Tag Archive | ME

Batten down the hatches….

here comes Jude.

The weather forecasters have been warning us all week that a storm is heading our way and should reach the UK (exact destination unknown) late tonight/early Monday morning bringing with it hurricane force gales and rain. I remember the great storm of 1987 very well and had a terrible time trying to get home from Cardiff across the country from West to East back home to Kent due to the travel chaos that it caused.

So when someone tells me that a storm likened to the 1987 is going to hit, I take it seriously and when I got up this morning and spotted the clear blue sky and gorgeous late-autumn sunshine, I thought there is no better time to tidy up the garden and batten down the hatches ready for the onslaught.

Holly tree

Holly tree

Figs

Figs

Blue skies

Blue skies

Firstly however, I wanted to pick as many apples off my tree as possible so that they won’t go to waste when they are blown down. Once bruised, you cannot keep them over winter, and they have to be processed quickly. Whilst I am quite happy to do this, the more I can preserve without cooking and freezing just yet, the longer my apple stock will last.

In the increasingly strong breeze, I managed to pick another two large bags of fruit before running out of ladder, leaving some lovely plump apples frustratingly just out of reach.

Apples...more apples

Apples…more apples

Grrr...out of reach

Grrr…out of reach

I even found some late raspberries hiding under the canes; Only a handful but a real treat in late October!

Autumn raspberries-it's almost November!

Autumn raspberries-it’s almost November!

Some people I know hate leaf-raking in the autumn, a hateful job that never ends but I find it very therapeutic and, as I put the leaves in the compost to make worm-friendly leaf-mould over the winter months, I always feel it is a job worth doing. It’s quite sad that another summer is over, but whilst raking the dead vine leaves into piles I remember the lovely summer we have just had; the flowers, the grapes, berries, barbecues, picnics and hot summer days on holiday and look forward to next year when the bulbs I have just planted will show me that winter is over and spring is on its way.

It also reminds me that just a few weeks ago I wouldn’t have had the energy to rake leaves, pull up faded summer bedding and fill the compost and rubbish bins. My efforts at pacing myself at work and at home appear to be working and I feel much calmer and healthier for it. So I don’t get as much done as I would like but it’s a compromise worth the effort and there’s no better feeling than feeling better.

Leaf raking

Leaf raking

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A crafty week

This has been a busy week craft-wise as I continue to manage my physical exertion levels to make sure that I don’t over-do it and make myself ill. I find it very difficult, but absolutely necessary to do this so I just have to make the best of it. Luckily, I love making things and I get a lot of satisfaction out of trying new things.

My colleagues have ordered some memo-boards! Ordinarily I don’t make things to sell, but if anyone wants something particular, I will make it for them at cost price. This helps me to keep busy and keeps the cost of hand-made items down to a reasonable level.

I managed to complete the quilt that I started last year, so that I only have the border, backing and binding to do now. I also made a headboard to match out of a long picture canvass and hexagonal patchwork “flowers”.

Patchwork quilt and matching headboard

Patchwork quilt and matching headboard

I am loving all this hand-made stuff-it’s right up my street and gives me great satisfaction when I see the end result.

This week I also found the perfect boxes for the new shelf I bought a couple of weeks ago. The only problem was that they were the boxes which contained our tax legislation at work and needed some TLC to make them suitable for use as storage.

Here is the result.

I have done some more odds and ends but my final “make” for the week was a Padstow Patchwork Puppy dog made from the scraps left over from my quilt. Never, ever throw away those little pieces left over, you can always find something to make! The dog is called Padstow as this is what the material bundle is called. I used a Moda Jelly Roll to make my quilt and the Charm pack for the hexagonals and other bits and pieces.

Padstow my Patchwork Puppy

Padstow my Patchwork Puppy

I guess when I look at my week I have been really productive, and I have also managed to go to work full time!

Not bad for someone who is fighting ME/Chronic Fatigue and Depression. I am proud of what I have achieved and long may to continue to a full recovery.

Aide memoire

My memo-board

My memo-board

One of my current bug bears is my confused and dis-organised thinking and this is particularly vexing to a person who is usually extremely organised and able to multi-task without a problem.

It is frustrating and incredibly hard to deal with on a daily basis and when I start to forget things it’s time to take action. Yesterday I forgot my hair appointment but luckily my hairdresser was able to fit me in later in the morning. Paul understands my condition, and I had a lovely 30 minutes of “me” time whilst I had my hair washed and conditioned (a good 2 minutes of head massage……bliss) a cup of coffee and a good chin-wag about football whilst he tidied me up.

Afterwards I made my way to the quilting shop and bought some goodies to make my memo-board as suggested by Colleen, the idea being that I write 1 task on a post-it note with the “to-do”deadline date and attach it to the left side of the board. Each day I take the urgent tasks and move them to the right-hand side of the board to do today. As I complete each task, I can dispose of the note with satisfaction of  a “JD” (job done).

I chose the material I fancied and then scoured the charity shops for a canvas to up-cycle and finally came across a brand new one for the grand sum of £1. It was even still in its original packaging so even if I messed up, it was still a bargain buy!

It didn’t take me long to make the board and I am now the proud owner of an item which is hanging on my kitchen wall, covered in post-it notes reminding me what I need to do over the next few weeks.

JD.