Tag Archives: NaBloPoMo

Today is the final day of #NaBloWriMo

So… what have I learned from the experience?

learning 3

It is easier to write these blogs than I thought it would be.


You can make a list but you don’t have to have to slavishly follow it.  Be flexible if you need to.


I don’t really have much of a social media presence yet, but those that follow me, read my posts regularly – so thank you to all of you!


It is very easy to slip into clichés and it must be fought off as much as possible.


I still have a huge amount to learn about this area I have decided to specialise in, and I suspect it will take the rest of my life to become and expert.  I am surprisingly okay about that.


Balancing a big to do list and writing is next to impossible.  I need to structure my writing so it is sustainable, regardless of what is going on in my life generally.


I really love writing.


A lot  of remedies come down to common sense.  Sometimes people won’t need a full work up.  They merely need a blinding glimpse of the obvious.


I really like learning things and I think I might be addicted to being challenged.


And now, my next challenge is to redecorate two rooms before Christmas!  I might be silent for a few days as I get to grips with this one.

thank you

Thanks for reading and sharing this journey with me.  Keep reading and spread the word if you can!  Thank you.





Gnashing my teeth…

I am feeling a little tense just at the moment.  As you might have picked up from my blog, I have a to do list with it’s own field of gravity on the best of days, but with a meeting with our social worker earlier this week, that list just developed its own asteroid field which is in grave danger of obliterating me if I stop to long to contemplate it.

stressed comic

Having extended that metaphor so tight it might snap, I know that one of the things I will do when I get stressed is that I grind my teeth.  This is called Bruxism, and I have done this at one time or another all my life.  Apparently stress is a common cause of it (sorry Hubby dear… you might need ear defenders on while you sleep!) but it can also be caused by a parasite!  Goodness!  I am pretty sure mine is stress though.

Is Bruxism dangerous though?  Well, only if your spouse decides to smother you with a pillow for the sound which is roughly equivalent to nails going down a blackboard.  But it can chip your tooth enamel.  Grinding can also wear down the jaw joint.  Bruxism can also cause headaches and pain in the face and jaw.

grinding teeth

So, according to my reference of choice this month, “Home Remedies from a Country Doctor”, there are several things you can do to help stop you from grinding your teeth.  Resting your neck is quite important apparently, and there are some contoured pillows which can help you to hold the bones between your shoulder and your chest, known as the cervical collar, in the right place.

You could also wear a mouth guard at night, which might not stop the grinding, but it will protect your teeth.  Although I am not sure about the fashion statement that would make.  Mind you, I am happy in fleecy pyjamas myself, so I am not exactly cutting edge on that score either!

water drop

Avoiding stimulants like coffee and chocolate makes a great deal of sense.  Not just because you will get a better quality of sleep, but you will also quite possibly be less on edge.  More relaxed equals less bruxism.    One surprising tip from the Country Doctors was to make sure you are keeping properly hydrated.  Apparently dehydration is one of the forms of stress which makes you grind your teeth.

A day for giving thanks…

Even if you are in the UK, where we do not celebrate any kind of thanksgiving (more is the pity), you know that today in the USA it is Thanksgiving Day.  It is a time for families to gather, spend time together and to eat a feast of all sorts of things, but usually turkey and pumpkin pie.  I would like to wish all of my American readers a very happy and peaceful Thanksgiving, and may what you are thankful for multiply and bless you even more.


Gratitude is something I have been thinking about quite a lot recently.  Not least because I attended my second funeral in as many weeks this afternoon.  This lady was a stalwart of the Catechist Team at the Cathedral in Nottingham, and she educated a generation of young people in preparation for the sacraments there.  She touched so many peoples lives, including my own, just by being positive and helpful and always being ready to give you a hug if you needed one.  Judging by the turnout at the Church this afternoon, she was well loved, and I know there were a lot of people giving thanks for Jennifer Hineson.  May she rest in peace.

As I drove home through a misty and drizzling afternoon, I was thinking about how many people never say thank you.  I have lost count of the number of times I have held a door open for people, or let them go first at the supermarket, or even when I have let them out at a junction, or given them something – they don’t say thank you.  I was raised to say please and thank you ALL the time.  But these days?  Well it is rare.  Very rare.  I can’t help feeling that this lack of gratitude coincides with an entitlement culture that people have where they seem to think that they are the centre of the universe and seem surprised to find out that actually, they aren’t all that important in the grand scheme of things.  Nor will they become the Chief Executive just by turning up to the first day in the post room.

thank you

I am big on having an attitude of gratitude.  I say thank you, all the time.  To people, to God (especially to God), to the cats, to the dog, to everyone.  It keeps me grounded and it keeps me humble.  It also keeps me aware of what is going on around me.  I keep an eye out for the small amazing things that happen and remember to say thank you for them.

attitude of gratitude 2

This is why I think Thanksgiving is a great idea, and one that I wish the UK would adopt.  Imagine if you woke up tomorrow, only with the things you thanked someone for today?  I reckon a lot of people would be cold, naked, hungry and alone, come the morning.

So if you do just one thing today – think about all you have and say thank you for it.  It will lift your mood, if nothing else.  Go on.  Try it!

Beware today…

Seriously, today has not begun well for me.  So far, two fairly major things have gone wrong.  I am going to write a brief blog and then go and hide in a nice little cave somewhere until today is over… just in case this laptop decides to up and die.

what doesn't kill you

So, this morning – in the shower, hair washed but body covered in suds… and the shower stops working.  Just like that.  It stops.  No warning, no odd sounds, just… sod that, I am not working any more, good bye and have a nice day.  Nothing else went weird in the house, so it looks like the element or the electrics in some way have gone pear shaped.  Guess what my husband is going to be fixing on Saturday?

And then… after I had been to my slimming club weigh in (I maintained – which with the week I have had is nothing short of miraculous!) I came home to fix brunch.  Something fell out of the fridge, so I bent down to pick it up.  I began to straighten up, but the door was right over my back and… the fridge door came off its hinges.  Sigh.  I had yogurt on the floor (apparently the dog doesn’t like that!  She’ll eat anything else off the floor, but not yogurt!), jars and bottles everywhere.  It is some kind of miracle that the bottle of gin and the last of the Summer’s Pimms didn’t shatter when they hit the deck.  Instead, I have just a drawer bit of the fridge which needs some attention with some Duck Tape or some Superglue.

hopeful signs

However… with a day starting like that, I am waiting for the third thing to go wrong.  I might take it as the machine malfunction at the slimming club, which meant I missed someone getting a 1/2 stone award – that way my three are done.  But for the rest of the day, I am going to sit down, and knit.  And certainly not clamber up steps and start decorating.

That is tempting fate a little too much.

A different sort of day today…

The blog is being posted a little later than usual today, due to a visit from our adoption social worker early on and then a bit of a mad buzz following her suggestions.  I am about to get very busy, very quickly.  A little outside viewing of the to do list does wonders for the prioritization skills!  I shall be on a set of steps, with paint brush and paint roller in hand, turning my husband’s old bedroom into a suitable gender neutral baby’s room in the next few weeks.  Oh… and I might just paint the dining room as well.  Before the 15th December.  Yes, you read that right.  Two rooms.  3 weeks.  Just as well #NaBloWriMo ends this week!!


So, according to the writing schedule, I am supposed to be writing about swimmers ear.  I have to be honest.  I am not very excited about this topic at all.  In fact, I can hardly raise the enthusiasm to go and attempt to research Swimmers Ear.  Therefore executive decision is that I shall write about something else instead.

One result of the revised priority of the to do list, is that I need to learn a new skill.  I have never made a pair of curtains.  This seems to be a skills which is necessary for me to learn living in this house.  There are a lot of windows, and although there is nothing intrinsically wrong with the curtains as they are at the moment, they are about 30 years old.  They could do with an update all around really.  So, I am going to teach myself (and get some solid advice from people who have made them before) to make curtains.


How do you go about learning a new skill?  Well, for me there are two major things.  Attitude of mind, and research.

The attitude is really key.  If you approach something new as scary, or difficult, then it is likely that you will find it so.  But if you approach it as something fun, exciting, interesting and amazing, then that is what you will find.  I prefer the latter to the former.  I also add, in my inner commentary usually, though I do sometimes give myself a good talking to, “If someone else can do this, then so can I”.  I officially set myself a challenge and then go and meet it.

curtain making

Then there is research.  I love the internet, and I adore Google.  If you have time to waste, then can I suggest Pinterest is a great place to go and bum around?  Goodness it has lots of ideas on practically everything you can think of and a few that you had never considered.  I have lots of ideas of curtains to make, but I will confess there aren’t many how to guides.  Here is where Youtube is AWESOME.  Lots of videos which might help on there, and if that fails then there is always my library of crafting books.  I bet there is something about window treatments in those books!  In fact, I know there is.  Somewhere.

So, in the next few weeks, I am going to be a very busy little bee indeed.  Please forgive me if I don’t post here on time… but I will continue to try for three times in a week once #NaBloPoMo is over!

A nice morning out and about…

We woke up to one of the first frosts of the autumn this morning… and autumn is very nearly over!  However, with such a lovely festive nip in the air, it was a delightful day for a trip out to a nearby town.

DH Lawrence

Eastwood is laden with local history, not least because it was the birthplace of DH Lawrence, of literary fame.  My Mother in Law took myself and my Mother to see a little sewing shop there, and frankly, it was a find.  A lovely find indeed actually.  I walked out with more crafty things to do and get on with (I really don’t need any more… but there you go… these things defy the laws of physics to come into my life… no, really they do!).  But the best thing was that feeling of having rosy red cheeks and really needing to have a warm pair of gloves and a scarf on.  Blissful!  🙂

We came home via a garden centre, which is always a good way of making me smile, and their Christmas section was a very tasteful display, and the best thing of all?  It started with all the nativity sets.  So nice to see them coming to the fore.  Anyway, we all purchased some bits and pieces and I am getting downright festive now.  So, I want to share with you some ideas for making the festive season a little less stressed and a lot more fun.


The first thing I did was have a look at what parts of Christmas I loved and what I didn’t.  I love the traditions.  I love Carol Singing and going to Church either at Midnight or on Christmas morning.  I love wrapping presents and giving people things they actually want and will use.  I adore baking Christmas foodie treats.  I love indulging in Christmas movies.  I love the smells I associate with the festive season (Apple, Cinnamon, Berries and Nutmeg mostly).  I LOVE turkey!!  And Cranberries.  So these are the things I want to have more of.

The things I don’t like include that rushed feeling of doing things all in the last week before Christmas like I did when I was working full time.  I don’t like feeling forced to buy lots of people lots of things, most of which they don’t really want and won’t use in any case.  I don’t like forgetting about advent and starting Christmas in September.  I don’t like houses lit up with lights that you just know are costing an absolute fortune (and lets not talk about the waste of electricity).  So, those are the things we don’t do much of.


And there… you have my secret of the holiday season.  Do what you like to do and don’t do what you don’t like to do.  This year I am going to make up some blessing bags for some homeless gentlemen who sit outside of the Cathedral where I attend Mass every week.  They are going to contain something to eat, some small change, a tooth brush, some toothpaste, a bottle of water and some wet wipes.  It isn’t much.  But it will be a blessing for them.  And it is a very good Advent thing for us to get involved in.

Eeeep! I nearly forgot!!

So after posting cute cats for yesterday, I totally forgot about the need to come and post a blog today.  It is still Sunday, so technically I haven’t ruined my so far perfect record.

Actually, I have spent my afternoon rolled up in a quilt on the sofa with a good book.  It wasn’t a work of great literature exactly, but it was easy to read and entertaining.  Plus lots of things got blown up and that suits my mood right now.

I have to tell you that at the moment, I am feeling more than a little overwhelmed.  There is so much going on and so much that has to be done, and there are only 24 hours in the day.  I just don’t know how to carve out any more time in that 24 hours for getting everything done, and to do everything that I need to do.

I have had a look on Youtube, because I hear it is a source of all kinds of things.  The best advice on Youtube?  Use it for finding videos of cute cats and tutorials on how to do crafts.  But the advice on what to do if you are overwhelmed?  No.  Not so much help.  Lots of stuff about delegating to your staff members, or turning off your emails, or not being available 24/7 if you are at work or starting your own business, but not so much about what if you are a homemaker and trying to study, adopt a child, keep a house, keep a garden, make sure you are eating right, keeping three animals alive and well, making sure that Christmas is organised and is not a last minute rush, and somehow keeping three parents all happy and functioning –  all at the same time.  And that is a slow week.

I really do not have any answers at the moment.  If I get any, then I will let you know.  But right now?  I am off to whimper in the corner.  I seem to have tried all the tricks in my arsenal and I am coming up empty right now.

Normal blogging service will resume tomorrow, but a bit later than normal (hopefully earlier than tonight!) as I am out in the morning with two of the three parents.