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Posts Tagged ‘Family’

It has been a long time.  Life has moved on.  I have moved on.  A few times I nearly deleted this blog, but then. . . . I just couldn’t quite bring myself to.   I am back at work, albeit it very part-time.  I provide lunch-time cover at a school for children with severe physical and learning disabilities.  It’s rewarding and humbling.  You think you’re having a bad day and then you realise that your worst day is a hundred times better than their best day.

Ethan is half-way through his second term at our local Catholic Senior School.  For the most part he’s enjoying it and has [according to his tutor] transitioned really well but the step-up in homework quantity, compared to Primary School, has taken some getting used to.  I’m sure he’s not alone in that challenge.

Si has also got himself a new job.  His night shift at a local distribution warehouse has been cast aside for the dizzy heights as an IT Consultant, a job he did for fourteen years back in the days before he worked in education.  The hours are so much better and so is the money.  The whole nights thing is not conducive to family life or having any quality time together.  Made worse to be honest by a truly ridiculous off-duty rota that included far too many single nights off.  Anyone who’s worked nights will appreciate that a single night off is about as much use as a chocolate fireguard……!!!

My crochet continues on at a steady pace.  I’m not churning out a project a week, or even a month, but I enjoy what I do and I’ve got three projects that are all going to be finished within the next few weeks.  A shawl, a pair of socks and a blanket.  I’ll post photo’s of the finished articles when I get there.  I have however, finished Ethan’s Cosy Crofter Blanket and the photo’s of that are at the head of this post.  The perfect finishing touch to his new bedroom.

There is big news on the Faith Front and this has been one of those subjects that I’ve spent a while deciding whether or not to write about/share.  The thing that finally swung it was that I myself would have liked to have a found an article like this when I was trying to discern my religious path.  Interestingly this is not something I’ve shared much in real life apart from a strictly need-to-know basis.  It feels a little boastful and overly pious to make this public but hopefully it will help someone else.  So . . . . . .

At the latter end of 2008 [before I became Catholic] I found the wonderful community of Turvey Abbey where, for many years, I walked the path towards becoming a Benedictine Oblate.  A time of formation ensued towards taking the vows of Stability, Conversion and Obedience.   For all sorts of reasons I never took that final step to oblation.  All I can say is that it never felt quite right.  I love Turvey and the community and I still love going there, in fact it’s probably one of my favourite places on this Earth to worship, but I felt that God was calling me elsewhere.  However, it’s taken me a very long time to discern where that might be.

Somehow I felt that God was asking me to make private vows….promises just between Him and me, not attached to a charism or a community, just a way of aligning myself more closely with Jesus and hopefully bringing some of His love to all the people in my life.  Easy you’d think huh?  Hmmm well in reality, not easy at all.  Firstly, it took me a while to find out anything about private vows [we’re not talking consecrated vows of chastity, poverty and obedience here] and secondly what would that/they even look like?   With the blessing of the Turvey Nuns I gave up the Oblate path and decided to focus completely on Private Vows, asking God to guide me.  I devoted the whole of Lent 2016 to this cause not really expecting much to happen in what is after all just a few short weeks.  A good starting point seemed to be working out exactly what the vows would be.  Clearly I’m a wife and mother so chastity or the eremetic life were out of the question.  These would have to be vows that challenged me yes, but that would also fit around my family.  I also felt that they would have to benefit everyone [without exception] who touched my life.  These are not vows to benefit me, they’re for the benefit of my community, they’re to bring the face and love of Christ to all.  So, with much trepidation and the loving support of Sr Yvonne who is the Vicar for Religious and the Pastoral Administrator of my parish, I moved forward in faith and prayer.  Over the coming days words soon made themselves clear….Obedience, Simplicity…and ???  That last one was illusive to say the least.  One day I was dusting upstairs with the TV on in my bedroom and I suddenly heard the word, ‘Caring’ and I knew instantly that was the last one.  I’ve no idea if it was from the TV or God but there it was, loud and clear.  So I had them all ~ Simplicity, Obedience and Caring.  I wrote posts on Simplicity and Caring when I was discerning last year so you can read a little of the thought process behind them if you’re interested. 

I have not yet made these vows but, as we approach Lent 2017, I know that the time is right to move forward with this and I will be sure to share how and when that happens.  The one thing I do know is that it will be very private and simple.  If you pray keep me in your prayers, if you don’t, think of me kindly as I make this amazing journey into the arms of God.

God bless.

Sharon xx

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blue-birds-blog-header1.jpgI have quite a bit of news, both life and faith related.  However, I will keep the two separate and update on the faith part in another post. 

There are some significant changes taking place in my life at the moment.  Firstly, and I suppose most importantly, my mum has been diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.  She has chosen not to have any aggressive treatment and has opted for palliative care only, I totally respect her decision as it’s not something you can decide for someone else.   I understand why she’s chosen this path, I don’t think chemotherapy is for everyone, it can be worse than the disease it’s trying to cure in some cases.  So, good for her on knowing what she wants and bravely going for it!

My relationship with my mother has been very strained since the death of my lovely step-father Jim, back in 2009.  We were fairly close up until then, but she has never been easy to love if I’m honest and that became a lot more difficult after Jim’s death.  I think he somehow kept us together and calmed the waters between us when he was alive but when he died that soothing balm went with him.  I had kind of hoped that she would mellow a bit with this latest news and build a few bridges but, despite my offered olive branch, that has not happened.  She knows I’m here if she needs me but as it stands that’s as close as I’m allowed.   Some things you just have to place into God’s hands and trust that He knows what’s best.

Secondly, Ethan [who is about to turn 11!!!!] has just left primary school.  He attended a fantastic Catholic Primary School here in Milton Keynes,  and they became like family by the end.  Yesterday was his very last day and to say it was emotional is an understatement.  So many tears from staff, students and parents alike.  From my point of view it was also the end of an era; for the last 33 years I’ve been a parent to at least one child of primary school age or under.  I have to admit to feeling rather bereaved at the loss of that status.  There has to be a time to move on but it’s a hard habit to break and I’m sad at its passing.

I am still not working having given up my job as a Teaching Assistant back in December ’15.  However, once I’ve got Ethan settled into secondary school I will start to re-assess things.  I’d really like something part-time that gives me time with Ethan in the holidays as I won’t leave him on his own all day yet.  I’m not keen to go back into a school full-time but if anything part-time comes up then I’ll probably go for it.  Finances dictate that I’m probably going to have to earn something within the next year or so, barring a lottery win.   I may sign-up for supply work which will mean I can choose when and where I work.  For now it’s in God’s hands and I’m trying to remain open and just see what comes along in the next few months. 

My crochet has been badly neglected recently.  Just too much going on with the huge amount of end-of-term activities that goes with being the mother of a Year 6 student, visits to the new secondary school and organising uniform/equipment/bus passes etc., hospital appointments with mum and the general demands of a family and a house that still refuses to clean itself.

That is about it for the ‘life’ part of my news.  I will do a ‘faith’ update very soon.  

Sharon xx

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cloisters 5Awwww it’s the most beautiful day here in sunny Milton Keynes, UK.  The kind of lovely day that I’d like to wrap up in pretty paper and send to you all so you can share it.

I make no apology for banging on about prayer in my last two posts, it’s something I feel I need to, ‘get down on paper’ if you follow me.  Sometimes you just need to write things down to make them stick. 

I went to the taster session on Tuesday evening, as a forerunner to our, ‘Week of Guided Prayer’ which starts in June.  It was all I knew it would be and much more.  I signed up then and there and paid the small donation.  I came all home full of anticipation for what I’m thinking will be a wonderful week.  It’s certainly a fabulous opportunity, a bit like being on an individually guided retreat but at home.  Perfect!

I found myself craving that silent, peaceful place that a retreat provides.  It isn’t necessarily a ‘real’ place, more a state of mind really.  A silence that comes from within so that, even in a busy street, you can be silent and still on the inside.  Since giving up work in December I’ve created a lot more silence in my daily life.  I’d always been a Radio 2 kind of girl, a constant murmur of background chatter and music; but of late even that has been turned off. 

I watched, ‘The Big Silence’ [further reading] yesterday to remind myself what it’s all about and how difficult it can be for some people to just settle into the silence.  That was me a few years ago, struggling to be at peace without a TV or radio to fill in the blanks, now I crave that silent time because I know that God is there in the silence. 

We’re using a book called, ‘Patterns of Prayer’ by Eugene McCaffrey, OCD at the Carmelite contemplative prayer group that’s just started in my parish.  It’s the most wonderful little book, the kind of book that makes you want to read each page over and over to soak in all that it has to say.  It speaks to me on so many levels.  Anyway, I wanted to share a small part of it with you as it’s relevant to this post and Eugene puts it so much better than I can:~

Silence

Silence is an essential condition for listening.  Prayer is born in silence, a still receptive silence that enables one to hear the deep vibrations of the spirit.  Silence is our way of helping God so that he can help us.  We try to be still, conscious of our own poverty and of our own need to hear and to receive.  Silence is much more than an absence of words or noise, much more even than just being quiet.  Rather, it is a response to our whole being reaching out to grasp the word of life.  It is an alert and attentive receptiveness to “hear the word of God and obey it” [Luke 11:28].  Like the boy Samuel, we cry out with our whole heart, “Speak, for your servant is listening” [1Samuel 3:10]. pp28-29

Earlier in the book it says that it takes two to pray [p26] and I think we often forget that.  We are not alone in that moment, God is with us, always.  But we need to listen and in order to hear Him we need to be silent.  As Fr Christopher Jamison says in, ‘The Big Silence’, “Silence is the gateway to the soul, and the soul is the gateway to God”.

Peace and blessings

Sharon xx

 

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Hello lovely people.  I thought I’d just go with a newsy chat today.  It’s my birthday [53, ouch] and I’ve given myself the day off.  Well, as much as any wife and mother ever gets the day off; I was still up at sparrow’s fart and have done all the usual morning chores and the school run but, other than that, I’m not doing much else.  I might get my crochet out in a while and try to finish Ethan’s Cosy Crofter Throw.  We’ve finally transferred him, and most of his belongings, to his new room and I have to say that it’s looking very nice.  I thought we’d struggle to fit all his ‘stuff’ into his new room but he’s become a bit of a minimalist and has been totally ruthless about recycling things that he’s not played with for a while or that he thinks he’s grown out of.  However, he informs me that the room just needs a nice throw on the bed to finish it off so I need to get a wriggle on.

I share my birthday with St Catherine of Siena’s feast day.  It’s lovely to share my birthday with a special saint and if I’m lucky enough to go to Mass on my birthday [which I did today] then it makes for some great readings within the service.

Catherine_of_Siena

St Catherine of Siena

After sharing the crocheted sock pattern in my last post I was excited to give them a go straight away.  Unfortunately I discovered that the only 2.5mm hook I had was a grey Pony one, but I find them very difficult to use now.  As I’ve got older my hands have been prone to cramp and I have a ganglian [deep joy] on the back of each hand, so gripping a very thin, metal hook really makes my hands ache and, after a few hours, I also get a blister on one finger.  Pony hooks were all I used years or so ago but I had to find an alternative once my hand problems started.  Now I’m a Clover Amour‘ convert, and I’ve never looked back, no pain, no blisters, no cramp.  So, back to the story ~ without both hook sizes I couldn’t really start the socks 😦 .  I ordered one immediately along with a couple of balls of plain sock yarn [be rude not to huh?] to use for the toes, heels and cuffs.  I’ve got some beautiful 4ply sock yarns but they’re all multi-coloured.  If you click on each photo’ below you’ll be able to see exactly what the yarn is and which colourway.

As soon as the new yarn and hook arrive I’ll make a start and be sure to share anything I achieve on here.  I’m trying very hard not to have too many projects on the go at once or I’ve discovered nothing gets finished as I hop from one to another depending on mood.  So, I’ve allowed myself one large and one small project at a time.  Ethan’s throw is the large one and these socks will be the small one.  It is working so far. 

The sun is out here as I type but the clouds are looming and there’s a bitter chill in the wind.  I have to confess that I’ve put the heating back on.  We’re out for a quick tea tonight, something of Ethan’s choice which I suspect will involve a burger.  Tomorrow I’m going out for a meal with my beautiful daughter, Millie, so I’ll be twice my normal size by Monday!! lol  Oh, and did I mention cake?  No hope!!! 🙂

It’s a Bank Holiday weekend here in the UK so we’ve got an extra day together which is perfect given it’s my birthday weekend.  I hope you all have a fantastic weekend and enjoy your extra day off if you’re lucky enough to have one. 

Blessings xx

Sharon xx

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simplicity

I like to think I live a simple life but in reality what does that really mean?  This is something that I’ve been pondering extensively during Lent this year.

I’ve said before that we, as a family, try to be frugal in what we buy, the things we use, while looking closely at our needs versus wants.   We very rarely buy clothes, we wear what we have until it falls apart.  We grow a few fruits and veggies in our little garden and we try to only buy things that we really need, things that we’ll actually use [so not taking advantage of a bogof offer just because it’s there].  This avoids wasting resources and money.  We have this beautiful planet to care for so we each need to try to do our bit, and I suspect that very few of us actually do all that we can.   Surely it’s all relative though right?  What I see as frugal, someone else might view as actually quite extravagant.  It’s also dependent on where you live, here in the UK my life is relatively simple and non materialistic; drop my lifestyle and my little house into the slums of Calcutta however and I’d be living like a queen in comparison.  There is a selfish element to our frugality too, the less money we need the less pressure there is on us to earn huge amounts so we can take simple jobs and work to live, not live to work.

Does living out a life of simplicity just stop at what we buy though?  My lifestyle would probably seem really boring to those looking in, however we view it as simple, not boring and we live this way through choice.  We rarely go out socially except very occasionally with immediate family.  We neither of us smoke and I don’t drink except for a cheeky cider on special days.  Our idea of heaven is to be at home together, so going out is not all that enjoyable for us.  We are both real home birds and although not anti-social by any means, we tend to keep to ourselves. 

As a couple, our whole approach to life is quite simple; slow down, enjoy the moment, appreciate what’s around you even if it’s howling wind and teeming rain.  I love listening to the wind howling and the rain lashing the windows, especially if I’m just drifting off to sleep.  If you’re busy rushing around [which is unavoidable sometimes] then it’s really easy to miss those simple beauties. 

What about simplicity of thought?  From a faith perspective I have also found it really useful to keep that simple to.  After all God simply asks us to love Him with all our heart, mind, soul and strength and [very importantly] love ALL others as ourselves.  I’ve noticed that this only becomes tricky when I allow other stuff to get in the way.  Things from my past, things that are man-made and not God given, expectations of society etc.  All of these can create a very negative thought process in me which takes up way too much head space.  While I’m busy doing the, ‘I’m not worthy’ number on myself I’m not being the woman that God wants me to be.  So, I’ve learnt to keep it simple; to remember God loves me, that He sent His son to save me[us] and that His mercy and grace are freely given through faith and love.  It really is that simple.  People want to make it more complicated but seriously, it really isn’t. 

I’m a bit of an Ignatian woman at heart, and I love the simplicity of their charism, primarily to, ‘Find God in all things’.  He’s there in the beauty of the Mass, he’s there in the amazing sunrise, but he’s also there while you’re washing the dishes or sorting the laundry.  It’s simple, you walk with God, He walks with you….all the time and everywhere, not just on Sunday and not just in church.  That fits nicely with my other favourite saying by Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, “Not all of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love.”  Let’s be honest, that’s most of us.  We’re not all going to be doing earth shattering deeds each day, not all going to be saving lives or finding a cure for cancer.  However, we can all do those simple small things, smile at someone in the street, chat to the person next to you in the queue, hold open a door, hold a friend’s hand while they share a sadness or a worry.  These are not big things on the face of it, but to the old lady who sees no one all day your smile or friendly word is everything, your friend will never forget that time you spent listening to them with love and concern.  These are HUGE things to them but they’re simple to us.

 

On the face of it, living a life of simplicity probably doesn’t seem very exciting or worthwhile until you look closely at who benefits from it.  If we slow down, lift our faces to God and give our hearts freely to all those around us then everyone we meet benefits.  We benefit too from the lack of stress and self-imposed pressure.  The planet benefits because, hopefully, we give back more than we take.  I love this way of living.  In this fast-paced materialistic world I need to be reminded of who I am, where I’m going and why I’m going there.  Simplicity in life and faith is the perfect foundation for that.

Sharon xx  

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Dawn at Alder Court 08.03 (5)

Dawn today from my kitchen window. . .

Dawn breaking today produced this lovely rose and gold hue.  The photo’ above doesn’t really do the ‘rose’ part justice because it was so much more pink and vibrant than my camera shows.  However, it was absolutely the best part of today because we’ve had snow and rain since this shot was taken. It’s also been mighty cold.  I wouldn’t be surprised if we have more snow overnight.

I’m aching today, really bad joint pain.  I suspect it’s menopause related as that has kicked in since Christmas.  Not before time as I’m nearly 53.  I’ve been quite lucky with symptoms ~ a few hot flushes here and there but not that bad.  However, the aching joints have been quite bad, upper back pain, hands/fingers, knees, hips…..  I’m reluctant to take HRT due to its connection with Oestrogen based cancers….  So, I’m going for the keep active approach, eat well, take a few supplements that are known to be of some help and live with it.

Si is off for the next two nights which means we get some quality time together although we’ve got nothing major planned.  I find him working nights quite challenging, especially given that we’ve gone from school hours and holidays together to him sleeping all day and being gone all night….it can get quite lonely.  We do get the evenings together but they’re usually filled with cooking, eating, bathing and him getting ready for work.  He works a ten week rota and during that time he does a few eight night stretches which are an absolute relationship killer….I’ve obviously been spoilt by us both working in schools.

So, it’s nearly 9pm which, due to my ridiculously early get up time, means it’s my bedtime.  I’ll wish you all a good night and a great day tomorrow.

Sharon xx

 

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Home 04.03 (7)

View of the paddock opposite my house today ~ you can just about see the horses.

Good morning lovelies xx

It’s sunny, it’s Friday and it doesn’t get much better than that.  The horses in the paddock opposite are looking very chilled as you can see.  I’m just back from celebrating a wonderful Mass with the equally wonderful Fr Peter, who is a retired priest from a nearby town.  We don’t have a parish priest in residence at the moment as our last one moved on and he cannot be replaced due to the general lack of men taking up the priesthood.  Sad times but hey…we get Fr Peter on Fridays and he’s just lovely.  I can’t get to Mass fast enough because he is so welcoming, charismatic and funny too.  He’s obviously seen a lot of life and it really shows in his relationship with us, the faithful.  We are truly blessed by him…even if he does tease us by mentioning bacon sarnies on days we’re meant to be fasting 😆 x

Anyway, I’m waffling…I’m sat here with the standard cup of frothy coffee on my desk, Honey at my feet and a few things to share as it’s the end of the week.  The week got off to a great start with Ethan’s excellent secondary school offer [see previous post] on Tuesday, but sadly that same day he was sent home having passed out three times in class.  He is incredibly squeamish and we think it was something they were reading about in their group reading session [it was nothing massively graphic but, in the story, someone had just cut their head].  Anyway, poor little guy went down like a stone.  Luckily his teacher caught him as she could see he was going by his truly dreadful colour.  He was out for a while and fainted twice more before they could actually get him out of the classroom and down to the medical room at which point I was called.  The school did a super job of looking after him.  Ethan’s become very squeamish over the last couple of years but never actually passed out, until now.  Something worth watching I think just to be sure that’s all it is.  The children in his class were amazingly well behaved during all this which was most impressive as I would think it must have been quite scary for them to see Ethan out for the count on the floor.  He was very quiet and subdued for the rest of that day and had a bit on an adrenalin hangover on the Wednesday but was back at school and is fine now.

As I said in my last post, I’m a bit of an early riser.  It’s a habit formed when I was working and, so far, I haven’t been able to break the 5.30am wake up.  I do love the early morning, the silence while everyone else is sleeping.  The calm.  Time alone with God who feels very tangible somehow during those early hours.  I’m also loving the lighter mornings, aren’t they just wonderful?  The sky is just beginning to lighten at half-five with a hint of a bluey-grey tone…the light of the day to come, slowly creeping into the house, gently embracing each room.  Perfect!

Something silly to make you smile or possibly groan.  I ordered a book from Amazon, a small book.  It was delivered yesterday by Amazon Logistics [whoever they are] but I was out.  Okay, no biggie you say but strangely they delivered it to a neighbour of mine…then emailed me to say it was with my neighbour.  Yep…clear so far.  Then Jill, said neighbour, posted it through my letterbox…….hmmmmm.  So, if Jill could fit it through my letterbox why couldn’t the Amazon delivery guy??  No, it wasn’t, ‘to sign for’.  Yes, it’s a very obvious letterbox.  Not one of these fancy black jobs with an opening the size of a gnat’s whisker….  I’m left wondering…….but it made me smile. 

Finally, some crochet.  As most yarn addicts will appreciate I have a few projects on the go or WiP’s as they’re called [Works in Progress].  Here are a few photo’s of one that I’m very close to finishing.  If I’m honest I’m not sure I’m all that happy with it as it stands, but I know from experience that once you add the finishing touches such as a border etc., what was once a dismal failure can turn into something quite lovely.  So, here’s hoping.  This is my Cosy Patchwork Granny made using this yarn pack from Wool Warehouse .  I did buy an extra 100g of the Claret though because that’s what I’m edging each block with and I’ll also use that colour to join them together.  Might even use it for the border but not certain yet.  I’ve got about another five blocks to finish.  I’ll post an update when there’s something worth seeing.  I loved the colours in the pack as they had a lovely cosy, autumnal feel but hmmmm this might not be the blanket that does them justice.  We’ll see. [click on each photo’ to see it enlarged]

 

That’s me for this week I think.  Tonight my little lad and I are having a film night [at home], we’re going to be watching the new Avenger’s film, ‘Age of Ultron’ with the usual supply of popcorn and nachos close at hand, it’s gotta be done :).  I’m off to help at church tomorrow and then Mass again on [Mothering] Sunday. 

I wish you all a blessed and peace-filled weekend. Sending love  . . .

Sharon xx

 

 

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Sparrow's Fart

Sparrow’s Fart

I’m just back from the school run and sat here with my cup of frothy coffee.  The rain is battering the windows and the horses in the paddock opposite look mighty unimpressed, although some of them are wearing some rather fetching overcoats.  I’ve been up since sparrow’s fart [5.30am] because, as I mentioned in yesterday’s post, today is D Day regarding secondary school place offers here in the UK.  Now, I knew that the offer would probably ping into Si’s email just after midnight and yes, I was originally going wait up and read it.  However, as the fated hour drew round I realised that A) Si was at work as he works nights only in his new job so I was alone to face any potential disappointment, and B) If the offer was not what we’d hoped then I’d probably be awake for the rest of the night worrying.  So, I decided to NOT open the email and go to sleep.  Which surprisingly I managed to do.  Whoever said Essex girls don’t have self control??  Ha!

So, there I was at 6.20am with the farting sparrows; the tablet fired up; a cuppa in the pot and suicidal cats wondering where their food was; waiting for Si to come in from work.  [Honey, our Basset wasn’t ‘up’, she really doesn’t do mornings lol] He was equally as amazed as you guys that I’d not opened the email lol.  The good news is that we got our first choice of secondary school for Ethan!!  **does victory dance around the lounge**  However, we also know how lucky we are and our thoughts and prayers go out to those who will undoubtedly not have got their first choice and quite possibly  not even got a school that was on their list of choices, this does and has happened.  Ethan’s off to the only catholic secondary school in MK.  I think relief was actually our overriding emotion to be honest.

Enough basking in glory then and onto to something else ~ clarification.  Hmmm I was thinking last night, during my long wait until midnight, that although I did historically have regular followers on my blog who ‘knew’ me well, there might be new readers [due to the change in focus to crochet etc] who don’t know anything about me at all.  The bit I’m thinking of here is faith…. I don’t want people to think I’m all pious, that Catholicism is the only way forward and that I’m bigoted or dogmatic about my choice of religion.  I just want to put this out there and make it crystal clear that yes, I’m catholic [converted in 2009], Ethan is being raised a catholic and we love our faith.  My husband however is not religious and no, that does not cause us any problems.  Most of my friends are not religious and among the few who are some are Muslim, some are Hindu, some are Christian [and of many denominations] and some are just spiritual.  I celebrate and appreciate all religions and faiths, I don’t choose friends on the basis of their faith or beliefs.  I am not judgmental and have a past that is cringe-worthy at best [sounds of skeletons rattling in the cupboard] and I spent many years not being of any given religion, and in fact was Buddhist during the years leading up to my conversion to Christianity in 2006.  I don’t tend to talk about my faith anywhere except here and sometimes at church.  If anyone asks me about it I’m absolutely happy to share but it won’t be me who raises the subject first.  This blog started back in the day as a means to record my faith walk and it [the blog] has changed focus and direction many times along the way.  I no longer feel the need to record that journey in quite so much detail but it is nice to have somewhere to write about the ups and downs that come with being a woman of faith.  To be honest, it’s really hard to find anyone to talk to properly about religious issues because it is such a taboo and inflammatory subject so this blog can be a good outlet for that occasionally.

Okay, I just wanted to put that out there before people think, “Ay we’ve got a right one ‘ere.” and never darken my blogstep again. . .

Right, I’m going to wake-up Si who is off tonight and we’re going out for brunch…have a lovely day all…stay warm and dry XXX

 

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Hi lovelies xx

Did anyone wonder if I’d been abducted by aliens??  No??  lol  As you can see my blog has morphed once again.  I don’t want anyone getting bored 🙂 .  It’s been nearly a year since I last posted, ahem!!  **looks slightly shame-faced**  Life takes over and pressures of work become overwhelming. . .well, you all know how it is.

As I’m way overdue an update, here goes. . .

I gave up my job as a Teaching Assistant in December ’15 partly because quite frankly I’d had enough [don’t get me started on the pressure of working in a school etc etc.] but mainly to see Ethan [10] through his Year 6 SAT’s and into secondary school in September.  I may have to return to some form of paid work for financial reasons at some point, but for now we’re surviving quite nicely.

Si has also left his school job and is now a warehouse operative, working nights.  He loves it, especially the lack of pressure and stress.  Don’t get me wrong here, we both loved working with children [him senior, me primary] and if that was all there was to it then great.  Sadly, that is not how it is…you only have to look to the media over the last few years to know how challenging working in a school has become, for everyone, not just support staff.  Fine if you can leave it at the door but if you care at all about your job then it’s impossible not to take it home with you.  There comes a point when your sanity is more important, we both arrived at that dark place at pretty much the same time.  Nuff said but the right decision for both of us without a doubt.

I’m still heavily into crochet and have completed a few projects, most of them since Christmas.  Some finished ones below and one just begun…the Crofter’s Throw in the variegated yarn [rest your cursor over or click on each image to see the caption]. There are other ‘works in progress’ but I’ll save them for another day.

So, you can see why I’ve revamped the blog with more of a crochet theme.  I was thinking about starting to sell some of the things that I make.  A few people have already asked for commissions so there is work out there.  However, I’ve promised Ethan a new bedroom first…and I’m a woman of my word.  I just love wielding a paint brush and roller about with six cats trying to ‘help’…oh the joy!!  The gloss and ceiling are all done…just the walls to go and Ethan tells me that he’s helping with them….gulp!!

My faith has become very settled, at peace is probably a better term.  I’m in a very good place.  Ethan is about to take his First Holy Communion which is his choice; it had to be as I wasn’t going to insist and it was totally his decision which is just as it should be. 

I notice that my last post was in Lent of 2015 and here we are again, just starting week three of Lent 2016 and yet another journey towards the cross.  The joy of not being at work is that I can participate in Lent totally.  This is a time of huge growth and discernment for me, I can feel change is in the air.  It’s scary, but it’s good scary and I will share properly in another post.

So I will leave it there.  Interestingly I believe that tomorrow, or rather midnight tonight to be irritatingly precise, we’ll receive notification via email of which secondary school Ethan will be going to.  I’m hoping for one of our four ‘choices’ [I use the term loosely] or we’ll have to go through the hassle of appealing which I can well do without.  Think positive Sharon, think positive.  I’ll let you know. . .

Peace and blessings to all

Sharon xx

 

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Summer Sunday Breakfasts. . .

Coffee and berries, yum!!

Coffee, melon and berries, yum!!

There’s something rather lovely about a nice, slow start to a Sunday in the summer.  Waking up to blue skies and chattering housemartins swooping past the open window.  They adhere themselves to the bricks under our window and start passing the time of day in very loud and conversational voices. 

Si and I, going downstairs together to be greeted by our mini ‘zoo’.  Moving in synchronisation round our little kitchen, one putting the kettle on, the other feeding the cats and Honey.  Back door open, breeze gently moving through bringing the early scent of freshly mown grass.  Some people are obviously VERY keen today. 😉

Tea in the pot to wake us up, croissants in the oven, american pancakes in the toaster, berries, grapes and watermelon prepared and put in bowls.  Such a bright feast for the eyes [and tummies].  A plethora of beautiful reds, pinks and purples bringing life to the table.  Lovely frothy, fragrant coffees to go with our croissants ~ I can’t eat a croissant without a decent coffee.

Sitting down together, chatting about the day ahead.  Enjoying the delicious flavours and textures.  Sweet juicy fruit.  Crispy, warm croissant with melty-rich butter.  Smooth milky coffee, frothy top-lip moustache.  

We are blessed beyond measure on days like these.  Rich in so many ways.  Enough time to appreciate and give thanks for these simple pleasures, time to enjoy just being together as a family.  Time to remember those who can’t be with loved ones, who don’t live in a safe environment or have enough food.

Wishing you all a Sunday as blessed and tranquil as ours. 

Bountiful feast!

Bountiful feast!

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