Back in the Saddle…

Back in the Saddle…

Hi there.

Thanks for popping in. It’s been important to step back for a week and review the situation. It’s impossible to see the spot you’re standing on, isn’t it? You just keep dancing about on the spot, not actually even listening to the music anymore.

So a week away and a lot of thinking – and now I know what has to be done! Now it may be as clear as the nose on your face to you, that I needed to slow down. But until you get a warning shot, a little God knock as they say, you just keep dancing to everybody’s tune – except your own.

It’s fine. There are a few little adjustments which need to be made –

  • drink more water, stay hydrated,
  • don’t tear-arse around up and down stairs,
  • stop lifting heavy gridwall on your own,
  • have a nap when you’re tired
  • listen to your body more carefully.
  • eat breakfast
  • go to bed earlier
  • don’t watch the news before bedtime!

All these little things – but I’m sure they’l make the world of difference.

Things are changing for the better slowly now too. Sweet relief with the vaccines – I get my first jab in Sevenoaks on Wednesday. That may take the isolation pressure off a bit. Being alone so much of the time takes its toll too, I think – busy or not busy.

Thing is, we’re all in this together. For many millions of people around the world, this lonely existence has been a way of life for much, much longer than a Pandemic 2020. For many more millions of people around the world, their very survival is in the balance – it’s not just a case of feeling isolated – it’s a case of starving and of freezing. So let’s man up a bit Barb – and get grateful!

Also happy to report that the cats come up into my studio now – so I’ve got company!

Here we have Ragnar, desperate to learn how to type….

They are out in the garden, up in the trees – what a difference a little warm sunshine makes, eh?

Bought collars, lost them all within hours. I wondered why they come in packs of 12!! They will be somewhere in the hedges or dangling from a branch. Observed something fascinating on Sunday. Ragnar had gone right to the top of the ginkgo tree by the kitchen, and was struggling to get down. He was trying to come down head first, and it wasn’t going well. His brother Erik was watching from below. Then he also lept up the tree, up to where Ragnar was – but here’s the magic. He scuttled down to the bottom backwards. Then he lept up again, and repeated his stunt. He was showing his brother the way down! He did this three times. And after the third time Ragnar finally figured out that reversing down would be best! Amazing creatures.

We have stopped feeding the birds now. It doesn’t seem right, to lure our feathered friends into the garden with these two tiger Vikings crouching behind the box hedge, ready to pounce! You can’t have it all ways, can you? Dave is trying to come up with a safe bird feeder – any ideas ??

That’s it for today. Arty blog tomorrow perhaps .

Stay safe.

Love and hugs

Barb xxx

58 thoughts on “Back in the Saddle…

  1. Hi Barbara, so glad to hear from you again…but you’re have to listen to your body & take some time for You..!! Your Kittens are gorgeous…& very clever….! It’s great you can enjoy some time with them…& Dave. Love & Hugs Anne xx

    1. Hi Barbara so glad your back and looking so much better, loved this mornings whimsey water colours
      Please remember to take it more easy xx

  2. Welcome back Barbara ,lovely to hear from you and glad you took a break to take care of yourself .Wishing you well warmest regards Carmel x

  3. Good to hear you sounding like your old self again. Take the hint and look after yourself. I too am having my jab next week and it can’t come soon enough !

  4. Welcome back, we missed you.
    As the kittens are growing and getting adventurous maybe they need bells on their collars to a) warn the birds and b) let you know where they are.
    Stay safe 🍒

  5. Great to hear you are back and refreshed! The cats look like they are having a whale of a time outside in the sunshine! What a difference a bit of sunshine can make, a feeling of hope and a fresh start to the year for us all. Things are definitely on the way up. Great to hear you have your first jab soon too, I had mine 1.5 weeks ago and already have the date for my next one. Couldn’t get to the Shac this morning, decorating the study but will attend on catch up.
    Have fun and stay safe, not much longer now xx

  6. Hi Barbara, lovely to have you bag. We feed the birds on top of the garage but not on a regular basis, if we put anything tasty out our Mikey or the visiting cat, Gio, usually has to go up to have a look and then the magpies and crows, shout at them and they can’t get up there without letting the birds know. We leave proper bird feeding to next door as she has two dogs. I’ve just persuaded her she needs a new bird table as hers fell apart ! Lovely to see them out and about. I gave up on collars years ago. What I would like is a camera to see where they go, although it’s not far these days. I get my jab on Thurs a.m., I booked on the NHS online site and got the second one booked at the same time. I think it’s our age group now so I expect the doctor’s surgery will ring this week too ! X

      1. So glad your feeling better and listened to your own body … You will be fine now ,had us all worried …. Thanks for this morning in the shac so enjoyed watercoloring a little poppet haven’t attempted the circles yet will have a go tomorrow …. Anyway keep looking after yourself we all love you

  7. So happy and grateful that you are back and looking better. Really enjoyed todays SHAC SHAC although for some reason I still struggle with the old water pens……….but I shall persevere and keep going. Look after yourself and those lovely cats of yours too. xx

  8. Hi Barbara we did miss you. Having a week off is just what you needed. We all need to take stock from time to time. No news on our vaccine but I think we will hear soon. Today’s Shac Shack session was lovely. During the week off I got lots of things sorted out for my parents care. I love hearing about the cats. Have a good evening. Take care. Hugs xxx

  9. Great to hear you this morning Barbara and good for you that you are easing the pace a little. I didn’t follow the colouring today I was busy ”trapping the scrap”!! Birthday card making season is arrived…
    Kindest thoughts to you.XX

  10. Hi Barbara
    Great to see you are on the mend. We too have 2cats don’t have collars as one caught his front tooth on the bell and lost the tooth. We don’t have bird feeders either although ours are considerably older than Ragnar and Erik. Our next door neighbour and best friend has birds feeders which we are able to see from our upstairs windows so best of both world. They do look very adventurous but fun and entertaining too. Remember to listen to your body you’ve only got one of them.Brought the stencils so trying to convince Jackie to make some tiles wish me luck.
    Ruth & Jackie xx

  11. Hello Barbara
    I am so glad to hear you are feeling a lot better. All your advice to yourself is good but I would go one step further. Don’t watch/listen/read the news at all! It only brings you down. I stopped in 2006! It isn’t possible to avoid it completely but I don’t actively look for it. Just try to surround myself with happy, positive thoughts etc.
    Your two ginger nuts are gorgeous. So clever (and kind) of Erik to show Ragnar the way down.
    Take care,

  12. YAY!! The world has resumed a bit.
    We have squirrel proof feeders – one actually has a big metal mesh type ‘dome’ . We also have a hayrick on it’s side up against the little tree/shrub, so the birds have an escape route – oh, and I have cut escape holes in the bottom of the plastic boxes the suet comes in so they can go on their sides as feeders – these are not just for the birds but the hedgehogs too. Bendycat looks, but he knows he can’t get in.
    Maggie (Bendy Yorkite)

  13. Hi Barbara

    You were absolutely right to have a break but we did miss you!
    My cat is a climber and I was always scared she would hang herself if I put a collar on her. The birds in my garden have to fend for themselves, although I do shout if I see her making ready to pounce. If Dave comes up with a cat-proof bird feeder let me know – there is definitely a market for them.
    Welcome back.

  14. It was lovely to put the comfy shoes on again this morning to visit the Shac. So pleased you are refreshed and decisions made to take more care. It’s hard to be selfish but necessary some times. Don’t ever feel you can’t take a break from the Shac – we’re all right behind you xx

  15. So glad your back, I know we all missed you but you have to take care of yourself. So happy your getting the vaccine this week. Had ours 2 weeks ago. One step nearer. Thank you so much got my club monthly delivery and one of my orders and as usual was so worth waiting for, thank you to you and all at Clarity towers.

  16. Lovely to have you back, Barbara…missed the blogs, cats and all. We would not use collars either, as cats can get caught up on wire fences etc, ours has the chip in her neck incase she is lost and gets taken to a cat centre like RSPCA then they can contact you.
    Sure you know all that!! 🤔🙄 lovely to see them again!

  17. Great to have you back Barbara. I hope you can stick to your list. May I suggest that when you have a day of Hochanda and SHAC shack that SHAC shack takes a rest. I enjoyed this mornings programme although I had to play catch up a little as I was late to the party. I love these poppet cards.

  18. So glad you’ve decided on a plan for your future. It was so lovely to see you today and I really enjoyed the shac. My cat loves hunting so I haven’t put out bird food for a long time, but I’ve noticed that as Alfie cat is getting older he sleeps more during the day so I can enjoy all the birdsong while he naps!
    Take care xx

  19. Those cats are gorgeous but obviously very adventurous. How about some sort of cage the birds could get in to feed but not the cats. We love feeding the birds, have managed to entice quite a few varieties into our garden. Thankfully no cats. Anyway welcome back and glad you are ok. Stick to your plan. I think we are all making some lifestyle changes. xx

  20. As everyone says, it’s nice to be back to ‘normal’ again. We quite enjoyed the week off though; it gave us time to catch up with projects we didn’t finish when they were on. I have a squirrel baffle on a feeder stand (got it from ebay) and have 4 feeders hanging from the hooks that neither squirrels or rats (or, I’m sure cats, can get at. It goes around the pole about 3 ft off the ground, and I have wire netting above it just in case, though so far no critter has mastered it in 4 years. As I also live beside woodland, I get a multitude of birds. I also read about someone who put the small bird feeder inside a puppy cage (so pigeons, squirrels etc couldn’t get at the seed) and she put a tray on top for larger and ground-feeding birds. Cats might get to the top but not inside.

  21. Lovely to have you back and I hope that you will stick to your list. How clever your cats are and how gorgeous they look too. It must be lovely to have their company when you are crafting and they don’t talk too much either! Have a good evening. Hugs. Annette X

  22. Welcome back, Barb. We’ve missed you but you must look after yourself. Glad you are getting the jab. I didnt feel a thing and no side effects. Xx

  23. Nice to have you back in the saddle! There is nothing cat proof when it comes to feeding birds. I keep my cat in the house and feed the birds. I also have cat scarers in the garden to try and protect the birds from other people’s cats which wander in. However, it’s lovely to see your two hitting new heights! Lol. That’s good the cats can join you in your studio. Nice to have company. However, inks, paint and cats don’t mix well! How do I know that? Lol. They love to help. Glad you are feeling better, Barb. Hxx

    1. Lovely to have you back and thank you for a fantastic hour this morning.
      Cats will be cats and so clever good idea not to encourage the birds into the garden may b put some bird feeders at the front of the house .
      Thanks again for today take care ❤

  24. Hi Barb,
    So good to have you back and hopefully those batteries will be recharged. Hopefully though, you won’t run them so far down in future! Take note of those pointers you’ve given yourself. Lovely to see the two Vikings exploring the outside world. I bet they are loving it. I wouldn’t have collars on as they can get caught on branches, fences , in fact all sorts of things. Scamp is microchipped instead – RSPCA did it before we got her. Mind you as she never goes out, I don’t think she’ll get lost! Can you please say a big thank you to Jeannine for me? I managed to lose 2 of my two way tall letters and she has sorted it out for me – thank you Clarity as well for this. Pleased you’re getting your jab in the near future – I had my first one a week and a half ago and have my second one in May. Take care, stay safe, love and hugs Alison xxx

  25. We reach a certain age and suddenly we can’t carry on the way we always did. Like you say – stop and listen to your body – that’s the best advice ever. So glad you are looking after yourself, you mean a lot to so many!!!

    Your cat stories are hilarious, I’ve only ever had one at a time but hearing what yours get up to is amazing!

  26. Great to see you back this morning, I loved being back in the Shac, I missed it last week, but I’m glad you took the time to relax and recuperate.
    The Boys are looking fabulous, I always joke with my friend about putting a menu out when feeding the birds. Sorry I’m climbing on my soapbox, but I hate cat collars, my Brother nearly lost his cat when he hung himself by his collar from the curtain, it was supposed to be quick release, if he’d been a little longer at the papershop….. who knows what would have happened.

  27. Hi Barbara, I think the suggestion from Lynda Young is a good one.
    It is such a lot of work prepping for Hochanda and then doing the “full on” shows. After the adrenaline rush, when it’s all finished you must feel exhausted.
    The SHAC-Shack could take a break on the Monday morning that week. It’s a thought.
    Take care
    Elaine xx

  28. What a lovely picture of the cats in the tree & great that Erik took the time to show Ragnar the way down. Reminds me of when our daughter first became mobile & my husband spent a couple of hours showing her how to safely climb up & down the stairs as it was impossible to put a stair gate on & we decided that was the best option. It seemed to work as we didn’t have any accidents !!
    Its hard to realise that you need to slow down & only you can make that decision but it was good to see you back on the bus this morning, I enjoyed using the watercolours again, need to get my circles a bit closer I think but with a few doodles around them they will probably be fine.
    Will catch up with Paul later tomorrow as I have to go to the dentist to have a crown put back in but I will be there at 10 on Wednesday x

  29. Lovely to have you back, Barb. We’ve missed you but it is very important you look after yourself. Glad you’ve got a date for your jab. Mine didn’t hurt and no after effects. X

  30. Hello
    So pleased you are feeling better. The cats look like they are having a great time in your garden.
    Glad you are taking care of your self, hugs xxxx

  31. welcome back – so glad you’re feeling more refreshed. Looking forward to new inspiration from you, but remember to take it steady – we’ll all be here with you

  32. Glad you enjoyed your week off to recover and rest. We all need some down time to recharge the batteries. Still waiting to be called for my jab, but hopefully it won’t be too long now. Take care x

  33. Very pleased to hear you hale and hearty in the shac this morning! We like to feed the garden birds – if we put out food for blackbirds who like to feed from a flat still platform, the seagulls gobble it up! Very annoying! We prefer the smaller birds to visit!

  34. Hi Barbara. Glad you’re feeling better. How about Dave making a cat cage/run around a couple of trees. That way, the birds are free to feed and the cats are safe to play and climb. I’ve seen some on line, and a lady I used to chat to On a craft page, many moons ago, had one in her garden with direct entrance to the house. It kept her cats safe in the garden and protected the birds. Just a thought.
    Look after yourself. Thanks for everything. Sheila Stacey.

  35. Pleased you are feeling better, lovely to see you this morning, but please take care. Lovely fun pics of your cats, they remind me of Fred No: 2, a late family friends cat, could stroke him once, but not twice, unless his owners were away on their hols, then he would let me tickle his tummy! xx

  36. Glad you’re back Barbara and feeling better for the break. It is good to have some time for reflection and thinking about how to make things a little easier for yourself. Those cats are so adventurous and fun to watch I’m sure and give us a lift seeing their antics and sweet faces. Glad you are having your first jab shortly too and it does give one a bit of peace of mind that things are gradually improving. x

  37. Welcome back. I don’t worry about my bird feeder as my cat is not allowed outside. Too many big predators that think cats are a tasty treat in our area, mostly coyotes and foxes. We put a tall chair next to the kitchen door so that he can sit and watch the birds. They don’t seem to notice him.

  38. Hi Barbara, lovely to see you back. You really must take notice of your body. You not only do the shak shac but you also have a company to run too which won’t be easy especially on lock down. SO take the odd day of now and again to boost your batteries 🔋 instead of letting them nearly run out. Your furry friends are really growing, and no doubt getting into trouble. So please take notice of all your crafting family and take it easy.

  39. Hello Barb, lovely to have you back, sharing such fab pics of the young Vikings. They are getting really big now. I am sure that Dave will come up with something for the birds. Please look after yourself and rest when you need to. Take care everyone. Bx

  40. Lovely to be back in the SHAC though a week off was good for me too tbh. Cats/birds… we are so happy to have a resident hedgehog but I gather they eat frogs and we have been so happy to have frogs in our new pond. Ah well! Nature will sort it. “Tooth and claw” and all that!

  41. glad your back, yes do keep to your list it works
    bird feeder, if Dave can get a tall pole or the side of your house fix a chain and pulley to top on one end of the chain fix feeding platform and raise or lower the feeder for refilling you may need a bracket to hold it away but Dave would know that hope it’s of some use keep safe, keep well, keep drinking xxxxxxxxxxxx

  42. You dont need to stop, you just need to slow down a bit eh.
    Were not 21 anymore and it’s hard but best you do it. Before you maybe have too!

  43. It was lovely to see you back on form Monday morning.
    We all need a plan of action when situations change. During the week off I also reflected and made the decision to watch you and Paul on catch-up at 3 in the afternoon (apart from yesterday – I had to satisfy myself you were firing on all cylinders again). This means that on the monthly Friday afternoon when you share your talent with us I will have 2 hours of watching. A real treat.
    I’m a morning person and like to get the daily chores done then and that allows me guilt-free afternoons watching you and enjoying your company.
    Never been a pet owner but can really appreciate the joy and serenity you feel from watching your beautiful cats.
    Keep up your resolve. I’m hoping I can.

  44. Yes Barbara. You were looking much better yesterday. Travel gently please, you do a lot for us and we care a lot. We kept busy in you’re week of. Love the kittens. Xx

  45. So good to hear you are on the mind, but please take it easy.
    My cats lost their collars right away too , they can be such a hand full, but we still love them 💚
    Keep safe

  46. Gosh they have certainly grown up and are obviously inquisitive xx they are beautiful lovely markings and fabulous eyes xx and hey are certainly enjoying the weather xx always hard with the birds and cats although our cat just used to watch as it was too much effort to catch them lol xx good to hear you are taking it easier and looking after yourself xx

  47. Great to have you back with us Barbara. Listen to your body and keep to your rules for optimum health. All good wishes.xx

  48. So glad you are feeling better Barbara. PLEASE listen to your body. I was like you and I ended up with M.E. It changed my life completely. 20 years on and I’m not back to how I was. So please slow down and take time out for yourself. Lovely to see the kitties out. Mine always came back minus the collars lol. I gave up in the end. Stay safe and God bless xx

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