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Sod's law....

Friday, July 16, 2010

Yesterday morning I was gardening before it got too hot, trimming dead heads, faffing about in my bog garden and generally getting dirty when I suddenly remembered I needed to order a couple of sacks of potatoes from the farm around the corner.
Let me set the scene....

When I garden I like to be comfortable, who doesn't?
So I wear an old soft cotton bra with absolutely no support what so ever.
A pair of baggy leggings that have seen better days and are held up by two large safety pins as the elastic has lost almost all its stretch. (I really ought to replace it!!)
A baggy old tshirt which has been washed so many times the colour is undefinable.
And to top it all off a pair of black socks and blue rubber wellington shoes.
....that actually sounds worse than I look when I read it back!! LOL and of course I wasn't very clean either, I hadn't even washed my hands just rubbed them on an old towel and my fingernails were gross to say the least!

Anyway, unwilling to get out of my gardening gear just to walk about two hundred yards and knowing the farmers wife would probably be dressed almost as badly as me (she helps with everything) I peered down the village street to see if the coast was clear so I could 'Go for it.'

The coast was clear, so 'Go for it' I did!

I hadn't gone more than two steps out of my front gate when the world and his wife seemed to appear from nowhere!!

I got 'Morning Martha-Ann' even as I was closing the front gate and turned to find a well dressed friend on her way to the village shop, boy did I feel like the poor relation!
But it was actually nice to see her as she said 'You look as though you've lost some more weight' could she tell with all the baggy gear?
Maybe she thought they were baggy because I'd lost more weight, who knows but her comments pleased me immensely and boosted me up for the day.

A few steps further down the street, a car pulled up next to me and the window was wound old friend of my sons who lives in Georgia, USA was home visiting her parents and was beaming out at me and talking away as if it was yesterday she last saw me when in reality it was fourteen years, she had her two beautiful young sons with her too.
She looked immaculate and talked with a surprisingly American drawl instead of our usual Yorkshire accent.
It was lovely to see and chat with her but it made wish I'd changed my clothes!

Next on the list were three young mums, once my pupils, who knew me from the school I used to work at before I retired. They gathered round me chatting away, talking about their children and asking how I was, saying I looked well and it was lovely to see me. They were all very trendy and modern, pushing their latest offspring dressed in designer baby clothes.
It was lovely to see them and chat but next to their colourful clothes I felt old and haggard and sort of like a bag lady!

I eventually made the farm gate, this was the best bit and took me a while as wandered up the track slowly, watching butterflies and insects, listening to the birds singing and talking to the cows and scratching their foreheads as they nosily came to the fence of their field.
Upon reaching the farmhouse I made a fuss of the sheepdog in his kennel, stroked the cat and her three large kittens then knocked on the door to have it opened by an immaculate farmers wife all done up, even wearing make-up, and ready to attend an agricultural show with her husband who looked just as immaculate in a very sharp suit!
Oh! boy...

Well, I got back home without meeting a single soul (wouldn't you know it!!) and settled back into my garden with a sigh of relief.
Everyone I'd met was very nice and probably didn't even notice what I was wearing, I suppose to them I'm just Martha-Ann but I don't think I'll venture out dressed like that again as it certainly made me feel uncomfortable.
I know it shouldn't and we shouldn't worry what others think about us, but I do and I suppose I always will, can't change some things!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NEELOJ 7/16/2010 12:43PM

    Great blog!!! I have had the very same thing happen.
It is wonderful to just laugh at yourself and go on.......

I try to put myself in the other persons place and think about what I would say if I saw a person I know dressed like this. I would know they had been working in the garden and I would be thinking I should be out doing the same thing in my own yard.

I use to be so selfconscience when I went out walking in the neighborhood until I stopped to think about what goes through my mine when I see someone else walking. I never think anything except how great it is they are out getting exercise.
I don't believe most people are any different then myself and am sure they only think the same thing that I do.

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LOOZINITNOW 7/16/2010 8:28AM

    Loved it! Got my morning started of with a good laugh! This is the way it always happens. You get dressed up then you run into no one. You look your worst and you run into everybody. Truthfully, they probably don't even notice or care about what you are wearing. They are just happy to see you. emoticon

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SHELLB39 7/16/2010 8:11AM

    Oh what a hoot! With the exception of the socks and boots we are alike in our gardening apparel! I'm glad you could enjoy, for the most part all your lovely encounters! Being a hairstylist I use to think I could never go out without my locks fixed. I rejoice that I've finally overcome the silly idea that people would care if I didn't! And if they do...that's their issue. The freedom to go out on a whim when necessary, despite appearance is worth it for me! Thanks for the good morning story! What a lovely place you live! emoticon

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DOLLBABE56 7/16/2010 7:54AM

    I absolutely love this blog! It never fails, when we venture out in our "work clothes" and for me, an old cap on my head, that we meet at least one person we know. LOL I also know that this will not ever change so I'm not going to fret about it as much. But I do get a bit embarrassed at times.

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GOLDFISHLIZ 7/16/2010 7:01AM

    Oh --- isn't always the way!! What a great picture you paint! But my guess is - if they thought at all about what you were wearing, that they just assumed you were doing the garden!
I'm off into mine whan the rain stops......
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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A very, very, busy, busy bee....Bzzzz Bzzzzz Bzzzzzz

Friday, July 09, 2010

I've been a bit of a busy bee this last week and was hoping to post some pictures along with this blog but frustratingly my camera won't load to the computer so I'll have to paint a picture with words....

On Friday with my friend Judy I visited the beautiful and historic mediaeval town of Beverley in East Yorkshire.
It was a gorgeous sunny day but rather humid so we did the touristy thing of visiting the imposing Minster, parts of which date back to 700AD, where it was peaceful and cool.
We visted the Friary built in 1263 which is now a gallery and conference centre.
We also wandered the tiny mediaeval streets and alleyways enjoying the old houses and architecture and walked along the banks of the river Hull, known locally as Beverley Beck.
A visit to Beverley isn't complete without a visit to Nellies, more correctly called the White Horse Inn, the oldest coaching Inn in Beverley dating from 1666, but known locally as Nellies after the landlady who ran it for many years. Sadly not there now, the place is still run as she and her sister did it, even down to still having gas lighting!!
We had a lovely bar meal and a refreshing thirst quenching cold drink and afterwards strolled the Westwood, a common grazing pasture which is still run on the mediaeval rules by the Pasture Masters of the parish.

Saturday was a day of 'Hearts & Flowers' with a visit to a nearby church for an exhibition of wedding dresses and memorablia complimented by wedding floral arrangements.
The sights and smells were wonderful.
The oldest dress dated from 1786 and the youngest was one a bride had worn the Saturday before at a wedding in the church. It was wonderful to see the changing styles as we meandered through the decades.
Embroidered hearts decorated the pew ends, the magnificent floral bouquets and sill arrangements were works of art and the scent of lillies was overpowering.
There were cream teas, craft stalls and a raffle in the village hall to finish of the visit.....I later found out I'd been VERY lucky and won a raffle prize.....with over 2000 tickets sold, how lucky was that!!

Monday was a Garden Party for my Chapel's 'Knit, Natter & Stuff ' group.
We get together regularly to knit soft toys, teddybears, babies & toddlers cardigans, blankets, shawls, hats, gloves and mittens and make cloth school bags and small blackboards, pack shoeboxes with essential items like toothpaste, soap etc. for an African orphanage and raise money for 'Water Aid' which helps to dig wells for remote African villages where people have to walk miles for water and pay for it!
So far we've helped to pay for five wells, built two schools and a further four classrooms to an existing one and we're putting seven orphans through their schooling so fund raisers every now and again are essential.
The garden party was held in a friends stunning garden on a gloriously sunny day. We served cream teas & strawberries and ran a cake stall, bring & buy and a raffle.

Tuesday saw a visit to the studio and gallery of the very talented local wildlife artist and sculptor Robert Fuller. (If you google 'Robert Fuller, wildlife artist' you'll find pages which show you the kind of thing he does.)
It was an open day with guided walks across his land to badger, otter and kingfisher watch, but sadly we left it too late to book for any and they were all full so it'll mean another visit...Yippee!!
Robert & his father Richard are very well known it the area for their conservational farming methods.
Richard exhibits as well, not paintings, but wonderful wild life photography taken on his farm at Great Givendale. (You can google him too!!)

All in all a very busy but wonderful week which I thoroughly enjoyed.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHELLB39 7/14/2010 9:28PM

    What great visuals you created with your words! Thanks for the "telling" ! Hope you're in the upload mode soon! emoticon

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GOLDFISHLIZ 7/13/2010 2:45AM

    What a great week! My Dad was an architect, and loved Beverley Minster, which he photographed in detail and spoke about in his groups in Harrogate.
This is a great time of year for flower festivals and the like. I'd have loved the bridal exhibition!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NEELOJ 7/11/2010 8:30PM

    What a grand time!! I was having a great time with my sister this week too!
We saw a lot of really beautiful Kansas!!

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DAWNDMOORE40 7/10/2010 9:58AM

    Hi! It sounds like you are having a wonderful trip! I would love to go visit England someday! I also think it's wonderful that you are emoticonother! emoticon

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QUIETCUPOFTEA 7/10/2010 9:08AM

    hi martha ann! what a wonderful trip. i would love to visit england someday; all that rich history and beautiful scenery! and bless you for your work on behalf of the people of truly do make the world a much better place! emoticon

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MARTHA-ANN 7/10/2010 2:23AM

    Thanks everyone, it was a very enjoyable week emoticon

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DEBHAPPY2B 7/9/2010 9:12PM

    Hi Martha Ann, your week sounds wonderful. The UK has such wonderful historical sites which put ours to shame in the US! I wish I had been with you! I saw many wonderful things when I visited England about 17 years ago...I would love to meet up with you sometime and visit again.


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HAVALOVER 7/9/2010 9:32AM

    Wow, Martha-Ann, you visited great places!
I can picture them clearly in my mind, but when the camera-computer marriage reach an agreemente emoticon, I'd love to see the pictures too!
Hugs and have a great weekend,
Go Spain! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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XME501 7/9/2010 9:26AM

    Beautiful!! Love the pictures of the Garden Party - just spending time with fiends and enjoying a craft together. And also raising money to help dig wells in Africa. I was there on a Mission trip a number of years ago - we had a well where we were staying and the women were allowed to come in the morning to draw water. Then they would balance the container on their heads and return to their "homes". Also, in one village we visited the children we so excited to show us the well that an organization had put in for them.
Perhaps you will still be able to add your pictures. Would love to see them!

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Quote of the day.....

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

I found this Stephanie Klein quote on a website today and thought it very apt.....I can relate to this!

I'd heard it all the time, 'Live for the moment.'
But if I did that, I'd weigh more than a dump truck.
Losing weight wasn't about the moment at all, it was about having faith in the future.
It was about knowing there would be another meal in a few hours.....

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HAVALOVER 7/9/2010 12:00AM

    Love it!

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MARTHA-ANN 7/8/2010 6:17PM

    Thanks everyone!

Comment edited on: 7/9/2010 7:05:58 AM

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TODDJAMES 7/7/2010 4:57PM

    Can I get an AMEN from all the Sparkers? Thanks for sharing!

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DOLLBABE56 7/7/2010 1:52PM

    I like this a lot.

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JENNC34 7/7/2010 12:05PM

    I like that quote! emoticon

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What a night.....

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Last night was one of 'those' nights.....I'm sure you've all had them, the kind where the night disappears so fast and you haven't been asleep for more than five minutes!!
Well last night was one of them...

Yesterday afternoon my neighbours children brought me a fledgling blackbird they'd rescued from the jaws of death.....well, their ginger cat really!
Knowing I've brought up chicks before and not being able to keep it 'cos of their two cats they trustingly brought it to me.
The trouble is it has a broken leg.
Not just a broken leg which I could splint with a matchstick, oh! no this has to be above the leg, probably around the hip joint so the leg is never going to work even if the chick survives.
He doesn't appear to be in pain and sits quite happily in his shoebox on his nest of paper towels.
He's quite well fledged with most of his feathers still intact though part of his tail looks very bedraggled and chewed, his yellow gape is gone and he's feisty and hungry so he probably has a chance.
I can't see any puncture wounds so there should be no infection, cat bites are notorious for that, but he probably needs more specialist care than I can give him so my neighbour will be taking him to the local RSPCA when it opens on Monday morning.

Anyway, I was late to bed, it was gone one thirty am, after watching a film and what with feeding the bird every three or four hour, the night had just seemed to streak away.
It went so fast.
I'd just got off to sleep to be awoken by a loud squawking from 'Bertie' blackbird.....and he was across the landing in another bedroom so you can imagine how loud he was!
I fed him the crushed up and water soaked dried cat food mix and mealworms and he quite happily went back off to sleep.....unfortunately I didn't, well, not straight away.

And when I did, I was woken yet again by a very vocal 'Bertie'.
After a repeat feeding performance I finally got back to sleep to be awoken by a very loud crashing noise!

Wondering what on earth was happening I looked out of the bedroom window to find a silver car had run slap bang into the back of a blue one parked across the road and a local young man emerging from the steaming or smoking car.....this is at five am!!

I pulled on some trousers over my nightwear and went outside to see if he was OK.....he was shook up but seemed unhurt and mad as hell with himself.
He rang his dad but refused to come inside to wait prefering to lie on the grass verge.
Dad appeared in minutes as they only live around the corner and they pushed the car to the side of the road, cleared all the debris, thanked me and left.
The odd thing is that there are other houses much nearer than me and not a soul appeared to have heard anything, didn't even look out of the windows and it was a hot & humid night so windows were open!

I got back in to find 'Bertie' squawking away again, I fed him and logged in to Spark, loaded a few pictures to Flickr and answered some e-mails.
It's now eight am and 'Bertie' is fast asleep.....LOL....I wish I was!!!

Final footnote: My DH slept through all this and is still asleep as I type!! emoticon


broken leg


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHELLB39 6/28/2010 9:08AM

    Glad to see you got a good nights rest! You are a kind soul...your goodness is realized in the care for a helpless creature and the young man your stood by following a frustrating circumstance. Thanks for sharing. Keep us updated with Bertie's progress!

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MARTHA-ANN 6/28/2010 4:41AM

    Thanks everyone, I slept pretty good, Bertie fed twice in the night and was still looking feisty this morning. Becky my neighbour has taken it in to the RSPCA now so it may survive.....I miss it squawking actually.....LOL! emoticon

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MOM2ACAT 6/27/2010 6:37PM

    What a sweet little bird!

Hope you can get your sleep tonight.

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NEELOJ 6/27/2010 5:22PM

    Isn't life grand!! There is always something to keep it interesting for us!
Hopefully you will sleep good tonight. Little Bertie may not have to wake you very often.
You are a such a nice person to take care of everyone and everything else......
NOW take care of yourself!!! LOL

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QUIETCUPOFTEA 6/27/2010 11:20AM

    that bird is truly blessed to have landed in your care! i hope you can get a good night's rest tonight. be gentle with yourself today... emoticon

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DOLLBABE56 6/27/2010 9:41AM

    What a good soul you are. I've been there - my eldest daughter brought home a blackbird chick her last year in high school. It was quite vocal too! We were able to release it a week later.

It's hard to believe that no one heard the crash. Oh well. Thank goodness you did. Hopefully you will be able to nap later.

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MAINLADY 6/27/2010 7:08AM

    What a night you had. Hopefully you'll be able to get a nap sometime today...if Bertie doesn't want to be fed and all cars stay on the road.

I'm leaving early tomorrow morning so won't be around for a few days. Take care of yourself and I'll check in once I arrive at my destination.


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RORYLYONS 6/27/2010 4:43AM

    Bless your emoticon You so sweet caring for the bird & the young man..Hope you get some shut~eye tonight.. emoticon emoticon

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    Sorry that there was so much action going on that interrupted your sleep. Thank you for helping the young man involved in the accident and also for helping the blackbird get better. You are a blessing to many.

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Shades of the mad scientist....

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Saturday 7 am...
I awoke feeling 'off it' this morning.....upset stomach, achey and generally feeling tired.
I think I know why.

I've been doing a little experiment on myself over the last three weeks.....that's where the shades of the mad scientist come in, I've always fancied myself as a wild haired experimenter!! LOL
For the past eight weeks since I climbed back on the Spark wagon with great gusto and managed to stay there I haven't had the irritable bowel like symptoms which have been plaguing me on and off for the last couple of years.
I've no idea why it clicked but suddenly it made sense to me that when I was eating good wholesome home cooked food my symptoms were so much better.
So three weeks ago I decided on a little experimentation.

I'd long suspected it might be what I was eating so on the Thursday I stayed within my calorie range but had processed readymeal type food as my main meal and again on the Friday.
Saturday dawned with an upset stomach, tiredness and aches.

From the Saturday I went back to my home cooked wholesome meals, veggies, fruit etc and then repeated the processed foods on the Thusday and Friday of the next consecutive two weeks and lo and behold on both Saturday mornings the symptoms were back.

I'd suspected it could be proccessed food for a while before I started to experiment and though I can't really prove anything and it might not be that it's certainly looking that way.
I can't pin it down to anything specific as I had different foods on all six days but all of them had a big long list of e-numbers and additives in them.

I don't have readymeal type things very often but they are handy if I'm in a rush or going out for the day.
Now I've decided my 'homemade' ready meals are the 'in' thing from now on and I'm going to plate a couple up every now and again and freeze them so I'm never tempted to buy readymeals again.

From today I'm back to my good nourishing home cooked recipes using fresh ingredients, I just wish I didn't feel 'off it'!

red onions from the local farm shop

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARTHA-ANN 6/26/2010 12:54PM

    thanks everyone I hope it proves useful, I'm definitely not going through it again!! emoticon
I've also noticed I don't get indigestion as much when i eat home cooked food.

Comment edited on: 7/15/2010 5:28:52 AM

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SHELLB39 6/26/2010 9:19AM

    Thanks for so bravely exploring this topic. I believe it's important to keep this in the fore front of food choices. I have wondered for some time now, how all the additives/preservatives may be playing a part in the cancer rate that seems out of control in so many areas of the globe! So here's to fresh beet salad today with ingredients grown locally! Time to go chop chop!! emoticon

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KAT573 6/20/2010 9:33PM

    wowow have you looked at the additives in the readymades and found any in common? You ARE a scientist! but Mad? I don't think so! Smart is what comes to mind.
KUDOS on taking mindful considerations. Unfortunately for me, I have IBS no matter what.....and it is worst at certain times than others so I will ahve to figure out what clean foods may be causing irritations.

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NEELOJ 6/19/2010 4:11PM

    Sorry you are feeling a little off today! But doesn't it feel good to learn about the things that you have!!
You are so smart to experiment and find what is best for your body!!
Now "you GO girl"!!! LOL

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MARTHA-ANN 6/19/2010 4:05PM

    Thanks everyone, I'm back on the good wholesome food again and feeling much better. emoticon

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FISHKNEES 6/19/2010 12:13PM

    I learned that lesson for myself this year..I too suffer from food kills me and that is all ate for it is home cooked food for me...what else I figured nothing I make ever makes me feel off..I can eat everything I want now...I have also learned what portion size works best for each food item..I have become a cook..who would of thought it a year ago...Keep up the good rock!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MAINLADY 6/19/2010 12:08PM

    Looks like you found the source of your IBS. Good for you. I think you are right on as I notice when I eat better I don't have the IBS either. However, I don't think I put it together until just now though. Since you have already proven this to be fact, I won't put myself through trying it out. I'm going to take your word for it and stay away from the ready made meals as much as possible. It sure makes sense and all-in-all you'll be eating much more healthy.

Have a wonderful weekend.


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CAROLYN0107 6/19/2010 10:48AM

    It looks like your experiment taught you a lot.

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PANSYLADY2 6/19/2010 10:07AM

    It's fascinating to see what foods our bodies react to. I learned long ago that mine does't like carbonated beverages of any kine! Am looking forward to any more of your "mad scientist" experiments. Really happy to hear you sharing about your success.

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DOLLBABE56 6/19/2010 9:59AM

    You know, I completely understand this. One of mine appears to be milk. I can drink/eat it occasionally, but if everyday it seems to build up in my system and the acid reflux sets in. At least I think it's milk.... I know that garlic and onions are culprits too. I do have acid reflux and non-acid reflux, so I am "supposed" to follow a certain diet.

That is a great idea of freezing a few meals. Good luck!!!

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