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.