At the beginning …

… is always a good place to start, especially for a journey.

Rainbow painting

Things are happening in my life that are stressful – in the words of the well known “Serenity Prayer” …

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.

… well I know I cannot change the stressful things directly – they are caused by other peoples’ decisions; decisions that those other people have the right and choice to make.  Some of those stresses will naturally dissolve away – others will have a significant impact on my future  and in the long term they are probably a positive outcome for me – but getting to the outcome is the stressful bit. Read More…

First Draft Open Letter to IDS …

This is just getting my thoughts together based on my personal experience and that of others who have spoken to me.  Responding to some of the points raised by IDS in that article I attached yesterday:

Read More…

Background to an Open Letter to IDS … meet The Work Programme!

Over the past year I have blogged about some of the things that I have encountered in “the system” as an unemployed person; but all that I have already revealed pales into insignificance beside the experience I have had recently on “The Work Programme”; I will write about that today and then go on to explain why Iain Duncan Smith (IDS) has put flawed measures in place and why his latest plans are even further flawed. Read More…

Hogmanay Memory Lane (Part 2)

I have made a gallery of the most evocative photographs of 2013 for me.  It was Pup’s year and so he features quite a bit.  I had a life changing experience over the summer – represented by two images not previously shared here – the misty morning view of Kirrie Hill was taken the morning I launched the Steps Tay Health walks; I shared that picture with a special person.  The following week I saw this strange start to a rainbow which went on to be a rare double rainbow; I did not find out for a few days but that was the day that special person died – totally unexpectedly.  Three days later there was what I can only describe as a Rainbow storm (15 rainbows in 3 hours many of them double and/or supernumerary).  Finally organising the Christmas Market is represented by the tree and finishing with my boys curled up with the Cairn over the Christmas break.

It has been quite a year all in all.  I am still not in work so financially life remains tough; including having to fight to keep my home and the bank complaint is still not resolved.  The boys have been fantastic company and I wouldn’t have found it as easy to keep going without them both.

I started some studies using Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and have met people worldwide which has been both amazing and scary.  One of those people was that special person.  I am sad that he has gone but happy that in a few short months we had a friendship filled with sharing, laughter and open communication – we both knew that we chatted because we each wanted to and there were no taboo topics of conversation.  I finally succeeded in not placing any conditions on another person and I have never missed someone so greatly when we were not actually chatting.

After he died some friends seem to have faded away – not sure whether they cannot cope with my feelings or they don’t know how to respond.  I always miss friends when this happens but I am not chasing after them so if they are choosing to walk a different path I wish them well and hope they will be happy.

Overall I have  a lot to be thankful for and this song has really stuck out for me these past few days …

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyVX_sh2cwk

There are two people I would love to share this with … but one of them I no longer can and the other, having shared the journey through life and grief for  a few weeks has now struck out on his own path … I will let my thankful heart sing out the song in the hope that he might hear it and know it is from me.

“Thankful”

Somedays we forget
To look around us
Somedays we can’t see
The joy that surrounds us
So caught up inside ourselves
We take when we should give.

So for tonight we pray for
What we know can be.
And on this day we hope for
What we still can’t see.
It’s up to us to be the change
And even though we all can still do more
There’s so much to be thankful for.

Look beyond ourselves
There’s so much sorrow
It’s way too late to say
I’ll cry tomorrow
Each of us must find our truth
It’s so long overdue

So for tonight we pray for 
What we know can be
And every day we hope for
What we still can’t see
It’s up to us to be the change
And even though we all can still do more
There’s so much to be thankful for.

Even with our differences 
There is a place we’re all connected
Each of us can find each other’s light

So for tonight we pray for
What we know can be
And on this day we hope for 
What we still can’t see
It’s up to us to be the change
And even though this world needs so much more

There’s so much to be thankful for

Part of the reason I am able to be thankful despite the struggles is because I set out to find and learn from Serenity.  It has helped immensely and I have  aboard on Pinterest to keep reminding me of this.  For 2014 my OLW is “Successful” and I already have a board to represent this.  My dreams and plans of starting the hostel are still there but so are the challenges to overcome in getting started – including someone else considering purchasing the building.  I have to focus on getting some income and then hope I can still proceed with the hostel but if that building goes I can at least adapt my plan to another community, although that will feel sad after I have fought so hard to stay in this community.

So farewell 2013 … and bring it on 2014.  And to each of you (as they say hereabout) Lang may your lum reek …

New Years Eve Memory Lane (Part 1)

On a forum this morning someone asked about our favourite childhood books and it felt so great to recall them that I thought I would copy it here in the blog to share with you.  You will notice there is not one book about buses or photography there! Read More…

Catch Up …

It has been a catching up sort of a day!  Catching up on rest, sleep, and some of my online places.  The boys did catching up too – on sleep and more sleep!

So I thought I would post a few catch up photos …

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I made some seaglass Christmas tree ornaments as a gift – think I might have to make some during the year and get them in my Etsy shop (Zendants) in time for Christmas 2014 …

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The Town Christmas tree lit up just before Christmas … ahhh bonny!

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Even in December I love the beach … this is south Ayr with my two boys … Pup’s first time on the beach and he adored every second (and was a very well behaved boy)

Tomorrow I will do a calendar of 2013 with my 12 favourite photos and look forward to 2014 – going from Serenity to Successful … if any readers are One Little Word (OLW) people would love to see what your words are for the coming year – why not leave a comment?

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie …

Hello … we (that is me and the boys) were delivered safely home at 11:30 today.  It was a stressful morning and since we arrived home the boys having checked out their garden have slept; taking 10 minutes to eat their tea and scout outside again.  They have not slept for 10 hours at a time for the whole of last week!

We were aiming to start out no later than 09:00 and at 07:45 I went to get dressed and shove the last couple of things in my packing.  The boys were in the company of Moo and Mother in the kitchen.  I had only been 5 minutes and was half way through my face when hell broke loose!  Mother screamed into the lounge followed by the three dogs and berated Daddy because she was left alone with these terribly disobedient dogs (those will be the ones sitting up watching her shove food into a bag for me to bring home).  So I stopped getting ready and went to supervise the dogs in the lounge because Daddy was been sent on an errand out to the car.

Fifteen minutes later I was able to finish my face then get the dogs into the car.  Loading took a few more minutes and at 08:20 I was in the car waiting to go.  Ten minutes later we were off.  Dog was better on this journey – much less crying and woofing and wee man just lay down.

I had had a really strange feeling about leaving the house this time – sufficiently strong to take important paperwork with me for safety!  Anyway all was fine when we returned and once the car was unloaded the boys settled right in at home.  My backpack is unpacked and tomorrow I can do laundry and some shopping oh and book the wee man in for his jags.

But first … sleep!  I have only had one interrupted night in 7 days and even that was only six hours … my electric blanket is making my bed cosy and familiar and in just a moment the boys are going out for bed time pees and then to their bed … sweet dreams everyone.

Snowbow

Best laid plans of mice and men apparently don’t apply to mothers!

You may recall I was anticipating a beach trip today and lots of photographs … here’s what actually happened!

First off I did get a nights sleep – my first in a week.  Second off the Cairn had to go to the vet first thing for a staple in her wound – so everything got delayed.  We got to the town and had agreed to pop into a big department store – I had a rather generous gift card from there as a Christmas present and a national paper was running an offer for a few days which made that voucher worth120%.  We got out of the car and as we walked to the store Mother says “I don’t think we will do the beach today it is too cold … don’t you think?” well actually I didn’t and I said so.  We got back to the car and Daddy asked where to next … Mother said she had nothing else to do and I said neither had I and it would have been left there except Daddy then asked why we needed dog towels with us.  I said we were going to the beach but it was okay I would walk the dogs when we got back to the house so he over ruled Mother.

I took the boys on a lovely beach in the roaring wind – it was what the wee man needed.  He normally covers around 25 miles a week and had done about 1 mile this week – no wonder he is behaving stir crazy with one of the other dogs?

As we set off there was another first for me – a Snow Bow …

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It really was snowing and hailing as that appeared – really strange.

I also took a portrait of the bitch who always greets me like a long lost friend when I visit … she has a nickname because she always looks down in the mouth and I referred to it once as her “mooey face” so she gets called Moo or Mini Moo (and answers to them!)

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… and then because she is a bit of a diva she decided to show me her best side in action close up …

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Yes it is blurry … but I will miss Moo when we go home tomorrow.  

I have spent the evening being quizzed about food items I could take home with me … how many ways can I say “I do not eat refined carbs and especially sugar”?

Better get some sleep before the long car ride tomorrow …

Overstuffed

... the reason rural bus services are so valuable!

... the reason rural bus services are so valuable!

... the reason rural bus services are so valuable!

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