A Moment of Calm and a catch up.

A Moment of Calm and a catch up.

Hi there

Thanks for popping in. I hope you had a good Christmas and are enjoying life? It‘s been full on here; a house full of young energy and action. It really has been lovely to spend time with the kids, but they have to get back to their lives. Grace and her Mark headed back to New York yesterday, and Dave is driving our Mark up to Heathrow this morning, so he is on his way back to San Francisco too – via a cheeky couple of days and a round of golf with old school mates in Madrid! Living the life, as they say.

So, after a very hectic 10 days, way too much good food and sweet treats, it’s just Erik, Ragnar and me home alone again for a couple of hours. A moment of calm at the farm, so I thought I’d reach out to my Clarity friends, say hi and have a catch up. How about you? Everything okay? Is it time to put the Christmas decorations away for another year yet? I love Christmas, although this year I’ve had a heavy heart because of Dad. You understand. Been going to see him every day though…

Erik’s finally back home. His leg is healing well. Still needs cage rest, but he’s free to roam in the home – and he does love his gnome mat!

Ragnar is pretty chilled out and happy to have him home too…

It has been a good family get together, and dare I say it’s been good to switch off from work for a week. Dad is not doing great; I think he’s just sick and tired of being sick and tired. But the kids got to see him and their Oma several times, which was good. It is what it is.

The sun is shining today too, now everyone’s left! Ain’t that just ypical!! It’s been raining cats and dogs all week here in the south east! We went to the Christmas Lightshow at Wisley a couple of evenings ago – got drenched, but it was good to get drenched together!

I’m looking out of the window here. Sun streaming through the trees. Watching a blackbird up on a leafy branch just outside. Bright yellow beak. Cleaning and preening himself, singing away. It feels good to just sit and watch him. Calm. My head has been going like a washing machine on full spin cycle for a fortnight, and having a house full does require planning and work, right? Time to just stop and let the world pass me by for a day. Doing nothing just doesn’t come naturally though. I have to be doing or making! Are you like that? Or can you sit still?

The office is open. A few of the crew are in, picking and packing orders. Dave said he’d swing by on the way back from the airport, to make sure things are okay. There’s so much to do there too. But it can wait until next week. My next TV show is on Sunday 8th 3-5pm. Plenty of time to prep next week…

Maybe I’ll just tog up warm, and go outside in the garage for a few hours. Do some pottery, listen to some gentle jazz. Now THAT sounds like a plan!! I’m making something. It’s a bit obscure. Let’s see if you can guess what it is…

Have a good day today. Whatever you’re doing or making, have a good one.

Love and hugs

Barb x x x

PS Gentle reminder: to stock up on parchment before the prices go up on 3rd January.

27 thoughts on “A Moment of Calm and a catch up.

  1. Glad to hear Erik is getting better, I still miss my ginger cat Rufus so much. Time to put away all the Christmas card making stuff that is littering the whole house or maybe I should start making for next year !
    Relax if you can and have a Happy New year.
    Yvonne Rissone

  2. I can so relate to this post Barbara in many ways . I read about being a woman from the ‘sandwich generation’. You are there for your children and relish being their Mum and giving them support and love . You are also the loving , caring daughter (a total gift to have parents around at our age – same age as you) but then you are one half of a couple and have yet another role to play . You and Dave I know keep each other going but having to wear all those hats and throw in running a business – I don’t know how you manage . Oh and of course the SHAC too !! You are one strong woman .
    Sending love and best wishes for a peaceful, gentle new year .

      1. Been there, done that. Had a mother in law ( lovely lady)to care for, children, one with a disability and grandchildren to look after. But hey, it is what it is and I am still here. We had a wonderful family Christmas and all is fine. Up to the New Year. Happy New Year everyone.

  3. Have some really relaxing time Barb. It’s a shame we have to put away the cards and decorations as quite a number of our cards have only just arrived. How wonderful that the ‘kids’ make time to visit or call…. not all do even when they’re on the same island. Hey ho it is what it is. Fondest wishes to you and your family for the coming year.

  4. How well I remember being of the “sandwich generation”. Trying to be all things to all people is not easy but you sure miss the joy as time and family members pass. But good memories , thankfully, and life goes on, and we reap what we sow.
    I hope you have a quiet day Barbara, if only to contemplate, but my guess is you will be making something . all good wishes for a happy and healthy new year to you and yours, and a good year for Clarity.
    Glad to hear Erik is recovering.xx

  5. Glad you have had a lovely Christmas with the family but sad to hear your dad is not doing so well. I think they get frustrated when they can’t do the things they used to do but good that Grace & Mark were able to spend time with him & your mom before heading back home.
    We managed to get my mom here during the daytime to spend time with the family but took her home each evening so she was in her own bed. She has arthritis in her knees which hampers her walking & climbing stairs but there is nothing wrong with her appetite as she polished off her Christmas lunch or her hearing as she soon told us when it was asked whether she needed the subtitles on to hear the Kings Speech !! I hope I am as well as her when I reach 94.
    Enjoy your few hours making your pottery – can’t think what it is at the moment but I am sure all will be revealed in due course. xx

  6. Hallo aus Deutschland!!!
    Ich kann dich gut verstehen, Vieles ist ähnlich hier!!! Mal besser, mal schlechter und harte Arbeit positiv zu bleiben!!! Mein Bruder ist in Behandlung und macht Fortschritte, aber finanzielle Fragen stehen an. Wishing you joy, calm and lots pottery ideas!! A water feature??? Best wishes to all in Clarity Towers.

  7. Hi Barbara,
    Sorry to hear your Dad is still so poorly, it must be hard for you and your Oma.
    Glad Erik is doing better, he should recover faster now he is home with Ragnar and the family.
    We had a lovely relaxing 🤶Christmas and today we went out for a breath of fresh air. Sunny but very windy, made a change from all the rain.
    Our tree and decorations stay up until 12th night but the cards get sorted on 31st Dec.
    Plans for the new year are underway and I hope to start painting again, it has been on hold for a while and my easel is getting lonely – ha ha.
    No idea what your pottery is but look forward to the reveal in due course.
    HAPPY NEW YEAR to you, Dave and all at Clarity Towers.

  8. Glad to hear the vikings are both home . Sorry to read about your dad. Do take today for yourself. I am lucky that I am rarely ill but our household has been sharing this dreadful lurgy that has been doing the rounds in lots of areas. One gets it then the other then the other then back to the first person not quite sure how we are going to knock in on the head. Trying to stay way from my dad so we don’t pass it in to him it’s like the early days of lockdown all over again. Pleased that you had a lovely family Christmas. Haven’t felt up to any crafting but at least managed to renew my stamp club subscription so something to look forward to

  9. Happy New Year to everyone at Clarity! Most especially to the nice young man who said he would sort a mistake I made on my order- just the best customer service!!

  10. Hello Barb, so sorry to hear that your Dad is still ill. Let’s hope and pray there is improvement. Glad to hear you all had a great Christmas together. It is always to say goodbye, but I guess they have to leave to come back again. Also very pleased to hear that Erik is doing so much better and Ragnar does look happy to have his bruv home. I must call the office soon to renew my club subscriptions. Looking forward to a New Year, it is sad to take all the decorations down, but gives you the boost to get things sorted. Take care and stay safe and warm everyone. Bx

  11. How lovely it must have been, to have your kids home for Christmas and your Erik too. Special times to remember, but also bittersweet with your dad poorly. I too have been a member of the sandwich generation, so can relate, but now I am the top piece of bread for my daughters. How life changes as the years pass so quickly.
    Like you, I can’t sit and do nothing, so have been ‘pottering’ all week, but this afternoon I am off to the pub (for coffee!) with my Thursday friends group. Looking forward to a catch up.
    Good to hear from you Barb, so thanks for taking the time and can I wish you, Dave and all at Clarity a very Happy And healthy New year. Love to all. Annette XX

  12. Glad to hear you’re having some time to yourself and especially that your little Viking is home again, relishing home comforts. Sorry Dad isn’t doing well; going through something similar with my Mum but can’t visit often although my sister pops in for an afternoon several times a week to see her. I know exactly what you mean about not being able to do nothing – usually have some knitting on the go while watching TV. Happy New Year, looking forward to getting crafty again once all the decorations are away!

  13. It’s lovely to hear that you have had a good Christmas with the family. Samuel and I have done the same. We even saw my brother and sister yesterday! Work has been very busy and I love it, but working in mental health certainly has its ups and downs! I have been poorly, but that’s a discussion for another day! I love Christmas so much, but I always hit a point where I’ve had enough, want everything put away and a serious housework session is needed! I’ve hit that point today, but for Samuel, I will leave the decorations for a few more days! Love you loads xxx

  14. So lovely to read your blog. Everything everyone has said is so true – manic times for some and quiet for others. I know exactly what you mean about your Dad just being tired of being sick and tired my Mum was the same but at least he got to see everyone. Hope you have a lovely relaxing time in the garage whilst you have the chance.

  15. I’ve been so miserable with my sore mouth that I can’t open but this morning I caught up with your Christmas Day chat on You Tube and as usual I laughed and cried with you. You made me sit up and take note – It is what it is – no end of self pity is going to help so I gave myself a good talking to and pulled out my WIP box and carried on with some 2023 Christmas cards 🤣🤣
    THANK YOU BARBARA, DAVE AND THE WHOLE CLARITY TEAM for what you do. I’ve been with you since April 2020 and owe you so much. Everything about you is 1st Class – your products, your Customer Service, your caring and sharing attitude- absolutely everything.
    So glad your Erik is back home, hope your Dad begins to improve thus making your life less fraught. Big hugs to you Barbara and a Happy New Year to you all xxxx

  16. So glad you had a good Christmas with Grace and Mark but so sorry to hear your dad is not so good. I know only too well what it is like to have sick parents. It’s hard physically and emotionally rushing to and fro from home to hospital all the time. The abnormal becomes normal and somehow we make it work because we love our parents and remember what they have sacrificed for us in the past. Do take care of yourself, Barb. Our thoughts are with you. Xx

  17. Hi Barbara, Erik & Ragnar, glad you’re all back together again and that you’ve had a lovely time with the kids too and managed to see the older folk, despite the problems.

    Had a quiet one here, was supposed to get together with both sons and D-i-Ls today, here, but one of the grandson’s is pretty rough with a bad bacteria infection so we’ve postponed, although 19, he needs looking after ! Also his mum was in A&E on Christmas Day, she had kidney stones, passed one and then another in the week! So she had two trips one for herself and one for our grandson. Never mind we’ve put it off until Jan now.

    My Mum came here Boxing Day, had lunch, a glass of wine or two, fell asleep and then I took her home, not many words but she enjoyed it ! She spent Christmas Day at my sister surrounded by her grandchildren and great grandchildren. All a bit noisy but at 92 there’s not much else you can do except sit there and try to nod off ! Luckily she’s in next road to my sis so she was able to pop her home again when she was ready.

    Thanks for reminder about parchment, I think I’ve got nearly as much as you but must get some more of the rainbow and multi colours then I can use it more!

    Son is popping over tomorrow to collect presents so I can get the conservatory back, there are a few bottles that need moving !

    I’ve currently got Sally cat on top of the sofa behind me watching the next door but one’s cat playing with her toys ! Mikey is asleep upstairs on the bed.

    Have no idea what your pottery is – can only think of a storage box of some kind ? Have a relaxing few days of holiday that’s left. X

  18. Glad you had a good (if busy!) Christmas. Sorry to hear your Dad is not doing so well. I’m sure he and your Mum loved seeing Grace and Mark. So glad that Erik is finally home and on the mend. It must be lovely to have the “dynamic duo” back together again. Wishing you all the best for 2023.
    Do take care of yourself. xx

  19. really pleased Erik is on the mend and out of his big cage…and Ragnar has his lovely brother back…poor Erik looks like he is frowning from his experience. love to them both. My son had the lurgy over Christmas…now its my turn…feeling shattered! hubby could well be next!!
    anyway…Happy New Year to all. also having had two falls in less than two weeks…my own fault, I was flying about, my new motto is…Take care …Take a Stick…

  20. Lovely to hear you had a good Christmas, sorry your dad is still not so good. Pleased to hear Erik is back home. Hope you got some quality pottery time today, can’t begin to guess what you are making. I only decorated my tree on Christmas Eve, so my decorations will be stopping up a little while longer. Best Wishes, take care. xx

  21. Hi Barbara
    Glad Erik is on the mend but sorry to hear about your dad. Wasn’t looking forward to Christmas first without my mum so tough. Then went down with the nasty virus going around so after Xmas dinner it was back to bed just managed a full day today after 10 days, hopefully 2023 will be better. Sorry know it’s bah humbug.
    Glad you had a great time with Grace and Mark and enjoy your rest.
    Love Ruth & Jackie xx

  22. Just read your Blog and hope you had a lovely pottery down time. It’s so good to be surrounded by family but getting older, life changes, expectations are different, memories become more important. So for me I’m glad it’s over and life gets back to whatever it throws at us and as you say “take it one day at a time”. Thank you for all you have done for us and keep doing, looking forward to Monday 9/1/2023 to get back into that cosy, safe Shac. X

  23. Sending virtual hugs and positive thoughts for each new day. My thoughts are with you and I know how much you will be cherishing each moment with your Dad, and the rest of the family too. Don’t forget to take care of yourself too – glad you’re making time for pottery, as I know that’s your way to unwind. It must be such a relief, too, to have Erik back home, and our pets can help soothe the most troubled heart and mind.

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