Thursday, 24 May 2012

Singing again!

Thirty or so years ago my late husband and I, with a friend called Joey, used to play guitar and sing for our prayer group (Which later became a house church), and for monthly meetings of the Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship International and other Christian meetings. The 'band'  broke up when I went to teacher training college and Joey joined British Youth for Christ. When I began to teach in Primary Schools, my singing and guitar playing was channelled into music lessons with the kiddies - what fun we had we had with '5 little speckled frogs' and the like! After several years a music specialist was brought into school so I stopped playing and singing.

Now that my life has changed so much, and I seek new directions, I find I am yearning to play and sing again, so I have begun to pick up my beautiful guitar and practise again. My hands had not forgotten where to place themselves, although my fingers creaked a bit with chords like B7! My finger ends, though a little sore, are beginning to harden again as I play the old songs. Oh what joy to greet those old friends! (Even if I have to change the key down a bit sometimes!!) 

Anyway, I thought I'd share with you a song I wrote way back in 1983. Bear in mind that I am rather rusty and have never made a video on my laptop before!

Here are the words:

All for you

You have come into my life.
My Jesus,
You have taken all the strife.
You are changing me, and making me
Into your likeness true.
My Jesus
It's all for you.

You have come into my heart.
My Jesus,
Giving me a brand new start.
You are changing me, transforming me
Creating me anew.
My Jesus
It's all for you.

You have made a promise true.
My Jesus,
That one day I'll be with you.
By your spirit free, complete in me
The work begun by you.
Lord Jesus,
My Jesus,
It's all for you.

I don't think Graham Kendrick needs to worry yet.....  ;-)

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Green deodorant update

Well, I promised you an update after a week and.........IT WORKS!!! I can't believe it but it really does work!  (In case you didn't catch the original post, here's the link...)

I mixed one spoonful of bicarbonate of soda (baking soda in USA) with 6 spoonfuls of cornflour (cornstarch in USA) in a little container which I keep in the bathroom. Each morning, when I've done my usual ablutions, I dampen my underarms then use my still damp fingers to pat the powder on till it feels dry. I do this leaning over the sink in case I spill any. It doesn't mark my clothes and it keeps me fresh and dry all day. It even worked when I did my exercise class - the rest of me got hot and sweaty (as it should if it's doing me any good) but there was no smell and no pit stains! (sorry if I'm being gross here) AMAZING!!!

And, of course, as well as needing no throwaway plastic container it is so cheap to buy. I reckon the amount I mixed will probably last a month or so, easily; and there's loads left in the packets I bought. Wow!

Sorry if I'm sounding a bit evangelical about all this but I can't believe how well it worked.  To think of all the money I spent on useless chemical formulas in planet polluting packaging.... (Ooh, good bit of alliteration there.)  Bet this is something the cosmetics companies want to keep veeerrrry quiet!   ;-)

Friday, 11 May 2012

Homemade nightie

I needed a new nightdress: my old one was developing holes where it had worn thin on the back. Remembering the works of art some girls created for needlework CSE at my school in the 1970s,  I wanted to make one myself, a long, old fashioned nightie, but hand sewing it. I found a pattern for beginners:

Now what fabric should I use? Cotton was recommended by the pattern envelope but I wanted something a bit warmer. Fleece was too warm, so I went for a kind of jersey fabric. As usual I bought everything from my local haberdashery, The Fent Shop. Oh how I love the Fent Shop!!! It's an Aladdin's cave of fabrics, threads, wool, curtains, embroidery supplies, buttons, ribbons, and hundreds of other things too. I can spend hours there just looking at it all! Best of all it's run in the old-fashioned way, with assistants who know what they're talking about, who add up how much you've spent by writing the sum on the brown paper bag your goods are packed in.

Anyway, back to the nightie....there were two kinds of fabric which seemed warm enough: one was blue with sheep on, but the one I chose was creamy with chickens on it! It was not an easy fabric to cut out or sew because it was so stretchy, but I persevered. I adapted the pattern, choosing to make the sleeves with cuffs on the end instead of elastic, and accentuating the buttonholes and some other bits with contrasting red thread which matched the chickens' red combs.

Soooooooooooo are you ready for this??? Ta da!!!!

I LOVE IT!!!!  It's just the right length and is so warm and cosy.

 I intended to use 4 bright red buttons but only had one, so Daughter and I searched my button box and chose some favourites. These were intended to be temporary, till I had chance to pop into town again but I decided I rather liked the eccentricity of 4 different buttons  ;-)

You won't find anyone else wearing a nightie covered in chickens with 4 different buttons, that's for sure!! Hee hee!!

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Some Piccies for May

After weeks of almost constant rain we've finally had some sunny times - between showers. Took the camera out yesterday in the back garden and thought I'd share the piccies with you.
Bluebells - the very epitome of England in May.

The gooseberry bush is showing signs of the beginnings of berries forming - an amazing feat since Bramble (my cat) keeps catching the Bumble bees that visit here.
Solomon's Seal. Look how the raindrops stay on the leaves, making little beads. I am always astonished at how fast this plant grows each year! Some years it gets completely eaten by grey caterpillars from an insect which only feeds on Solomon's Seal.
Jack-by-the-hedge (or Jack-by-the-compost-bin!), a wild flower which has decided to make it's home here.
Beautiful, beautiful apple blossom from the Jonagold tree I planted this year. Will they make apples this first time? No idea - we'll have to wait and see. The label said it 'probably' doesn't need another tree nearby to pollinate - probably??!!
The onion sets have shot up this last week.
The 'darling buds of May'. Hopefully they'll open out this week, as the nearby hedgerow ones have.
White dead nettles and stinging nettles. I allow some to grow for the butterflies but have to be careful not to let them overtake the garden.
Unfurling fiddle heads of Ferns - now there's poetic!
And finally some pics of the beautiful animals whose lives I am privileged to share. This is Bramble, probably looking for more Bumble bees to catch!
Luna, Bramble's sister, investigates the pond.
Can you see who's hiding here?
Yes, it's Flopsy the bunny!

Hope you enjoyed my May photo album! Blessings  x x

Sunday, 6 May 2012

'Green' deodorant


Well, that's not quite true. Plastic is a wonderful material in itself; lightweight, strong and colourful BUT (and it's a huge, mega-sized 'but', bigger even than mine, and that's saying something!) it takes hundreds of years to break down and, not being a natural product, never actually decomposes. It also requires oil to make it, which we're rapidly running out of. (Have a look at Soul Soup Sister's blog post about where a lot of plastic ends up.) So I am trying to avoid buying products in plastic containers - for example, I buy rice pudding and custard in tins, which can easily be recycled.

One product which always comes in plastic containers is anti-perspirant/deodorant. (Except spray cans, but they can't be recycled either.) On the recommendation of another blog friend, Ember, I tried a Lush dry deodorant bar. Lush cut down the need for packaging by taking the water out of things like shampoo and deodorant, and try to use natural ingredients. I have to say that this is the MOST EFFECTIVE deodorant I've ever used. I love the zingy smell too! It takes a change of routine to use it since it is neither a roll on or a spray but a bar. I found it quickly broke into pieces so I keep it in a little lidded pot. To use it I wet my fingers and scoop up some of the powder (you only need a very little) to make a kind of paste, then apply to my underarms. It has never marked my clothes and keeps me fresh all day, unlike my old roll ons which used to give a sour smell by the end of the day.

However, I have now run out. My nearest Lush store is 40 miles away. I can order online, as I did last time, and Lush are committed to recyclable and biodegradable packaging, but it still seems a waste to send it all that way.  I looked up the ingredients in the Lush bar and the main active ingredient seems to be bicarbonate of soda, with most of the rest of it being a combination of essential oils to make it smell nice. Sooooo I have come across what looks like a good recipe for homemade deodorant. When I've tried it for a week or so I'll let you know how I've got on!