Friday, 28 February 2014

Is this the end of the Kitchen? - Housework / Funwork

YES, (almost) thank goodness!

The Overhaul List for the Kitchen is almost all checked off.

The Inventory of the Kitchen is completed.

And you can all guess what was deserved at the end of all that.

                                   Yes it was
 once again

So the outcome of this month in the Kitchen is:

The drawers are all done. 
(including the "Man Drawer" which was done very quickly after the blog was posted last Friday
 - it's amazing what a blog post can accomplish!)

The cupboards are all done. 

The dishwasher is done.

The fridge is done and the freezer is done.

The last thing I did was the KITCHEN To Do List  -  all the things I thought of that needed to be repaired etc.   It was not too long a list and I used my POCKET LIST iPad app for that as usual.

Needed my glasses for this job and of course all the inventory work

The floor, windows, tiles,  
oven & hob and all the woodwork of the doors etc. 
                                                                              are NOT done.

So what else happened along the way?

Well here is the proof of Fred's hard work on one, just one single drawer  (compared to the other 9 which I did plus all the rest of the kitchen), yes here is the tidied 

 "Man Drawer"

He had been provided with the 3 containers previously to try to help keep some order in the drawer but it is nice to be able to see them clearly & what's in them now.

I must acknowledge that he did come and help me out with other little things along the way.
(He is tall so very handy for reaching up to the higher things whereas I am petite)

This is the before and after of my built in corner fridge 
(you can imagine how this was a wow feature along with the size of the kitchen) that made us want to buy this house.

We always have quite a few bottles of water, flavoured water, non alcoholic Muscat from Asda along with some fanta and sprite and when Fred lifted all of these out from the bottom of the fridge it really was very dirty but not for long as I got the steamer out and cleaned it.
Then each of the shelves got cleaned and sorted and everything put back in.

It is rather bare looking now however the next shopping will soon fill it up again, although I must say that it is too big for the two of us but we love how big it is when it comes to having special events.

This is the before and after of my Baking Cupboard 
(which I have always had difficulty keeping tidy)

I previously had large round containers for my floor, castor sugar and icing sugar but fell in love with Lock & Lock containers over a year ago and bought several sizes of them so had changed to the ones I have here and now that I have cleaned and sorted the cupboard they definitely fit in better.

I added a metal expanding shelf which I bought from Lakeland.  (I have two more of these waiting to be used elsewhere.)  They just help to make more use of the height.

When we decided to buy the house 3 years ago one of the first things I told Fred was that we were going to have a designated Tea & Coffee area  (yes, I know what possessed me to marry a tea drinker?).

I had spotted the corner beside the door to the Utility room while viewing the house and knew that the two cupboards above would be ideal, one for teas, coffees, sugars (yes we both take sugar), coffee filters, etc. and the other for biscuits (and yes we love chocolate biscuits). 

So that corner seemed perfect for the large coffee filter machine, the toaster, the kettle, the granite chopping board & the kitchen roll.  Then I got a metal Lazy Susan for the tea, coffee etc. that we would keep out on the worktop.
We love that corner and are happy that we started like that and still have it set up that way so I definitely had no intention of changing anything here.

NOW the big question is

Did I manage to cut down on "STUFF" and did I just move things to other rooms 
or did I THROW some things OUT?

I did 3 things
  1. Made a pile for going to the car boot sale to support the work our church does in Zimbabwe.
  2. Threw a few things out.
  3. Moved some things to the Dining Room and Utility Room (just don't ask me if I had space for these things in these two rooms please!)


I'm not perfect                                                             but I don't think I'm quite                                                                 

I think that I might be more like    

Would you agree?
Please do!

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Who's the Bestest Boy in the World? - A Dose of Encouragement

Okay!  I know there is no such word as "bestest". 

 I even knew that before my spell checker 
told me so.

We have 2 boys and a girl in that order.

JONATHAN  was born 5 years after we married and was named for Jonathan in the Bible because we felt God telling us to do this as Jonathan had been the right friend for David.

DANIEL was born 2 years later (well just 2 weeks short of 2 years) and was named for Daniel in the Bible because we felt God telling us to do this on the morning shortly before he arrived.

LINDA was born 3 years and 3 months later and was not named for anyone at all, we simply only felt led to this one girl's name.


DANIEL  means  GOD is my JUDGE


You could not imagine the number of times Linda has said  

"How come the boys got Bible names and I didn't?"  

but more often than that she has been happy with her name and what it means.  

When Jonathan was still a small baby I started to say  

"Who's the bestest boy in the world" 

and lift up his two arms above his head and say 

"Jonathan is"

It always got a smile from him and soon he was able to lift his hands by himself as soon as he would hear me say the familiar phrase.

So when Daniel was born we did exactly the same thing with him and got the same reaction of 

"Daniel is"

while Jonathan would shout 

"me too"

and eventually we had two small boys running around reacting to the phrase together. 

 Never really with any queries about how the two of them 
could both be the best.

Then when Linda arrived, we naturally had to make a slight change and say 

"Who's the bestest Girl in the World".

It was simply a little "in phrase" that was special to the five of us.

But at the same time it was something that I sort of secretly hoped would show them how much we believed in them and inspire them to believe that they were of great worth.
Did it work?

    Well one thing I have always been so happy about in our family is that there was never any competition between the children, they all accepted that we thought they were all the bestest in the world and they seemed to have thought that about each other too.  They are each proud and supportive of what the others have done in the past and are doing at present.

    All three are unique individuals with some very similar interests but also some very different interests and always have been.  

Jonathan is a Pastor, also working on his Phd in Theology and lives in Leeds in England at present.
Daniel is the manager of a Church/Charity based Cafe and the Sound Engineer in his church.  He is now married and living in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Linda is an aspiring writer, has written a novel (unpublished) and working on a novella but also teaching English as a foreign language in Gangneung, South Korea at the moment.

All three of them are saved, love worship music and play the guitar, as do Fred and I but it has to be admitted that the 3 guys are better on the guitar than us girls.
All three of them love babies; I know most people do but they go to the extent of having to take many pics & videos of their cousin's little boy and share them with us all.

Were we telling them the truth when we used that phrase with them for years?

Strictly speaking - possibly no!

But to us parents, YES.  

We thought of each of them as being the best because we loved each of them the same.

They were good children but probably not the best children in the whole world.
And also who are we to judge who is better than anyone else.
But this phrase meant a lot to us and to them and I do believe that it made them feel loved and happy and accepted and contented all those years ago.

At the Grand Canyon while we were living in the US over 20 years ago

Of course that phrase is not the only thing that would have led them to grow up with love and acceptance but then there are always a lot of factors in the formation of anything.

All I know is we loved them greatly and they knew they were loved and they loved us and each other.  Then later they grew to know about God and the salvation he has offered us through His Son Jesus and they each acknowledged that they needed to ask God's forgiveness and accept this gift from God.

Who inspires you?

I would like to think that if our children had been asked this question when they were young they would have included Fred & I in the answer.

If you ask me that same question today my answer would have to be, my 3 children Jonathan, Daniel & Linda for the people they have turned out to be, not dependent on us, not intimidated by others and taking a stand for God. 

What more could parents want in the lives of their children?

I am thankful to God for the husband and children He has given me.

Monday, 24 February 2014

The Trial of Dr Kate - Book Review

There is an affiliate link on this blogpost.

I would like to state here that although I did receive a free copy of the ebook this review is completely my own opinion of the book and was not written to any deadline for the publishers.

The Trial of Dr. Kate  

by  Michael E. Glasscock  III     

A doctor who can’t remember her crime. 
A reporter fighting for the story of her life. 
Two women at a crossroads in a town that never forgets. 

In the summer of 1952, Lillian Johnson was found dead in her home, slumped in the wheelchair that had become her cage due to multiple sclerosis. An overdose of barbiturate had triggered a heart attack, but the scene was not quite right. It looked as though someone other than Lillian herself had injected the fatal dose. 

Dr. Kate Marlow, Lillian’s physician and best friend, now sits in the Round Rock city jail. The only country doctor for miles, Kate cannot remember her whereabouts at the time of Lillian’s death and the small Tennessee town buzzes with judgment. 

As Dr. Kate’s trial approaches, another woman is determined to uncover the truth about the night of Lillian’s death. Memphis reporter Shenandoah Coleman grew up in Round Rock on the wrong side of the tracks, but unlike the rest of her unsavory clan, escaped her destiny. Now, back in the town she grew up in, she’ll have to turn every stone to keep Kate from a guilty verdict. 
The Trial of Dr. Kate is the second novel in a four-part series from Michael E. Glasscock III that explores the intricate social cloth of Round Rock, Tennessee. Though each story stands alone, readers who enjoyed Glasscock’s first Round Rock tale, Little Joe, will delight in the cameo appearances in this one. 

Having read the first book in this series and reviewed it on this blog, I was looking forward to the opportunity of reading this second one and thankful for the ebook copy received from the publishers to be able to read and review it; but unfortunately did not find it to be as interesting or as captivating.

The characters were not as well developed and although there were relationships being formed throughout the novel this book did not seem to be as full of story and life as it's predecessor.  Cameo appearances were mentioned in the synopsis but I can only remember one.  As for the reporter "fighting for the story of her life"; well we hardly hear of her writing the story and things are really made very easy for her to gain access to everyone in the town for info on her story of the trial and very little mention is made of the other story she is writing.

Having received the book free I did finish it but there were several breaks away from it.  The ending was disappointing as it seemed to be rushed and then the added epilogue gave the impression that the author had felt that whole thing needed some closure.  

I actually was not that interested in what would have happened to the characters after the book ended because of not having felt the closeness to the characters that I had in the first story.

The Trial of Dr. Kate  by  Michael E. Glasscock  III

Book 2 in the Round Rock Series
Published by Greenleaf Book Group Press
Released in Oct 2013

Have you read this or any others in the series?

I would love to know if you agreed or disagreed with my view of this one.

If buying through Amazon via the link above I get a little commission but that does not mean any extra expense to you.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Why We Worship 8

I am taking time each week to ask myself "Why we worship"

 This week  Malachi 3 v 6  brings us the reason to focus on

This means that God is UNCHANGING

He never changes in His being (who He is) or in the promises He makes.

We can change from year to year or from day to day but God does not.

Malachi  ch 3
Says the Lord of hosts.
“For I am the LordI do not change;
Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.
Yet from the days of your fathers
You have gone away from My ordinances
And have not kept them.
Return to Me, and I will return to you,”
Says the Lord of hosts.

Also look at verse 7 to see another promise from God and because He has already declared He does not change then we can believe what He says here.

This gives us great stability and we know that we can depend on Him 
at all times 
       in all circumstances.    


I am thankful that I serve an unchanging God, are you?

Friday, 21 February 2014

The "Man Drawer" - Housework / Funwork

Only one drawer remains to be cleaned,                   sorted and inventoried in the Kitchen.                                        


This drawer is the "Man Drawer"

Why is this drawer not done yet?
                           Because it is the responsibility of the man of the house and he is procrastinating.

What is the "Man Drawer"
                           This is the drawer that practically every house has.   
The drawer that contains all the things a man needs to have on hand even if they will never be used again.

The one about which the wife will say

"What are you keeping those things for?"

Now I did not make this term up myself.

It is the brain child of a very well known British Comedian called Michael McIntyre and if you have not seen this take a little break now and watch the short sketch below.

               Okay I decided it was


                                                                                                            while I watched the video again.

Now that you know what is contained in the man drawer .....
     batteries (are these new or used? is a question frequently heard)
     keys (what is this one for?)
     old phones
     4 tape measures (yes 4, but why more than one is required in one place I don't understand)
     foreign currency (in our case that could be many different currencies as Fred has travelled extensively with his work)
     etc. etc.

.....You can understand why it needs to be sorted and more frequently than once a year but the men are very reluctant to allow us to speak of the drawer let alone touch anything in the drawer.
     Fred, who is quite a laid back and contented man will get rather vocal when I mention this drawer.

(If you did not watch the video above, you really should go back now and do so, it is so funny)

All of the other drawers are ticked off the list.

Last week I was left with the contents of one of the drawers all over my kitchen table to be sorted and placed back in the clean drawer and this has now been done and it is so tidy and easy to find all the items now.  The larger and less often used items are in the bottom drawer of this unit all easy to get when needed.

Second Drawer After

The other drawer which took me more time to work at is the odds and ends, stationary type drawer that is just beside the little corner where we have the letter rack and the stand for my ipad and the notepad.
You know the

"this is where we throw all our receipts, business cards, post and whatever is in our hands when we come in from the car" area, mentioned in "Is it Fun Yet? - Housework/Funwork "

This drawer looked like this

Now some of my drawers are very small drawers which sit under narrow cupboards so they were not too time consuming.

One of these had very little in it, just basically the key to the electric box a torch and Electricity leaflet so I moved the instruction leaflets and take-out leaflets from the other drawer into this one and it still is not too cluttered up.

Then after getting a long narrow portioned tray and two other plastic containers I sorted out my drawer so that it now looks like this

Maybe we should call this one the Wife Drawer or the Woman Drawer!
It does have things in it that Fred would probably ask me

"What are you keep those things for?"

Some of the cupboards are finished and a few still to go so the Kitchen Overhaul and Inventory is going reasonably well but looks like a busy week for the last week of the month.

I have also gone through the rest of the months and here is the complete 

Yearly Housework & Organising Schedule 

No doubt in the coming weeks & months there will be things that I suddenly remember should have been included here and are not in my Monthly/Weekly/Daily Schedule either so I will have to add those in later and perhaps I may also decide to change some things from one month to another.

Do you think I can get Fred to tackle that "MAN Drawer"?

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Another Coffee Mug! - A Dose of Encouragement

Many years ago while we were living in America (1992-95) I bought some mugs to have to give as gifts to friends who I thought might need some encouragement. 

They had a picture of a cute little bear with the words

 “Smile! Cause God thinks you’re special and so do I”

                                                                                                  printed on them. 

When we came back to Northern Ireland I had only 
3 left, 
and shortly after that only 

That was when I decided that I was going to keep the last one for myself because sometimes I need encouragement too.

I brought it out of its box and thought about where to put it.  

You see in the unit in our lounge we had some mugs which the boys had got at the Boy’s Brigade over several years, another from Wales with our daughter Linda’s name on it, one with a picture of Peter Rabbit our son was given as a baby, and others that my husband Fred has accumulated from working trips abroad.  

These are all deemed to be too good or too impractical to actually be used so they are treated as ornaments. 

I could have made a space there for this mug but somehow 
that didn’t seem quite right. 

Then I decided that if the mug was to be an encouragement to me, I should see it often and the best way to do that would be to use it regularly. 

So that is what I have done.  

It is now 2014, and I still have this mug.

It really is nice to make my coffee in this mug and smile 
when I look at the words on it.

Some may think it strange but it brings me a lot of joy to use this mug not only for the message it reminds me of but for the memories of the good friends I had to whom I gave the rest of the mugs. 

          Then one day I was in a lady’s home when she showed me some bibles which she was very proud to have.  She told me the story associated with each bible, why they were important to her and how she liked to keep them in very good condition, even though one of them she informed me was more than 150 years old.  

The problem was, each of these bibles was wrapped carefully in a plastic bag and put away only to be brought out occasionally for someone else to hear the stories.  

This was the only way for her to keep them clean and in good condition.  

I found it very sad to think that even though this lady held fond memories of the people she had got these bibles from or the places from which she had received them, and had a special high regard for these as old books; she didn’t read them and she didn’t make use of them so she couldn’t be encouraged by the words within or come to know the joy of meeting the Saviour they offered her.  

It was like my mug. 

If I had kept it ‘good’ I would not have got the enjoyment and encouragement from it that I have got by using it regularly; 

and would I smile and remember that I’m special to God?

I am thankful that my special mug has lasted so long and I am thankful that it brings such good memories and encouragement and joy to me.
Do you have something that does this for you?

 I believe you are special to God too.  Do you?

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Why We Worship 7

I am taking time each week to ask myself "Why we worship"

One of the things about God that we may find hard to understand and perhaps never understand fully, but just have to accept that it is true,
 is that 


always has existed 
always will exist

So today I'm thinking about worshipping God because 

We were born and we will die and that is the cycle of life that we understand 
but we are not like God.

He has always existed in the same way: fully and completely as God.

So we must cry

Revelation 4
Before the throne there was a sea of glass, like crystal. And in the midst of the throne, and around the throne, were four living creatures full of eyes in front and in back. 
The first living creature was like a lion, the second living creature like a calf, the third living creature had a face like a man, and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle. 
The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying:
“Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!”
Whenever the living creatures give glory and honour and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying:  
11“You are worthy, O Lord,To receive glory and honour and power;For You created all things,And by Your will they exist and were created.”

Have you grasped the  "who was and is and is to come" ?

Do you worship Him even though you may not fully understand Him?