Thursday, 30 April 2015

Five Things About Me . . .

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This is a photograph of me at my son Bruce's highschool graduation.  I was so lucky to be able to go home to Canada for his graduation.   That meant that I was there to watch all of my children graduate from highschool.  I am very proud of all of my children and their accomplishments.  They may not see themselves as such, but they are all very successful in my eyes.  I helped to raise five decent human beings.   Well adjusted, happy for the most part, law abiding, hard working likeable people.  They all love the Lord, even if they don't all go to church regularly.  The ones that are parents are very good parents.  I believe they are good partners in life, and good employees.  They are not paragons of virtue or perfect human beings, but  . . .  as a mother, I love them and overlook their shortcomings, because  . . .  mother's do that.  I believe I am a good mother.   I know I am a good mother.

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I am irreplaceable.  I have always walked to the beat of a different drum than others around me.   That means that sometimes when I was growing up I was bullied, or made fun of.  But those things helped me to become stronger and more compassionate towards others.  I have never felt the need to follow the pack.   When I joined the church that I go to now, I finally found a whole group of people like myself.   People who were different and not afraid to stand apart from the crowd.  We all walk to the beat of a different drum.  I like that about us.

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I like to share . . .  feelings, opinions, treasures, joy  . . .  cake.   I cannot imagine a life where I hoarded all of my toys, joys and talents to myself.  What a narrow and limited existance that would be.   Something shared is something doubled.  How much better a sunset when someone is enjoying it with you . . .  how much better a cake when someone is nibbling right along side of you.  Life was meant to be shared not hoarded to oneself.

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I have finally learned that it is okay to celebrate my accomplishments, and feel proud of the things I have done and who I am and am becoming . . . for years I hid my light under a bushel.  I am now letting it shine a bit and I don't think there is anything wrong with that.   If you can't love yourself, how can you ever expect anyone else to love you.  The problems come in when you love yourself too much, to the exclusion of everyone and everything else.  I have known people like that and it's not a nice way to be.  There has to be a happy balance between pride and humility.

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I am trustworthy and honest, but I struggle with keeping secrets.  I would rather not know them.  I don't like having to keep anything secret.  I tell Todd everything.  I think married people should share everything with each other.   No secrets.  If you want to tell me something that you don't want anyone else to know . . .  please don't tell me.  I would rather not know.  I am like Sheldon Cooper.  I struggle.  I think that if you don't want people to know certain things . . .  you don't tell them to anyone.  A secret shared is the cat being let out of the bag.  I will endeavor to keep your secrets, but be forewarned . . .  I will tell Todd, so best not tell me in the first place.  ☺

I am the same way with presents.   I have to buy presents at the last possible minute for the instant I buy one . . .  I am wanting to give it to it's intended recipient.   Christmas presents for the children were really hard for me.  I really DO get more joy in giving than receiving . . .  that's why I can't wait to give my presents.  It's kind of selfish really.

And those are the five things about me.  I hope you still love me.

Mom is still in the hospital, but appears to be doing better.  They have had her up walking around her room.  I am sure she is bored silly because the hospital isn't allowing any visitors at the moment because of the noro-virus.  Nobody is allowed any visitors.  I don't know how much longer they will be keeping her in but I hope it won't be long.  My sister says my dad is sad and worried.   My parents may be divorced, but they are also the best of friends and care deeply for each other in a myriad of ways.  I am grateful for that.

A thought to carry with you through today  . . .

The sign of a beautiful person 
is that he always sees the beauty in others.
~Omar Suleiman

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I am making a good use of leftovers and little bits in my kitchen today  . . .  Chicken Fajita Skillet Supper.   Simple.  Easy.   Economical and . . .  delicious!

Have a wonderful Thursday!  Don't forget . . .

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And I do too!

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Wednesday this and that . . .

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"So much is happening in garden and countryside that I run this way and that trying to hold everything at once:  the wall flowers, the tulips, the lilac and the apple-blossom.  I should like to stay the pace of Time here at this point and to linger over the last of April, but all around life rises like a tide and I am carried forward into the exciting anticipation of pleasures to come."
~Patience Strong

It is a very gloomy day out there today and showery . . .  also quite cool.  But here and there I see glimpses of blue sky and white cloud amidst large tears which rip open the dark grey clouds which hover over the house.  I have to go into town later this morning as I have an appointment  . . .  dare I hope that it will clear.

My fingers are crossed.  I shall just have to sing through the showers and hope for the best!

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Remembering of course that it is the showers which bring about all the beauty in the garden which I enjoy in great abundance.

I had a message from my sister yesterday to say that they had taken my mom into hospital by ambulance on Monday evening.   I had only just spoken to her Monday afternoon.   I didn't have my weekly phone call with her on Sunday because my sister had taken her to outpatients as she wasn't quite herself.   They treated her for bronchitis and the beginnings of pneumonia and sent her home with anti-biotics and a puffer.   When I spoke to her on Monday afternoon, admittedly she still did not seem like herself.   I didn't speak with her for long because I was afraid of tiring her out.  By Monday evening she was struggling to breathe and my sister ended up calling the paramedics and they took her to hospital.   They were able to give her a breathing treatment at the house and she was given more in the hospital.  My sister had been hoping they might let her come home yesterday, but alas . . .  they have admitted her and she is there for however long she needs to be.  There are no visitors allowed at the moment due to the Norovirus which is going around, which is a bit annoying because my mom will be all on her lonesome with nobody to break up the time.

Please could you keep her in your prayers for healing and that she will be allowed to go home soon??  Thank you so very much!

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I have been praying for all of the people in Nepal.   This earthquake they have had must seriously be the worst natural disaster which has occurred ever, or at the very least in my lifetime.  The devastation is grim.  With over 4,800 people known to be dead at present,  more than 9,200 injured, and over 8 million people affected . . .  it is unfathomable and quite overwhelming.  We are both praying for the people of Nepal and of course will be very generous with our fast offering this week.  

In sitting here and wondering what I could do to help I was struck yesterday that I could do a piece of art and then auction it off to raise some money for the help appeal.  And so that is what I have done.   I don't know how to go from here with it.  This is the piece which I have created, but I don't know how to get it out there.   I have had one bid on Facebook for £25, which is great, but I know I could do so much better.   Does anyone out there at all have any idea how I can get this out there to a larger audience and raise more money for aid?  I need help!  I think I can do much better than £25, or maybe I am being naive in thinking so.

My own means to donate financially is severely limited, but I want to be able to do so much more.   I have written to the local television news service, but I am probably batting way out of my league in doing so.  

I just want to help.

A thought to carry with you through today . . .

"May we ever be found doing the work of the Lord."
~Thomas S Monson

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Cooking in The English Kitchen today  . . .  a Tomato and White Bean Salad.  Delicious!

Have a great day.  Don't forget . . .

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And I do too!

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

The Simple Woman' Daybook . . .

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FOR TODAY, April 28th, 2015

Outside my window ...
It's perfectly broad daylight . . . earlier and earlier.   I can see blue sky and white fluffy clouds above the rooftops to the front of my window.  It is cool . . .  but so far it is dry.

I am thinking ...
How fickle the press is.   Last week all the news was about boat people from Libya (amongst all the election drivel).  This week it is all about the devestating earthquake in Nepal (again amongst all the election drivel).

I am thankful for ...
The NHS.  The Gospel in my life.  A husband who loves and cares about me.  Friends and faith.   My cup runneth over.

In the kitchen ...

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I'm cooking tender and moist Roasted Bone In Chicken Breasts.   Quite simply delicious!

On my "To Cook" list  ...

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Kevin Lynch's Barbacoa Tacos look just fabulous.  That guy can cook.   Find the recipe on Closet Cooking.   Kevin and I have been blogging mates and food blogging for about the same amount of time. His blog is much more sophisticated, the difference being he has the technological know how to do a lot more with his space than I do.    I am always winging it! haha

I am creating ...
My creativity has slowed right down with the advent of this eye problem.   But having realized (after some searching on google) that it will never get better, just more tolerable, I think I just have to plunge in and get creating irregardless.  Just so long as my eye doesn't get worse.

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These handprint Tissue Paper Flowers are so cute and something to do with the children for Mother's Day.   Found on  Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body.

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This is so cute.  It's a Fox Puppet made from toilet paper rolls, string and bottle caps.   I found it here. It's a pictorial tutorial.

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How to turn children's art into fun tea towels!  Brilliant idea.   Found on Setting For Four.

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I've done knitted ones.   These ones are crochet.   Crochet Dishcloths.  Simple.   From Little House Living.

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Christmas Snowflakes using the bottoms of plastic water and soda pop bottles.   And a bit of paint.  Found on Artesan.

I am reading ...

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The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain
In The Silent Sister, Riley MacPherson has spent her entire life believing that her older sister Lisa committed suicide as a teenager. Now, over twenty years later, her father has passed away and she's in New Bern, North Carolina cleaning out his house when she finds evidence to the contrary. Lisa is alive. Alive and living under a new identity. But why exactly was she on the run all those years ago, and what secrets are being kept now? As Riley works to uncover the truth, her discoveries will put into question everything she thought she knew about her family. Riley must decide what the past means for her present, and what she will do with her newfound reality, in this engrossing mystery.
I am really enjoying it thus far! I love Diane's books. She's a great writer.

I am hoping ...
 I am hoping that Todd and I are good missionaries.   We are on tenderhooks waiting for our Mission Call to come.  We know we won't be going away anywhere, just staying where we are, but we are looking forward to getting started.  From what we understand it will be basically supporting the young missionaries and inactives.  We're both really looking forward to serving.

Makes me smile ...

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I am so glad I am not addicted to my mobile phone.   Half the time I can't even find it.  I am on Pay As You Go and £5 lasts me forever.

I am learning ...
That I am capable of achieving a lot more than I thought I was.

Around the house ...

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Todd and I did this yesterday and it works.   No harsh chemicals.   NO worries about burning your skin.   Easy peasy and cheap.   From Chaching Queen.

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Ten Ways to Prepare Your Home for Overnight Guests.   From LizMarie Blog.

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Love this from Indulgy.

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Small Space Styling from Apartment Therapy.

I am pondering ...
How to be a more effective missionary. I think the key is selfless service to others with no motivation other than just wanting to help.  We must be the Saviour's hands.

A favourite quote for the day ...

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 God is not proud . . .  He will have us even though we have shown
that we prefer everything else to him.
~ C. S. Lewis

One of my favourite things ...

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I love Sour Patch Kid.  I love the sourness.  I love the sweetness.  I love the chewiness.

A Peek into my day  ...

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This is sooooo me!

And that's my daybook for this week!

                 ⋱ ⋮ ⋰
               ⋯ ◯ ⋯ Take time to enjoy the small
*´¯`.¸¸.☆ ⋰ ⋮ ⋱ blessings in life.*´¯`.¸¸.☆

✿¸.•*¨`*•..¸✿ ✿¸.•*¨`*•..¸✿ ✿¸.•*¨`*•..¸✿
░░░░░░░░░░░░░ ░░░░░░░░░░░░░

Wherever you go and whatever you do I hope there's a wonderful day planned for you! Don't forget . . .

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And I do too!

Monday, 27 April 2015

Small and Wonderful Things . . .

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"The world is fairly studded and strewn with pennies cast broadside from a generous hand. But who gets excited by a mere penny?...It is dire poverty indeed when a man is so malnourished and fatigued that he won't stoop to pick up a penny. But if you cultivate a healthy poverty and simplicity, so that finding a penny will literally make your day, then, since the world is in fact planted with pennies, you have with your poverty bought a lifetime of days. It is that simple. what you see is what you get." ~Anne Dillard

A few of the small and wonderful things which bring untold joy into my life. It's the small things in life which truly mean the most. Simple abundance . . . it's the best.

No question about it.   This week's biggie was my eye and knowing that it was not the worst scenario and that my condition should heal itself.  That was such a relief.  I don't know if I will ever get used to the floaters . . .  they are very strange.  Constantly moving across my line of vision with every movement of my eye, but at least I can see them.   The alternative doesn't bear thinking about!

 Choco Leibniz biscuits.   I love them.  The milk chocolate ones.   I would probably like the dark chocolate ones as well . . .  but I have never indulged in them.  I did get to try some that had a layer of caramel between the chocolate and the biscuit once and they are incredibly delicious as well.   I don't know what it is about them that makes them so spectacular.  Maybe it is the ration of chocolate to biscuit?  (More chocolate than biscuit)  Maybe it is the plainness of the biscuit, which allows the chocolate to shine?   Whatever it is . . .  I think they are pretty wonderful.  And I just had three for my breakfast.   Naughty girl.

You might wonder what this is doing on my page, but bear with me here.  Todd and I were watching a program last night and we were amazed at the amount of times the "F" word was being used.   I was like . . .  Is this the way it is in real life? . . .  Does this word really get used to this degree in real life?

I don't know!  I live in a plastic bubble.   No "F" words in this house, unless you are talking about Faith,  Friends, Fabulous, Food, Fluffy, Fairies, Feathers, Fudge, etc.

 Each week at church someone is usually asked to bear their testimony.    It's different than our Fast and Testimony meeting.  (The first Sunday of the month  our whole sacrament meeting is given over to the bearing of Testimonies, once the sacrament has been blessed and passed.)  The young man who got up to give his yesterday is a young man who has only been a member of the church for maybe two years now.  Anyways, he said about how when he first came to our church and witnessed a testimony meeting how he thought it was strange everyone saying they "knew" certain things to be true, but how he came to understand that there was a difference between merely "Believing" certain things were true, and "Knowing" certain things were true.  I had never thought about that aspect before but I was like yes . . .  I do believe the church and it's doctrines to be true,  and in the Saviour . . .  but more importantly than that  I "KNOW" that the church and it's doctrines are true and I "KNOW" the Saviour.  And it's not something which I can explain or something which I can give to anyone else, but something other's have to learn and embrace for themselves.

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I didn't get to speak to my mother yesterday.   My sister had to take her to the hospital because she wasn't herself and didn't appear to be feeling well.    It turned out my mom has bronchitis and the start of pneumonia.   So she is on medication now and an inhaler.   Last night my sister messaged me to tell me that mom had eaten something and was feeling somewhat better.  Please keep her in your prayers for continued healing.   I am so grateful for the job that my sister does in taking care of my mom and my dad.  The role of a "Carer" is often ignored or taken for granted . . . unappreciated, and quite often by the very people that they are caring for  It's not easy for an elderly person to come to the realization that they actually "need" someone to take care of them, and they can often be difficult to deal with, and even hostile.   Over here in the UK . . .  Caregivers are given an allowance by the Government to do this.  More often than not,  it is not enough or what they are worth, but at least it is something.

My sister gets nothing.  She gave up a well paying job to do what she is doing.   She gets nothing.  Her unemployment insurance ran out after one year.  She cannot get any financial help at all because the people she lives with  (my mom, my dad and her partner) make more money combined than the minimum requirement of income.  So she gets nothing.  Zip.  She is reliant on the people she lives with to give her handouts and this is not an easy thing to cope with.  There is something intrinsically wrong with a system like that.  If not for my sister, the Canadian Government would be bearing the full burden of care for my parents.   Surely this is worth something.  I think it's despicable that my sister gets nothing and no recognition for the service she is rendering.  That it is deemed worthless in the Canadian Government's eyes.   This needs to change.  It is just wrong, wrong . . . wrong.  I wish that I was in the position to give my sister something for what she is doing, I truly do . . . because in serving my parents, she is also serving me, and my brother. 

I truly hope that one day I will be in the position to be able to give her something.

"I'll tell you how the sun rose a ribbon at a time."
~Emily Dickenson

Sunshiny Days.  We have had quite a few of them this past week and today is going to be another one.   Somehow life just seems better on a sunshiny day.

A thought to carry with you through today  . . .

"Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears,
for they are rain upon the blinding dust of earth,
overlying out hard hearts."
~Charles Dickens

Cooking in The English Kitchen today  . . .  Chard and Cheese Tart.

I wish for you a fabulous (F word there!) Monday.   May your week ahead be filled with a multitude of small and wonderfuls!  Don't forget . . .

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And I do too!

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Oh to be able to afford whimsey . . .

When I was a much younger woman . . .  in my 20's and 30's I used to buy magazines about home decor.   Country Living was a real favourite of mine and I had every issue saved for a very long time and often used to go back through them looking for ideas.   It was always my dream to have one of those houses like the ones I saw in the magazines . . . .

You know the kind I mean.   Perfect.  Nothing out of place.  Immaculately groomed lawns and gardens.  Amazing interiors, fresh and shining, uncluttered and beautiful.

 I used to wonder who did all the cleaning in them . . .  who spent all of the hours it must have taken to keep them as pristine as they were??? 

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Often described as being filled with whimsey . . .  sigh . . .  a bit of whimsey would be lovely in a home . . .  but it often comes with a hefty price tag.  Clean and cluttered is about as whimsical as I can afford, lol.

Oh, I do still love to dream however . . .  of ripping up carpets and replacing them with wood flooring and scatter rugs, and painting walls and all sorts.   At the end of the day however  . . .  my wallet is too empty and I am too lazy . . .  and time is too short for us to do anything of the ilk . . . about the only thing I can do anything about is the clutter and this is how it goes . . .

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I open a cupboard with thoughts to get rid . . .  and then I see things that I love and I just can't bear to throw or give them away.  I become distracted by the cuteness, the colour . . .  and yes sometimes even whimsey.  I start to thinking about why I bought these things in the first place and how I might use them . . .  and then I put them all back and think . . .  another day.   I'll tackle it all another day.  I am far too sentimental for my own good.

We do need to get rid of a lot though.   I already gave away most of our books.  The novel kind.  I still have a ton of cookery books.   Those are a lot more difficult for me to get rid of I am afraid.

Yes  . . .  I am a hoarder of cookery books.  I have some cookbooks . . . okay lots of cookbooks . . .  that I have never ever even cooked one recipe from.  Why then do I keep them??   Sigh  . . .  that my friends is the $25,000 question.  If I could answer that one I'd have it cracked! And my house would be a lot emptier.

What is your muse?   What is/ the thing(s) which you have that you would love to get rid of but can't bring yourself to give or throw away?  I really want to know.

A thought to carry with you through today  . . .

"Precisely the least, the softest,
lightest, wren's rustling, a breath,
a breeze, a moment's glance . . . 
it is little that makes the best happiness."
~Friedrich Nietzche


Cooking in the English Kitchen today  . . .  Toffee Apples with Vanilla Mascarpone.  Quite simply delicious.

Have a wonderful Sunday.   Don't forget . . .

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 And I do too.

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Saturday Meanderings . . .

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I thought seriously about taking a few days off, but decided that I just could not.  This is too big a part of my life and something which really brings me a lot of joy.   I may have to just shorten my posts a bit if that's okay.   And I think it will be.

So I was reading up about Posterior Vitreous Detachment.   I know  . . .  you shouldn't go online looking for trouble, lol, but . . . I really wanted to understand what the Doctor had been talking about.  I'm almost 60 and severely short sighted . . .  this type of thing is not at all uncommon for people meeting those two criteria.  What worries me more is the area of white which he saw at the back of the eye, which he says is a blocked artery.  He said it will never fix itself, but was probably caused by plaque or cholesterol.  On a positive note he also said it had probably been like that for quite some time which is why it was white.

Hopefully everything will right itself with the PVD and things will be back to normal in due course.

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I love this.   The idea of painting yourself in a different colour.  Its a good thing as Martha would say.   If you could be a colour what colour would you be?   I think I would be red with white polka dots.  Because I like red and I like white polka dots and I love the two together.  And I know a lot of other people do.   No, I am not into popularity contests . . .  but I don't mind being liked or representing something which makes people happy, or brings light into other's lives and I think red with white polka dots does that.

But then again . . . there are other days when I selfishly would like to be ALL the crayons in the box.

Things I have enjoyed and/or been grateful for this week:

  • The Love and Prayers of a multitude of friends
  • The love and tender mercies of my Heavenly Father
  • A loving and caring husband and the blessings of the Priesthood in my life
  • Outlander
  • The Vikings  (Ragnor Lothbrook got Baptised)
  • Playing hangman with Todd in the waiting room
  • Meeting a new Doctor  and he was really nice and made me smile
  • Sour Patch Kids
  • A bowl of hot tomato soup with crackers crushed into it (supper last night and it was good)
  • Sunny warm days
  • Taking time to just  . . .  breathe . . .  and think  . . .  and pray.
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Crazy friends who make me smile.   Plus a whole lot more.  Life is as good as you make it.

The end.   Til tomorrow . . .  Don't forget

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 And I do too.

Friday, 24 April 2015

Just letting you know . . .

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I have had a posterior vitreous detachment. This is a condition where the vitreous (Jelly like substance filling the eyeball behind the lens) becomes detached from the retina at the back of the eye. He could also see where there is an artery at the bottom of my eye has become irrevocably blocked, but he says it has probably happened quite a while ago. I am to go back in a months time for a field test. (he thinks that hopefully it will have cleared itself by then.) This PVD is usually associated with age,although very short sighted people are more prone to the condition at a younger age than others. (That would be me.) Very short sighted. If the floaters and flashing lights become more intensive along with a curtain effect encroaching across my vision it is imperative that I contact the eye clinic urgently. So for now that is all I know. In short I am old and falling apart. Very relieved it was not a detached retina.  

So not bad news and a relief.  Thank you all so very much for your prayers and happy thoughts.   I have been blessed.  ☺