Sunday

It's God's Love #23


On Sundays I write a short post consisting of a Bible Verse around the topic of God's Love and I would be very pleased if you would come and join me each week.










God's Love

and 

the Love of 

Jesus

are one and the same Love

and that

Love

is there for us to rest in. 








I'm thankful

to know that

when we have

the Love of God

we also

have

Joy.


ARE  YOU?



















Wednesday

I Had Plans and So did He! - A Dose of Encouragement


Yes I really had plans.

But the painters changed my plans.





I was going to have a special post today about Christmas Tree Ornaments but seeing as we can't get our tree up yet because of the painting of the house, my plans were ruined.


So I shall tell you about last Friday instead when yet again I had plans; but my plans were changed.
Notice I didn't say ruined this time because how the day turned out was not a ruin.


I may have mentioned before that I would love to have a






but alas even after all my overhauling of the house this year I am still so far from this ideal.


I could blame it on the painters at the moment and that would be a good excuse and a true reason because we had to clear out rooms to other rooms and that just causes more mess and lot's of things end up not even being in their proper rooms let alone being in their right, exact, place.


Anyway back to Friday.

It was Black Friday and when we lived in the US we did not go shopping on that day because of the crowds but of course in Northern Ireland we didn't have Black Friday - until this year.

I saw some things on the internet about shops having special sales over the weekend but did not register the fact that it was related to Black Friday and I just never linked any thought in my head to how that might mean busy, busy, shops and Shopping Centres. 

I had arranged to have coffee with 2 friends from church at 2.30pm in the town where our church is which is 20 mins from our home.  Then on Thursday night I decided that I would also go to a large Shopping Centre on Friday 10 mins further on from the town and get some Christmas Cards (there's another story for you sometime too), a wedding gift, some other little things and also post my Christmas cards that were ready to go to the US and South Korea.  I worked out the timing and knew what time I would have to leave home so that I would have plenty of time to do that and be back to meet my friends for coffee.


So on Friday morning after breakfast, my bible reading, emails, list made out for what I wanted to get, checking my blog post was finished & scheduled for that afternoon and a couple of cups of coffee I was ready to get my handbag and keys and head off.


That was when I couldn't find




(no not my keys)

 my little wallet with my credit card and debit card and store cards in it.



The search began!



I searched upstairs and downstairs and in the last few handbags I had used, then pondered over in my mind the last time I could remember using any of my cards and I couldn't remember.


Not having found it and not remembering anything to help me I prayed that I hadn't lost it outside the house and felt sure that I hadn't. Then I prayed that God would remind me where to look.

No inspiration came, and I have to say that type of inspiration has come often enough in the past, so I just started and searched all the same places again because I knew I must have just overlooked it.



Again no joy.

Now that had taken me quite some time.


I would not now have enough time to do all that I had intended and indeed did not have enough cash to do all of it.







My plans were ruined (well would at least have to be changed).


So I decided I would just go to the Post Office to post my cards and call in at the Bible Book Shop to get more Christmas Cards before that Coffee Date with my friends.


But even that was not going to happen.


As I drove along in the car I heard a message ding in my phone which lay in the front seat beside me.

I don't normally stop for a message but there was a good spot to pull in just a bit ahead so I did just that.

It was a message from a friend who had got some news that bothered her and I could tell she was quite upset and wasn't sure what to do about it.
I messaged back and said where I was and if she was home I could be with her in about 15 mins.
She said yes please and off I drove again.

I really did not have much experience in the matter that was troubling her so I prayed about what to do and suddenly remembered that another friend would know more than me.  This other friend lived on the way and I knew she was probably at home so I called her, explained briefly what had happened, and asked if she would like to come with me.

Give me 5 mins and I'll be ready, was her reply.







Well an hour later when our friend was feeling much better and things had been set in motion to sort out her situation I mentioned about how I had been planning to go to the Shopping Centre earlier but couldn't go because I couldn't find my cards.

The two of them laughed at me and said I wouldn't have wanted to be there because there had been trouble between shoppers because of Black Friday Bargains and the police had been called.

Not only would I have not wanted to be there when there was fighting over products but I would also have hated it being so busy.


So not being able to find my cards had stopped me being there.   

Good Change of Plans I was thinking.


Then I realised that if I had been at the Shopping Centre my phone would have been in my handbag and I would not have heard the message come in (anyone that knows me well will know that sometimes I don't even hear calls coming through).  I would not have known our friend needed help and I wouldn't have been available to take my other friend (who cannot drive at the moment) to help her .


So not being able to find my cards not only kept me from being at the Shopping Centre but meant that I was in the right place at the right time with the car to be of help.


Good Change of Plans I was thinking.


No. Great Change of Plans!


These are the things that may seem like little things, but these are the things that demonstrate how much God cares for each of us.

God cared that our friend was getting news that would upset her.
 He had the whole process in His plan so that she would know she was not on her own and by this I don't mean about us, I mean that God was with her and that He was in control of the situation.









Over an hour and a half later than arranged I was sitting having coffee with my friends.  Were they annoyed?   No, they were very gracious because they knew someone had needed a helping hand.







I really enjoyed that coffee and the scone with strawberry jam, that I probably should not have been eating, as we all laughed about the fact that I didn't know it was Black Friday.



Oh and the cards?

Well I found them on Saturday of course.



Where?

In one of the places I had searched twice on Friday!   Where else?











Sunday

It's God's Love #22


On Sundays I write a short post consisting of a Bible Verse around the topic of God's Love and I would be very pleased if you would come and join me each week.











Everything

to do 

with our lives

is because of 

God's Love.

Faith 

would not have been possible

without

the Love of God.







Thank you God

that you loved us so much

that you sent Jesus

who loved us so much

He died in our place..













Saturday

The Man in the Brown Suit - 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.  









The Man in the Brown Suit. 

1924.  


Shelfari Description

Searching for a bit of adventure to spice up her everyday life, Anne Beddingfield becomes an unlikely sleuth after a diamond heist, a murder, and attempts on her own life that make her the only person capable of solving the crimes.










My Thoughts


This is the 5th Christie Book and the first one without one of her well known sleuths.

By the end of the first chapter you are fully behind the character of Anne Beddingfield and probably think she can do no wrong.
She is adventurous and inquisitive, just like we would wish to be but never get the opportunity or would never have the guts so we are certainly behind her all the way.

Yes all the way to South Africa and what a journey, with twists and turns to the story, secrets that we wouldn't have imagined and of course mustn't forget the Romance or romances?

Numbers, rolls of film and secretaries are part of the mystery and then there are the murders and attempted murders.  There is a lot to find all tangled up in and around the Man in the Brown Suit.

Not one of the best Christie murder mysteries and the characters are perhaps more stereotypes than real. Some events I know I could never imagine happening to me and some are just a bit too convenient but it is a good read and there is one character in this book that Miss Christie will bring back again in at least one later book.









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










Friday

5 Little Touches to make the Bathroom Mine!


When we moved back to Northern Ireland from Belgium in Dec 2010I was so pleased to be moving into a house with a light, spacious, nicely decorated bathroom.








It along with the good kitchen and the large master bedroom with a dressing room were the main attractions to persuade us to forget the previous decision of


"We do not want a house at the top of a hill!"



View of the town from our house at the top of the hill!


The Bathroom really did not need redecorating.


But you are probably like me even if the bathroom is really nice and attractive you don't want to feel like you are in someone else's bathroom; you want to enjoy being in your own bathroom.


So I had




that I added to the room just to put my stamp on it 
and none of them were difficult to do.



1.  Bath Door Sign


Now it is easy enough to tell anyone that the bathroom is the door facing you at the end of the hallway and they shouldn't get lost but isn't it nice just to have a pretty little sign on the door?

I went on ebay (as I love to do) and found some nice door signs and got three to match: one for my bathroom, one for the back toilet and one for my study.






This makes me smile even before I even go into the Bathroom.


This has two uses:  it is a useful bathroom sign for visitors and also a piece of decor for the room.




2.  Bath Pillow


For someone who loves to take a bath and lie there reading a book then a bath pillow is a great addition.

I had a plain white one that I had got a few years ago but it was starting to look like it was not so comfortable as a pillow so I got myself a new one.


One that makes me smile when I go into the bathroom and not just when I'm enjoying my bath.






This has two uses:  it is a useful bathroom accessory and also a piece of decor in the room.


3.  Candle Jar


I would love it if my husband was the very romantic type who loved to light candles around the house but I have to admit he is not and when I do light candles he is usually heard to say


 "don't forget to put that thing out before you leave the room"


I am also not the greatest crafty type person but will sometimes throw things together and that is exactly what I did here.

I had bought a large glass vase/jar thing one time a couple of years before leaving Belgium but had no real idea of what I wanted to do with it but when I saw that bathroom it sprung to mind along with the coloured sand I had bought another time and the kind of wood chips I had bought on yet another occasion. Of course I am always buying candles if they are cheap and as my husband is not the greatest candle lover they usually lie in a cupboard for years so I knew I had a couple of large ones and why not put those things together and have a Candle Jar in the bathroom.





This makes me smile when I'm soaking in the bath even if I have forgotten to light it.


This has two uses:  it is a peaceful nice smelling addition to my relaxing bath and also a piece of decor for the room.





4.  Conch Shell


We went to the Bahamas for our 25th Wedding Anniversary Trip.

It was one of the best trips we have ever had, lots of smiles and laughs and other things which might make their way into a Travel blog post someday or become A Dose of Encouragement post.

While we were there we saw some beautiful Conch Shells and I decided I wanted to bring one home so we packed it very carefully in our beach towels and happily it did not get broken on the journey back.

It sat nicely in our bathroom in Londonderry, Northern Ireland for a few years and then was in our ensuite in Belgium for our time there.

So it was a natural addition to our newest bathroom and there is plenty of space for it on the wash hand basin.





This makes me smile every time I use the wash hand basin in the Bathroom - Happy Memories.


This has two uses:  it is a lovely reminder of an anniversary with my husband and also a piece of decor for the room.





5.  "Believe" Plaque


I love to go into craft shops or little miscellaneous shops and one day I saw this





I couldn't resist it and it was cheap so I bought it and it was only when I got home that I thought about where I was going to put it.  I just couldn't think where it should go and it might have become one of those things that my husband says


 "whatever did you buy that for?"  


after it has been sitting in the kitchen for a long while.


But then one day while I was in the bathroom I realised that the inside of the door was one of the places probably most looked at because of the position of the toilet and the bath and I thought I should put something on it to make it less boring.  And of course the "Believe" Sign popped into my mind and it now has a home.


This makes me smile whatever I am doing in the Bathroom.


This has two uses:  it is a useful bathroom sign for visitors to make them think and not be so bored and also a piece of decor for the room.



So I really did make the Bathroom feel more like MINE because it makes me smile when I enter and I really enjoy my long soaks in the bath surrounded by happy memories and my things.









Now this bit of work for the Bathroom definitely had to be classified as FUNWORK and not HOUSEWORK because none of it was hard to do and I enjoyed the simple decorating and will enjoy the final effect for years to come.




Is there some way you have made your bathroom Yours?

Or perhaps another room?







Wednesday

His Pyjamas on Another Bed! - A Dose of Encouragement


My husband Fred has been travelling more frequently with work in the last few months so a lot of our communication is via email, text messages, Kakaotalk, and Facetime.






I used to hate texting but now with three kids grown up and all living a distance from us I am well used to it even if my fingers seem to so often hit the buttons beside the ones I mean to hit so that I say things like  "I live yoi" instead of "I love you".





With our daughter Linda being in South Korea the rest of us were all introduced to Kakaotalk which is free messaging throughout the world provided you have wifi (Just like WhatsApp).

We message in groups of all of us and pairs of us and trios of us so we just decide who needs to be in the conversation and pick that group.

We can also send pictures and cute clipart things that Kakaotalk provide for us.




I love the sound of a message coming in - it actually goes "Kakao" in a little squeaky voice.


Then of course who couldn't like Facetime where I can prop the iPad up and sit and chat and make faces at the person at the other end of the call.  It is nice to see their faces when they are far away and we don't meet up for months on end.




So of course when Fred is away I am thankful that we can Facetime to have a proper chat but sometimes our time zones are different or when one of us is free the other one isn't so the Kakaotalk using comes into force then.

Well, being the type of people we are in this family there is usually something "random" that occurs or something we find funny or strange or just something that's different to normal and we have to send a picture or when on Facetime we wander round the house or room to show the other person something, angling the iPad as best we can.


This is exactly what happened the other day.


Fred is in Morocco at the moment (yet again) but this time he was in a different hotel to his previous trips.

This is what he showed me on facetime




Yes His Pyjamas on another bed!

Well you might say

 "What do you expect when he's travelling?"

My answer is

"Not him getting interested in some other woman setting his pyjamas out in a fancy way
 on the bed!"

He told me this was the second time it had been done and probably would have been the third but the day before he had thrown his pyjamas in his case so they didn't appear neatly presented on the bed that night.

Well we had a nice laugh about it.

And I said

"You should have taken a picture"

So he did then and there with the iPad.

THEN

This is the picture he sent me yesterday when he had moved to another location so another different hotel.




His comment was

"It must be a Moroccan thing"

"Not quite as fancy as Marrakech, but still!!"


Now let's go back to my thoughts from the first time.

I have to be honest and tell you that the woman responsible for that nice act was not the focus of my thoughts then.


The thing I was honing in on was


"He'd better not expect me to be placing his pyjamas on our bed neatly and artistically 
each day - or even once a week or once a year!"


We actually thought it was a lovely gesture that the cleaners would take the time to place the pyjamas not just folded on the bed but to arrange them neatly and with some thought put into it and in the first instance not only the pyjamas arranged so nicely but the covers on the bed presented differently too.

Obviously I am not as artistic or patient to take the time to do that.


But then later I thought about it again and


NO! I still did not think I was meant to start doing this for Fred


instead I considered this small act of kindness towards my husband and all the other people staying there on business trips

made by ladies who did not know them

ladies who were already busy

ladies working all day


but ladies who made people smile when they walked back into their rooms and saw that someone had just made that little bit of extra effort for them; and I was thankful for them.


"Obviously I am not as artistic or patient to take the time to do that!" she said.


So what kind of small things, that just take a little extra effort from us, can we do to make someone else feel more cared for?


Or what small things have others actually done for us that we can go around not noticing?







I encourage you today to think of some small things you can do each week just to take a little more care in something you normally do but that could just put a smile on someone's face or make them feel more appreciated.


I also encourage you today to notice these types of things when they are done for you and extend a smile and a word of thanks to show that you have appreciated the effort.






Sunday

It's God's Love #21


On Sundays I write a short post consisting of a Bible Verse around the topic of God's Love and I would be very pleased if you would come and join me each week.










When God's Love

is in us

there will be no fear

we will not be gripped

by a force that holds us down

but 

we will be enveloped in 

calm & peace







The  only

Perfect Love

comes from

God.



This is the

Love

that sets us

Free.
















Friday

5 Things To Remember when Spring Cleaning


The painters were coming to paint the Lounge and a few other rooms this month so my overhaul plans for the house were changed and I decided to Spring Clean the Lounge even though it is not Spring time.


When we were working on the Lounge I thought about 5 things not to forget for next year  PLUS  a Bonus Tip.








All of these of course could refer to practically any room in the house but because I was working on the Lounge my examples are based there.









1.  Furniture Pads

When you buy a new piece of furniture you should fit felt pads to the furniture feet or legs;  especially if you have wooden floors..

If you haven't got ones fitted then do this while you are Spring Cleaning.

If you have fitted them then check each time you are Spring Cleaning to see if any need replaced or any have come off and put new ones on.
In this case the pads had been on since we bought the Nesting tables 10 years ago and were still doing fine BUT note they always catch all the hairs and fluff so need to be hoovered well regularly too (see pic on right & this was after I had pulled off some of the hairs) .




The best thing to do is to buy more pads than you need to start with so that if one gets dislodged or has worn very thin and needs replaced then you have one of the same type and thickness to put on because you do not want to end up with a difference in those chair legs  -  no wobbling.

New suite - Furniture pads were added




2.  Scratches and Scrapes

No matter how careful we are the longer we have an item the more scratches and scrapes will appear on it.

When you see them during your very detailed Spring cleaning either write down a note about each of them or take a picture of them.




This is to remind you later what you have to go back to touch up and what colour it is because at the time you find the scratch you probably will not have the right product to do the touch up.

You know you will forget about this later when you are not seeing it each day.

I have to get black scratch touch up colour for the bottom of our Clavinova (electric piano) and a dark reddish brown for the piano stool.




3.  The Grooves in Furniture

I love to damp dust rather than ordinary dusting because it doesn't just displace the dust (and annoy my nose).

But even with that some items with grooves and ridges still hold that dust unless we take that extra bit of effort.

I have two items like this in my lounge - The Roll Top Desk and the Clavinova.




They don't look bad from these angles.
(Also reminds me of the fact that we need to remember to dust all sides and backs of items - you never know know who will have a different view of your furniture etc. depending on where they are sitting or standing in the room).

We even think they are dusted ok because we went along each one with the cloth but later sitting to the side of them the dust can still be rather noticeable.






The only solution for me is to get a small thin brush, put a furniture cleaning wipe over the bristles and use this in between the ridges.





I use a wipe and not the cloth as the cloth is just that bit thicker and then the brush doesn't seem to get right in to the depth of the grooves.





See the difference even after just a few grooves are cleaned with the wipe on the brush.




4.  Vertical Blinds and Roller Blinds

We tend to remember to take down the curtains and get them cleaned but quite often we just dust over the blinds.

Not always good enough because if we let them go too long they can be really hard to get cleaned and I know all about that from when I moved into this house 4 years ago.

This time I saw two parts of the blinds that needed my attention, one on the left of the window and one on the right.




So out comes one of my favourite gadgets talked about in a previous blog post  


Yes my Steamer and this is the result even looking in closer.






5.  Candle Wax.

More and more we are all bringing candles into various rooms and setting them in different places.

The more candles we burn the more chance of candle wax dripping and staining items and if this goes unnoticed for too long we just may not be able to get rid of the marks.





As you can see I have marks on the logs in my grate but I don't mind that too much.
In front of the grate in plain view I had no drips and if I had they would have been noticed and cleaned up shortly afterwards but we had never checked in under the grate until now and that could have meant the Sandstone fireplace being stained and I may have had great difficulty getting rid of that but fortunately the wax had only dripped on the logs.

Oh does anyone know how to get candle wax off logs - in case I do decide to try it?



Well that covers my 5 Things to Remember when Spring Cleaning.




And I haven't forgotten


 The Bonus Tip. 



DON'T FORGET  -  The Things Dropped Down between Seats of the Sofa

We don't see them but they are there or rather they may even be on the floor under the sofa which you haven't moved for months.





Yes folks we lost the remote control of our DVD player in the lounge.

It was a DVD player which did not have all the necessary buttons on the player itself so it really needed the remote to be suitable for our family who are lazy when we sit down to watch dvds together.
No doubt you can guess what had happened after several months - because we watch a lot of dvds.


Yes we went out and 
bought 
another DVD player


Then this month we sell our suite and there is the remote control lying on the floor where the sofa had been.