It's God's Love #9

This Sunday Series is all about God's Love.

There will be a simple, short post each week
consisting of a Bible Verse around the topic of
God's Love and I would be very pleased if you
would join me each Sunday.

(Just go to the sidebar if you would like to sign up for an email reminder of my posts.)

As the Children of God we have a lot to be thankful for.

One of the specific things to be thankful for

is God's Love









Love of God

So as the verse says





Marriage (What's it all about?) - A Dose of Encouragement



                                                    ME & FRED!

Yes as you read this today we will be married 37 years.

To celebrate we are off on holiday to Malta a new destination for both of us.

So I thought that this post today should be about Marriage and what it's all about.

Fred and I met in 1971

Started going together in 1973

Got engaged in 1975 as we were finishing school and heading off to university so promised our parents we would  wait 4 years until we were both finished there before we would get married.

Sorry but we broke that promise - we are not perfect.

We got married on 27th August 1977

It all seemed to be going in 2 year gaps.

We finished at university in 1979 and went back to jobs in our hometown.

Then it was a 3 year gap before our first Son was born in 1982

Another 2 year gap and our second son was born in 1984

Then three years later our daughter was born in 1987

The next big thing was our move to live in America in 1992 and then our return to Northern Ireland in 1995

Later in 2004 we moved to live in Belgium

And returned to Northern Ireland (but to a different area) in 2010

Last year 2013 was a big year

Firstly we got round to doing our family photo shoot that the kids had promised to buy us for our 30th Wedding Anniversary - not their fault that it didn't get down sooner just the fault of how difficult it is to get us all together in the same country let alone in the same place for long enough to organise something like this.

They will not be very happy about this casual one but I think it is just us with our natural happy faces.

They might be a bit happier (but probably not) with this more formal one of the two of us!

So finally we come to this year 2014 and we are happy and proud to celebrate our 37th Anniversary.

No fancy picture from this year just a happy one our oldest son took of us when we went to visit him in Leeds at Easter.

What were we doing that makes me think of it as being a happy picture?

Well we were in a small village in the Yorkshire dales just walking around relaxing together and laughing at the ducks and ducklings.

That's what marriage is all about, 

sharing the everyday times 

with the person you are meant to be with 


 thanking God for each other.


It's God's Love #8

This Sunday Series is all about God's Love.

A simple, short post each week
consisting of a Bible Verse around the topic of
God's Love and I would be very pleased if you
would join me each Sunday.

So many times people have to find reasons to love.

Do we need a reason to love God?

Does God need a reason to love us?

God loved us

So we love God


How could we ever have known Love


God had never shown Love


Love is our response to love given to us.


Patio Furniture Restored

The Patio furniture was all rusted so the question was...

"Do we need to go buy new Patio Furniture?"

"Well no, not at all!"   is the answer.

We had bought a wrought iron Patio Set 2 years ago and a cover to go over it to protect it in the winter time.

I chose it because of the blue and white mosaic pattern which I really like and I knew it would brighten up our patio.

The first winter we dutifully put the cover over the 4 chairs and the table but we had a very very stormy winter and so the wind would catch under the cover and sometimes was strong enough to actually move the set.

Several times we would have to go out and fix the cover back into position and sometimes move the table and chairs back too.  Hence, because we are a lazy couple we got fed up with that and then last winter we didn't bother to put on the cover at all.

Well that was a big mistake because this summer we really noticed the rust taking hold on our otherwise sturdy chairs and we were not a happy couple then.

So I got on the internet and did some reading round the great DIY blogs that are out there to find out what we could do to get rid of the rust and save our Patio Set.
Having done that I proceeded to tell Fred that we needed to get brushes to rub over the chairs and get rid of as much of the old paint that was lifting off the furniture as we could.  Then we would need the rust treatment to paint over it and then the proper paint.

Fred headed off and came back with 2 steel brushes (one softer than the other)

and one tin of paint.

Now being me as usual I said

but that is not what I read in the blogs

Fred however told me that in the shop they explained to him that one type of paint would be perfect for the job because it was a dual purpose one,

it treats the rust and paints it.

but it would require 2 coats of this paint.

So off we started.



The table was hardly affected by the rust at all but Fred gave it a quick go over with the softer brush anyway as we were going to have to paint it because originally the wrought iron was a dark grey but the paint we had got was black and the table & chairs would have to match up at the end.


You can see here how bad the chairs were both front and back and underneath.

However the whole set was still very sturdy it was just dirty and rusted.



We had to tackle the chairs with the harder brush on the rust and I rubbed the white around the mosaic design part with the softer brush to clean it up as well.

There is a scraper on the harder brush and Fred needed it to help make it quicker to lift the old peeling paint.

Look at the nice sunny day we had for starting our project.

PAINTING  -  First Coat


When all the chairs were well brushed over and wiped down we were able to start the painting.

It wasn't long before we were sitting down while painting and then also down on our knees to get at the lower and underneath parts.

We needed some masking tape to protect the mosaic part while I tried to paint around the tops of the chairs.

When we got the first coat of paint on the chairs we were tired and really had done as much as we could for one evening.

So then after a discussion of 

rain or no rain tonight?

we put the chairs into the garage because I was sure it was going to rain.

PAINTING  -  Second Coat

5.  Well we had quite a spell of rain over the next few days but eventually we got back to the chairs to give them and the table a second coat.

Notice it is no longer shorts and T-shirts but trousers and jumpers as in the two weeks we were doing this the temperatures changed dramatically, but then we are in Northern Ireland!

6.    Now there was one last thing to be done and that was the cleaning up of the table.

You can see how bad it was close up and how much better it looked after I had worked on it for a while.

The very centre out to the second round of light blue tiles was done using the softer brush and then some thin bleach rubbed along it.

The next section of dark blue tiles and next ring of light blue was done only with the bleach.

And then a small part of the outer section of mixed tiles was done with only the brush.

Definitely it is worth doing all of it with both brush and bleach as the centre part is really white now.


7.     So now the job is completed and the Patio set is back in its place on the Patio

The Patio set was not very expensive 2 years ago at £199 but I certainly did not want to have to pay money for a new set next year and so investing in the brushes and paint was a much better option.  Plus the fact that Fred and I tackled a job together which makes the chore more bearable and we had some good fresh air while doing it.

Note it must be stated that it was definitely more Housework than Funwork for this project.


Which Way Will You Go? - A Dose of Encouragement

Today I want to tell you about another picture God once gave me.

Imagine a wide, very wide set of stairs.  

On the left-hand side a narrow section has a set of footprints going up the stairs. 
The rest of the staircase is full of lots of footprints coming down the stairs side by side. 

Can you picture it?  

It definitely appears to be easier to come down those stairs than to go up, because of the wider space and because there is the feeling of lots of others coming down with you.  
You’ll probably get caught in with the crowd and almost helped down in the crush.  

Will there be any help from others to go up though?

Those going up will be few and far between and going slowly because they will have to go against the flow of the crowds descending.  

One thing is certain;

 you have to make the decision to either go up or down on the stairs.

This is how many Christians feel at certain times in their walk in life. 
They have decided to go on this upward journey and they know that they are going against the main stream of people in this world.

Going down would be easier.
So many others in the world ready to encourage and help along the way.
We wouldn't have to consciously keep our mind and body alert, it would be a simple carefree journey down.

The footsteps leading up the stairs are like Christ’s steps, as we follow them we will be following His example and not following the crowd’s steps. 

                    “Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example,
                   that you should follow in His steps.” 1 Peter 2 v 21.    (RSV)

You may think it will be a lonely journey going up with no person by your side. 
Sometimes it feels like there just isn't room for anyone else to go in that direction beside you.  

Yet there is someone who wants to go up with you. 

The Holy Spirit wants to guide you and help you along.
The Holy Spirit’s power will help you up those stairs even when the natural reaction would be to give in and not endure the loneliness you feel.

So we each have to make the decision for ourselves.


Which way will we go on the stairs?  

Once we do our part in starting the upward climb, God does the leading each step of the way.

“A man's mind plans his way but the Lord directs his steps.”    
                                                          Proverbs 16 v 9.    (RSV) 

Then we should be aiming at all times in the future to be able to tell the Lord that we have not left His way up the steps for the wider descent. 

Also we must be an encouragement to others to continue in the right path.
       So let’s get going in the right direction and persevere on the journey.



Poirot Investigates - Book Review

I am trying to read through the novels of Agatha Christie in the order in which they were written and write a review on each one.  

Click on the Book Title or Book Picture
 for more information on the book.

Poirot Investigates. 

A Collection of Poirot Short Stories.

Shelfari Description

These are 11 short stories where M.Poirot and Captain Hastings solve mysteries together.
1. The Adventures of the Western Star
2. The Tragedy at Marsden Manor
3. The Adventure of the Cheap Flat
4. The Mystery of Hunter's Lodge
5. The Million Dollar Bond Robbery
6. The Adventure of the Egyptian Tomb
7. The Jewel Robbery at the Grand Metropolitan
8. The Kidnapped Prime Minister
9. The Disappearance of Mr. Davenheim
10. The Adventure of the Italian Nobelman
11. The Case of the Missing Will

M.Poirot solves the mysteries using his"little grey cells" and Hastings speculates wrongfully.

Cross a movie star,
an archaeologist,
a French maid,
a prime minister,
a wealthy dowager,
and an Italian count
with Hercule Poirot
and you get a collection of the detective's most intriguing criminal puzzles.

My Thoughts

This is the third Poirot book by Agatha Christie.

11 completely different short stories.

Great for lifting and setting down after one story.
Great for that little fix of an Agatha Christie puzzle to be solved during a busy day.

Contains stories that are well crafted and true to the suspense and mystery of her full length Poirot stories.

I really enjoyed this especially as I read it during good weather so left it by the door of the Sunroom and just grabbed it each time I took a little break on the sun lounger in the back garden.

My one question after reading this was simply

"How did she know when to write a short story or a full length novel when the basic idea
for a plot came into her head each time?"

Here is a link to a list of her novels on Shelfari
Books by Agatha Christie


It's God's Love #7

This Sunday Series is all about God's Love.

There will be a simple, short post each week
consisting of a Bible Verse around the topic of
God's Love and I would be very pleased if you
would join me each Sunday.

Without Love we would not be true followers of Jesus

The Love of God 


reach out 

to others

through us.

Love is


Fruit of the Holy Spirit

given by God

for us


live for Him.


10 Great Uses for 1 Simple Household Product - Need Help!

I have found that I don't have a great sense of smell any more which I presume is an advantage at times.

But my husband does have a rather sensitive sense of smell sometimes so I am very gracious and do something that makes him a happier man when he is in certain parts of the house.

Yes I have on a Quick Easy Solution to some little problems.

Little problems that can occur in different rooms in your house.

Little problems that can occur in different places in different rooms in your house.

Hence my title for today's blog post:

10 Great Uses for 1 Simple Household Product 

And the Simple Household Product is

               something that many households will already have

                                 and is not very expensive

                                                     in fact I have a few packets of these all the time in the house.

Simply take one of these sheets and place it in

1.     The Laundry Hamper.

Especially for the smelly socks.

I can balance one on the hinge of mine but a little bit of sellotape can be used to stick a sheet on the underside of the lid or the side of the hamper.

And even the ironing basket if you are going to have your clothes lie here for a few days before ironing.

2.     The Storage place for bed linen

I do this in the underbed drawers in our Guest Bedroom and it is nice to keep that bed linen fresh smelling when you know it may be sitting there for quite some time between guests.

3.     Among the Hangers in the Guest Wardrobe

Even if you only do this a few days before your guests come the wardrobe will be very welcoming as they open its doors.

I wish some hotels would think of this as I often notice their wardrobes smell rather stale which is surprising as they should be used regularly.

4.     The Guest Towel Basket

I always try to get the guest room towels washed and dried and back in the guest room very soon after the guests leave but then it may be some time before they are used again so one of these tumble dryer sheets placed in between the towels just freshens them up for the next guests.

5.     The Guest Room or Bathroom Radiator

We don't keep the heat on all year in the Guest room when it is not being used so when we then turn the radiators on a day or so before our guests arrive it's nice to have the room freshened up this way too.

Of course it can just be an added bonus in the bathroom all the time!

Also placing a sheet in each of these few different places in the guest room is much less expensive than keeping one of these air fresheners on the go.

As these are expensive to buy and to get the refills.

Because I use them regularly for the Guest Room and its ensuite I try to make sure that there is always a box of them in the vanity unit in that ensuite so these are one of the items I would often think of for my Amazon Prime Pantry Orders along with their other clearance items.

6.     Cupboard under the sink

We have a small food recycling bin in the right hand side but even if you don't under the sink cupboard can soon get a little smelly.

Note to self: Getting rather untidy in here again!

7.     The Bathroom Hand Towels Sea Grass Basket

My husband Fred is not fond of the smell that can come from Sea Grass baskets.
We have some of this type of basket in our storage cupboard as well as this Drawer unit in the bathroom so this keeps him happy with the hand towels smelling nice and not of the Sea Grass.

8.     The Kitchen Bin

Obviously this will help especially as the bin fills up.

Our bin has a little groove at the back just under the lid which is handy for this but again a little bit of sellotape can be used to stick a sheet on the underside of the lid.

9.     The Vase of Silk Flowers

Yes I know they do not smell but sometimes it is just a nice idea to get a hint of a fragrance when you are near a flower arrangement or vase even if the flowers are not real.

Just another way of freshening up a living room.

10.     Your Slippers

Everyone in our family says that I have smelly feet but of course they are all wrong.

However I do know that because I wear slippers constantly in the house they can get (a little!!!) smelly and so I keep the rest of the gang happy by making them have a nice smell - for a while anyway!

Or you might want to try this with your boots.

Then of course don't forget there is also the 
Tumbler Dryer

Why not take a walk around the house the next time you are expecting visitors and you might be surprised where you could hide a dryer sheet (somewhere in the small toilet usually springs to mind) and not have to run out for an air freshener, light a scented candle or use one of those horrible can sprays which just make me sneeze.

Now isn't this more like Funwork than Housework?