This Simple Life

I believed, stupidly, that life would get easier as we age.

This is not the case and no one escapes, in this writers life.

I always wanted to write, that is a given with me, so I blog.

I am not competitive but have learned that button once pushed does not easily switch off. I try to get to the gym  2 or 3 times a week, to offset the bad habits I have i.e. slouching over a computer screen,  and the inherited family traits of heart disease, diabetes, epilepsy and high blood pressure. And have discovered it is addictive, sociable and exhausting but good.

As kids, we were brought up believing it is good to give back, so I volunteer.

I work with Ellie, who being a collie is all about being busy. Working with her led me to find a lab who also likes to work and now she has two sons who live to find anything I care to hide.

I almost forgot, I work not a full week but I work and now help to take care of Dad.

Add that into the mix along with a reluctance to say no and there is an explosion waiting to happen.

So I have decided to cut back but on what?  Housework is the tempting answer to that question, but I am a woman and we are programmed to only ignore the dust for so long.

Yes, this simple life I crave is a dream.

So any suggestions or advice would be gratefully received, mulled over and … tried out for a month or two.

Perhaps I should follow Bob’s example.

 

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4 O’Clock means time for tea

I write this through a pleasant fog of tiredness….

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Photo by Elle Hughes on Pexels.com

It has become a ritual.

At precisely 4 o’clock we have tea.

Tea and toast that is.

Dad suggests it, I fool that I am agree

The trouble with this plan is not plain for him to see

But I know that when he has relaxed and needs no more,

I alone am left to tidy, sweep and get on with my day while he simply starts to snore,

Left feeling that again I have been duped

Because it is 4am  and not 4pm

 

The Question about GDPR

I believed, that the GDPR new regulations are simple. How wrong am I?

After attending a course, we are now shredding our way through every file in the building (at work).

Data is everywhere and we are all affected because we hold onto telephone numbers and email addresses, forever. To that end, I now believe that I should contact everyone on my blog email list and ask for their consent to hold onto their email address.

Why do I want your email address?

To contact you, if and when I get a book published that will be worthy of anyone’s attention. And to alert readers or potential readers/reviewers that it is on sale at €0 or .99cents.  For example:

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So if you do not wish me to contact you about a book offer. Please let me know in the comments box below and I will delete/ wipe/remove your email address from my contact list.IMG_7752

 

On a much brighter note – Bob is fighting on and still swallowing pills but wagging his tail and making the most of life.

Time for pills

Regular visitors to this site will be aware that our champion smiling Norwegian Elkhound, Bob is now approaching 14 years.  As the old man of the house, he had slowed down in the last four months but since Storm Emma and the snow, it became obvious he was not doing well.

A visit to the vet provided some helpful advice and the introduction of pills to his, and our life. Until now he was on omega’s, which he accepted like smarties.

“He won’t like these tablets (cardisure) but you cannot give them to him with food” we were told.

Arriving back home, I sat beside him. With a tablet in hand, I said, “Bob, it would make life easier for you if you could simply eat this.”

A  single slow wag of his tail and in a single gulp the offending tablet was gone. So it continues, he is now on four tablets (as one of the original ones, didn’t agree with him) and eating them like smarties.

The point of this post is Bob still makes us smile by his simple trust in all we ask of him another reason for having a four-legged friend in your house, wouldn’t you agree?

Guest Post. Lieve Snellings, Photographer and Childrens Writer.

I was delighted when Children’s author Lieve Snellings offered to share some tips on photographing nature.

Nothing gives more peace than photographing nature.

 

About 10 years ago I was introduced to the heavenly pleasure of nature photography. I was so charmed seeing all these pretty animals and birds in our Quebec garden. I had seen cats washing, but here I also saw birds, squirrels, groundhogs… doing the same. Observing them was so much fun.

hello fellow nature lovers

I don’t know if these lovely creatures have emotions like humans have, though I could hear them talk. And Margot the woodchuck (above)  started to tell me I had to publish their story, to show small and big kids that all creatures in nature are living beings and that they love to live too.  Of course, Margot wanted to play the first violin in the orchestra, but that was OK. She loved to share the attention with her family and friends.

It was Margot, who told me about Eufrazie the hairdresser and how she created a special hairstyle for every critter, also birds, when some festivity is coming up. It was exciting to see all those birds with this special haircut. I had to photograph them and share this with you all.

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Maybe you are interested in how to photograph birds too. I’m glad to offer you  here 14 easy tips:

  1. If you want to start photographing birds, you do not have to go far. It is best to start in your garden or street or a park or field in your area.
  2. It is important to get to know the behaviour of the birds you want to photograph. Around what time of the day do they show up? On which branch do they usually sit? Do they show up alone or in the company of others?
  3. Use a tripod.
  4. Hide, make use of a shelter, something you’ll not too visible. An old paravan, with an opening to pierce the lens of your camera through can also be a handy thing to hide.
  5. Don’t make sudden movements.
  6. Birds adhere to the same habits, they regularly return to the same place. Choose a spot, prepare your camera and wait until the bird returns to that spot.
  7. Set your camera to a fast shutter speed (S in high number) and the aperture or diaphragm as large as possible (F in small number) – this is to allow as much light as possible to come in and to make the shutter speed as short as possible.
  8. Take your photos in the larger format (highest megapixels) because otherwise, you lose a lot of quality when you make a cut-out afterwards.
  9. Make sure you are dressed warm enough because you may have to sit still for a while.
  10. Pay attention to the foreground and background.
  11. Birds like to fly against the wind direction to keep more control. So when you choose to photograph birds in flight, draw with your camera in the flight direction.
  12. Experiment with different points of view.
  13. Photographing birds is in fact, like top sport. Patience, exercise and perseverance are important.
  14. It is pleasant to have a bird encyclopedia or a bird app on your smartphone or tablet so you can look up which birds you just saw and learn more about them.

I wish you can enjoy as much as I did and do.

If you want to learn more about my work here is the link.   

Or you can follow me on WordPress : https://lievesnellings.wordpress.com/

Social Media links are: https://www.amazon.com/author/snellings-english

http://www.facebook.com/FotoBoekLieveSnellings

 

 

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#Dementia

This one word is putting fear into me. My dad has vascular dementia and we are learning how to deal with another curve ball that life is throwing at us. No one is left unaffected by this horrible condition.

It is odd how often we live in blind ignorance until we are thrust into a situation and then we learn we are only one small unit amongst thousands who are learning how to cope with this condition.

I did not inherit his great intelligence and it is this intelligence that we now see fading behind a mask of sorrow and fear that he is learning to deal with. Dad was never an emotional man, he was always the calm voice of reason. The solid base. Now, this base is quivering under the multitude of questions he and we face.

So I am turning to all readers to ask for tricks and tips on how to lighten his load. His apologies are becoming more frequent, as are some silly incidents, i.e.,

Open the fridge door to discover all of the dinner dishes stacked (unwashed on the shelves).Open the  hot stove / oven door to find items of clothing sitting on the shelf being baked.

 

The washing machine last week was lined in white plastic, which I resorted to hoovering, the flakes to remove them.

Our solutions include:

We have posted notices on doors etc listing the what to do when leaving the house.

There are notices appearing on microwaves, seats, notebooks, computers as we try to make things easier for him to cope.

Remove all evidence of bills paid, as he worries about money which he no longer understands.

Have a series of carers in the house at meal times and as often as we can, we arrive in ones to nudge and coax him into a sense of normality.

So, again I appeal to all who read or notice my strange rambling blog all pieces of advice big and small will be chewed on, thought over and acted upon.

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So why post a picture of a sunflower? To give us all something sunny to look forward to, especially as Bob is asleep, again.

My Favourite things

I should have added and not of a chocolate kind. The reason being there was a time when I was addicted to chocolate.

Back to the topic.  My top five favourite things:

  1. Reading with the company of two foot warmers (Ellie and Bob)
  2. Writing with the encouraging sounds of musical snores from Bob and Ellie
  3. Walking on a beach regardless of the weather. We have even done this as a family on Christmas day or St. Stephens day mainly due to asthmatic son.
  4. An evening out with friends
  5. Receiving a review for a story or a book.

Pretty straightforward and simple, and the weird thing is I believe if I won a huge sum of money, they wouldn’t change.

So what is your top 5?

Have a great Halloween.

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Hanging about in Ireland.

Summer is strange, but often life is stranger.

We tend to walk a lot, (well Ellie and myself – Bob avoids it at all costs.) And during the past few months we came across these items during our travels.

A parish walk confirmed we are indeed in Ireland.

 

Greenhouses are not only for plants!

An iconic item

Bubbles but not of the chocolate kind, unfortunately

So ..I have written a book for kids, what next?

The simple answer would or should be, write another one. And there are five or six books written but not edited sitting in a neat queue somewhere in my desk.

However, I am stuck on the marketing and shouting about the first one.

If I constantly blog about it, – am I seeming too pushy? I dither on this question. But you guys are truthfully the only ones who read my ramblings, and for that I am extremely grateful.  So please let me know if I am pushing it a bit.

Blogging, twittering, FB and G+ are very time-consuming events. Which limits time for other important stuff. The only one in my house who loves to see me head for the computer is – Bob.

He assumes his best-loved position. Sorry there are two:

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Everyone else groans, (including Ellie) as they know I will be superglued to the seat until I have set up x amount of promotional posts.

And lastly for today my promotional push is:

The Runaway Schoolhouse is on Kindle for €0.99 ($0.99) for the next week, in the hope that a few reviews will float or clunk (be thrown) my way.

The purpose of the reviews for me is to help discover the fate of the other books gathering dust in my desk. Do I continue to publish or simply to blog?

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Maria’s Stuff: Mission Statement – Do we have one?

I have been reading a lot about blogging, and have stumbled upon a simple enough statement that makes sense on reading it – Every blog should have a mission statement. It, I am told, will help keep us on track towards our goal. This led me to ask: what is my goal? What is Bob’s goal?

I looked at Bob

Hisilicon K3

and smiled. His goals are simple; eat, sleep and be hugged.

Ellie’s are different, as everyone knows, her life revolves around tennis balls, socks, being busy and…. Bob.

ippellie large with socks in mouth

Which leaves me.  I sat at the keyboard fingers poised struggling to find the elusive mission statement.

Thoughts were flitting through my head working on a treadmill as I struggled with a mission statement.

I started blogging to get me writing, improve my photography skills and have fun. In the past ten years my children have flitted past the ages of 21, so I reasoned, I should have plenty of free time. However, time is being gulped up by many part time volunteering ventures, working part time, dog training for S & R, and all the usual wifely duties. I wonder if I am doing too much flitting and not enough focusing. Trouble is what do I cut out to make time for writing etc? They are all good causes, and worse still – I have fun attempting to do what I can.

So I will start again:  My blog is about finding fun while helping others and writing about it because at the end of the day age is simply a number it doesn’t define us neither should it limit us or stop us exploring this incredible world. Phew! It is a mouthful.

Perhaps I should try again?

Does anyone have a simple mission statement?

Besides Bob!

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