Joyful Seasons: Gifts, upcycling, nourishing food and a prayer request

Ribbet collageSeasons of Joy

Home made wonders

There is nothing like receiving home made goods.  I really appreciate anything hand or home made, so you can imagine my delight when my Uncle and Auntie turned up with not only home made damson jam from their garden but also real, proper honey made in their cottage garden by their very own bees.  Aaaah, they were gooood:


Gift given

Don’t you just love how God works through us all?  This week has brought many blessings.  We were offered a seven seater car in pristine condition.  A gift from a friend who was buying a new car.  We are unable to afford to run a second car and when we went round to see it were unsure how to turn it down without seeming ungrateful.  God had it all worked out though because on arrival our friend shared with us about a friend of hers who was adopting and had said that if we didn’t want it could they have it?  It was like we were blessing this other couple and it wasn’t even our car to bless with!  So there was no guilt involved just a true happiness.

Then on Tuesday I received an email from Lorna to say if we wanted the inside of her spare wardrobe we could have it.  A strange email to anyone else maybe, but to me it came with so many blessings.  Let me backtrack a little.  Last Friday, as Lorna showed me around her new home there was a really beautiful, very old shelving unit.  I fell in love with it straight away and expressed that if she ever wanted to part with it could I have first refusal.  It turned out the shelving unit wasn’t a shelving unit but the inside of an old wardrobe.


I just love the vintage look of it, which in our very old cottage is perfect.  I just LOVE it!  Thank you Lorna!

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Update on the girl’s bedroom

This has been my main project this week, primarily because of the aforementioned wardrobe (or inside of wardrobe).  I had ideas for us to change it from a shelving unit to a small wardrobe with the addition of a roof and rail.  I shared my ideas with Gary, who is brilliant at making any idea a reality.  He did not disappoint, and whilst it may not be to everyone’s taste (it doesn’t actually have a door….)  I LOVE it!  Really love it.  And the girls are very happy too!

First he put in a rail and next a roof...
First he put in a rail and next a roof… it is before I started filling it
…here it is before I started filling it
The other thing I asked Gary to do is cut up an old pin board we used to have into two smaller ones and attach them to the wardrobe, one at the top for A6  and one at the bottom for B3
The other thing I asked Gary to do is cut up an old pin board we used to have into two smaller ones and attach them to the wardrobe, one at the top for A6 and one at the bottom for B3
On the lhs you can see the pin board, and on the rhs you can see it as I am filling it up with clothes
On the left you can see the pin board, and on the right you can see it as I am filling it up with clothes
On the left is the wardrobe filled and on the right you can see the pinboard at the bottom
On the left is the wardrobe filled and on the right you can see the pinboard at the bottom
I really love how it looks with the rest of the room
I really love how it looks with the rest of the room
Door or no door I am a very happy bunny!
Door or no door I am a very happy bunny!

Next week I intend working on the other side of the room to create an area for our very old, tatty but oh so comfy rocking chair, as well as organise the toys and fill the book shelves with books.

Building a material stash

Another of my projects this week was to sort through all B3’s old clothes.  Any I didn’t think I would use go to the charity shop, each bag earning us £2; otherwise I snip off buttons, zips and fasteners and cut off the seams and so forth to produce a stack of fabric to use for crafting, patch work and the like.  I changed three boxes of clothes into a basket of fabric scraps, a stash of scraps for my girls and four bags of clothes to go to the charity shop:

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Nourishing the Body

Since my operation I have struggled to get back onto the proverbial weight loss band wagon.  Would you believe in the week following the op I put on a stone.  A stone!  And all around my tummy.  I did some research to see if this was normal and it seems it is.  The weight is water retention and it feels yukky!  The last few weeks I have been attempting to inch myself back towards healthy eating, with occasional success.  The main success which I thought I would share today is our lunch time soup.  We eat this most lunch times.  It is made from onion, garlic, celery, carrots (chop small and gently fry), add chicken stock (at least two pints, if not more) and tiny pasta shells and bring to boil.  Whilst bubbling gently chop a large courgette and add to soup once pasta is cooked.  Add around 1 – 11/2 cups of frozen peas and the same of sweetcorn.  Soup is ready once peas have started to float.  You do not want to cook the last three ingredients merely warm through.  Serve large portion with grated cheese on top.  No need for bread as the pasta keeps it filling:

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Prayer Request

I wonder if all my blogging friends would mind praying for me?  I am, as stated, struggling with my weight again and would appreciate prayer to conquer this area of my life once and for all.  And secondly it is February.  Need I say more?  Accept I really thought I had somehow missed feeling the February blooos this year, maybe on account of me sleeping or being in generally better health, but then Thursday happened.  I feel like I am wading through tar.  Every thing feels hard.  My whole body aches.  I know this won’t last.  I know by March I will feel myself again.  But this is horrible.  It’s horrible for me and it’s horrible for my children (although they figured out what was wrong before I did….must have been my yearly threat to send them to school which gave them a clue 🙂 ).  My little C12 bought me a gorgeous little key ring to cheer me up and remind me to keep going, as it was only another three weeks to go and then all would be right once more.  I thank God for an understanding family, but please would you pray?


  1. Hi Claire,
    I know I don’t often leave a message, but I just wanted you to know that I always read your blog and enjoy it very much. I will be praying for you this month.

  2. I love the “new” wardrobe – it looks fine without doors, but if you wanted to cover it you could put up a curtain. It would be a shame to lose the lovely wood though.

    I’ll certainly pray for you – remember that water retention will pass so you’ll probably lose that weight again quite fast! Treat yourself kindly while you’re going through the February blahs though. Slow change sticks around the longest.

  3. Damson jam and honey are great gifts! I like the vintage look, too. Your soup sounds wonderful, but I had to look up courgette. We call them zucchini. I will be praying for you. Have you ever tried going gluten and sugar free?

    1. Thank you for your prayers. I haven’t thought to go gluten or sugar free, although funnily enough I have been reading a book called I Quit Sugar.
      I’ll have to remember to put zucchini in brackets next time!

  4. Claire, I am praying for. May God strengthen and refresh you. Thank you for sharing about your life. I have been encouraged to not grow weary and invest even more in my children.

  5. Love the wardrobe, homemade goodies are the best, and, love the resourcefulness with the clothing ! Soup sounds great too and thanks Phyllis for looking up courgette …..didn’t know what it was either :-).

    Please know that I will be praying for you.



    1. Giggling over the confusion with the courgette, I shall put zucchini in brackets next time! Thank you so much for your prayers. As you know you are in mine.xx

  6. I love the look of the wardrobe and the girls’ room is coming along so nicely. That is quite an impressive lunch too. I’m lucky if I cook that much at dinner time some days. Lunch is never that much effort. I will be praying for you as well.

    1. I have to provided huge meals for my children because otherwise they would be constantly moaning about being hungry. I have never known three teens who eat as much as them!!

  7. The wardrobe looks great – how clever to add a shelf over it and rod for dresses. I’m sorry to hear the February blues have descended once again – my prayers are with you.

  8. I love the look of that wardrobe too! Real local honey is not only delicious blessing but also very healthy as is your soup I’m sure! I’ll be praying for you. Hope you’re feeling up to snuff in no time!

    1. Thank you, Dawn, for your prayers. I don’t ever feel very strong but I do try to train myself to have a good attitude in all things. It definitely gets easier the older I get!

  9. The wardrobe is a great use of the available space. So nice that they have a space of their own now. February is the hardest month isn’t it? The days are getting longer and spring flowers will be here soon. Hope you are feeling better soon.

    1. Thank you Carol. I remember last year someone commented that we should be thankful it is the shortest month of the year! Here’s to short yukky months and the promise of longer more sunshiny ones!

  10. Oh Claire, I pray for you and wish you the very best, too! My children have to go through many tests at their schools from February until May, its an uncomfortable time for us.

  11. Sorry you are not doing so well now. I was hopeful, after our last little e-chat, that things were going better. I am keeping you in my prayers. Hugs and Hugs! Love the wardrobe and the soup looks yummy. We might need that next week. I think winter is returning after our lovely spring week that we have been stuck inside because of illness.

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