Crafting for Fun

As a creative person, I love different crafts. I can also see that my son does too, with the varied creations he brings home from nursery. He uses many different techniques, taught him by a lady there. She is impressed with what he can do, as are the ladies where we go to paint ceramics.

One of the other things I notice about Johnathan is that he has no troubles with fear about the level of his skill in the crafts that he does with her. He just gets on with it and gives it a try. And is very happy to bring home what he creates. I love looking at what he has done and enjoy the pleasure he takes in what he creates.

Sometimes, I feel that we need to take creative acts, like crafts, and do them with the awe and wonder of a child.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I find myself caught up in the fear of it not looking good enough. That people won’t like it and not liking me because of it. That I haven’t spent enough money on it. It doesn’t look professional.

But on the other hand, I want to learn new crafts.

And really, nobody is perfect when they start something new! It takes time and practice and failure and learning something from each experiment you do. So why do I put such pressure on myself? There’s no reason to and I shouldn’t.

The other thing with crafts is they can take up room or take time to do and sometimes need time to dry or stick together or something. We need to learn to stop the excuses and allow ourselves to use the time we have available to create things as an integral part of our self-care.

lifestyle, love

Cooking: Rediscovering my Passions

A few weeks ago, I rediscovered an old passion of mine, cooking, by making the decision that I needed to make a dramatic change and come off dairy and gluten products to help myself after a really bad weekend of reflux.

And yes, my decision was a drastic one.

But I had been to the hospital 3 times in 4 days over my reflux because it was so terrible. I have read in quite a few places that going dairy free would help reflux and I knew that I needed to do this.

Display of vegetables and flowers with the text "Rediscovering My Passion for Cooking"

Now for me, there were a few factors involved in making this decision. As a family, we have all been eating separate meals and Kevin has been the one to take care of it. This has meant they have generally been ready meals, which I knew were more expensive and less healthy than cooking from scratch but didn’t have the energy to do anything about it.

Getting my energy back

My energy has been very low for quite a long time. Have you ever had your iron levels go down low – I mean really low? Low to the point of almost needing a transfusion? My blood levels go up and down and were that low before the end of last year. You don’t just feel tired, you feel a total exhaustion that goes beyond everything and right down into your very bones.

I don’t know if my levels have ever gone that low before but they certainly were that low just before Christmas. So last year I started taking iron tablets to help myself and it has taken until now for my energy to begin to build up. My levels have reached 48, which is nearly half of where they should be – 100. And although I was beginning to feel a bit better, I certainly didn’t feel that my energy was back to normal, especially as I have been having terrible trouble with my asthma playing up.

Johnathan’s Gluten Intolerance

Talking of things playing up, poor Johnathan didn’t have normal toilets until last year when we took him off gluten. We had read that children on the autistic spectrum sometimes need to be gluten free and when we did so his toilets were normal within 3 days so I knew he needed to remain gluten free. This meant if we were going to all have the same meals (when I had the energy to cook), I needed to make sure they were gluten free.

So my decision was easy.

If I was doing one change already, I may as well do the two of them at once and go gluten and dairy free. Obviously, I don’t want Kevin to be eating meals that are always both so other than the evening meal everything else he eats is normal food.

You must be thinking that I was never going to get to the cooking – my new passion.

Well, here we are at last!

I have been rediscovering the joy I had in cooking and baking now that I had when I was a child. And I have learned in these last few weeks I actually enjoy experimenting. All these years of watching Masterchef have finally paid off. I am doing it this time with a base of knowledge so know what things are likely to work.

After one day of being gluten free not only did my reflux feel much better but that ghastly exhaustion did too!

Do you know what I love best about cooking?

Well, not the clearing and cleaning and tidying up. That’s the annoying part of it. For me, there is nothing greater than being able to put a smile on someone’s face whether it is because of the writing, cooking or creating. There needs to be an acknowledgment of the fact they are happy and that I have brought a touching moment of joy into their lives.

I want the meal I provide for them to be the best I can produce and one that is memorable for them. No, I don’t want to enter any competitions (I don’t compete well, I end up with decision paralysis), but I do want to make the best meal I can for those that I love.

Experimenting is what I love to do. Following the rules to the letter so that you take the joy and satisfaction from them, no. To be truly creative, you have to be free to do what you like, but use the principles involved so that the product you produce is the best you can do. They are not there to hold you down but to give you wings to fly off and recreate something using them and paying homage to them but allowing yourself the decisions that make the dish special.

My rediscovered passion is experimental cooking.

I am thoroughly enjoying my new role and the energy I have again.

Yes, I do get tired. But it’s at the end of the day when everybody gets tired. I don’t have that awful tiredness overcome me every afternoon anymore. And my reflux is generally much better. And I am cooking good food for my family again

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Peaceful Purple

Peace comes at a price, don’t you think?  I mean it involves not only your imagination but your spiritual, physical, mental and emotional well being.  In fact, it filters to every part of your life.

Today I wasn’t being particularly peaceful.  I couldn’t understand what was happening in my body.  The last few days have been brilliant for me, and I knew I wasn’t falling into a full-blown flare-up of my fibromyalgia.  Now I am well aware that fibromyalgia encompasses the mind as well as the body.  But that didn’t quite seem to fit.  Or maybe it was the weather, which was rainy and could have accounted for it.

Anyway, after discussing with Kevin what could be wrong, he asked me one simple question – Did you take your tablets this morning?  I immediately said yes of course but then I suddenly remembered that actually, I hadn’t.  The morning had started off unusually with Johnathan waking just after 6 am.  So we had to get up and start getting ourselves ready for the day and with the change in routine I just hadn’t remembered.

Today’s Difference

Now a few months/years ago I would have beaten myself up for it mentally.  I would have put the blame firmly on my shoulders and told myself horrible and nasty things.  Now if you want to have peace in your life, this is not the way to get it.

I knew that if I wanted to have peace today, I would have to stop the self-blaming and condemnation because that doesn’t get you anywhere.  Today is the day where I normally write the blog post I have in mind.  I had tried 3 different ways of talking about peace without success.

The fact is that when you are in pain and your head feels mushy there is no way you can function at a peaceful level – the only thing you can do is try to mitigate the pain.  Every disabled person has their tried and tested methods to help themselves, but nothing worked for me this morning.

My body is still trying to recover but it is now peaceful in every way while I allow my tablets to do their job and get me out of the pain I had inadvertently put on myself.  My mind, soul, body, and emotions are all returning to their usual states and the fact I know the pain will die down is a tremendous and peaceful blessing.

Different Causes of Peacelessness

But it doesn’t have to be pain that causes you a problem and it’s incredibly difficult to find that peace.  There could be other things that cause you to lose your peace.  Peace is a wonderful gift and without it, you seem to be unable to function.

Do you want peace in your life?  What is out of whack in your life?  It doesn’t have to be just one thing that is causing the problem and making you lose your peace.  There can be one or more.  

Fortunately for me today, there was only overriding fact that was causing my difficulty.  And now that I have taken my tablets, I feel so much better both mentally and emotionally and am calmly waiting for my body to return to where it should be.

Having said all that, peace is something to acquire both in sickness and in health.  Looking at what the problem is and fixing it if you can or knowing a plan of action for dealing with it will help bring peace back into your life.

So how are you going to bring peace back into your life again?


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Do you control it OR does it control you?

Does it control you OR do you control it?

Does it control you or do you control it. Interesting statement. I cannot take credit for the blogpost – it came from a friend of mine who has known me for over 20 years.

Instantly in my mind came a graphic picture of two elements warring against each other, both determined to win but the victory undecided. In fact, it’s the one above this post here. So we chatted about it and I was saying I was going to create it and here it is!

You see, it doesn’t refer to a particular situation or circumstance, it can apply to anything. However, if you took this and used this to make people do just as you wanted, then that would be an inappropriate usage of the power that is within that statement. Control of one human being over another is wrong, no matter WHAT the circumstances.

Pondering is quite illuminating sometimes and I started to ponder on this. How would I be if I chose this in every situation in my life? How would this then impact my family? You see, we are all linked together and could never live on an island alone, without help, without food or without clothing and without drink?

But I am talking of my immediate family. I am going to be shaking the way we live and yes, it involves a number of changes. I know it won’t be easy, but we can get through it together as a family and yes, that’s important because Johnathan is moving up in life and some things need to change now that he is coming up to school age.

But then I thought what do I need to do for myself? I have been talking about self-care but relating that to just being a mindless person watching endless tv…so far removed from what it ACTUALLY is.

Has it got to the stage of controlling me? Not quite yet and it won’t! Sometimes you just need a little push to realise who you are and what you are intended to do on this earth. Your purpose for living hasn’t expired yet – if it had, you wouldn’t be here yourself!

I’ve had some knocks in the last couple of months, but that’s ok. It doesn’t matter if you need to take time to recover from things or the shock of them. Get yourselves out there again like me and go get those goals!

I heard or read a story (I can’t remember where) that a stonemason was sitting by the side of the road hitting a rock. A child was observing each thwack of the tools as the stonemason continued his work. Finally, he said to the stonemason “which thwack of the hammer breaks the stone you are working on?” The stonemason replied that it wasn’t the first one or the last one, or all the ones in between. It was all of them TOGETHER that created the crack which split the stone.” So don’t forget the little steps that got you to where you are.

So my question to you is…..Does it control you or do you control it?


Control, control who has control?
Is it me or is it you?
Life continues as it is
Or changes as it goes.

All the different things in life
Control can be unusual
You didn’t think it mattered
But you did not have control.

There are so many things in life
Where you think you have control
But do you know what happens
When it controls your mind.

Today I want what’s best for you
And give your life some freedom
What you believe will change your life
If only you will live it.