Saturday, 16 September 2017

Unsettled

It has been a funny old week I have felt all at sea and at odds with myself. We have had painters in for the best part of three weeks now and I always find I can't settle when there is work being done on the house. When I say painters in, I actually mean out, as we are having the outside woodwork done. But the weather has meant it is dragging on and I feel like I'm living in a goldfish bowl. And I'm not the only one it has disrupted. The "bloody dog" as Hector has come to be known has turned into a demented hooligan. Stealing things, jumping on the furniture and chewing everything. He has destroyed two cushions and a pair of shoes this week, as well as managing to steal a biro and "draw" on the kitchen floor. We've tried everything to keep him calm but he is driving me to distraction.


Do not be fooled by those sad labrador eyes... he is a demon! He's got a trip to the vet planned for next week and I'm hoping that his little op might calm him down a bit! We can but hope.


I've also started the new term teaching machine embroidery and I'm hoping for a little bit of the following which seems to be missing of late...


Although I'm really struggling to focus on anything much. I completed this little quilted panel in a class this week which may well end up as another cushion for the "bloody dog" to destroy!


I did complete my rag rug (which is another sixty x sixty) which I would really like to put in front of the fireplace. However, given the dog's recent form I'm not sure that is wise so it will live up in the spare bedroom, where he is not allowed to venture. Unless of course we forget to close the stair gate and then he goes just where he likes!


I've also pondered whether I really want to carry on blogging. Much as I do it for myself, as a record of our lives it is nice to get a bit of interaction too. But I've noticed that comments and traffic are dropping off and so I've questioned whether what I'm writing is actually of any interest to anyone other than myself. And I don't really need to write to myself!

But as I've baked along with the Great British Bake Off I find I want to write about the technical challenges completed so far, I've done a lovely little book swap and I want to write about that and I've an idea brewing for another art project that I'd like to tell you all about so I guess I'll be here for another few weeks at least.


But I know what is really turning my world upside down at the moment and that is saying goodbye to this young man. Once more son no. 3, Joe is off on his travels. It's not the first time, nor even the second but this time is different, not only is he travelling solo but he has no definite plans to return. He left on Thursday to go to Canada, from there he'll head to Cuba, then Mexico and through Central America eventually ending up in Costa Rica where he plans to teach English. I know we'll see him next summer for his brother's wedding but it will be a flying visit and he has no firm plans to come home beyond that. It feels very unsettling, although I'm hoping from the various bags and boxes he has stored at our house that he will be coming back one day!

I'm also hoping next week will feel more settled but I'm not overly optimsitic... the painters haven't finished yet!

60 comments:

  1. I know what you mean about blogging.I have tried saying "just pop by and say hello".My last post I had 38 people view it and only 4 left a comment.The previous one I had two replies.I try to ,is up family things,crafts,travel,hobbies etc.I am in the same boat as you.
    good luck to your son but mums always worry!!!Barbarax

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm equally guilty of not leaving comments so I can't really complain! Life just feels too busy at times.

      Delete
  2. I love your rag rug, my young chap has decided to make one, I think he'll find yours to be an inspiration.

    I also have pets fond of chewing and other methods of destruction!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sure he'll have lots of fun with the rag rug!

      Delete
  3. please keep on blogging. I may not leave many comments but do read it every new post. I am totally in awe of your cooking and then doing textile work. As my interest in textiles grew and family left home I lost interest in baking. Irene in a very wet Northern Ireland.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hello Gina, Don't stop blogging. You have friends. It makes it even more special when you blog only now and then.
    That is what I am doing. After more than 800 blog posts I am slowing down a bit. For now, my husband and I are heading for
    Tuscany for a few weeks and I won't be blogging.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Enjoy Tuscany! One of my favourite places xx

      Delete
  5. Hi Gina. I've read your blog for a long time now and enjoy your posts immensely. I'm very guilty of not commenting and for that I'm sorry. Especially as you were kind enough to supply me with the recipe for your granola bars on Instagram!


    I tend to read blogs on my iPad and, as a touch typer, find the whole typing with one or two fingers thing very difficult! It's probably because I'm a bit selfish and lazy too. Anyway, I just wanted to say I'm sorry you're feeling a bit discombobulated at the moment about your son, the painting and the naughty pup. I do hope you carry on blogging, but understand if you don't - and there's always Instagram! Kathy x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Kathy and please don't apologise for not commenting as I'm just as guilty! Just happy to know you are here!

      Delete
  6. Unsettled is hard work, difficult to put a finger on what needs to change. Sorry for not leaving a regular comment but I did "wave" to you on the bake off extra slice! There is a season for most things both parenting and blogging and somethings we need to reasses the relationship. Easier said than done!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I have been following your blog for quite a while and enjoy it! I know what you mean about interaction, I too write a blog but have very little interaction but know a lot of people read my blog by the number of page views! Also it is like a diary for me so please continue....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Irene! I have just tried to leave you a comment but not sure it was successful. I don't use Google plus so was a little confused... doesn't take much!

      Delete
  8. I love to read about what you do, but am not quite sure what to say in a comment that wouldn't just give you one more thing in your busy life!
    Not many comment on mine, either, but oh well. I do hear from them when I see them that they want to keep reading. So, I still blog. Though not as regularly when I have a big project going on.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Another person here who loves your blog. Keep going please. My youngest keeps threatening to go travelling so I know just how you feel. Hopefully once the painters go you'll feel more 'normal'! B x

    ReplyDelete
  10. It must be agony to say goodbye to your son for so long, and with no definite date of return. I'm sending you a cyber hug. I feel your pain re the dog, ours is smaller but in the same league when it comes to getting the stuffing out of things. He had a monster walk (for a puppy) this afternoon and is completely zonked out now though, so I'm liking him more. But we have many chewed things here too and I know how infuriating it is. I question the whole blogging thing from time to time too. But rest assured, there are people reading and very much enjoying your posts. CJ xx

    ReplyDelete
  11. Maybe, like me, a lot of your readers feel a bit shy about commenting when we dont know you personally - we are British, after all! But it doesn't mean we don't love reading your blog. In fact, it's my favourite.
    And Gina - I have been where you are now with Joe. My eldest son emigrated to Canada 9 years ago - I tried hard to be cool about it and we speak often, but I miss him every day. But I've always believed a parent's job is to teach their kids to fly and be happy, and I still do. Even if Joe is somewhere else in the world (and he may not be gone forever) he will always be your Joe.

    (Gosh, how very emotional and unBritish! Back to the stiff upper lip!)

    Please stay with us and keep on blogging!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Christine, so pleased you have taken the time to leave a comment and introduce yourself. I think we've done a good job as parents if our children can go off confidently into the world, even if it is painful for us.

      Delete
  12. It does sound like an unsettling week Gina. I hope with the painters gone and Hector hopefully calmer you feel more settled. I hope your son is enjoying his travels. Thankfully with modern technology it is easier to keep in touch with loved ones than it was when I went travelling. Still, I imagine it difficult to see him go. I love your blog and would miss your musings a lot. I noticed a recent increase in comments over at mine, after a dip. Maybe all those IG people are coming back! Wishing you a more peaceful week xx

    ReplyDelete
  13. Awe Gina I know exactly how you feel about your son, ours went to Berlin for a year, four years ago, its horrible and every time he comes home and goes back again its like a knife in me, it just doesn't get any easier.
    You also have my sympathy re the painters, I loathe having men about the place.
    As for blogging I say every month that this is the last, I totally agree with you do need a bit of interaction and the only people who do that on my blog are the same lovely people who have probably already liked the pics on IG, there is definitely no growth.
    I do hope Hectors visit to the vet sorts him out....you really have had a bad week, hopefully next week will be better.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Awww, saying goodbye to your son would be so difficult. Why can't they just find something they love close to home. I hope he enjoys his travels (especially the Canadian part!), but he misses Mom's amazing baking too much to be gone for long. Did you sneak some homemade squares in his suitcase??
    I've not been enjoying blogging much these days either, but I'm hoping its just some stressful things I'm dealing with right now. I hope that winter hibernation will bring the fun back into it for me. I hope you're not saying goodbye to blogging just yet ;)
    As for Hector, all I can say is a tired dog is a happy & contented dog. It takes a good three-hour walk in the woods to tire my dog out (even now that he's 12!!) so good luck with that! ha ha!
    Wendy x

    ReplyDelete
  15. Keep on blogging. Always difficult when sons go especially with no fixed itinerary. Mine did that but he did come home safe and sound. Labradors are always busy destroyers until they are quite old I'm afraid, lots of exercise needed. Love your stitching.

    ReplyDelete
  16. What a sweet boy, how could those eyes do anything wrong. :) Hope his little operation goes well. love the creative projects!!!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I have followed your blog for several years tho feel too shy to comment and would miss it very much. I share some of your interests such as baking, reading and especially all things embroidery/textile-y and find inspiration from you.
    Also having a son I feel your pain at seeing him leave home, tho thankfully mine is now settled fairly close. Hopefully he will keep in touch regularly and will be back in time.All the best Gina.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you and lovely to know you are here reading xx

      Delete
  18. I've been following you on Feedly for a long time because I like what you make and I'd hate not to be able to read your posts. I rarely leave comments on blogs but it doesn't mean that I don't like what they post. Please don't stop blogging!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you... and lovely to know you are here! Xx

      Delete
  19. We'd miss all your inspiration if you stopped blogging, you're always up to or making such interesting things. Hector might have sensed your sadness that your son is off on his travels, perhaps he won't be away quite so long as you think, plans might change again. Hope the decorators soon finish up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you... it is reassuring that people enjoy what I write xx

      Delete
  20. Being unsettled is hard isn't it. I'm sure that once Hector calms down and the painters leave then some equilibrium will return. Plans, whilst made, have a habit of changing, and I'm sure your son will keep in touch and a sense of okness will prevail. X

    ReplyDelete
  21. Don't you think the change of seasons is always a little unsettling? This year autumn's arrived like a wolf in the night and I'm all out of kilter. too And those winds! I've always noticed pets go a bit crazy when it's windy. And despite the heartache of seeing your son go off adventuring, I'm sure you'll get to share, albeit vicariously, in those adventures. What's more, maybe a trip to Costa Rica might lie in your future (hopefully out of hurricane season).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm already plotting when I might get to Costa Rica! The wind always whips children up into a frenzy too. At least it is calmer today which is more than I can say for the dog!

      Delete
  22. Yes, I blame the change of seasons for making us feel a bit unsettled. I love dipping into your blog now and then - you always inspire me! Today I have ordered a locker hook so that I can make a bathroom rug - I've been thinking about it for ages and your beautiful rug has spurred me on. Thanks lots. Hope your son enjoys his travels - the world gets smaller every day. x Jo

    ReplyDelete
  23. Gina absolutely please carry on. As a fellow blogger I realise how difficult it is to sometimes find words. A creative brain is a very difficult one to live with! I was meant to write a blog the other day and I ended up shredding an afternoons worth of business paperwork in silence as it required no creative energy
    whatsoever!! I think we are so affected by what is going on around us, and you sound as if your plate is rather full at the moment. A naughty but lovable dog, a travelling son, the painters (yes I hate my space invaded by workmen) all sound quite stressful. I think our age is a component too, we want to feel valued, successful and not that life is for creative young things. In short we still have it. I love your blogs. I know how dispiriting it is to see someone posing with a Karcher steam washer about to embark on cleaning a patio getting 137 likes. I know your posts take a significant amount of thought, time and energy especially when you have to make a damned technical bake for the post! It is disheartening not to have blogging accolades, to scratch around for likes etc... However I would rather stay real than "sell out" like some "successful" bloggers who end up pushily promoting Nespresso machines (grrrrr) and the like. I love it when someone says to me how much they enjoy putting their computer on at the start of a working day to find one of my posts. That does make it feel worthwhile. For me my blogging is a record of a life well lived, hopefully my thoughts and actions are around for family to find in years to come (Samuel Pepy's eat your heart out!) I am sure travelling son will love to log in and find out what his mum is up to, whether it's imagining the smell of a technical bake on the kitchen table, the rattle of the sewing machine, or his mum's voice berating naughty Hector in the garden. I'm sure it will be great for him to read your latest writings to feel in touch with home. It sounds as if you have some good thoughts for future posts and I LOVE your rug.. absolutely love it. I admire you immensely Gina, whereas my 60 by 60 challenges remain resolutely on the back pages of a Moleskin you are getting on with yours! Remember it is ok to say i'm having a break from blogging for a month (for example) , I think sometimes it's great to have a bit of a breather and come back refreshed, invigorated and ready to spread the Gina word again. Sending a big hug from Bristol, please come and walk/moan around the harbour- A Bristol blog from Fan My Flame would be great. Love Rocking Dog x

    ReplyDelete
  24. I am always unsettled by having workmen in or out of the house. Luckily one of my sons-in-law is an excellent decorator and we get on very well so he does mine. I hope the weather will improve and allow yours to get the job finished.
    I daresay Hector can't understand what the 'intruders' are up to
    I love the embroideries and your rag rug - the colours are lovely.
    Your posts are always interesting, so I am very glad you won't be giving up just yet.
    It's always sad when an offspring flies the nest, but wherever he is he will always be your son, and you gave him the confidence to do his own thing.
    I hope peace will soon reign again for you.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I look at your blog every day, so please don't give up. It is so inspiring and good to follow. Your son will have some great things to share with you all when he is back for the wedding.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, what a kind thing to say x

      Delete
  26. Little monster! I'm sure having his bits sorted will help. They often need more brain work than physical. Have you thought of doing classes with him. Not just the basic stuff, how about agility or gundog ( with dummies not birds.). Love the rug and know the travelling son thing. Mine did it several times. Funnily enough I've just written about comments fall off. I don't have anywhere near as many as you do but it's still noticeable. I stlll like the diary aspect of it though. Chin up old bean.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I'm still looking forward to seeing the design you did sometime ago in fabric & stitch. Tried to find it on your blog but couldn't. Did you do it with Bobby? Maybe that would start the creative juices flowing again?

    ReplyDelete
  28. ...and to think we were just talking about having a dog again... maybe not! As for the old blog thing you know you're leaning against an open door here. Can't seem to give it up myself either and don't expect people to comment with my infrequent posts but you always seem to stir up lots of feedback so keep going - but only if you want to! As for that boy of yours, he'll need more than those flip flops in Canada. I worked there for a year and it went down to -23 at one point. You'd better knit him some thick socks as a winter project!! xx

    ReplyDelete
  29. I had stopped reading blogs and even writing my own as I had not been very creative. I am trying again to write my blog more regularly but I am wondering if I should bother as most people do Facebook or Twitter. Blogging seems to be running out of stem.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Gina, I do love your bog and read it whenever it pops up on the feed thingey I use. Although I love your creativity, it is your vitality and love of life which, at times, blows me away. I am 70 now and seem to be busier than ever - then I read what you do and feel positively lazy!
    I do understand about your lovely young man too. One of my sons (I have 3; no daughters) works in China as he was unable to get meaningful work here in NZ. He is coming home for 2 weeks soon, with his American partner. I am already feeling so sad that he wil not be staying. BUT I will so enjoy his time at home and am SO looking forward to meeting lovely Sarah.
    I have rejoined Facebook but really dislike it, so please keep blogging.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Gina Thanks for a great post. You have put my mind at ease knowing I'm not the only one who can't settle when workmen are in.As for children flying around the world, never did I think I would appreciate social media. I've had a cuppa and a chat with my daughter in Hong Kong via Facetime. We Whatsapp whenever she is on her work travels although having a chat 3am in the morning when she is in China can be tiring. I dont know how my parents coped when I was in Spain for 2 weeks holiday all those years ago. Keep on blogging, you have given me inspiration on many occcasions.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I love reading your blog & would miss it if you decided to stop writing. I rarely ever comment as I don't feel that I can contribute to what is said....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I appreciate you reading, thank you x

      Delete
  33. I love your blog, please carry on. I always search for a new post

    ReplyDelete
  34. Isn't there a 'plug -in' thing to calm dogs down? Not that I have any knowledge about dogs, you understand. I can't stand having work done whilst I am still in residence - I always have to go away.
    And having Joe depart with no idea of when he may return is bound to upset your equilibrium! Perhaps some Rescue Remedy might help - or a stiff Gin? xx

    ReplyDelete
  35. I think the fact you have 46 comments (to date) shows that you have quite a following! I certainly would miss you, you are the only embroidery blog I still regularly look at, but I do know how demanding blogging is. My husband blogs about our boating but that is getting less and less as he finds it harder and harder to find new things to say.
    So give up to f you need to but I, for one, would be sad to be no longer 'part of your life'
    Kath (nb Herbie)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your support Kath x

      Delete
  36. Please don't stop blogging Gina yours was the first blog I read when we had our first computer and it is still the one I always read . It must be really difficult not knowing when you will see Joe next but I feel sure he will always come home even if he keeps travelling. As for Hector it's the terrible teens our Grand Lab Hector was just the same but it gets better but as they say " not a lot " .

    ReplyDelete
  37. Hello! Can I add my voice to the mix - don't go! I've just seen your rag rug on instagram (not so I stay for me, as I haven't worked out how to do instagram yet) and so I came beetling over here to see what you've been up to. Where would I go to read the back story if you had up sticks and left blog world?! And I've just resolved to get back to regularly reading my favourite blogs, like I used to, as well as updating my own. So no, you can't stop! Talking of stopping though, I hope the little op gives Hector something to think about other than what to chew next. Fingers crossed for you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ....predictive text....I meant "not so insta" re. Instagram!

      Delete
  38. I rarely comment but love every blog you do - a wonderful eclectic mix of baking, embroidery, and real family life. I know it has to be your decision but I, like many others, would really miss you. I can only imagine how you feel about Joe leaving. Hoping Hector's op helps but it sounds like the canine equivalent of the terrible teens. Sheila

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I appreciate you taking the time to comment this time Sheila x

      Delete
  39. See - we DO all read what you say! I love the black and white embroidery, and well done on finishing the rug - you really have got cracking with that! And rather than thinking about how you will miss Joe - think about the exotic holidays you can have when you visit, Gill xx

    ReplyDelete
  40. Awwww, poor little Hector! ;-D Your beautiful bakes have me drooling -- and awfully hungry as it's just before lunchtime here. Looking forward to your millionaire's shortbread!

    ReplyDelete
  41. Since I have started a weekly botanical ramble ... reading blogs has slipped on to my do later pile. Have read a month of your posts. It feels as if blogging is having growing pains and moving to a slower pace.

    ReplyDelete
  42. I enjoy reading your blog Gina but like you my own blogging has dwindled to a trickle of posts. I'm enjoying Instagram much more ... multiple photos and more words than Twitter and a lovely bunch of creative users too. I'm torn whether to carry on blogging but enjoy writing a longer post when I have the time and inclination. After 10 years things are bound to change.

    ReplyDelete
  43. I really enjoy reading your blog Gina, although recently I seem to read posts in chunks rather than on a regular basis. It has become a treat to settle down, relax and catch up, as one might having a restorative gossip with a friend. I love to marvel at your amazing cakes, admire your creative stitch and giggle at Hector's antics (oh your poor cushions). My blog has fallen by the wayside with Mum needing more support and I miss it. Perhaps one day I'll find time and energy to start again. I cannot imagine how hard it must be to wave off your son not know when he will return. It must bring mixed emotions knowing you have brought up such a strong, independent young man who has the confidence to explore the world.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for leaving me a comment. I love to read what you have to say and try to reply directly by email when possible... although it sometimes takes me a while!