this is a repeat for people who see me on Instagram. I was really lucky to be able to get close to a heron and see it fishing. Usually they are really jumpy but I think this one was more intent on fishing than on me. 

I hope everyone has a good weekend. It will be a fairly relaxing one here. I know it's a bank holiday in England so hope those in England enjoy their extra day. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2018


It's a little nicer today, not quite as hot or humid. I had my two big windows (one in dining room and one in kitchen) done last week and can finally open them! It's lovely to let the cooler air inside and freshen things up a bit. It sounds weird but one window in the dining room and one in the kitchen are quite large and were older windows made up of loads of little individual panes of glass. Neither of them opened. Now they do!

I chatted with Mum today. It seems funny going back to our usual Wednesday calls and Saturday Skypes. It was nice to talk with her too. I think, after going out a lot, it's taking her a little while to get back to 'normal' again. She's been enjoying reading some of the books I read while I was there and left behind. She's hoping the weather will be nice enough tomorrow - sadly it doesn't look that way - that she'll be able to go to Felixstowe with my sister.

I had my dentist appointment yesterday - the less said about that the better - and there will be more appointments in the future. Sigh. I dwelled on it yesterday, sulked a bit, ate a bunch of chocolate (British) and am now taking a deep breath and moving forward.

The rest of the week will be quiet here. I am finishing up my 100 Days of All About Me book - way late, but it will be done!

One of my holiday snaps. It was taken in Torquay, Devon. It was a lovely place to visit. I really enjoyed going here.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Wildlife in the Garden

I spend far too much time watching the birds and critters in my garden. Yesterday afternoon I spent too much time watching this chipmunk try to get to the birdfeeder. It must have been new to our feeder because the others would go up the pole and along. This one decided to go up the pole and then try to jump over to the feeder. Sometimes it managed it, others it belly-flopped onto the ground. So funny to watch!

Getting ready to jump. 

Just managing to latch on. 

Sharing the bird feeder with an actual bird lol. 

Anybody else get distracted by the things in their garden?

Monday, August 20, 2018


We spent a nice weekend camping. The weather was quite warm and sticky, but at least I didn't have to bundle up while I was sleeping and the storms, that were in the area, avoided us altogether.  Our camping trip took us to the other side of the state where we don't visit often. It was about a 3 1/2 hour drive (which is probably why we don't do day trips lol). We took a walk along the St. Clair river at Port Huron where we could see right across to Canada.

This bridge takes you across to Canada. I didn't have my passport so we didn't pop across. Another time perhaps. We didn't do much walking on this trip - a couple miles, maybe a little more, but we visited a couple of lighthouses and relaxed by the campfire.

This was one of the lighthouses we visited - Port Sanilac Lighthouse. It isn't open to the public so this was as close as I could get. It is privately owned. Can you imagine living in such a place? I could see the top of that lighthouse having a circular book nook in it where I would be able to sit all day and read while looking out at the marvelous views. Sigh.

Tomorrow I have a dentist appointment. Not looking forward to it. Hopefully I'll be able to sleep tonight. Hope everyone had a lovely weekend.

Friday, August 17, 2018


This week has been flying by. Not surprising really. It's my first week back. Still feeling a little off, but I did get up into my craft room this morning. It's been so hot and humid. Today when I woke it was raining and I hoped it would cool things down a bit but it hasn't. You can feel the moisture heavy in the air. I managed to get in a walk between rain showers and I could barely move without getting sticky and sweaty. Yuck.

It was really lovely over at the lake. The fields are filled with wildflowers and everything is so very green. It's so pretty at this time of year - the hazy, lazy days of summer before the days get shorter and the mornings more crisp. I certainly shouldn't be wishing for those things, but I find myself looking forward to Autumn. It's my favourite time of year. I love the changing of the leaves, the cooler temperatures and the beauty Autumn seems to bring.

We're off camping this weekend. The weather is supposed to be okay and the temperatures on the other side of the state, where we will be, a bit more bearable. I'm not quite sure what possessed me to book a camping trip for this weekend as I barely have my feet on the ground as it is.

I hope everyone enjoys their weekend!

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Travel Journal

I kept a travel journal again this year. I'm really glad I do this. It's lovely to be able to look back and see what we did on a certain day and it helps when trying to journal photos later. I have some books to make for Mum as I took lots of photos and she didn't do too many.

I took the notebook/folder with me. I thought that maybe it would be too big, but it's pretty full.

It's also a great way to keep all the postcards and brochures together.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Getting Back to Normal

The leg cramps have disappeared and I'm getting back on track (almost) sleep-wise. I still feel a little off-kilter, though I suppose some of that is a little of the get-back-to-normal blues. I don't think I'll have a lot of time to get back on my feet. We're off camping next weekend (a trip booked back in about February) and then I'll be off to visit daughter at the beginning of September. I'm hoping that visit will be less eventful than the last one.

It was strange being back here when everything is so green. Usually when I get back everywhere is so dry and the grass is dying. Not so. Everywhere here is so green compared to how it was in England. It has started raining since I left though so hopefully things will bounce back. It was a little strange seeing everywhere so dry and the grass so beige/brown.

I walked the nature reserve on Friday morning hoping to help the cramps in my legs and feet and I loved seeing all the changes. There were lots of new wildflowers and the fields were really green. I'll start back on my routine tomorrow and walk around for a little more. I'll probably take photos, but I have so many from my England trip to sort through. I took lots of Devon and Wales. I'm excited to see how they look!

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Airports and Strangers

Well, I made it back. I got in at 2am Friday morning - several hours after I was due back. Yes, that means it didn't go quite to plan or as smoothly as I would have liked. The plane from England left on time and made it back to Chicago and that was about the best part of the journey. Chicago airport was a mess and that is putting it politely. I will try my hardest to avoid that airport next time. They were woefully understaffed and there were really, really long queues everywhere. I have to say that all the years I've been doing this flight that was my worst experience at an airport ever. I missed my first connection (which actually turned out to be a good thing as it was cancelled completely) and the later flight was severely delayed.  That's all I'm going to say on that subject lol.

The waiting areas around the gates were packed with people and seats were a premium. I bonded with one lady whose bags I watched while she went to the loo and she returned the favour for me. There were people who were going away for a few days and were missing time with loved family and others, like me, who were coming back from a long journey and just trying to complete the last leg of that journey. The family near me were coming back from a trip to Palestine where the teenage girls I was talking to had visited family. We were all watching our different flight information screens earnestly and were excited for one another when we saw updated flight information (only to be disappointed over and over lol). Luckily none of our flights were cancelled - though many were - and we watched as one by one the planes arrived and people got off. When we were finally able to get on our planes we waved excited goodbyes to one another. I found it quite interesting how strangers can bond over such an event.

I was really tired when I did make it home. Husband, who picked me up at the airport, had to get up for work later that morning so we basically got home and tumbled into bed. I woke about 4 hours later due to jet lag and terrible burning leg cramps - never had them so bad! I'm glad the journey is all over, but I already miss Mum. As the years pass, the goodbyes seem to get harder. It's back to our usual Skype Saturdays and chat Wednesdays.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

August already! Back from Wales

I can't believe it's August already. I'll be heading back to America on Thursday. Six weeks had just flown by! We're back from Wales. It was really beautiful. So much history and new castles to see. We visited lots of places in the five days. Wore mum out a little. I forget she's getting older. I'm sure she'll love a rest when I leave lol. I've got to try to read lots of books in the last few days so  I don't have so many to fit in suitcases.

Magnificent castle at Chepstow.

I'm going to savour and enjoy these last few days with mum. I'll write again when I'm back.