Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Gratefulness

 After my experience of Wolff Parkinson White Syndrome and understanding how bad the undetected outcome could have been I was very grateful that ...

Something made me stop
That because the helicopter flew low over our house 
Harry came out to look at it and found me
He knew something was wrong and rung 111 
The medics were just back from a previous emergency so didn't take long to get there
They were experienced to note I had had a cardiac episode
Because I was stuck in triage for 6 hours the young doctor was on his shift by then 
He took the time to read my history notes and guessed what the problem was. 
He admitted me and the medical staff took care of the rest
and so I was checked, tested and had surgery to correct it

I believe that God had it all in hand and the circumstances were all part of His provision. I am extremely grateful for this. If I focus on the sad things that affect me (and I won't name any of them), I lose sight of all I have to be grateful for. 

Sometimes it can be very obvious, other times not so much and others might take a bit of thought to realize how blessed we are for something so that we can be thankful and grateful for it.

So I decided to make a grateful post every day on Facebook for a year.  If I keep it up for a whole year that will be 365 things. The year is nearly up and I will have to see if I want to keep doing it as many people say they look for my grateful posts each day. Being so grateful for so many circumstances on that day I realized that we all have a lot to be grateful for everyday, we just have to look for it.


If you are a "friend" of mine on Facebook you will have seen them and if not I don't have a public account so you wont see them. I know some of my regular readers are not on Facebook at all so wont have seen them so I am going to post a few on here.


April 3
Today I am grateful for our bed. Its not a hotel room or something from a home magazine, but it is a place I love. I rest, get a good night's sleep as there is no TV or other distractions and the bed is comfortable. The colour green is restful and the bedding soft. I am grateful for my bed

April 4 
Today I'm grateful for hollow Easter eggs. They remind me that the tomb was empty

April 5
Today I am grateful for community. I couldn't think of a picture so this is our street sign. Today Harry has been splitting wood for an older neighbour as she couldn't do it herself. We have been putting out excess feijoas for free and today a lady gave me a handful of cherry tomatoes as she had extras, in exchange, not that I was wanting anything but we will have them for tea. A small community/street like ours just connect. I am grateful for neighbours

April 6 
Some of you may cringe .. but 
Today I am grateful for spiders We have a couple of big ones who take up residence. One in the kitchen (this one) and one out the front door. (Harry tends to feed that one) They make a web and catch all sorts of flies and insects and eat them. I think of Charlotte, from Charlotte's Web and let her be. I'm grateful  for spiders

April 7
Today I am grateful for empty changing rooms. Today I resumed going to Swimzone in Matamata for aquatics. After, I like to take my togs off and shower all the pool water smell off, and there are usually other ladies so you try to be quick and discreet. But today I was on my own in these rooms and so just got changed at my own pace. I am grateful for privacy

April 8
Today I am grateful for Harry's wood splitter. I don't actually use the splitter myself but today Harry and Daniel processed 2 Ute fills of wood for winter. They chain sawed the logs, split them into fire size pieces then stacked them under cover. I'm grateful for easy wood splitting


April 9
Today I am grateful  for Harry helping to pick up our feijoas. We have two feijoa trees and for years while the children were still at home we used to send them out to pick up the fruit and they really hated doing it. Last year Daniel was living at home while we were in lockdown for COVID and it was so nice not to have to crawl under the trees so much myself. This year its just us two and it seems since my little (big) hospital trip Harry has helped do things and one is to come out with me to gather them with me. We put the bags out the gate for people to take for free. I'm grateful for helping hands

April 10
Today I am grateful for surprise dates. Out of the blue Harry said would you like to go out for dinner and maybe catch a movie, you'd like that wouldn't you? Well yes - who wouldn't? Now those of you who know us (Harry) well, will know that's not a common thing in our lives, so of course I said yes! We went to Cambridge to Tivoli Cinema and saw "Then Came You", having hot drinks, cake and popcorn Then to The Good George for a shared taco platter and drinks I'm grateful for dates

April 11
Today I am grateful for Wesley McLay. Wes is from Tauranga and works within the Mental Health and well-being sector. Today he preached for us at the Tirau Community Church as our Pastor John is no longer with us. Today he preached from Psalms 23:4 showing that many people from the Bible suffered from bouts of depression and other aspects of Mental Health and called out to God in ways very similar to David in Psalms 23:4.Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (NIV) I was reminded of my low times and comforted by the reminder that I am never alone and others feel the same. I am grateful for preachers

April 12
Today I am grateful for warm Autumn days. Because of a few wet days and not always having a lot of washing the washing pile was getting big. I also change the sheets on a Monday. I always separate my coloured's from my whites and towels so today I had three loads to go out. I also go to aquaerobics on a Monday morning  followed by a chai latte with the ladies. I then got groceries so it was lunchtime by the time I got home. But today was warm with a bit of a breeze so I was able to get all the washing done, dry. I am grateful for dry washing days.

April 13
Today I am grateful for grandchildren. In particular the Stone family I went to Hamilton to look after them as Jennifer had parent teacher interviews after school until late. So we made blueberry muffins and had fun. I am grateful for family.


April 14
Today I am grateful for aquaerobics. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays I go through to Matamata to the pools and join a group of ladies (and the occasional man) for 45 minutes of directed aerobics in the heated pools. I have very sore knees so doing these exercises in the water means less impact and pain on the knees. I'm in the process of waiting for knee replacement so this helps keep me fit but not in so much pain. Today I am grateful for water exercises

April 15
Today I am grateful for homegrown potatoes Harry has always grown our potatoes like his father did. It's a continuing experiment with brands and planting times. This is a Rua potato (and its was about 880gr) and is from his second plantings. We have been eating our own since before Christmas. The last time I brought potatoes was in October. I am grateful for Harry's potatoes

April 16
Today I am grateful for Grandparents Day. Tirau school has it's day when Grandparents can come and join in with some class work and be with their grandchildren. Sarah and Carl have moved back close to Tirau and their children now go to Tirau School. It can be a bit hard to spend time with both grandchildren but their other grandparents were there so they ended up with double visits. Isla did a family tree and Sean did a grandparents poem and we helped with the decorating.  I am grateful for grandchildren

April 17
Today I am grateful for new gates. We have hens that we let out to roam around the section but sometimes they wonder out the driveway and up the neighbour's looking for bread to eat. The lady in the next house over used to drop her bread over the fence as she knew the hens would come up and get it. We have just got new neighbours and so they don't get cross Harry finally hung the gate Steven dropped off over a year ago. Now the chooks won't be going anywhere! Today I am grateful for gates

April 18
Today I am grateful  for homegrown beetroot. We have a vegetable garden where we grow most of the vegetables we eat. I don't have a huge success with it all but I keep at it. I often plant beetroot seeds and they come up with varying numbers. Last year after my dear sister died we helped a little at her house with her daughters and family to sort of empty it but also take what we wanted, and we took home all her seeds. She had a variety of seeds for each type of vegetable including beetroot so I planted a few to see what they'd be like. There were the usual red and some pinker variety. I had five come up and have now pickled them for salads and my homemade burgers Today I am grateful for beetroot

April 19
Today I am grateful for Road trips with Harry. We have finally gone on our Easter holiday to Wellington to see my Dad and Resa and family. I know, a bit late, but I wasn't up to it after my heart issue. But now we have driven down and I didn't do any of the driving. Its a 6 hour drive including a couple of stops for food, fuel and 🚻 but I do my knitting. I drive myself when I come down on my own but it was nicer not to have Harry drive. I am grateful for safe travels.

April 20
Today I am grateful for my Dad. Last year he lost his eldest daughter/child to bowel cancer. He also had his wife of nearly 68 years pass away at the age of 90. He still lives in their large home on his own with the help of a morning and evening carer visit and meals-on-wheels. My brothers and sister-in-laws keep a watch on him as well. Today we went into town to get some groceries and for Dad to do an errand he wanted to do. He can't drive now so I took him. He walked quite a long way and back, from the car on his own. He said he had a few people ask him if he needed help. He was quite proud he'd walked that far and so was I. This is not the best pics, but .. Today I am grateful (and blessed) for my Dad.

April 21
Today I am grateful for warm sunny rooms. We are spending a few days with my Dad at the family home of over 54 years. There are lovely big windows in the lounge and dining room so when the sun shines it gets really warm. We had a relaxing day just chatting in the warm. Today I am grateful for sunny spaces.

April 22
Ok so ... Today I am grateful for glass tumblers I know previously I posted about my friendly spider on the ceiling in my kitchen, but this one is different. Harry and I were just having a last cuppa for the night, when a rather large spider, about 4 cm wide/long decided to just walk across the floor at my feet. I couldn't believe the size! Fortunately we had an empty glass tumbler close by so Harry caught the under it and with the help of an old card and me opening the back door he was able to put it outside. Today I am grateful for glassware!


April 23
Today I am grateful for coming home. If you've been following along you will know we've been away for a few days visiting my Dad. Travelling home was awful with general traffic during the day, school holiday traffic and then its the ANZAC weekend which means a long weekend and so it was a very slow drive home. But home now and my lap rug is so pleased to see me she has settled in. Harry's lit the fire and although its not cold its cozy and it's home. Today I am grateful for home

April 24
Today I am grateful for YouTube. I know a bit different but with the presence of this I can watch all sorts of things in particular Shiver Me Tingles   This is my youngest daughter. Without going into details it means I get to see and hear her which, for those who know, is a real blessing. Today I am grateful for YouTube



April 25
Today I am grateful for ANZAC Day. On this day of 25th April every year in New Zealand 🇳🇿 and Australia 🇦🇺 we remember not only our ANZAC's but all those who went to war and fought for peace in WW1, WW2 and many other wars, especially those who gave of their lives, but also those who were blessed to return. Today I was the Lay Minister at Tirau's service of which there were over 100 people including adults and children. Some mentioned they had never been before. Today I am grateful for our ANZAC'S

April 26
Today I am grateful for 'lost gardens ' I know strange post but yesterday I spent some time working in our vegetable garden. Over the last 16 months with stuff going on in our lives both emotional, spiritual, physical and all the things going on around us, I didn't do a lot of gardening. I'd pop out for a bit and do some planting or weeding but not like I used to and I was late with things like tomatoes, capsicum, pumpkins and cucumbers so there's not a lot going on out there. I decided it was time to get out and see what had survived. After the weeding I was pleased to find a few vegetables and others still coming on. Today I am grateful for forgotten gardens


April 27
Today I am grateful for leftovers. Because I worked in the garden most of the afternoon yesterday we decided to get takeaways for tea. We didn't quite finish it so it got put in the fridge. Today I wanted something warm for lunch so I heated it up with some other bits and had a yummy 'sweet and sour' lunch. Today I am grateful for leftovers


April 28
Today I am grateful for chooks. Harry has been cutting some firewood from a friends place and there have been lots of huhu grubs in them when he splits the rings. He saves then in a tray and when there is enough for sharing he gives them to the hens ... and they have a party. Someone somewhere would probably say they'd eat them and they taste like peanut butter but we'll let the hens decide! Today I am grateful for the hens

April 29
Today I am grateful for my clothes dryer. I have had my dryer for over 40 years and it's still going strong. I haven't used it a lot as I normally dry our clothes outside or undercover in the garage or on the drying rack by the fireplace. Sometimes I finish off the damp things on top of the hot water cylinder. Today the washing got dry outside but the towels were a bit stiff as there was no wind, so I popped them in the dryer for 15 minutes which makes them nice and fluffy. Today I am grateful for dryers



April 30
A few years ago now, I spent some time at a lovely place called the Titoki Healing Centre. They have beautiful gardens as just one of the many things that make the retreat a wonderful place to rest and heal. The Burgundy Iceberg Floribunda Rose caught my eye and I bought myself one. It's doing a last flowering before the cold of winter and when I see it flower it makes me smile and long to go there again. Today I am grateful for Burgundy Rose


Monday, February 7, 2022

My WPW Syndrome Expereince

Saturday 20th March 2021 I was weeding and tidying up our driveway garden. This runs from the gate by the footpath to a point halfway up the side of the house. It usually takes me a couple of days as it involves a lot of bending, pulling and emptying bins of weeds and pruning’s, so I would have to rest.

The classic comment from Harry would be, 
“You’re not over doing it are you?” to which I would respond, “Yes”, so he would tell me to go and lie down. 

I hated this, but knew I had to and after a good half hour or so I was able to get back up and go back outside. 

On this particular Saturday I was determined to get the whole garden finished and so went out after tea at about 7.00pm for about 20 minutes. As I was nearing completion, I noticed my vision was a little blurry and checked to see if I had the right glasses on. At about the same time the fire siren went up which for our town means the volunteer fire brigade are called down to the station and go out, more times than not, to an emergency or medical call rather than a fire. 

I started to tidy up and as I finished, I was feeling very fatigued again. Coming up to our back deck I felt exhausted and wanted to get up he steps to go inside, but all I could manage was to lean and sit against the steps. I was desperate to sit or lie down but just couldn’t. I felt like I was going to collapse and I was shaking and sweating. 

A helicopter came over the house meaning the fire call was quite a bad medical emergency. Harry came out to see where it was landing and saw me. 
He looked at me saying, “Is that helicopter for you?”! 
I said “I think so” I was sweating, finding it hard to breath and really not fully in control of what I was doing. He asked if I had been over doing it again and I said I was awful and then couldn’t talk well. Harry looked at me and said, “I’m calling 111”
 
The siren went up again and then because the emergency services were still out for the other call they were around to our house in no time.

I had numerous tests while still out on the steps and was told I had had a cardiac event and would need to go to hospital. I was supported to the ambulance, given relief and oxygen and we went to Waikato hospital in Hamilton. Arriving in triage at 9.20pm I was checked out and the trolley I was on was wheeled into a cubical where I waited to be seen in the Emergency Department. 

It’s a bit of an education to be there on a Saturday night! Six hours later I was seen by a young doctor who listened to my story, took some bloods and checked me out, saying, I seemed to be OK now so he would just write up a report and send me home. 

What seemed like over an hour later he returned to say there had been a change of plan. He had read up my past notes on file and saw that Wolff Parkinson White (WPW) had been seen before. I thought he meant some sort of specialist and wondered why I hadn’t remembered a man’s, name like that. He then explained it was to do with my heart. I told him about other times while working in the garden or going for walks up hill etc. He had spoken to cardiology and they wanted me admitted for testing and maybe surgery. I am so thankful that this busy ED doctor took the time to read through my notes.

Finally, later that Sunday evening I was taken up to the cardio ward and so begun three days of testing and monitoring and eventual surgery. I had a heart beat monitor attached to me at all times and it hung around my neck even when I was showering. I also had to have a treadmill test which was stopped before it went too far as it showed the WPW syndrome. 

On Monday evening the team decided that I was to have the procedure, an ablation, but had to wait as there were more urgent patients scheduled the next day so it would be Wednesday. I was told that once I had had “the burn” as they called it, I will be rearing to go like never before. 

Praise God for wise young doctors who read all your history notes. 

The surgery was done with just a local and although it took a few times for pain to be blocked it was successful, my heart stimulated to test it and then all was well. I went home the next day. 

I must admit it has made the world of difference but it took a few weeks to recover and really notice the improvement

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome


As I mentioned in the blog post below I had a week in hospital in March with Wolff Parkinson White syndrome.

I had a time in Hospital in March after a Wolff Parkinson White syndrome, incident and correction.

Don’t worry I didn’t know what it was either before I was diagnosed with it.

In 1915, Frank Norman Wilson (1890–1952) became the first to describe the condition later called Wolff–Parkinson–White syndrome. Alfred M. Wedd (1887–1967) was the next to describe the condition in 1921. Cardiologists Louis Wolff (1898–1972), John Parkinson (1885–1976) and Paul Dudley White (1886–1973) are credited with the definitive description of the disorder in 1930.

The definition is

A syndrome in which an extra signaling electrical pathway in the heart causes a rapid heartbeat (tachycardia).  

The extra electrical pathway in Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome appears between the heart's upper and lower chambers and is present at birth. (congenital heart defect). WPW is the most common type of ventricular preexcitation (preexcitation: the impulses travel to the ventricle earlier than what you would expect them to if they travelled down the normal pathway through the AV node).

The atrioventricular (AV) node is a small structure in the heart, located in the Koch triangle.

The AV node controls the passage of the heart's electrical signal from the atria (upper chamber) to the ventricles (lower chamber). After an electrical impulse is generated by the sinus node (located at the top of the right atrium), it spreads across both atria (right and left upper chambers), causing these chambers to beat.

In saying that WPW is also fairly rare, occurring randomly in the general population, in about 1 to 3 per 1,000 persons. In the general population, men have a higher incidence of WPW than women do, and there is a higher incidence of multiple accessory pathways in men.

Symptoms most often appear between the ages of 11 and 50. The condition is discovered by chance during a heart exam. They usually aren't life-threatening, but serious heart problems can occur. Rarely, WPW syndrome may lead to sudden cardiac death in children and young adults.

Some cases of WPW are inherited. Parents who have accessory pathways may pass them on to their children. One paper suggested the incidence of preexcitation in first-degree relatives could be as high as 5.5 per 1,000 persons. About 7 to 20 percent of patients with WPW also have congenital defects within the heart.

Common Symptoms are

  • A rapid, fluttering or pounding heartbeat
  • Dizziness or light-headedness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fainting

It can begin suddenly, lasting a few seconds or several hours, during rest or exercise



Cause

The extra electrical pathway is caused by an abnormal gene that connects the atria (upper chamber) and ventricles (lower chamber), allowing electrical impulses to bypass the AV node. This detour activates the ventricles too early and also transmit electrical impulses from the ventricles back to the atria disrupting the co-ordinated movement of the electrical signals through the heart, leading to changes in the heart rhythm.



Tests

  • Electrocardiography ECG
  • Holter monitoring – 24 hours +
  • Electrophysiological studies – treadmill test.

Treatment 

This may involve the use of medication or a catheter procedure to stop the irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia), a procedure known as ablation. Thin, flexible tubes (catheters) are threaded through blood vessels to your heart. Low-voltage, high-frequency electrical energy at the catheter tip are heated to destroy (ablate) the extra electrical pathway causing your condition.
In rare instances, an electric shock may be used to restore a normal rhythm. (cardioversion) 

WPW syndrome may also be called preexcitation syndrome.

Apparently, I have had Wolff Parkinson White syndrome diagnosed before but I was never told, or don’t remember.

I have never been one to play much sport and in fact when I did do things like go for long walks, especially going uphill, I would feel exhausted and have heart palpitations that I thought was just an indication of being unfit. Running was never a strong point either and I longed to be able to go for a jog but it was just too much effort.

My next post will be about what happened to me.


Monday, January 31, 2022

New Year Up date

At the beginning of 2021 I posted a pic and post on Facebook, reflecting on 2020 and looking forward to 2021 and what it had in store. 


 What a year. 
 I said goodbye to my sister and mother and a couple of dear friends. 
 Harry spent time in hospital... 
 Oh and we had (are still having) a world wide pandemic. 
 Today was like many days ... 
 Daniel called in 
 We went and did some errands, got seeds etc for the garden and had coffee out. 
 Chatted to a few friends and now as the evening draws in I wonder "What will 2021 be?" 
 Already there are things in my diary I am not looking forward to but have to do. 
 But one thing I have learnt in 2020 is that no matter what 
 No matter how far I fall 
 No matter how small my faith 
 God will carry me through and we will come out stronger in what ever area He wants to build in us. 
 May 2021 make you stronger dear friend 

Little did I know what I would be facing in 2021! 
The post came up as "Memories" on my Facebook page and I pondered what I had said and where I was then. 

So at the beginning of this year I posted it again as a memory adding ... 

Who would have thought this year could get any worse than last year 
The Pandemic has taken on new twists and turns both here in New Zealand and the rest of the world, as we struggle from the Delta and now the Omicron variants. 
I had a time in Hospital in March after a Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, incident and correction.  
I had spent quite a few times, flying to Wellington to visit my father who is remarkably still with us at 92, even though he has had declining health this year. 
I truly had started making some tidy up plans and new garden ideas that all came crashing down, just like I did on that fateful Friday the 10th of September. 
Since that life changing event I have had no other thing to do, but look after myself with the amazing help of family and friends, both old and new. 
There are so many who have helped to carry me, and Harry through this time, I don't want to mentioned names. 
But this journey is not over yet with still months of recovery, I never thought I would still be in hospital at the end of 2021. 
But as I have said... 
"that no matter what 
No matter how far I fall 
No matter how small my faith 
God will carry me through and we will come out stronger in what ever area He wants to build in us"
Who would have thought? 
Just know I am living proof of this ❤ 

Over the next few months I will try and post regularly so you can read what happened in 2021

Monday, March 1, 2021

Musings From Kerre Woodham’s Musings From Middle Age


I have just finished reading this book, Musings From Middle Age, that I have had in my collection for a number of years – you know that stack of books by your bedside table … but mine flows under the dressing table as well!

I bought this book one day at Paper Plus when Kerre was actually there doing a book signing. It was a quiet day and she chatted briefly and wrote in my book 
"To dear Fiona with five kids. I hope you get a change to sit down, relax and read this! Happy reading. Love Kerre x”
At that time, I think we had our youngest just move to Christchurch so I was going through the empty nest stage in life. I can tell you back then, it may have been over ten years since our first child had left home and by then I was used to one less in the household every couple of years (and some aspects hubby and I were looking forward to!) but, there is still a grief to go through when indeed all your children have moved out and no longer need your daily input! 

I suspect Kerre was in awe that I had raised five children as she only had one. But for me that was my choice and I did love it. I was lucky that I didn’t have to work in paid employment until I took some part time work later once all the children were at school. We may not have done the best, as one has indicated (no longer having contact without letting us know what the issues were so we can all talk and understand, respond and heal) but we did what we knew and learned along the way. Every child/family/situation is different so there are no rule books on how to do it. Even if there are books giving advice and ways to work through all these times there are never two situations the same. 

And that is where I come to the point of this post. 

I read Kerre’s book and it was an easy fun book with short chapters making it ideal to pick up and read when there were little pockets of time to do so. This is Kerre’s third book and so is no famous author and will be better known for her work in the earlier days of Fair Goas a New Zealand journalist and ‘one of New Zealand’s best loved personalities as she dishes up a bold, sharp and energetic show Monday to Friday 9am-12md’ on newstalk ZB.

Now I’ve never written a book and admit English was not my best or favourite subject. I couldn’t spell (the wonders of spell check weren’t around in ‘the olden days’), reading out loud was one of my biggest fears as I just didn’t know what or how to pronounce some of the words and my life was reasonably sheltered so there were no big subjects to write about. Writing a book is quite an accomplishment and I take my hat off to those who do and get them published. 

So when I logged my completion of reading this book on my “Goodreads” challenge for 2021 I scrolled down and read some of the comments. I often wonder what would people say if they spoke to the people their comments are aimed at in person (face-to-face), if they would say what they write or if they hide behind their keyboards giving off their energetic ‘hates’ with no fear of retaliation. 

Here are some of the comments: 

Jo rated it 1* did not like it/ didn’t-finish. - Depressing ageist gender-role reinforcement. I'm really not sure why this book exists. I'm pretty sure that women are getting told by plenty of other sources that once they hit 40 they become invisible and hideous, that regardless of whether they fight or succumb to (the inevitable) aging they will appear ridiculous and an object of mockery, and oh yes, in case you forgot- you're old and you're ugly. Maybe if you are lucky you will score a bloke who still sees you as the young hottie you once were. But you will have to nag him to death, because that's just the way things are. 

Jill rated it 1* did not like it. - Kerre Woodham what were you thinking? You warn in your book “only intended for the eyes of women aged 40 plus”. Well I would say more like 90 plus … and not at all if you are a woman. If dear reader, you have picked up this book thinking it will be like Woodham’s “Fat Chick” books then you will be sadly disappointed as it is just Woodham’s take on the aging process. I will confess that I only read the first 55 pages, so perhaps there is some improvement thereafter? Maybe someone would like to read ‘Musings from Middle Age ‘and tell me if it gets better? But I myself was not prepared to waste any more time on it. As a woman of a certain age, (the same age as Woodham actually) I have noticed that I have become invisible, gravity has kicked in and wobbly bits abound, but I have reached a degree of acceptance – I mean if Rachel Hunter can’t get a man then why should my singledom bother me unduly. However, am I really expected to believe that the gorgeous, blonde bombshell, and raconteur extraordinaire, Kerre Woodham, with her large as life personality, has become invisible - I don’t think so! If a publisher wants a book written on the subject of aging gracefully, why not choose an author who has a few more years under their belt. This book makes me feel like an aging harridan! I still have a good 40 years in me for goodness sake – 60 is the new middle age! This book made me so angry. However if you are a man, and want to know why your wife, sister, mother, life partner or whatever, is angry or moody all the time – then read this by all means – you might find it funny – unfortunately, I certainly didn’t.

Rebecca rated it 1* did not like it/not-finished. - Sorry Kerre. I like you but this book is crap!

The books back cover reads: 

Is there an invisible line we cross at a certain age when we become ‘un-chat-up-able’ and become someone’s mum? When do barmen and supermarket check-out operators start calling us ‘madam’ and why do some women have the unnatural urge to cut their own hair with nail scissors or run away to Buddhist retreats when they hit forty?

In this hilarious collection of stories from the brink of middle age, Kerre shares her insights into what makes us tick as women ‘of a certain age’. Topics explored include: coping with the empty nest; shoes, shoes and other indulgences; when is it futile to dress to impress? is there such a thing as a female mid-life crisis? and many more. Told in Kerre’s frank and self-deprecating style, this is a hilarious account of living life to the fullest - no matter what your age. 

The Goodreads website comments: 

A laugh-out-loud account of one woman's journey to the brink of middle age as she discovers her new place in the grand scheme of things. Is there an invisible line we cross at a certain age when we become ‘un-chat-up-able’ and become someone’s mum? When do barmen and supermarket check-out operators start calling us ‘madam’ and why do some women have the unnatural urge to cut their own hair with nail scissors or run away to Buddhist retreats when they hit forty? In this hilarious collection of stories from the brink of middle age, Kerre shares her insights into what makes us tick as women ‘of a certain age’. Topics explored include: coping with the empty nest; shoes, shoes and other indulgences; when is it futile to dress to impress?; is there such a thing as a female mid-life crisis?; and many more. Told in Kerre’s frank and self-deprecating style, this is a hilarious account of living life to the fullest - no matter what your age.

 “Jo” it would seem back then, that she(or maybe it’s a he) has either been through that stage and feels “invisible and hideous, …. appears ridiculous and an object of mockery, … old and ugly” and if she was “lucky” may have scored a bloke who still sees her as the young hottie she once was. But I sure hope she hasn’t nagged him to death, because that isn’t the way things are. Jo would also discover that Kerre is married to her Irishman who seems to adore her.

“Jill” seemed to want a lot more out of this book than she read in “the first 55 pages”. No the book was not the same as her “Fat Chick” books, by why do they have to be? Why does an author have to write the same sort of books all the time? Yes it is “just Woodham’s take on the aging process.” So why expect more? If Jill had read more she may have found the book a light laugh along as she admitted she was the same age and just enjoy it. 

And that is what the book is – a sort of autobiography of Kerre’s “middle years” with no suggestion to use it as a failproof guide but one that will make you smile, maybe even laugh out loud, screw your mouth up in disgust or maybe (in my case) nod your head understandingly thinking “and you wait until the next stage!”

Good on you Kerre, I enjoyed it.

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Reflecting

When you look at what you have done in the past and what you would like to achieve in the future do you ever think "I've wasted so much time?"

I sure have over the last few weeks. 

If you follow my blog, and/or know me personally, you will know what some things have been like.

With the death of my Mother and Sister last year I have been on a huge journey of grief, not to mention that added death of our Minister of 6 years. I worked along side him, not just in the church office but, as a lay minister and friends of his wife and him. It is a process one has to adjust to, not something with a time limit.

Life is never the same, the course just turned in another direction and in time you learn to live with the loss because it is now a part of who you are now.

But on this journey you will always learn knew things not just about life but of what is important to you.

With both my families loss there was the issue of sorting through their belongings and it is interesting to look at the things they had kept or hung on to, the things they didn't finish and the ideas that perhaps they had that you didn't know about. 

I have 'saved' bits and pieces from the clean outs because I wanted to hang on to what was a part of them but also I felt I could finish things they had started. But in doing this I now feel burdened to keep these things and do what I thought needed doing and there are now boxes of 'stuff' building up in a room. 

My daughters look and struggle and I know exactly how they feel, as it was the feelings I had at my mothers things. I want to do what is best but I also want to get on with the rest of my life, as in the big picture the years are counting down. Not in a morbid sense but just in a "This is what I want to do" but all these other things put on by others - either from my own doing or expectations of others - are taking that time.

There is a huge reluctance to toss or give away but one thing I know I need to deal with it, and now.

They say that you often have to produce a mess before you can start the clean up and I now see that is what I have to do. Another saying is you can't organize cutter.

But the process has begun and I will see it through. And with that I will be able to get on with the things I want to do for me, whatever that means in the big picture.

I have seen for me last year (Yes 2020!) so much time was lost and it can never be found again, but in getting on with sorting the blockades, the way forward will be easier. 

Being in control of 'it' means that 'it' will no longer control me.

Sunday, November 29, 2020

What Does Christmas Mean To You?

Today is the first Sunday in Advent.

In the past I have started my Christmas Planner about this time as I don't like to be hassled by Christmas in a material way before the season sort of begins. I follow my planning so all the things in preparation get done and I don't forget anything. Following my plan also helps me to use the time of Advent as being all part of Christmas rather than just one day. I also have birthdays into November so I am still thinking of them.

However this year has been different...

"Tell me about it", I hear you say.

Who would have thought this time last year when we heard reports of a virus in China that the world would be changed in 2020.

In fact thinking of that, who knows what anything holds for us in the future.

Now don't get me wrong I am not putting a damper on Christmas or the new year or life in general ... but its made me think, "How do we use all this for good?"

As we take actions to keep ourselves and those around us safe; the scientists search for a safe reliable vaccine; we learn to live in this 'new' way of life - we indeed have to look at Christmas in a different way.

How do we do that, when we are so used to the way we have celebrated this time of the year and restrictions pose obstacles we don't like? (especially in other parts of the world)

Or maybe the whole world situation creates the way we go about this time different or with a sense of dread as to what might happen before we even get to the 25th of December.

So,

What Does Christmas Mean To You?

It's a question to ask yourself as we go into the season to help us cope and put into place the things that really matter. 

When you stop and ask yourself that question I would suggest you really think about it.

Is it time with family?

Is it food and drink, and plenty of it?

Is it a holiday away from all the hassle?

Is it relatives that you really dread being with!?

Is it a time of expense that you hate?

For me it is some of those but it is mainly a time as a Christian that I celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Yes we have food, there are decorations to put up and enjoy, we try to be with family and have times with friends, we exchange presents the I have saved for during the year, but I also focus on the nativity and what the meaning of the birth of Christ means to me.

I have an array of Nativity scenes I set up around other Christmas decorations. My tree is filled with angles to remind us of the host of angels who announced the good news of Jesus' birth to a group of humble shepherds.

Luke 2:8-16

8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.

What does Christmas mean to you?

This year the Hope Project are encouraging churches and people to put Christ back into Christmas.

Too many cards, treats and advertising media are removing the word Christ and either using an "X" or just calling it 'holiday' items. As a Christian for me Christmas is celebrating the birth of Jesus my saviour and although people may argue that it is a pagan festival or that I shouldn't push my views onto others, the point I make is it is a time for my family and I to celebrate and we will do it the way that means the most to us.

God says in His Word, the Bible

Deuteronomy 4:9 Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.

Leviticus 23:2 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘These are my appointed festivals, the appointed festivals of the Lord, which you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies 

Now I know that these scriptures are actually meaning events in the Old Testament, which are part of the Jewish traditions, but God wants us to remember Him and to pass what we know onto others, and in celebrating Christmas for its real meaning we are doing just that.

I hope and pray that this Christmas as we adapt to what these times have caused us to now do, that you seek out the true meaning of Christmas.


Whatever your answer for the question this post asks, you need to make it what you want.

If you wish to follow my Christmas Plan it starts here.


All Scripture is taken from the New International Version