Don’t panic Mr Mannering!

Don’t panic Mr Mannering!

Ho Ho Ho!
Thanks for popping in. 
Are you all set for Christmas?
Tree all lit up and lovely?
Made all your cards?
Sent them all?
Bought all your presents?
Wrapped them and put them under the tree?
Sent gifts and cards to friends abroad in good time?
Well hoo blimmin ray!
I can add a big fat NOPE to every one of those.
Here in Barbieland, things aren’t going quite as planned.
What happened to the week in between last week and this one??
One minute I was on top of everything – the next I’m miles behind the rest of the world in the relentless march up to the 25th.
Or the 24th in our case, because we celebrate Christmas in the evening, German stylie. 
But here’s where I’m at.
It will all get done, or it won’t.
Either way, it is fine.
The kids are coming home on Sunday.
Mum and Dad are coming over for the duration.
We have beds for everyone.
And let’s look at what we HAVE done:
Christmas Star on kitchen wall (Dave)
ordered a turkey (Dave)
bought Dad’s socks (me)
bought Dave’s new guitar (Dave)
Well, there you go!
Every year we put ourselves into spin cycle.
Every year we come out the other side.
So I for one am just going with the flow 
and doing the best I can given the time I have.  
They say you can tell a lot about a person 
by the way they tackle the tangled Christmas lights.
This is what happened last year when I was left to unravel them:

As I was saying, easy.
Must dash.
Love & hugs,

91 thoughts on “Don’t panic Mr Mannering!

  1. Good morning to you Barbara! If Grace and Mark are home on Sunday they could do the tree for you…And there is still time to get things done….As for cards I bet if you looked you have lots of artwork knocking about that could be made into cards quite quickly!

    Or not !
    Does it all really matter as long as you have the ones you love around you and are all healthy and warm and comfortable! Isn't that what is more important than anything else!
    Enjoy your day.
    Love and hugs xxxx

  2. What gets done, gets done, what doen't, doesn't. No good worrying about it, I'm sure you'll be fine. A while to go yet, just prioritise the important stuff, you, family and close friends. Love and hugs Pam xx

  3. Good morning, I only have the food to worry about now . Attending my cousins funeral tomorrow so kind of puts it all into perspective… I like your go with the flow idea after all family are the most important thing about Christmas . Have the best of fun with your family x

  4. Morning Barbara, hate to admit but all done here just food shopping to buy. There is only hubby and I along with our two fur babies (cats) but we are going away for New Year. Have a wonderful day and hop you get caught up real soon.
    Linda xxx

  5. You sound just like me, still to do the tree, the present shopping, finish the cards, the cleaning, the wrapping….. think I will stop the list there as otherwise it could get overwhelming!! I really don't know where the time goes as I seem to have been working on Christmas stuff for ages! Ah well it will be what it is!

  6. Morning Barbara what's important is your all together it will all come together grace and mark will love helping your life is hectic enough have a enjoyable day today helping hugs coming your way xxx

    1. Morning dear blog friends thinking of you all sending lots of heartfelt hugs your way .
      I'm going to finish of a card I started on Sunday after Paul's show thank you Paul for the inspiration.then if I can finish the two tag labels with colour that you did on your hochanda show and blog the other day but no rush for them .
      Dorathy a special wee hug missing you here xxx

    2. Hi lovely Sheila, glad you are enjoying your crafting, I've just got the grandchildrens cards to do now and a few more groovy boxes craftwise, hopefully by the weekend I'll be done. Love and hugs,Pam xx

    3. A wee extra special hug back my wee Sheila your in my thoughts always God bless you my friend and wish you a pain free 2017 so that you will always be here with your posts and beautiful challenge art that I know will just keep you going God bless..Love..Dot..xx

  7. Your Christmas preparations sound like mine except I don't have a business to run!! It will be alright on the night/day!!! Everyone will chuckle and say it's the best Christmas ever!! Why do we put ourselves through purgatory to be perfect?! Time to time a deep breath!xx

  8. I'm all sorted – for a change! Lol. Whatever happens (or doesn't) so long as everyone is present and correct and happy and healthy that's all that really matters. I am sure there will be plenty of laughs and frivolity in the Gray/Roe household. Chill and enjoy it all. Xxx

  9. Barbara, you are in a better state than me. I was so organised, all my cards made back in August (I thought, now frantically making another 40 because I forgot a whole load of friends and I cannot count), presents half made in September. Right now, panic is slowing me down because it is not allowing me to think straight and organise myself. Deep breath and RELAX – far better frame of mind. As long as I get the basics done, the housework can go hang, my cards can provide the decorations together with my ready decorated fibre optic tree and my cross stitched ready made trees for the mantlepiece (12 Days of Christmas in tiny cross stitched hearts all mounted on two matched tree shapes made by Geoff years ago). It is people, family and good friends, that make this time special, not things. Today, I have two hour long coffee and relax breaks built into the day to watch our Maria on Hochanda. OK, off now to write a quick letter to go with some of the cards – cheating here as mainly computer printed with a short personal message handwritten at the end of each. Your Christmas decorations will be provided by the smiling faces of your lovely family enjoying the precious gift of time spent together xxx Maggie

  10. Hi Barbara. How right you are. We women put so much pressure on ourselves to make everything "perfect", when really all that matters is to spend time with those we love and enjoy being together (and the odd chocolate of course!) Our daughter is with us for Xmas and we are having a very laid back day. Pyjama bottoms and Xmas jumpers is the dress code. Lunch is a selection of cheeses and cold meats etc, followed by an afternoon of board games. I can't wait!!! I'm sure having Grace and Mark with you will make your Christmas everything you could want and everything else will work itself out. Hope you all have a wonderful time.
    love Gayle x

  11. Well for goodness sake you're running a business, and you are not superwoman, no one is. Go online, order as many pressies as you can. Buy some beautiful luxury cards, just explain that you had no time to handmake them this year. Who wouldn't understand. Try and find out if there's a craft fair coming up locally, you could get fabulous handmade goodies there. There is still the whole of next week. And get Mum, Grace and Mark involved too. DELEGATE. But, as you say, it's not the end of the world if it doesn't get done. The most important thing is all being together xx

  12. I have read your blog for a while but this is my first post. I have just laughed out loud on a very busy train. You are an amazing woman and a true inspiration to me (and no doubt many others). Your TV demos with chest instructions and great advice are the reason I have just started stamping so then you so much for all your hard work. Have a wonderful festive time with your family.

  13. Lol….you are not alone. Not started yet. Well tree put up, lights untangled fairly easy, was quite chuffed at that ( did have a bin handy just in case ) as for shopping….brain dead.
    Still got lots of cards to make, doesn't help with hubby giving me suggestions on what to do. (mo Jo left me about two months ago). But as you say we will get there in the end. I won't be seeing my daughters this year but I will have my grandson and son, unfortunately people still go out to eat on Xmas day so hubby won't get home till about 8pm ( he only works next door) but you get used to it.
    Oh well better get on. Enjoy your family getting together. And yes a whole week has disappeared!!!
    Love to all xxx

  14. Ah, so you've been afflicted by the missing week syndrome too then!!! Diane said not to worry she's looking for it for us!!! And NOPE to all for me too! And me too resigned myself to what doesn't get done, in terms of gifts, can be sent to brighten up January which folk seem to find a harder month than others. That's my way of resolving my guilt!

    I remember you cutting up your lights, thought it was 2 years ago though. Maybe that's where our missing week is hiding!!! Me, I sat on the floor, gently and carefully unravelling and getting the kinks out of my fairylights. That type of thing is actually something I enjoy! Got my fairylights taped to my mantlepiece in my bedroom and put them on at night when sitting in bed instead of the lamp.

    Hope you manage to get the important things ticked off in time.

    Love Brenda xx

    This being Mindfulness Wednesday, and I hope you don't mind me talking about something totally different. My heart lifted during the night when I heard there was a ceasefire in Aleppo, then fell hard a few hours later when I heard the bombing had started again and the buses and ambulances sent to rescue people had returned to depots empty. RAKS just don't do it any more. Avoiding the news doesn't work, that just makes me feel even more guilty, guilty that we, their fellow human beings are ignoring their situation and pleas for help. There but for the grace of God go I! How many more innocent men, women and children have to die needlessly before the world leaders with the authority do something.

    I've had a wee idea. Please don't shout at me Barbara! I know you are really busy, but this will only take a couple of minutes of your precious time, and I know what is going on in Aleppo is in your heart too. If you are up for it, and think it an ok thing for us to do. I was wondering, how about you write a wee plea from the heart, post it here and on your facebook pages and ask EVERYONE who reads it to comment, agreeing with it, and pleading the world leaders to do something, now, on our behalf. Then email them to Westminster, White House, German Government etc. You would know how to write something appropriately, and you reach masses of folk round the world with your blog and Facebook pages. What do you think? Probably a really stupid thing to suggest, and when you are so busy too, but I needed to try something and this is all I could think off. Those poor people need a Christmas too, need to live to see Christmas, and a chance to try to rebuild their lives next year. Sorry

    1. Or maybe that's not appropriate for you, or here. Us with autistic brains have that stuff missing, so I have no idea about it all. Good way to live, but definitely not when trying to live in the normal world, a proper minefield for us the whole time! Sorry, maybe shouldn't have said my suggestion, just ignore that part everyone please xx

    2. Glad everyone is excited, happy, frantic for the Christmas and New Year time to come spent with loved one's. I'm sure they will appreciate all your efforts xx

    3. Dear Brenda I'm watching the news, it's so sad isn't it. I'm still hunting high and low for that week, not down the back of the sofa or under the sink! Sending hugs to you and Daisy xxx

    4. My dear caring friend do not be sorry or worried about your post my heart to is going out to these poor people and yes my friend there but for the grace of God go I you and all of us bless them and you Brenda…all my love..and a cuddle ..Dot..xx

  15. You are right not to stress Barbara as spending Christmas together with Mark and Grace and your Mum and Dad is the most important thing, and everything normally falls into place, and getting all het up doesn't help in the slightest. x

  16. I agree what gets done, gets done and what doesn't, doesn"t! I too am wondering where a week has gone.
    Received my calendar this morning – what a distraction! Must get on.
    Merry Christmas All

  17. Ha ha, Barb – your novel way of untangling the Christmas lights made me laugh 🙂
    You're right, though – it will all get done one way or another & panicking just makes things worse…just go with the flow & don't panic (well, maybe just a little bit).

    Enjoy Christmas with your loved ones (say Hi to Grace for me) & have a lovely new year, too,
    lots of love,

    Liz M xxx

  18. Big Fat NOPES to all of those from me too! Still writing cards, no decorations (ooh, I lie – one poinsettia in the downstairs loo). Still waiting on a few deliveries, but certain I've forgotten someone. Refuse to panic (yikes). We'll all get there as we always do. Thanks for the reminder.
    Tonbridge Sue

  19. Oh Barbara, when I read your blog it echoes my thoughts but ……….. I'm not running a company like you are! Where does my time go? Playing with stamps, groovi plates, stencils etc, need I add more? Our prodigal nephew returns from SF on Monday, then it will get busier! Thanks for the laugh!

  20. An easy Christmas here! Both unwell so we keep it very simple. Cards all done and posted today! Abroad ones done last week, yay! Your attitude is cool, better than getting stressed – that takes the fun out of it! xxx

  21. I retired this year and kids flew over at the weekend for our 'Xmas' so for a chAnge all ready and nothing to do, cant believe it. Just a few local cards to push through letterboxes and a coup,e of bits of Jewellery to finish. Snuggling up,in sofa watching Xmas films.

  22. ooooo….I love unravelling light leads – I'm loving your solution. I just like untangling things generally. Just finished the last cards for posting today – first time ever though!
    It must be awful to be a famous card maker at this time of year – I bet people are always expecting one of your masterpieces!
    Happy Christmas to you and Dave, enjoy the family – that's me done now until the new year (PS, how's my little pal Romeo these days?)

  23. No lights to untangle thanks to a fibre optic tree but it's not yet up! Still got some cards to make, posted rest yesterday and hand delivered a few today on way to food shop. Presents are still to wrap, house to clean oh and need to buy a few more presents so still lots to do. If it gets sorted then fine if not we'll just have to accept what will be will be! xx

  24. Hello Barbara

    No tree up yet, presents being wrapped as we speak. We will be having our family Christmas this Saturday at my eldest son's. There will be another party on January 2nd. Cards all done, some delivered, rest ready for posting/delivering. If I start to panic I just remind myself that in two weeks it will all be over! Gets things in perspective.


  25. Hi Barbara. I have read the blog but not commented for a few days because we have been busy decorating the tree and putting up lights etc. At least I have been doing what I can from a dining chair and directing what I can't do! The family is all coming to us and the grandsons will love the decorations. Only the second Christmas in 43 years that I won't be cooking but they'll manage and we will all be together including my 92 year old father.
    I watched a few minutes of Maria's show and was so pleased to see that she is using the borders and tags I got a while ago – new ideas yay xx

    1. Hello all. I will try to catch up properly tomorrow as I still tire easily. I can walk about a quarter of a mile now with sticks although it takes about 20 minutes! I'm still on a few painkillers, the trouble is that I don't know what the average person's progress is so don't know if I am doing enough or too much. Stitches out and x-ray on Monday so I will get an idea then xx

    2. Hi Chris – don't worry about measuring what you can do against others. You are doing absolutely fine for you! Hope you get some more energy back before Christmas, so that you can really enjoy watching everyone else doing the work!!! x

  26. I remember you fretting over the tree not being up last year but hey ho that's what children are for and parents are for food shopping cause they have had the most experience out of all of us, husbands are handy with hoovers so I find. As you well know all that matters is the family and some kind of food!! Much love Jayne

  27. Hi Barbara
    You will be pleased to know you are not the only one all behind ( watch it!). Today I wrote lists, that always helps, I like to cross things off. Only one phonecall a day from mother in law at the moment so all is calm on the surface but under the water the legs are going like mad! As you say it will all be alright on the night. My favourite time is 5pm on Christmas Eve, shops are shut there is no more you can do – lovely. Enjoy your evening.
    Love Diane xxx

  28. Hi Barb,
    You can only do as much as you can! I'm sure the family will all rally round and it will be fine on the day. Sorry I didn't comment yesterday but was ou for meal last night and too late when we got back. Been a bit manic today, with hospital this morning and then sorting out decorations and tree this afternoon. Only problem now is that I've hurt my back moving furniture around!! Is it worth it I ask myself?! Love and hugs Alison xx

    1. Hi bloggy friends,
      Hope today has been good for you. Had to go to hospital this morning for my year,y check up for my knee – if X-ray is ok then I don't have to go back for 3 years. They certainly keep an eye on you ( it's 4 years since I had my replacement done) . Got tree up and the decorations but I've knackered my back moving furniture around. Then realised I had to make some lemon drizzle cakes for afternoon tea tomorrow! I'm shattered now so I don't think it will be long before I'm in bed. Got 1 more coaster to make in the morning as an extra person is coming to afternoon tea! Oh well, never mind. Love and hugs to you all, Alison xxx

  29. I seem to have lost a week as well but what will be will be after all we are really only talking about one day out of 366.

    I had a lovely lunch today with Susan White before I met with my solicitor. Sorry Susan for off loading all that onto you, hopefully next time we meet I'll have something else to say for myself.

    1. Julia – it was lovely to see you, and to offer a listening ear. Thanks so much for your beautiful card too! Mine felt a bit of a poor relation in comparison, but your's is in pride of place on my mantlepiece. Take care, and I'll see you soon x

  30. Hello Barb,
    Divn't fret Pet!!! What isn't done, isn't done and if anyone doesn't like it, they can do it. It's taken a couple of years!!! to realise that. Every year I buy long life milk "just in case". Mr K says to me that the shops are open Christmas Eve and again on Boxing Day, why do I expect 12 pints of milk to be drunk in 24 hours, so this year (after all these years married) I am not buying long life milk!!! Just shows, you're never to old to learn!!!
    Just look forward to the arrival of Grace and Mark, and your Mam and Dad. They are the special things in life. My daughter, SIL and two granddaughters always come for Christmas and Boxing Day. Wouldn't change it for the World.
    Must go and wrap some pressies!!!!
    love Maureen xx
    P.s. Maria was great today.

  31. Hi Barbara, You are definitely not the only one, I'm still making Christmas cards, Birthday cards, Thinking of You cards, it's never ending. I am starting next years cards in January hahaha.
    Look forward to Grace and Mark's arrival on Sunday and your Mum and Dad. I wish that I was having my Mum and Dad and my 2 Sons with me for Christmas, sadly they are all in Heaven, but they are with me in spirit.
    Enjoy your evening.
    Lots of love from Patricia xx

  32. Hi Barbara sad time a wee bit for me I do struggle that the love off my life is no longer here to celebrate this time of year which he loved so much but it's ok I have my beautiful family so close and loving that they are what keeps me going.
    Am I ready with the tree and presents …eh!! No.. will I love the day and being with them Priceless…xx Love Dot..xx

    1. Hello my dear blog friend so lovely to see you here your always in my thoughts sending you all the love you need bless you you have got your lovely memories and no one can take them away xxx

    2. Sending huge hugs Dot to see you through the quiet times. I'm sure all your family will give you lots of love and joy to keep your spirits up. Fancy a trip to the Clarity Glasgow weekend retreat in March? I'm going, and Jo and Emma will be running the workshop – might help to have something different to look forward to xxx

  33. Thank goodness I'm not the only one who is not as organised as she would like to be. There is a conspicuous absence of Christmas decorations hand made presents of embroideries are yet to be mounted and wrapped, I have, however, made and written my Christmas cards….phew!!Good wishes to all of you in the same drifting boat I appear to have found myself in, but, in the bigger scheme of things, they are only tiny things, and after a couple of gins, no one will notice. After all, all that really matters is family, peace and goodwill to

  34. Hi all, no tree up yet. My middle son has promised to bring everything up from the garage later this week then I will have 2 trees to decorate. Turkey is ordered, did a big bake last weekend for the freezer, most pressies wrapped and cards sent. Husband has gone back to sea and will be back on Sunday for the last market on Monday then he's home until the New Year and he will do the outside lights. Today's our 42nd wedding anniversary so we will celebrate next week. Just got to finish knitting this darn mermaid tail for my eldest granddaughter!! I have the 2 youngest grandchildren tomorrow so nothing will be done and I will be comatose tomorrow evening! We will all get there in the end. xx

  35. I find this time of year so hard. Trying to take a deep breath and survive. Wish I could just hibernate. But it will come and it will go and life will get back to normal. 🙁😕🎄

  36. Oh my goodness, not a pressie bought yet let alone wrapped, no decks up, still making cards, but a positive I have made two dozen sausage rolls and put in freezer, so we won't starve lol. Could really do without this heavy chesty cold I have, every year this happens so I end up with a face full of cold sores and look like death warmed up, but hey merry Christmas everyone .

  37. Taken to internet shopping with bad cold which led to chest infection and not seeing out of one eye and that's not getting better trip back hospital yesterday eye pressure still very high so pre op Monday Wednesday op on eye drops more drops pills etc glad we are at Rebecca's Christmas Day as not really in mood for it all cannot think straight then they tell will. Treat other eye as well so not get same problem in it enoughof my doom and gloom cannot even craft xx

  38. It's the being together that counts, not all the decorations and trimmings! And you must have hundreds of Christmas cards in your pizza boxes – would it be unethical to raid them? And as for gifts – the gift of your time is the most precious one you can give, and you don't have to shop for that. I'm busy trying to bake for the party I'm having for my neighbours on Sunday! Now I'm covered in chocolate, and only have desserts and cakes made, but hopefully everyone will have a sweet tooth! Seemed like a good idea at the time….x

  39. Hello Barb, another one of your blog posts that makes me laugh out loud. Ready for Christmas, have to add my nope to that. Hope you get it all done, and have a lovely family Christmas. Bx

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