Monday, 8 December 2014

Maisy playing with WHAT?

As many of you know, I now have a puppy.  Maisy is six months old on 10the December.  And she is certainly a pistol.

I've been asked by my British friends what that means.  Well, when you call someone a pistol, it means he/she is very clever, learns quickly, is independent and very energetic.  Feisty certainly is a good definition of my Maisy. 

Last week "the Maverick" came in with fruit and vegetables from the Green Grocers.  A bag of purple onions was included in that lot.  I was dumping the onions into a tub/container on the kitchen work top, which already had potatoes in it.  One of the onions fell onto the floor.  

But when I looked down, I couldn't see it.  "Curious."  I thought.  But got on with organising the onions so they fit into the container.  

A bit later, I walked into the room that serves as my office/studio and there was the onion on the floor.  Because puppy follows me often, I wasn't surprised that she followed me in.  

My camera was attached to a tripod, and so I immediately turned it on, as Maisy began playing with her "new toy".  

No, it is NOT a purple ball that she is batting about. It is a Purple Onion!  

This Furbaby always brings a smile to our face.

By the way, the only way I could successfully download this video into my blog was to download it to YouTube.  But I have only one video on YouTube.  I mention that because once my video is played, other possible videos come up in the square.  And those may be similar, but not mine. 

Serving Jesus, Author of our faith,

"Lady Helene"

Monday, 10 November 2014

Remembrance Sunday 2014

I've missed many opportunities over the last few months to write about things happening here in my world.  Especially about Maisy, our precious, puppy.  

I determined yesterday--after a friend reminded me that I do have an audience who appreciates/enjoys my posts--to post something today 

"The Maverick" using his Samsung Smart phone--which he received as a 60th birthday present from one of his daughters--took photos at the Memorial in Langley Park.  I wanted to share a few of them.

Crosses symbolising the 91 service men from Langley who died during WW 1.  It is the Centenery of the start of WW1.

Me standing next to the "Poppy Crosses"  The shadow is of "The Maverick" taking the photo.

The Memorial with Poppy Wreaths placed by local organisations.

 It was a day to remember and reflect on those who served our countries (United Kingdom and the United States).  Especially as the bag-pipe player piped "Abide With Me" as the crosses were being placed and the wreathes were being laid.  For me, I thought about my Dad, who was a Parachute Rigger in the Navy and theAir Force, my Uncle, who served as a gunner in the Navy and my stalwart, faithful husband who served in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) and South Africa.  

My heart is humbled that God should bless me by letting me be born and live in countries where I can openly express my faith, my opinions and and share my dreams.  

I am even more thankful that Jesus Christ shed His pure, cleansing blood so that no matter what country/land I live in, I will always first and foremost of Child of the Kingdom of Heaven.  

Serving Jesus, Author of out faith.
"Lady Helene."

Monday, 15 September 2014

Intercession for Sunday, 14th September 2014

Blessed are the peacemakers,  for they will be called children of God.  Matthew 5:8

Reader:  We, Who are called your children,
Response:  Help us bring Your kingdom

God, in Whom we live, and breathe and have our being, You are both Omnipotent and exceedingly gracious.  We long to see Your kingdom of peace established in our world.  As we take the time to deepen our relationship with you—individually and as a corporate body—you will show us how to build your kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.

We live in a broken world, full of broken people.  Our nature is to strike out, lash back, indulge in unholy anger.  But you have given us the Holy Spirit, who teaches us to use truth, righteousness, the good news of Jesus Christ, faith, salvation, and Your word to overcome the darkness. 

Reader:  We, Who are called your children,
Response:  Help us bring Your kingdom

We lift up ourselves to you, as your church—your representatives in the world.  We remember those who rule over your church, who have taught us the word of God, aware that they must give an account of their souls and ours. Specifically we pray your grace upon:
·         Arch Bishop, Justin Welby
·         Arch Bishop, John Sentamu
·         Bishop Alan Wilson (of Buckingham)
·         Area Dean, Rod Cosh
·         Robin Grayson
·         Colin Hartley
·         Bruce Russell.

Reader:  We, Who are called your children,
Response:  Help us bring Your kingdom

God of Mercy, we bring the needs of the poor, needy, lonely, hungry—especially those in places of major conflict:
·         Syria
·         Gaza
·         Lebanon
·         South Sudan
·         Ukraine
Help designated relief aid get to the many refugee camps.  We pray for Bishop Andrew White, serving in Bagdad.  We ask your continued protection and healing for him.  May his expression of true Christian faith and love turn many hearts to you, Jesus Christ. 

Holy Spirit, put your healing touch on those in hospital, at home with illness and in rehabilitation centres.  We especially remember:  Ruby Trotter, Ingeborg, etc…

Reader:  We, Who are called your children,
Response:  Help us bring Your kingdom

For Missions and the World: We pray for CNI (Christian Nightlife Initiatives) Network and Street Angels;  We ask your protection of street pastors and volunteers who go out each weekend;  touch many lives with the Good News of Jesus Christ—be they partiers, bar/nightclub owners and staff, police officers, homeless people; we pray for labourers to be sent into the harvest-- more volunteers to join the local Slough group.

We pray for those who are attending confirmation classes, those who are to be baptised or have recently been baptised.  We also pray for those who are soon to be married.  May Christian faith be the foundation on which they build their lives and establish families. 

Reader:  We, Who are called your children,
Response:  Help us bring Your kingdom

In the Parish: We pray for Christian Students in local schools—from primary to college and university students;  We pray children will take lessons learned in church/Sunday school each week and shared them with their parents, other children at school, teachers, and school staff; Christian students will use religious education classes as an opportunity to discuss their faith with their classmates and friends; Christian Connection in Schools, and the ‘Living 4 Jesus @ School’ initiative, meeting on 19th September for prayer, fellowship, training and encouragement

Reader:  We, Who are called your children,
Response:  Help us bring Your kingdom

Father, you comfort all those who mourn.  Lead them through their grief, trusting in Your care for them today, tomorrow and forever.  Thank You for those people, who before proceeding us in physical death, touched our lives with Your love, whose testimonies led us to You, Gracious Father.  All your promises are “yes and amen” in Christ.  Therefore, we commend ourselves, along with your beautiful creation, into your faithful, constant love.

Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ.


Friday, 8 August 2014

Day Three...

          My sister and I agree, “Baby Anything” is cute.  Of course, the smaller it is, the cuter it seems to be—at least where puppies are concerned.  Today is day three with the newest member of the family—Maisy.  Maisy was born 10 June, so she was exactly eight weeks old when  she “came home” to us on Wednesday, 6th August. 
          I don’t’ know how much she weighs, but she is tiny.  You may have seen her on Facebook.  Like any proud Mummy—of human or doggy babies—I had to show people. 

    She was a shiver with anxiety on Wednesday night.  She was taken from her natural mummy, and the family with whom she lived.  She’d never been in a car before.  So, suddenly life was only unknown, scary. 
A wool blanket I laid on the floor, so she would have someplace soft, warm and comfortable to sit on.  I also put down a “snoring dog” toy next to her.  She looked forlorn, confused.  But she didn’t move, and simply shivered. 
The breeder was a bit sad to say good-bye, yet glad she was coming to a good home.  Once they were gone, I laid down on the couch with Maisy and held her until she calmed down.  She wriggled and climbed over me to lie on the arm of the couch.  That was a good start.
          I’ve read a couple of books on puppy training—and will probably consult a few others before all is said and done.  But all of them agree—one must start out the way one intends to go forward.  So, once she was calm, I put her on the floor to sniff around and discover her new home.  I left the room for  a minute to two, to look for something.  When I came back, she had laid down on the blanket.  Well done Maisy!
          On Friday, 1st August I’d ordered a carrier/kennel, feeding dishes, toys and a feeding mat.  Fully expecting them to be here before Wednesday, I had to put together some impromptu measures. But the order had not come.  First, I’d already obtained a   a scoop for the dog food—which was big enough to be a feeding bowl for a Miniature Yorkshire terrier puppy.  So, I placed some food in that. 
          Since the chew-toy I’d ordered had not come, I had to find something she could chew on—not too big and something that she could not get choked on.   Around this house there are several old toothbrushes.  Perfect!  Maisy seems happy chewing the bristles. 
          The biggest problem seemed to be where to have her sleep.  I promised “The Maverick” she would not be allowed on the bed.  And her kennel wasn’t here.  Where to put her?  Well, it wouldn’t be the first time a baby slept in a laundry basket!  The wool blanket went into the basket with a couple of stuffed toy dogs that are her size.  I thought it might make her feel like she was with her sisters. 
          I put her in the basket and hoped she wasn’t clever enough to figure how to get out.  She is still small enough to have a little trouble getting over the edge.  I laid on the edge of the bed and let her see me.  She whined.  I stroked her little head, told her I was near and told her to go to sleep.  A couple of minutes later a whimper rose from the side of my bed—where I’d put the basket.  I verbalised that I was near, and put my head over the side so she could see me, but didn’t touch her.  She laid down and went to sleep. 
          She slept till 6.00 am, and woke me up with a whine.  Out to the balcony we went, so she could pee/poop.  The night before I’d taught her how to get over the step from the balcony into the lounge.  Maisy looked up at me, proceeded to crawl over the step and walk into the lounge to pee on the carpet.  This girl is fast!  Okay—lots of work to be done on the potty training.  
          Thursday morning I rang the company I'd ordered the puppy supplies from. Apparently it was on hold, awaiting one piece of stock which had not arrived.  I decided to cancel that one items so the rest could be delivered--hopefully Friday. 
          Maisy likes to bark when she wants to play.  She is getting more bouncy by the day!  On Thursday I was preparing lunch for some missionary friends who are visiting.  Maisy did very well, sleeping on the arm of the couch most of the time.  Our youngest guest, aged about four, was very good when she petted Maisy. 
          If Maisy can’t see me, she will whimper, whine or bark.  If I am in a different room, I call her and she is learning how to find me.  And she makes sure she can get to me.
          Thursday morning “The Maverick” had gone out to the shops.  A shower was on my personal agenda—and the first time Maisy and I were experiencing this scenario.  I took her pink, fuzzy blanket into the bathroom with me, and dropped it on the floor.  Then Maisy was brought in and the door closed.  I turned on the shower, and when the water was right, I stepped in.  After about a minute, Maisy began to whimper.  I kept talking to  her, and the whine was low to moderate. 
          The mistake I made was to stick my head out and show her where I was.  The whine grew in intensity.  Then she howled.  So, I leaned over and lifted her into the sink.  That totally confused her—as she wasn’t on the floor, nor was she with me.  While the whine softened, she maintained her expression of distress.   Realising she was not safe in the sink, nor comforted, I placed her back on the floor.  Then I heard soft thumping.  I looked out, and she was jumping up against the tub, trying to get to me.  Feeling I had no alternative, I said to her:  “Okay, but you aren’t going to like it.”
          Lifting her into the tub, I placed her on the bottom of the tub.  The water and wet didn’t seem to bother her.  After a tentative sniff, she came over and put her little paws up on the leg.  I picked her up, and once again warned her:  “You won’t like this.”  I began wetting down her coat with water poured from my hand.  Not a peep!  So then I poured out a small bit of Aussie Three-Minute Shampoo onto my hand.  Maisy was quite relaxed whilst I rubbed the shampoo in her black and tan coat.  Again—this surprised me.  I took the shower hose down, and began to rinse her.  She whimpered, so I turned the water down.  When it was barely warm, I tried again.  She relaxed and even seemed to enjoy it. 
          I wrapped her in a towel, and took her to the bedroom with me.  I gave her a cursory rub dry, and then wrapped her in a drier towel.  I quickly got dressed, then we went to lie on the couch.  I rubbed her as dry as I could, unable to keep from smiling as I watched her fall asleep whilst I rubbed her.  I pulled out the damp towel, dropping it on the floor, and wrapped her in her blanket.  Since the breeze coming in was cool, I put another blanket on top of us and we had a snooze.  I figured she’d earned it—having to survive the distress of not being able to see me and then having her first shower! 
          I had a feeling Maisy might wake me up early today, Friday, 8the August.  I was right:  first time was 3.30 am to have a pee-pee.  She did good and finally peed on the balcony.  We both went back to bed and to sleep.  Second time was 5.30 pm.  What did she want?  First to eat, and then have a drink.  Fine…BUT then she wanted to PLAY!  Right, playful puppy at 5.30 am.  And the alarm is set for 7.00 am.  By the way—she won.  I didn’t get back to sleep.      
Also today Maisy went to work with me.  I tried using a medium sized shopping bag (the reusable kind with canvas handles).  But the handles weren’t long enough to fit over my arm properly.  It had no proper ventilation—so she stuck her head up out of the top.  I carried her in the bag and she was hot by the time we got to the office.  However, she seemed to settle down with her pink blanket, which I’d taken with us. 
          She made friends with our Vicar.  And she slept most of the time I worked.  If she isn’t interested in playing, then she likes to sleep.  But then, growing is hard work. 
          After work, I had to deliver the song-sheets to the church for Sunday.  As I was coming into the church yard, some friends were there.  So, Maisy made more new friends.  She was happy to sit on “A’s” lap.  I even left her so that I could put the papers in the vestry.  She was still content when I came back.
          Several people stopped to chat and stroke her.  Puppies elicit that kind of attention.  It is now my turn to “share” my puppy with others who want to say hello to her.  Heaven knows I’ve petted enough of other people’s dogs. 
          This afternoon the kennel/carrier came with the feeding bowls and other things.  One of those things is a knobby yellow ball.  The minute she saw it, she started chewing on it--even made it squeek. I was glad.  This evening we had a short play with it.  She is really coming out of herself as she gets more familiar with the flat.  I just wish I could catch her before she does her business on the lounge floor!  I am going to get her on a time table—well that’s the theory!
          On Saturday, 9th August we are going to the pet store to fit her for a harness, a lead and get a couple of more chew toys.  Then she goes for her first vet visit—to get micro-chipped and her first set of jabs (vaccinations).   
          This is the first time the dog has been entirely my responsibility.  And she is my baby.  She likes John—but I’m her reference point. 
          I’ve wanted a dog for years.  Now another dream has come true.  

Serving Jesus, Author of our faith,
"Lady Helene"

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Hot water and inspiration

                Today I came in from a birthday party, and instead of heading to clear up the kitchen, I plunked myself down in front of my computer.  By default, I clicked onto the solitaire game on the desktop.  “What a waste of time!”  I chided myself. 
                It was about 5.00 pm and too early for dinner.  I was going to have leftovers anyway.  And “The Maverick” was on late shift—so no need to worry about cooking for him.
                Blog!  I could write a blog entry…yes.  Now, what was on my mind?   Hmmmmm?  Right, …nothing came to mind.  I closed my eyes…a long blacktopped road appeared in my imagination; just a long, flat, black expanse, with no end destination. Neither was there a train to climb onto to follow as there was a non-existent track. 
                I could be sorting out all the clutter in my guest bedroom that serves as my office.  No energy for that.  What did come to mind about 6.00 pm was the stack of dirty dishes sitting on the worktop awaiting washing.  Deep sigh…and one can only procrastinate for so long.  Plus I hate an untidy kitchen—even if I do have a bad habit of letting dishes stack up over a series of days. 
                An amazing thing happened when the water started flowing from the tap.  My ideas started flowing as well.  There is something about physical activity that jump-started the creative activity in my brain as well.  What I was avoiding was actually the key to solving my slumbering creativity. 
                For me there seem to be three things that instigate productivity in my mind:  washing dishes, taking a shower and taking a walk.  Oh the pleasure of hot running water and sweet smelling soap to bring refreshing, order and even a sense of playfulness to me.  
                Maybe it’s the warm and soothing affect of the running water that relaxes the body tension, so that in those muscle-melting moments all kinds of happy chemicals are released in my brain.  I start thinking about events during the day that I want to share.  I talk to Jesus, giving Him praise for His love and grace.  Vague ideas about characters and story lines begin to develop like a photograph in chemical bath.  So, the dishes get clean.  Or my skin is exfoliated.  Or my body gets a bit of exercise as I walk.  
                I’m sure scientists have a better understanding of how the body and mind are affected by each other.  All I know is, that when I need inspiration, some physical activity, and often flowing hot water can flip the switch of synapses in my brain and I’m creating again.
Serving Jesus, Author of our faith,
“Lady Helene”