Enough is Enough!

10:43 Karen 5 Comments

Having tried to log on to The Old Reader once again and finding it down once more I have had enough!  After some investigation I have decided to try InoReader - not one I had heard of but when I looked at it the deciding factor for me was that you can comment from the reader and don't have to switch to the relevant blog to comment - much better when you just want a quick five minutes blog hopping.  I have had to manually add the blogs I read and have listed below the ones I have added.  If I usually comment on your blog and have left you off please let me know and I will add you.

Hoping your Sunday is a wonderful one x



20:30 Karen 6 Comments

Firstly, a huge apology to the ladies whose blogs I read and comment on - The Old Reader has been inoperative for several days and now it is back I have over 100 posts in my list - I have taken the easy way out and marked all as read and am starting again as from now!

Also, what about this cloud for Rinda's Photo Scavenger Hunt - do you think it looks like the Angel of the North?

I have made another layout for my 'Scrapping the Everyday' series.

Now, it's no secret that I hate housework.  In fact I loathe it with such a passion but I accept it is one of life's necessary evils.  When I do housework it takes me such a long time to do as I am so easily distracted by anything and everything.  I find a magazine that needs to be read, need to find something out on the internet and then my time disappears or just (un)intentionally start to work on a scrapbook page that is on the table that I am supposed to be clearing away!

It does get done eventually and I love how the house looks once it is clean and tidy.  At the moment it is far more pleasurable as Gracia helps me and we do each room together - chatting, laughing and listening to the iPod as we go.  I am so going to miss that girl when she goes back to Newcastle but we are making the most of these holidays and spending lots of time together doing more than just housework!

As a reward for doing the job I hate so much I always buy myself a bunch of flowers, sometimes just a very small one and sometimes a beautiful bunch of lilies.  This time I chose chrysanthemums - do you think I might have purchased them with the colours of the Fancy Pants 6x6 papers from Ann's crop kit in mind?  ;0)

Reasons to be cheerful:

1.  Getting to spend time with my lovely girl.

2.  A weekend of shopping and baking together.

3.  A little sewing project that we both have in mind.



Simply a moment

20:46 Karen 7 Comments

Having just read Deb's moment and read Amy's this morning I thought that right this minute would be the perfect time to join in. 

 I am sitting on the back doorstep hoping that my laptop battery will last just a little longer. 

A gentle breeze is cooling my face which is still warm from the 2 mile walk I took Kiera on after supper.  My tummy is  satisfyingly full from the meal of delicious Fajitas, cooked by Gracia,  an added bonus of her being home from uni.  I think back to the sublime day we spent together yesterday and decide I must take more occasional days off work when she is home.  I cannot believe how quiet and still it is here the only sound is Kiera panting and the occasional crow squawking and my tapping on the laptop keys.  This is usually my time for surfing the net and blog hopping and I have just been reminded of when many of us met up in March from Deb Turtle's post.  I feel surrounded by a sense of peace and well being and am deciding if I really ought to pop back inside now and make a cup of tea - decide that I will and breath in the cool evening air one last time.

This post was brought to you in response to Alexa's Simply a Moment.

Reasons to be cheerful:-

1.  Days spent with my gorgeous girlie.

2.  Evening walks with Kiera.

3.  Connecting and staying connected via the internet.



I Heart Summer

08:18 Karen 6 Comments

There are many things I like about summer - strawberries, magnificent sunsets, being woken by birdsong, things I am not overly keen on - too much heat, mosquitoes, not remembering to drink more and ending up with a headache. But the thing I love most of all about the summer is that Gracia is home for a lovely long time.

 This year it has been bittersweet as at the beginning of the summer my best-est best friend moved to Scotland as her husband had relocated there for his job.  I have to confess, I don't do friends easily, often preferring my own company but Eileen persevered and eventually we became bff's.  It started when Gracia changed schools and become friends with Eileen's daughter Hannah.  They are still best friends 12 years later!  

I am rambling and loosing the plot a bit here - back to my loving summer, as her mum and dad were in Scotland Hannah came to stay with us for a few days in June and, as they always do - good girls that they are, Gracia and Hannah took some photos of themselves in the garden.  

I used one of these photos of the beautiful girls for my class at the last crop.  Cutting out masses of flowers on my Silhouette and using the absolutely beautiful I Heart Summer collection from Simple Stories.  

Also another thing to love about Summer this year is that I was drawn out for a prize from the recent class that I took with Jennifer Grace - look at these wonderful summery papers just crying out to be used.

Reasons to be cheerful

1.  My girl is home until September
2. I have tomorrow off work to spend with her.
3. Friendships that endure the ups and downs of 12 years.



The Christmas Present

06:26 Karen 21 Comments

Why would I choose this little wooden elephant as my precious this month? Simply because it was a Christmas present from Gracia and it epitomises her kind and generous nature. 

When she was about 6 or 7, I'm not sure which, all the children in her school were given a brochure to take home with Christmas cards and small gifts for parents to order with commission going to the school.  As there was a few minutes until the end of school,  her teacher said that the children could look through the brochure.  Gracia spotted a little carved wooden elephant family and knowing that I loved elephants formulated a plan.  She asked her friend's mum to order the elephant and then paid for it with money from her money box.  

The first I knew of the brochure or the secret Christmas purchase was on Christmas day when she proudly gave me the carving.

Our girl still loves to buy me little surprise gifts, always gives great thought to what she buys for Christmas and would spend her last penny on a gift for someone she loves. 


Reasons to be cheerful:

1. Simple gifts that mean so much.

2. A daughter who is so insightful.

This post was brought to you as part of Sian's Story Telling Sunday - why don't you pop on over to her blog to read some more stories.



Rinda's Photo Scavenger Hunt - Round Two

21:06 Karen 10 Comments

Firstly, apologies for the strange layout of this post - I think it is having a Blogger moment!

Having spent several days in Newcastle, moving Gracia from one house to another (more on that saga later) I took the opportunity or maybe the opportunities found me, to take several more photos for Rinda's Photo Scavenger Hunt. 

 First, while we were waiting for Josh to join us I spied - 20. A dinosaur


The next day we went for a walk in Heaton Park and found another - 16. A windmill 


We also found - 11. An animal in a zoo, aquarium, nature preserve, etc.

 In the afternoon we went to Tynemouth and in the market found - 7. A sign that is intentionally or unintentionally funny

Walking along the beach we spotted - 19. A fisherman

 There are two there, honest!

On Monday we went to Durham and found another even better fisherman.

We went to the cathedral and got into trouble for photographing - 17. Candle(s)

 In the afternoon we visited the Botanical Gardens where the opportunity for - 10. A bench that is outside - arose.

 When we got back to Newcastle I found - 13. A fence

 and on Tuesday morning looked up to the sky and saw 12. A cloud in the shape of something (Loch Ness Monster)

to add to my collection, last week, whilst at work I caught the photocopier napping - 6. Someone or something taking a nap


and today I took a little drive out at lunchtime to photograph - 4. Airplane 


So that was my Scavenger Hunting week.

As I said the reason we went to Newcastle was to move Gracia, Josh and their housemates from one house to another.  The agents came to inspect the house that they were leaving and even though it was much cleaner than when they moved in said that it needed more cleaning done.  So the three adults - me, David and Joe's Mum cleaned the old house while the kids sorted the things in the new house.  When we were in the new house Gracia wanted the furniture in her bedroom shifted about - bearing in mind when we got there there were 4 cleaners just leaving as we got there, when I moved her wardrobe underneath were toenail clippings, dirt, dust and old food!  In fact I swept a whole dustpan out.  The bathrooms were so filthy that I wouldn't even bath the dog in the showers and don't get me on to how much food and debris was under the kitchen units!  
Today Gracia was informed by the letting agents from the first house that they are going to be charged £500 for cleaning it!  What a scam this is as we had asked the agents what needed doing and had scrubbed the bottom of the doors, skirting boards etc that they had listed.  I am just so cross.  This will not be the last they hear from me.

Reasons to be cheerful:-

1.  A lovely weekend spent in Newcastle and the surrounding area.
2.  The sun has shone brightly all day.
3.  Having the foresight to take photographs of the old house and how clean it was before we left.