Very puzzling….

Very puzzling….

Hi there

Thanks for popping in. I’ve been working on not working for a week. You know, trying to keep those two pesky gits Wurka and Hollick off my back. No sooner did I start feeling a bit better, than they were banging on the door again, yelling in my head to get my rear in gear! But no no no. That’s not how we are going to do this.

Quote of the day today?

If you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you always got.

Henry Ford

I have weapons to combat these menaces, you know. Yeah right? That’s fighting talk! Well, having just watched our Dad struggle, suffer and then die, and then having been pretty much garotted myself, it’s time to change things friends ! I can only speak for myself, but this is my mode of defence:

The only way to change my actions is to redirect my thinking. I need something which requires a little focus, so that my mind can’t wander. This I can achieve very quickly with the following things:

  • Solitaire (Patience) online app
  • Audible books
  • Jigsaw Puzzles

They all calm me down too. I noticed this week, when I started drawing again, and getting ready for next week’s TV shows, I got caught up in Clarity business – of course I did! Clarity’s my middle name! Runs through me like Brighton Rock!! But I also didn’t know where to stop, took it too far as always – and started getting anxious again. No good. Not the path I want to take. So out with my protective strategy…

The Solitaire app switches work off instantly.

Listening to a good book takes me somewhere else.

The jigsaw puzzle keeps my mind clear.

Just finished a 1,000 piece Wasgij Jigsaw. One of those ones where the lid is different; only gives you a clue, rather than a picture to copy. Was quite a challenge, but it gets easier the more you complete. And you can even follow the rugby and cheer Wales on…

Of course, the other perfect switch off is a cat. Just to hold a cat, and focus on him is the perfect relaxer, isn’t it? Little Erik has hurt his leg again. He will tear around! Like Mother, like son? Anyway, he has been hanging out with me all day. It’s not broken again, but I reckon tearing up the ginkgo tree in the garden and ambushing his brother Ragnar probably did the trick. When will he learn?? NEVER. I heard Dave saying to him the other day – when he was charging around the island in the kitchen, beating his brother up – “this will end in tears, Erik”. And here we are. All together now, “aaaahhhhhh”

So Ragnar’s out and about on the tiles, and Erik’s feeling all pooped and limp. I know both. A nice balance sounds best.

Love always

Barb x x x

I will get back to art and craft, but from a different angle. I’m also practicing saying NO in the mirror. With a smile, of course. Try it! It rolls right off the tongue!

31 thoughts on “Very puzzling….

  1. Hi Barb,

    Well done for telling those pesky twins to go need to rest and get better.

    I was wondering if you had tried crochet..I taught myself from watching YouTube videos and love it.

    When you are in the zone, everything just fades away,and you have an end product too

    Lidia xx

  2. Glad you are trying to slow down Barbara. We are all here for you and very patient, you have a great team. “Tomorrow is another day” xx

    1. listen to your body, it will tell you what pace to go at.
      Looking forward to seeing you in the Shac Shac, when you feel strong enough. We will all be waiting, no rush. Your health is more important than anything else.
      Get better soon and take care xx

  3. Poor old Erik, our Mikey had an off day this week, nothing that we could see but he slept it off, it’s worrying when they get older ….. I hope Erik sleeps his off and his leg is ok. I’m glad you’re using some coping mechanisms. Keep calm and get a jigsaw out. X

  4. Oh poor Erik. Give Jim a hug from me. Glad you are learning how to say no. It can be very hard. I often find myself trying to justify a refusal to myself! Off to watch England- France. xx

    1. Poor Eric hope his leg is better soon. It’s very difficult to say no but so.stones you just have to. Don’t know when I did a jigsaw last? Will have to dig one out . Travel gently as you say.❤

  5. Love Wasgij puzzles but haven’t done one for a while, in fact I am just wondering whether OH got a bit over enthusiastic when he took stuff to the charity shop last week !! Oh well we can always go & buy some back !! LOL
    Sorry Erik is in the wars again but hopefully he may learn from this latest mishap.
    I have just spent a pleasant couple of hours watching Tina do a tag on a FB live session. Will have a go when my plates arrive from a recent order although I could probably improvise with others from my stash.
    Woodoku is another game app that keeps you out of mischief although the bit called the journey is a bit addictive as there 84 levels to complete in about 6 days – I haven’t completed one yet. Even got OH doing it now.

  6. Hello Barbara, I’m so glad that you are beginning to feel ‘normal’ but it’s still early days as they say and yes you’ve got to take it easy still. It’s so easy, when feeling good to think you can do more . But, well done in putting the breaks on and pulling back. TV appearance will also take its toll, so do hope you don’t jump in too soon. But I’m sure you’ll do what’s right for you. Looking forward to Clarity open day in June . Take care xx

  7. Hi Barbara, it’s still early days after your illness! It must be so frustrating for you but ‘more haste, less speed’ !! My calming pastime was crochet/ knitting and the occasional jigsaw. You will always be the grafter you are but I’m sure you will gradually benefit from a slightly slower pace . Enjoy the new routine .X

  8. Before I started Groovi I watched on what was then Hochanda. I laughed at Paul when he said it was addictive and now I realise he was right. I start something and then don’t know when to stop. I don’t do puzzles but do play games on the iPad and I listen to audibles. I’ll take a leaf out of your book Barbara and take a step back (although I’ve just been with Tina on a FB live 🤣🤣)

  9. the hardest lesson I had to learn and now you will learn is…..pace yourself and stop….hard if your a workaholic but you need to learn eh.
    Erik doing zoomies around the kitchen did make me laugh.
    anyway Barbara please be kind to yourself as you are to others.
    with love
    fiona h.

  10. Sorry you’ve had a slight hiccup, but hope you, like Erik, will learn from it. Travel gently as you’re always telling us and enjoy nursing Erik, listening to a good book and playing patience/ doing a jigsaw. Like others I’ve just enjoyed an afternoon with Tina on her Facebook Live; had to improvise on the plates but think I’m pleased with what I did. Take care Barbara – don’t rush ahead, we want you fully fit, especially before the Garden Party!

  11. Hope you can continue to adapt to a different pace of life. I also find the on line solitaire app quite relaxing, as well as word puzzles like Wordle and Octordle. Funnily enough, card making, using Clarity goodies of course, is another way for me to push all life’s worries to one side- for a while at least! But hey ho, that’s probably too close to ‘work’ for you! Take care x

  12. My husband loves the wasgij puzzles. I much prefer a good old crime novel. Nothing to gory or realistic.
    What I think I would really like is a pantomime performance by the local am dram society. You laugh until you have to excuse yourself.

  13. Hope you and Erik both take it easy, and Dave too… he needs to remember to look after himself while keeping an eye on all of you.

    My mind wanders if I try to listen to a book. Instead, my switch offs are digital cross stitch, and since the beginning of the year, adult coloring books. I’m learning so many things while doing the latter, which I can then use in parchment projects.

    Hugs xoxi

  14. How does a leopard change its spots? If you work this one out Barb pass it on please. My resolve lasts short term then I revert to type.

  15. Sorry to hear about poor Erik hurting his leg again but glad you are finding ways to squash worka and holick into submission so that you can give your body time to heal. It will take time to adjust to taking things at a more sedate pace, especially as you start to actually feel better, when you’ve spent a lifetime rushing around and worrying like a lunatic. Just travel gently taking each day as it comes.

  16. Sorry to hear Erik is poorly again but I think he learned the zooming around from you. Good job Ragnar is calmer.
    It takes time and patience to adapt to a new regime but you will get there. Pleased you have got some pastimes to occupy your mind.
    If you think Wednesday’s ODS will be too strenuous for you we will understand. Know you want to be at the launch of a new product but don’t push yourself.
    I got over enthusiastic yesterday making room for all the new goodies arriving shortly, bent down and nearly went flying when my knee twitched. Thought nothing of it until I tried standing this morning, ouch wasn’t a strong enough word, so spent the day feet up knitting all day. We learn to adapt as we get older!!!!!
    Take it easy. 🍒🍒🍒

  17. So pleased to hear you are being a good girl and not rushing back to working far too soon. Your body knew it had to give in, so continue to listen to it. Of course, being your baby, you are bound to be fretting, but you have a marvellous team around to keep an eye on you. I am on a high, having received my two Sale Orders today. It was delivered by a delightful white van man, who pointed out that the box had received a clout and broken, I said I thought all would be OK, but he insisted on waiting while I unpacked it, just to be sure. Why is it that if someone is waiting, the scissors don’t cut and the tape won’t rip. However, all 25 items were intact thanks to your great packaging. I complimented him on his lovely accent and he asked me where I thought he came from. “Ireland” I said. He laughed and corrected me; he is Polish. I wondered if he had been tutored in English by an Irish person. No, he said he is self-taught. I congratulated him on his English and explained my husband has worked with Polish people for years and I was surprised I didn’t recognise his accent. I could have listened to him talk for hours. So my delivery was made even more exciting by this lovely young man. Card to be made tomorrow for my daughter. I make her a card for Mothers Day as she is a Mother and I decided to incorporate it with My Daughters Day last year.
    I, too, find crossword and number puzzles keep me sane in stressful times. I hope you keep making gentle progress. Sorry to hear about Erik, he too needs gentle recovery.
    With love, Ros x

  18. Go Barb (or rather – DON’T go Barb)
    Cats will be cats, we just have to let them BE cats – they’ll learn (oh, and pick them up occasionally if they need it!).
    Maggie (Bendy Yorkite)

  19. Take it easy Barbara, stop before you are exhausted ,not when. I’m the same, a finisher, so not a moment to spare. Then I’m zonked and have to submit!
    Enjoy your weekend, rest up with poor little Erik.x

  20. After you saying that you listen to audio books, I decided to give them a try, so signed up for the app for my local library. It was strange at first and took some getting used to, but I have been happily listening to an Adele Parks today, whilst doing some crafting.
    Taking another leaf out of your book, I have been gathering some ‘special’ clothes, which I had hung on to and am giving them to my granddaughter to sell, to help towards the cost of her prom outfit. She is determined to keep costs down for her mum and this should help a bit. Thanks for the gentle push!
    I am trying to take your advice, so I hope you are too! Enjoy the rest of the weekend. XX

  21. Oh dear Barbara , I was worried that Wurka and Hollick would turn up. Glad you noticed and took actions to rest up again. I think us crafters love a jigsaw. Only one thing – I like to finish them quickly , so have been known to stay up half the night!

    Take care Barbara – do all the things that stop you stressing, And relax!! We will still be here no matter how long your recovery takes! 🥰

  22. Hi Barbara
    I always relax by doing the ironing, music on and I’m well away. I do like a jigsaw as well. Sorry to hear Erik is hurt again our two boys always chase each other up and down the stairs they are 13 and 11 so be prepared for the long haul. Glad to see you have some coping mechanisms to help you relax. Please don’t push yourself too hard you need to rest.
    Love Ruth and Jackie xx

  23. That jigsaw is amazing! So sensible to have strategies that you can use to stop your mind going into overdrive – we all need them! Do take it steady and look after yourself – the road to recovery always has a few bumps in it. xx

  24. I have found that doing jigsaws on the computer helps to clear the mind. Try finding ‘Astra Jigsaws’ on line at ‘’. jigsaws up to 1500-2000 pieces and you can’t lose any bits.

  25. When I was working my boss bought me a book called “How to say no” – not to him obviously but to everyone else who tried to pile work on me 😀. I like playing maijong on my iPad, apparently it’s supposed to be good to ward off dementia if you can believe the adds! Just received my doodle dies so can’t wait to have a play 👏👏👏

  26. Hello Barb, good to hear that you are listening to your sensible self. Take it easy!. Hope Erik recovers quickly, love the quote today, another one that really resonates with me. Great Jigsaw too. Take care and stay safe everyone. Bx

  27. Hi Barbara, good to see that you are behaving yourself. I am sure that Dave and the family are glad of that too! My Dad loved Wasjigs and I used to help him sometimes. He was so good at Jigsaws of any sort that we tried to find ones hard enough for him. I play spider solitaire, against myself only! Audiobooks are great aren’t they! We like who-dunnits. Keep improving xx

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