LEXIE63   56,462
50,000-59,999 SparkPoints
LEXIE63's Recent Blog Entries

Day 146: Dead Laptops, Howly-bags, Gardening, and Tea at the Ritz

Friday, December 09, 2011

It's been a varied and busy week or ten days. We have had some upset (Tara's laptop dying and her consequent illness, plus a neighbour issue), some exercise (gardening) and some excitement (tea at the Ritz).

So, first the upset...

It was very late on Thursday evening (1st Dec) when Tara's laptop screen suddenly went black, and the power stopped. She switched it back on, but although it whined away, the screen stubbornly refused to show anything but a black cat at midnight. When Tara then tried to switch the laptop off it refused to, which rather freaked her out. Fortunately, she had the presence of mind to remove the battery, which worked!

Even possessed laptops need a battery to power it. LOL

Naturally, the whole incident upset her, and she didn't want to get out of bed on Friday morning. Eventually, though she was persuaded that she needed to try the laptop once more to see if it was now ok, or actually deceased.

She came downstairs, approached the laptop v...e...r...y... s...l...o...w...l...y... lifted its lid, and pressed the start button.

There was a second of whirring, the button's little light switched on, and then it just sighed and stopped. Tara looked at me, shrugged and tried again. But again it stopped after a second or so.

I looked at her and said, "I think your laptop has shuffled off sweetie."

She came over to me, and we had a few tears and a long hug, and I told her she was welcome to share my pc until such time as we can replace her laptop. Of course there are things she can't do with my pc. I don't have photoshop for a start, and she doesn't like my keyboard, but at least she can keep in touch with her mates and do most of what she was doing before, plus I pointed out that she'd get used to the keyboard eventually.

Well, we had breakfast while I checked my inbox, and we discussed a timetable for using the pc....

The Time Table:

I get it until 1pm (which sounds great until you realise that for the bulk of that time I'm supposed to be exercising, shopping and stuff *grin*).

Then she gets it from 1pm-3pm ( a little longer if her friend has a late start at college).

I then have it from 3pm-6pm (if I'm not putting in work hours).

Then Tara has it until 11pm while I'm putting in work hours, cooking our evening meals, and watching my TV shows.

And finally, I have it from 11pm till midnight, in case of any last minute emails that need answering or whatever.

So, we have been (loosely) following this timetable for a week.

I say loosely, because I haven't had a lot of time to be on the computer anyway. :-)

I am racing to complete a double bed blanket so that I can start on another project. I'm just finishing the last two of twenty five 20-round granny squares, and then it's just the crocheting them together bit, and sewing all the ends in. I want to finish it before Christmas. By the end of next week if possible.

But I'm getting ahead of myself...

So, having made the timetable decision, I carried on with the computer while Tara went and grabbed her DS. She tried to log on to her internet Pokemon game but couldn't get on the internet.

Then I tried to open a page on the pc, and nothing.

I looked down, and realised the modem lights were flashing! Oh joy! The internet was out! As you can imagine, this didn't help Tara's mood any. It was almost her turn to have the computer, and there was no computer to have!

Then we realised that the light was flashing on the TV as well. Good old Virgin Media playing up again! (makes you wonder what you pay your bills for sometimes!)

Luckily, it only took an hour or so for the problem to be fixed at their end, and Tara got onto the computer for a while.

I nabbed it back at 4pm (only an hour late, but as we'd lost an hour of Tara's time, it seemed fair) and played on Jigidi because by now I was feeling a little stressed and I wanted to relax a bit.

Just after 5pm, Tara complained she had a headache. She looked flushed so I took her temperature. It was just under 100. I gave her a couple of painkillers and she sat in the corner comfy chair, all huddled up and started to watch Pointless. The problem with things going wrong is that it can make Tara physically ill. It is the autism. Changes freak her out. She tries to cope but feeling sick is usually the result, usually at bedtime for some reason.

By 6pm, Tara was still in pain and squinting at the light. I told her to go and lie down upstairs for a bit and see if that helped, while praying that she wasn't going to become prone to migraines. They are rotten things to deal with.

Ten minutes later she came bouncing down the stairs, pain gone and looking brighter, (no migraine, thank the gods) so I handed the computer over to her and sat and crocheted for a while.

At 8pm, I headed for the kitchen to wash dished and prepare a meal.

All was going well.

Tara was chatting online with friends and playing Keyquest. I was sorting things out in the kitchen, and Friends was just coming to an end on the TV.

I called out to tell her that I was just dishing up the dinner, and whammo! There was a loud pop and everything went dark! Powercut!

The dark was REALLY dark! I told Tara to stay right where she was, and groped my way to the cupboard by the back door where I keep the torch. Once I found it and switched it on, I went to the window and looked outside. Sure enough, the whole street was dark.

I was heading towards the kitchen drawer to find some candles, when there was a click and a shuddering noise, and the electricity came back on.

We'd only lost power for a couple of minutes, but it was the finish for Tara. Too freaked out to go near the computer now, she grabbed her food and huddled back in the corner chair again. She picked at her plate for ages and could barely eat a bite. She looked really flushed and by bedtime she had a temperature of 101.8.

Which inevitably led to a disturbed night of her feeling sick and not being able to sleep.

This illness lasted all weekend, but by Sunday evening her temperature was dropping down nicely, and she was looking better, even though she still wasn't really eating.

And this is where I tell you about the other little irritant....

The whole of the previous week had been fraught with noise. My neighbour's dog to be exact. She had started a job as a home care worker (my neighbour, not her dog *grin*). On the Monday things were fine, but the rest of the week I got woken every day by Chucky howling his head off! I knew what this meant. He only howls like that when he's been shut in his cage.

Well, we put up with it all week. He howled at ten minute intervals for hours at a time for four days! Saturday was quiet, but there was another short howling session on Sunday.

On Sunday night I set my alarm for 8am Monday morning, intending to go the The Big Garden for my second volunteering session, as long as Tara was ok. To be honest, all the issues with Tara's health wasn't making me feel too good either. My sinuses were playing up and I was pretty tired from all the interrupted sleep over the Friday and Saturday.

The alarm went off Monday morning, and I lay there for a minute or two, trying to decide how I felt. Coming to the conclusion I didn't feel all that good I turned over thinking I'd get a bit more sleep and make a dash for the garden if I felt more like myself after the snooze.

But I didn't get it. Right on cue Chucky started to howl, and he was in full throttle mode! Putting me into throttle the neighbour mode!!! grin

Swearing under my breath, I hauled myself out of bed and, taking a stick, I hammered on the wall. All that happened was Chucky stopped howling for all of two seconds, and I chipped some paint off the woodchip!

So, I went downstairs, grabbed some water, and sat at the computer for a while to calm down and wake up.

Around 9am I heard my neighbour come back, so I went out to see her. I was as nice as I could be, and worried about the dog, to be honest, (I dislike those cages being used) more than my sanity, but my neighbour is a tricky person to deal with at the best of times, and she didn't take the news of his howling fit to wake the dead well at all.

Apparently, she had left Chucky in the kitchen loose on the Monday, but he got into the sitting room and wrecked it, so she had shut him in the cage every time she was out for the rest of the week. It didn't help that the new job hadn't panned out either. Apparently she only lasted a day (so gods only knows where she was the rest of the time) because she discovered that the amount of petrol she would get through was astronomical, making the job unviable financially.

She was NOT a happy bunny! But she had to be told, or both Chucky and I would have gone insane.

By this time I was feeling a bit more with it, despite the nasty taste in my mouth from the neighbour issue, so I grabbed a bite of breakfast, put on my gardening clothes, and headed out to The Big Garden. Just as well really, because apart from walking into town, I'd done no exercise since the Big Garden last week!! I know! It shocked me too. :-) My Wii has been sat there gathering dust, due to the upsets, and some aches and pains and other things like trying to change my routine. Now that it is so cold in the morning I can't just leap out of bed and get into my workout clothes. I am a wimp when it comes to the cold. :-)

Instead, I planned to put the heating on, have breakfast, and then get into workout mode, but it is proving harder to do than I thought it would.

Hopefully I'll adjust before the layer of dust on the wii becomes too obvious! :-)

Anyway, I had a lovely time at the Big Garden. I put a couple of beds to bed all by myself. That was particularly good fun as we had a lazy wind to contend with that day. For those of you who aren't Cornish, let me explain. A lazy wind is a wind that can't be bothered to go round you, so it goes right through you instead! *grin* It is also a sneaky wind. It waits until you start to scatter the leaves on top of the bed, and then lets rip, sending half of them flying over the garden! LOLOL It was fun though. :-)

I also planted the equivalent of 6 bulbs-worth of garlic cloves. You can never have too much garlic. :-)

I finished up by helping to harvest some winter greens, and one of the regulars – Wayne – offered to let me help out on his allotment if I wanted. It is only a few minutes walk from my house, so nice and handy. :-) I'm looking forward to that. I'm really enjoying the work so far, and learning something new every time I do it.

I got a phonecall from Tara just after I started planting the garlic. She wanted me to know that her temperature was back to normal (for her) and that her stomach was rumbling. :-) Good to know! :-)

On Thursday, I was back at Highwoods again, but only passing through on my way to Tea at the Ritz!

This was a joke between myself and ANNEMAC5. You see, a week earlier, she contacted me on my Sparkpage and asked if I'd like to meet up. She was passing by Colchester's door, so to speak, on her way to Ipswich for a Christmas Lunch, and if I was close to the A12 she'd like to say hello.

Well, I was thrilled! It was my first chance to meet a fellow sparker in the flesh, and I was definitely up for it. Deciding that my home didn't quite count as 'close' to the A12, I thought that we could meet at Tesco Extra and have a cuppa and a chat there. I mentioned that it was not exactly the Ritz, but at least it was close to the A12.

So that immediately became a joke between us. We were going to have Tea at the Ritz!

And we did! We arranged to meet at the front door of Tesco Extra at 10.30am. Fortunately the A12 was kind to Anne, and she was there within minutes of the planned time. You can never tell with the A12. More than once Bry has been caught out and been stuck for hours! :-)

Judging by the instant smile from Anne as she appeared around the corner, she recognised me as immediately as I recognised her. :-)

(I can't tell you how relieved I was to find out she wasn't a six foot tall navvy with a foot fetish! LOL)

We hugged each other, and went into the cafe. Anne treated us to the teas (both of us declining food as I'd had a big breakfast and she was saving her appetite for Christmas Lunch), and we parked ourselves in the comfy armchairs and sofas lining one side of the cafe for a chat.

(Mental Note: Next time ask for ordinary tea instead of decaf, as Tesco seem to remove the flavour along with the caffeine! LOL) Never mind, it was hot and wet, and it was the company that was the important thing. :-)

We had a lovely chat. We already knew a lot about each other from our blogging on Sparkpeople, and she is such an easy person to relax with. The time flew by way too quickly, but Anne is determined to come over again, and next time I'll take her on a tour of Highwoods Country Park. :-)

When we parted, I popped into Tesco proper and bought a few bits and pieces, then walked back home across Highwoods, to find Tara still in bed, and Sophie sniffing my trainers and giving me the evil eye. “You've been to Highwoods without me again! Growl!”

Wow! This is a ...l...o...n...g... blog! Well done, if you've hung in to the end of it. I really must try and blog more frequently. These long ones playing catch-up are turning into marathon runners! LOL

Enjoy the upcoming weekend. Don't let Christmas preparations freak you out, and think of me buried under a very large crocheted blanket! Well, under the pile of squares that will become a very large crocheted blanket anyway.

Hey, at least it keeps me warm! LOL
Lex xxx
emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Just saying a warm, nice hello to people this morning, good luck with staying focused and reaching your goals... All the best +Mark

Report Inappropriate Comment
_LINDA 12/9/2011 8:16PM

    Hope your rough spot is over. So sorry about the laptop dying :(( I am with you on the cold. I would rather cocoon then get out of bed on a cold day. That is so wonderful you got to meet a fellow Sparkie! Enjoy many more meetings!
Wishing for you a better week! Photo of that huge blanket when you are done please :)
Stay warm!
Linda xxx

Report Inappropriate Comment
ANNEMAC5 12/9/2011 3:46PM

    Nice blog Lexie, you are a great writer. I really enjoyed meeting you so glad we took the plunge. Hope Tara is still feeling ok. It is going to be cold so your crochet squares should keep you warm. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
CARLA-216 12/9/2011 11:36AM

    How neat to get to meet up with a Spark buddy! Sounds like such a nice visit...and at the Ritz even! ;)

I'm sorry Tara has been sick, but glad she's on the mend. Boo to the laptop dying. That stinks.


Report Inappropriate Comment
NEW-CAZ 12/9/2011 11:29AM

    Hi Lex
I am so glad you and Anne hit it off, she mentioned she was meeting up with you.
Also pleased to hear Tara is better, sounds like quite a week!
Hope you have a fantastic weekend hun emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
BOVEY63 12/9/2011 10:54AM

    So glad the week ended on such a good note - garden and meeting a spark friend. That would be so awesome to get the chance to meet one or more in person.

Also happy that Tara is better. Hope you both have a wonderful weekend.

Report Inappropriate Comment
SENATOR9 12/9/2011 9:52AM

    I saw in your feed you meet Ann Awesome Hope everyone feel better sone emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
YOYONOMORE1 12/9/2011 9:17AM

    Oh Lexie I so enjoyed reading this today, your title certainly caught my eye this morning. Glad you and your DD are feeling better, but sorry about the laptop, that's a bummer. How nice to be able to meet a fellow sparker and at the Ritz, to boot, lol. I love to make afghans in the winter as they get longer they keep my lap warm. Would a muzzle keep the doggie from howling? That would get annoying quickly. I am working on making 25 gift bags out of red felt for my DD's classroom that she helps out in at work, they are turning out cute. We have coffee hour here in our community room this morning at 9:30, then I'll get busy sewing. Have a grand weekend.


Report Inappropriate Comment
VENISEW1 12/9/2011 8:10AM

    Happy to hear your daughter is feeling better. I find sleeping in my gym clothes helps me get motivated to work out in the morning. Best of luck with your garden.

Report Inappropriate Comment

Day 136: Procrastination is the Thief of Time.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Oh, this is SOOO me! *grin* I've been there, done it, and bought the planner!

I can find a 100 things to do that are less important than the one thing I NEED to do. :-)

Do you know how you can tell when my procrastination is at its worst? You'll find me cleaning the house! This generally signals that I've run out of more pleasant forms of procrastination, and am resorting to last ditch distractions.

What is the reason for this brief interlude in my blog?

Well, I managed to delay my work hours to such an extent that I had a pile of work to do over the weekend, hence my disappearance from SP. :-) Usually I either spread my hours out through the week, or get them done as early in the week as possible, to free up the rest of the days to do other things. Last week, however, I found myself playing catch-up drastically, and for the life of me, looking back, I can't see why! :-)

So, this week, I'm trying to do better.


On Monday I did my first three hours of volunteering at The Big Garden.

I know - not work! LOL

But not procrastination either! :-)

Look what I did!

I put a bed to bed!

We covered the bed with a mix of compost and leaf mulch, then piled about 4 binbags full of leaves on top. Then I was asked to switch jobs and two other guys covered the leaves with netting and pegged it down.

Meanwhile, I was directed to the leaf mulch bins, and was asked to dig out the old bin, transfering the leaves to one of the compost bins, so that we could refill it with freshly raked leaves.

As fast as I filled a wheelbarrow, clambered out of the bin, and trundled the leaves to the compost bin, someone would come along and snag them for the beds they were tucking in for the winter. :-)

I was so busy that Wayne (one of the other volunteers) had to come and alert me to the fact that we were due a tea break. I scrambled out of the bin and followed him up to the shelter, where we early birds sat and chatted and got to know each other over a brew.

Then I clambered back into the leaf mulch bin again. LOL

Two more barrowfuls and my back was starting to moan, plus I had to call a halt because there seemed to be a lot of roots at the bottom, indicating a rip in the plastic sheeting, so Jo decided to save the rest of the job for Thursday and asked me to come and help her fix some plastic onto the poly-tunnel doors for the winter. Once we'd done that, I was asked to harvest a bucketful of greens while Jo repaired holes in the poly-tunnel where some determined little crittur has been scratching and nibbling to get inside.

At around 10 to 1 we started packing up, and the spoils of the day were shared out. This is what I came home with:

I really enjoyed my time in the garden, and I'm looking forward to going back next Monday. :-)

I'm considering doing Thursdays as well, but judging by the aches and pains when I woke up this morning, I may be sensible to settle for once a week until my back and arms get used to it. :-) I deliberately avoided any strength training yesterday and today because I didn't want to push my luck. My back has eased as today went on, but my arms are still a bit achy.

Then today, Tara suddenly annouced she wanted to go into town. Seeing as I had nothing better to do (apart from work, LOL) I agreed, and in we went. She wanted to check out Ace Comics first, and she found a nice lot of goodies for her wishlist, then we went to the Library where she handed in her 4 Manga books, and borrowed 8 more!

Then it was off to Waitrose, via Castle Park.

The Road To Nowhere:

Spot the Wildlife:

I love the contrast between those little topiary forms, still with their autumn shading on, and the bare avenue of trees stretching into the distance:

So, I did a little work this evening, and plan to get a good few hours in tomorrow. National strike tomorrow, so I figured it was best to stay home and not make plans to go anywhere or do anything, just in case the disruption is as widespread as the unions hope. :-)

Hope you all had a good Tuesday.
Lex xxx
emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BOVEY63 11/30/2011 4:34PM

    Sounds like one heck of a workout at the garden!
Hope you get all caught up.
Love the pics ~ always give me a laugh!
emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
CARLA-216 11/30/2011 3:46PM

    I'm so glad, but not surprised, that you enjoyed your time in the garden! Bet your spoils were yummy, too.

I'm a terrible procrastinator, and yes, housework is a common thing I'll do when I'd rather not do something else.


Report Inappropriate Comment
WANDAH3 11/30/2011 3:22PM

    So have you run out of distractions yet!? *grin*.


Report Inappropriate Comment
SENATOR9 11/30/2011 10:51AM

    That is why I got a wife for emoticonPlease don't tell her that I'm too young to die emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
SCREWIE 11/30/2011 7:53AM

    I am lolling like an idiot here.

Housework is also my last ditch procrastination :D

Report Inappropriate Comment
DIDMIS 11/30/2011 2:55AM

    WOW you really worked and got in your exercise, then you put a great deal of effort in the blog.

Report Inappropriate Comment
NEW-CAZ 11/30/2011 2:45AM

    Hi Lex
Sounds like you had a productive time and made some new pals, hope you enjoy your reward and the muscle aches go hun.
Love the pics emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
_LINDA 11/29/2011 7:18PM

    Interesting photos, but rather dark, had a bit of trouble seeing them. Those topiary forms were neat!
Sounds like they had you working like a dog at that garden!! Enjoy your spoils! Hope you feel better tomorrow!
Neither Mum or I could make out a critter unless what we though was leaves was a squirrel...
Linda xxx

Report Inappropriate Comment

Day 132: A Jigsaw Puzzle For You

Friday, November 25, 2011

White Lolcat in the Snow.


Have fun! LOLOL

Tomorrow's featured jigsaw will be Black Lolcat at Midnight! :-)

Exercise today was a Wii Day.

I did 35 minutes in 5 minute increments on my Cyberbike Game. Numbbumitis is a regular feature of this game, but I do enjoy it. :-)

Then I did Workout 4/20 of the EA Sports Active Personal Trainer on the Medium intensity setting. That came to a total of 23 minutes.

Then I did a random set of Wii Fit Plus exercises aiming for a minimum of 30 minutes cos the Fitpiggy likes you to do at least 30 minutes. :-) It makes him jump up and down with happiness. :-)

So that was pretty much 1 1/2 hours of exercise today.

Been a quiet day here in Lexieland, so this is a short blog for a change. :-)

Hope you have had a good day.
Lex xxx
emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SCREWIE 11/28/2011 6:41PM

    That jigsaw is evil! :)))

Report Inappropriate Comment
CARLA-216 11/28/2011 2:17PM

    Interesting, challenging jigsaw!

Great job on your workout! I love the term "Numbbumitis". Sounds nicer than when I say that riding the bike at the Y makes my bum feel wide as the whole outside! LOL


Report Inappropriate Comment
BOVEY63 11/26/2011 8:20PM

    Puzzle was fun! Thanks for sharing!
Awesome job on the fitness!
emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
LOVESLIFE48 11/26/2011 7:45PM

    Great on the exercise!! I told my mom & son I want a wii for Christmas, I think I'm getting it!! emoticon

Love your blogs!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
WANDAH3 11/26/2011 5:41PM

    I like that "Lexieland"....kinda fits with "winter Wandaland". *grin*


Report Inappropriate Comment
CHEVY63 11/26/2011 4:04PM

    Great job on the exercise!

Love the pictures emoticon

Have a great weekend!

Report Inappropriate Comment
SENATOR9 11/26/2011 9:18AM

    It will take me all day to do that puzzle emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
NEW-CAZ 11/26/2011 2:51AM

    Great workout Lex.
And thanks again for introducing me to Jigidi, as predicted I AM hooked emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
_LINDA 11/25/2011 9:45PM

    Wow!! You exercise demon you!! Great stuff! Can't wait to get back to my high speed connection to try those puzzles. I love challenges. I have done all sorts of weird and wonderful puzzles, and hope maybe will have a chance in doing some during my convalescents. Right now I am enjoying a whole lot of reading and Sparking :)
Have a Super Saturday!
Linda xxx

Report Inappropriate Comment
ANNIE924 11/25/2011 7:55PM

    Love the pictures, Lexie. They made me smile, and don't we all need smiles? emoticon

Wow 1 1/2 hours of exercise, I am impressed. Good for you. emoticon

The puzzle is a little too challenging for me. emoticon Have a great day.

Report Inappropriate Comment

Day 130: Exercise DVDs Free to a Good Home, and The Problem With Pesto

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I have a couple of exercise DVDs that are free to a good home.

One is a Tai Chi DVD, which I just didn't manage to get into. It is called Tai Chi For Relaxation and Good Health, and is the Hun Yuan Tai Chi 24 Form (if that means anything to you). It works in Region 2.

The other is for use with a Mini Trampoline. It is called PT Bouncer Complete Body Workout and is by Karl Frew. It doesn't have a region number, which may mean it is universal. But don't quote me on that. :-) It certainly works in Europe. This DVD I love, but unfortunately my bladder loses all control when I jump on Tigger (my mini trampoline). I can jog on him no problem, but jumping is a total disaster, and a lot of the DVD has you jumping fit to bust. I'm sick of peeing myself. LOLOL

So, rather than have these DVDs sitting in my home gathering dust, I thought I'd ask if anyone would like them.

If I get no takers I'll pop them down to the charity shop, but I wanted you guys to have first refusal.

If you are interested, sparkmail me and let me know. :-)

In other news...

Is it an age thing, I wonder? I don't recall having this issue some years ago when I last ate pesto. But now I burp for hours after eating it, and I have no idea why. At least they are cute little burps, not blasters! LOLOL

So, today has been a rest day. Timing is everything, and as it was the first rest day of the 30 day challenge, and TOM's full on day, I decided to take it really easy. TOM is being a literal pain this month. *sigh*

So, I've spent most of that day on Jigidi - the jigsaw website I love but haven't had so much time to play on recently. :-)

Mind you, I also did dishes, cooked a meal, and did some laundry, so it hasn't been a totally lazy day. :-)

But it has been lovely to just sit back and chill.

I hope you are having a good day. :-)
Lex xxx
emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BOE4LIFE 12/1/2011 4:40PM

    Glad you are doing well. Keep up the great work and thank you for all your support. Sometimes I feel I don't say it enough.

Report Inappropriate Comment
CARLA-216 11/28/2011 2:00PM

    You're so nice to offer up your no longer used DVDs to your Spark friends! I have a couple I should do the same with.


Report Inappropriate Comment
YOYONOMORE1 11/25/2011 1:56PM

    Lexie do you guys celebrate Thanksgiving? I get confused on who celebrates what when, lol. We had a wonderful family feast yesterday and had leftovers for lunch today. I am still tried from being on my feet so much yesterday, was going to put up our little tree but now maybe tomorrow. Yes, me and jumping doesn't happen anymore for the same reason, the old bladder ain't what it use to be, lol. We have a nice, sunny day here, a little on the windy side. Enjoy your weekend.


Report Inappropriate Comment
SENATOR9 11/24/2011 10:15PM

    Have a great day emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
BOVEY63 11/24/2011 8:20PM

    The problem you have on Tigger when bouncing, I have the same with jumping jacks, so just don't do them.
The pics were great as usual, and the workout tape on fast forward was hysterical!

Report Inappropriate Comment
WANDAH3 11/24/2011 5:54PM

    When ever I need a great pick-me up, I wander round to see your blogs. Thank you for always lifting me up and putting a smile upon my face.

Many hugs,

Report Inappropriate Comment
CHERIRIDDELL 11/24/2011 3:42AM

    OOH a jigsaw site you may have created a monster.HAve you tried www.filmon.com it is awesome you can watch anything for free on your computer.I like it cause I can watch all the British shows but the HD payper view are on there too ! hugs,Cheri

Report Inappropriate Comment
NEW-CAZ 11/24/2011 3:25AM

    Thanks for the offer Lex.
Thanks also for the puzzle site suggestion, I haven't done one in years and just know I'll get addicted now emoticon

Hope you feel brighter soon, emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
_LINDA 11/23/2011 7:03PM

    That is right nice of you, giving those DVD's to Sparkies, hope you get a taker! Sorry your TOM is a bother, I am sooo happy not to deal with that..
A productive day is good! I love jigsaws, but its been a very long time since I have done one. Wouldn't dare with my step dad's connection, fall asleep before the piece would move LOL.
Enjoy your Thursday!
Linda xxx

Report Inappropriate Comment

Day 129: The Woodpecker's the Thing

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

On Saturday morning I had the distinct delight of watching a Green Woodpecker spend half an hour in my back garden, rooting away in the grass for his breakfast, while I was preparing and cooking mine. :-)

I have never seen a woodpecker that close to me in my life. In fact, I've only seen them once before - at Highwoods a few months ago - for the very first time. So this seemed like a very significant sighting to me, and I wondered about the meaning.

Its arrival in my life coincided with a real change of direction for me, as my post that morning yielded conclusions to the main stress issues, as well as a lovely pressie from a friend, and I also plucked up the courage to attend an event at the Art Gallery that afternoon on my own. Going to events alone has never been something I felt comfortable doing, but somehow on Saturday I managed to change that and I'm so glad I did. :-)

I'm glad, because it seems to have also acted as a catalyst for other things to happen. I feel happier than I have in ages. More awake, eager, willing to make some changes in my life, because for some time now I have been in quite a rut in a lot of ways. Much as I love to do it, the combination of working from home and home-schooling has by its very nature made us a little isolated. At first it was by choice because of all the bullying Tara suffered. We both needed to retreat to lick our wounds. More recently though, I have wanted to spread my wings a little, and now opportunities to do so are turning up. Thank you Universe! :-)

They built The Golden Banana just for me. *grin*

Yesterday (Monday), I walked Sophie at Highwoods again, and as we walked around the third field, she went through a gap in the hedge that took us into a field we hadn't walked through before. Deciding to let Sophie choose the route I followed her, thinking the path through the field would wind to our right, and head us back to the track I'd been aiming for anyway.

But I was wrong.

Instead, it veered left, taking us to a path that necessitated us walking past The Big Garden, which is a project funded by The National Lottery, the local council and various other bodies such as the North East Essex Primary Care Trust.

Every time I've walked by there has been no one about. The garden is only funded to be open for a few hours a week, and never when I've been passing. My timing has never been all that good. *grin*

But this time there were people there, and although I walked on by for a moment, something compelled me to backtrack and attract someone's attention. A young man near the gate said hello, and directed me to Jo, the lady in charge, and she came over to the gate. She said Sophie could come in if she was on a lead, so in we went, and we were given a little tour of the garden. Within a few minutes I found myself opening my mouth and asking if I could volunteer there!

Now, this seems a weird thing for me to do. Both my girls' jaws dropped when I told them. Tara's was easy to watch as it hit her laptop with a thud, and I heard Bry's hit her kitchen floor with an audible slap when I told her over the phone! LOL

You see, I'm not much of a gardener, as the state of mine will attest. It is probably why the birds love it so much. My garden looks as wild as Highwoods most of the time. The first year we were here I did try growing some herbs and veg, and it went very well. I had courgettes and beetroot, carrots and peas all growing like crazy. Everything I planted grew.

The second year, though, the slugs and snails moved in and ate everything I tried to grow.

I was put off after that, and although the herb garden kept going, I gave up on the veg, and my health also took a bit of a nosedive, which didn't help.

Then the bramble took over and that was that!

So, you see, me asking to work in a garden, digging, and making compost and all that kind of thing, is a very strange thing for me to do. I don't like what I term 'icky-stickys' either. LOL

AND there's a wasp nest right at the entrance with a big warning sign, and I REALLY don't like them!

But I knew I had felt the need to ask for a reason, and so I told Jo I'd start next Monday. They are open on Mondays and Thursdays from 10am-1pm, and every other Saturday from 11am-3pm. I plan to make Monday my regular day, and do Thursdays as well when time permits.

There are obvious benefits to this of course. :-)

I'll be out in the fresh air. I'll be getting exercise. I'll be learning about organic gardening through hands-on experience instead of trial and error through reading a book. They'll have all the tools and things I need to use. And I'll be in the company of people who will be interesting to get to know.

Also, all the volunteers get a share of the produce that is grown there. A definite bonus, that is! :-)

All the way home I thought about what I'd done, and the more I thought about it, the more I wondered whether the Woodpecker had something to do with it. So when I got home I pulled out my copy of Ted Andrew's book Animal Speak and looked up the Woodpecker.

Oh my! So much of what he says about the Woodpecker made so much sense to my situation. The very last line though, was what captured my total attention. It quite simply said:

"It is now safe to follow your own rhythms."

And that is the truth of the matter. I need 'safe'!

Fear is my issue. Fear is what always holds me back. Fear stops me from doing so many things. But now I seem to be gradually conquering that fear, bit by bit, step by step, and I'm allowing myself to try things I wouldn't normally be willing to do because of my fear.

First the talk at the Art Gallery, and now volunteering in the Big Garden.



I wonder what opportunity might present itself next? :-)

Changing the subject...

My exercise plans had a week or so off during and after Bry's visit. I just really needed a bit of a break from the usual routine to recharge my batteries and try and cope with the stress.

But I started back on Sunday, using my new Cyberbike, and doing a few dances with Just Dance.

Monday saw me starting a second 30-day challenge on my EA Sports Active Personal Trainer. I've set it to medium intensity this time, because, apart from a couple of things like squat holds, I was finding it wasn't pushing me on the easy setting.

Not so easy now! :-) Yesterday's session was around 20 minutes, and had me doing more and lower squats than I would normally do. It was hard, but I did them. I'm pleased about that, but was more pleased to find that today's workout was squat-free, thank the gods! LOL

Today's workout was 26 minutes long, with lots of lunges of various types and lots of upper body work. I enjoyed it more than yesterday's workout, but I was really sweating from the exertion by about halfway through, which is great, and on both days my limbs were a little shaky by the end of the workout.

This is what I need - to be more challenged by strength training. If I lift weights I don't feel pushed and I don't push myself much at all, but for some reason this game pushes me and I don't want to admit defeat so I go past my comfort zone! :-)

Tomorrow is a rest day. As before, there are 20 workouts and 10 rest days. I'm looking forward to seeing how well I get on this time. :-)

With all that, plus well over an hour walking with Sophie on Monday, and a 30 minute aerobic workout today (Tue), I'm finding my enthusiasm is back. I haven't quite made my step counts daily, but I'm less concerned about that now.

Technically I'm on a target of 7400 steps a day (which I did make today actually) but I'm letting Active Health say how many steps it thinks I should be able to manage for a change. :-) The game thought I could do 8100, and I've not managed that yet this week. Also, TOM kicked in today - four days early - which doesn't bode well for the rest of the week's step count either. :-) I am very very achy today.

Wow! I got a bit serious today, didn't I! :-) But you can probably gather that I've been doing a lot of thinking over the last few days. I guess this blog is part of that process. Writing out your thoughts can be quite helpful I find. It tends to help me get my thought processes organised.

For now though, it is time to give that process a break and get myself off to bed. :-) The Woodpecker may be opening up my mental faculties, but mental faculties also need sleep. LOL

Hope you are all well.
Lex xxx
emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BOVEY63 11/23/2011 1:01PM

    Volunteering at the garden sounds like a wonderful opportunity; and great that you are doing something out of your comfort zone.
Great job on the exercise!
emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
CARLA-216 11/23/2011 11:06AM

    So exciting to see a new bird, especially in your own garden. And then to take it as a sign, to read about the woodpecker in Animal Speak, what it said...just wow. I love this!

I also love that you're stepping out the comfort zone...going to the gallery alone, volunteering. I need to take some cues for you because fear does hold me back a lot. Fear of failure and fear of rejection. I'm so proud of you for stepping out!

Enjoy the volunteering! I would love doing something like that but there's nothing like that near me. How awesome you get to share in the bounty you help create. Just sounds like a great thing all around.

And finally, good on you for taking the EA Sports Active Personal Trainer to the next level. To keep seeing progress, challenging ourselves is key!


Report Inappropriate Comment
SENATOR9 11/23/2011 10:08AM

    emoticon You find lots of reward in volunteering emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
NEW-CAZ 11/23/2011 3:16AM

    emoticon on volunteering Lex, you'll have a lot of fun I'm sure.

A new more confident Lex is emerging and loving life emoticon I am so l am so happy for you emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
LINDABENEDICT 11/22/2011 11:26PM

    WOW ! Congrats on volunteering !!!! Now more flora and fauna will come to know your awesomeness !!!!! Can't wait to read the stories you will tell !

Report Inappropriate Comment
_LINDA 11/22/2011 10:07PM

    WOW!! I am in awe of you Lexie!! And totally amazed you would do things like this!! I so understand that rabbit hole mentallity -its a lot safer in our warm homes then venturing out to meet the big, bad world -my break from my cocoon was my bridge.. I am so happy you are expanding your universe, and accepting new challenges!! The old saw that which doesn't kill you will only make you stronger!!
Here is to the new, go getter Lexie! You are going to help and learn at the same time -things don't get any better than that!!
Spread your wings and enjoy the flight!
I am so happy for you!
Linda xxx

Report Inappropriate Comment
ANNIE924 11/22/2011 8:24PM

    You are making such positive strides in your journey. Good for you for moving out of your "comfort zone". I know that expression is now something of a cliche but it seems to fit here.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment

First Page  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 Last Page