Friday, February 2, 2018

Rocking Your World 2018: Week 5

It is time to look for those silver linings again this week, and it does take a bit of searching sometimes, but they are always there.
It has been one of those 'ordinary' weeks, and a fair amount of grey skies, cold winds, and even some rain, have not encouraged me to go out looking for something to brighten it up.
But here is a little photo that makes me smile. You may remember a few weeks before Christmas, I was quite excited to see a praying mantis laying her eggs. She covered them in a white foam that hardened into a protective shell. Since them we have had unseasonably warm weather which might have caused them to hatch early, followed by very cold, strong winds, that I feared might break off the slender bougainvillea stem that they were attached to. The stem arches over the gate where I let the dogs through for their food, so I get to check it every day, and I am amazed by the resilience of this little 'blob' that is still hanging on grimly to its stem.

Just lately some areas have become sunken in so it has changed shape, and markings on the front have taken the form of a smiling face, so it now reminds me of a cartoon caterpillar. I hope the babies are developing safely inside and haven't been washed away.

Wednesday was important for me as I had my next appointment with the consultant at the hospital in Almeria city. This is an hour's drive away so we were up early to collect my translator, and my first appointment was to have several X-rays done. It was helpful of them to do this on the same day as seeing the consultant so we didn't have to drive there twice, but it did mean we had a couple of hours to waste between the two, so we went into the city and did some shopping, had a drink and went back in time for the next appointment. This all started to investigate the pain that is almost constant in the back of my head and my neck. I had already had an MRI scan and blood test so all the results were with the doctor. Modern technology has made it all so much more straightforward to get everything collected together at one time. As we sat down the first thing he said to me was "Well the head x-ray and MRI scan show no sign of any shadow or tumour on the brain". So there we have it, my silver lining!
He went on to say that I have arthritis in almost every joint in my body, from neck and lumber regions, to shoulders, hands and knees. It is more acute in my shoulders but I knew that from a year or so ago. There were some other more minor problems showing in my blood test, and it is very clear that I need to take myself in hand and make a few changes, but I am grateful that I can still do most things that I want to, and I can adjust other things to make them more possible, so I am not doing too badly.
Yesterday I needed to do some shopping and in Lidls I noticed that they had some plants in store. These winter pansies will bloom for months, and the hyacinths already have a flower forming in their centres. They were all just 66 cents each with an offer of buy two get one free, so I bought a dozen plants. Now I need to get outside and plant them all into some of my big pots. Unfortunately the weather forecast is rather dire for all of next week, so they may have to sit in their tiny pots for  while, but I will remember to water them, as they dry out very fast in the wind.
I wonder whether anyone saw the big moon on Wednesday night. We missed it because soon after tea time it started to rain, and it rained steadily for several hours. It was the same last night. The good news is that there has been a rise in the water levels in all the reservoirs. They are still not high enough to meet the needs of all the agricultural companies, and the households, but as more is forecast for this week, the situation should improve further.

I have done a bit more crafting this week. With four more pages of my scrapbook done I can see the end of another project in sight. There is only one more page to do, but then I have to decide what I can do with the cover. But hopefully it will be done soon. Here are two of this week's pages. They were designed to be a double page layout.

Last night as I fed the dogs, I saw that the clouds were gathering again, and the sun looked likely to disappear behind them before it set fully, but shortly afterwards I saw through my craft room window that it was showing some colour. So I went back out and watched this magnificent sunset forming, fading and then disappearing all within the space of half an hour.

I am so glad my craft room faces out that way, or I might miss all these beautiful sights.

I have something to look forward to tonight as we are going to my choir's 3rd birthday meal. So I have written this early today. Maybe I will remember to take some photos tonight to start off next week's post. But for now I will link up with Rocking Your World, and Annie's Friday Smiles.


  1. Hello Kate, Sorry not to have visited for a while. Life sometimes takes over and there's been quite a lot going on here recently. I was pleased to hear that nothing sinister was found during your hospital appointments recently. I have arthritis all over the place too but find that my aching seems much worse when the weather is hot and dry which is better for me, living in the UK than it would be for you. I try not to eat too many tomatoes now although I love them.

    I was interested to read about the praying mantis. Some years ago my hubby and I sat in the garden and watched a ladybird chrysalis turn into a pupa and then later into a ladybird. Isn't nature wonderful.

    I really like your two pages. The layouts are lovely with some great photos. Enjoy your pansies and your beautiful skies. Hugs, Barbxx

  2. Hello Sweetie, I'm so late posting tonight, I'm not sure where my day has gone! Lovely to hear the update on the Praying Mantis, I love the 'face' in it at the moment, you'll have to let us know if you see anything else from it.

    I'm glad that your health appointment provided the silver lining and that you've been given a heads up as to some adjustments you can do, I think being able to make changes makes us feel that things are more in our control. I hope this starts to make improvements from you!

    I'm loving the scrapbook pages, beautiful as always and slightly green with envy on the digital front. But I think I spend enough hours on computers so that's my excuse for continuing with the paper scrapping!

    I bought some plants at Morrisons today (primulas) and despite it only being the 2 February spent a few hours in the garden planting them out and neatening up a few tubs I've got out there (unheard of for me if I'm honest). I haven't mentioned it in my post but hopefully will get a few photos and then include them in next weeks post, because it made me feel very positive being outside enjoying the sunshine and the fresh air!

    The sky shots are gorgeous and yes we got to see the moon but not as it rose but when it was higher in the sky, very pretty and very bright.

    I hope you have a beautiful weekend and week ahead.


  3. Hi Kate. I’m a little late visiting because I was waiting for you to link up but just noticed your post in my side bar. Should I link you or do you plan to link later I’m wondering? I will leave it for now but just let me know if you’re having problems. I’m curious to see what happens with your praying mantis blob...I do hope they hatch.
    I was pleased to hear your hospital results weren’t more sinister. Arthritis is bad enough.
    Annie x

  4. Like Annie, I also noticed your post, but didn't see your link.

    What a great post. I look forward to seeing the baby mantises leave their cocoon.

    I feel for you. I was born with a rare form of arthritis, so I understand your concern. My hands and every part of my body is deformed, but you are strong and will learn to live with it. At least you haven't had to put up with it since birth!

    I didn't see the moon, but I simply adore your wonderful sunsets. Hope your Friday was perfect and your weekend is filled with smiles!

  5. I can understand your pain of the arthritis as my husband suffers from this, too. The rains you're having sound heavenly. We've had such a warm January here in southern California. I hope you have a fun filled weekend my friend. Pat xx (I finished my Sophie' s Universe blanket today..I'll share a photo later on my blog as you were the inspiration for this project)

  6. Oh ouch, kate, tht arthritis sounds terible - no wonder you retreated to Spain when you retired!! I do hope you work hard on making the adaptations you need to make life more livable.
    That praying Manis nest is fascinating - I hope ou get to see the wee ones hatching.
    Well done on capturing that beautiful sunset too.
    Despite the fact we are supposed to be in mid-summer, we have had a week of cloud and rain as we had the tail end of a tropical cyclone hit us...

  7. I'm glad the tests show nothing more sinister than arthritis, having said that, that is no walk in the park either. At least you know where you stand and what you need to do. Animo! (=courage) as they say here.
    I am intrigued by the praying mantis nest. Keep us updated will you please.
    Your Ireland pages are beautiful. Like Virginia I am also slightly green with envy about your digital skills. I keep telling myself I must learn, but with Photoshop in Spanish and tutorials in English (mostly on Photoshop Elements which is slightly different) I need a lot of courage to sit down and bite the bullet.
    Beautiful sky photos as always.
    Have a good week,

  8. Hi Kate, pleased to hear that the results of your tests are something you should at least be able to manage, as it could have been worse. Lets hope the baby mantis hatch okay, you must keep your eyes on them to see what happens. The moon here has been easy to see. The history of how the term Blue Moon came about is interesting. Have a lovely weekend, Angela xXx


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