Friday, 13 June 2014

Who remembers 1966?

Hello there!
Thanks for stopping by!
This is so weird...
I have just finished writing my first step-by-step GERMAN blog. 
And then flicked channels, to chat to you. 
Isn’t this technology astounding?
I mean, to be able to sit in the comfort of my little house in front of a screen, and write to people all over the world. 
Can we have a show of hands in a minute where you are?
Mostly we will be Brits in this room, but I know we have French, German, Australian and Spanish friends, and Americans for sure!
That’s pretty cool, don’t you think?

Mmm. Friday’s blog a Private peek....
This week was certainly a P for Priorities kind of week.
My brother Steve, as you know, had quite an op on Tuesday.
They removed his thyroid gland, so he has got a pretty severe slit across his throat. 
And it’s his birthday today!
FRIDAY 13th JUNE !!!!!



But the good news is, he’s home and still laughing. 
He’ll be off work for a while of course.
Boy oh boy, the lengths some blokes will go to 
to watch the World Cup! 

While Steve and I were in the Hospital Waiting Room, 
I was ordering some lovely bunting for the 
Clarity Open Days next week 
(hands up if you are coming!)



Suddenly, out of nowhere, the Imp in me surfaced.
“Let’s send Mum a flag and some bunting for the World Cup”
GOOD IDEA.

So yesterday, Dad was on the phone. 
“Parcel arrived, Barb. Thanks!”
“Oh good! That was fast. You going to hang it up, Dad?”

My Dad’s response was:
“If you’re happy to pay for the windows, I’m happy to hang it.”
(He’s a dry old stick...)

Mum wants him to hang the bunting from the tree on the front lawn like a Maypole...



Anyway, we sent her a little flag, too,


because last time we were over, 
she was saying that Dad had hidden her rattle. 
She had looked everywhere for it!
I didn’t have the heart to replace it...
read the description:



And yes, I hear you asking, Mum IS German!
And yes, you’ve guessed it: Dad’s English!

My lad Mark called from California this evening. 
He’s busily packing to fly to Brasil for the World Cup for the whole month. What a nice Mum he’s got! (Graduation Gift).
And there am I on the phone, 
telling him to
1) go to Walgreens and buy sachets of shampoo, Immodium and Vitamin B12 for the mosquitos;
2) Go to a campshop and buy a sleeping bag in the States, 
NOT in Brasil - they’ll fleece you properly.
and 3) don’t take anything with you that you want to leave with!

Hahaha. I bet he’s glad he called! All he said was, 
“Immodium? What’s that for?”

What else?
 My daughter Grace is coming home from New York on Sunday for a couple of weeks YAY!!!! 
Dave’s having an afternoon out with Laura his daughter today; they’re going to buy a pram together. 
Isn’t that wonderful?

So I think we can safely say, that life is good in the Gray camp.
Very good.

I could worry about Steve,
I could worry about Mark in Brazil,
I could worry about Grace in New York,
I could worry about Laura,
I could worry about the Open Days.
I could worry about work in general,
I could spend my life worrying about stuff I can’t control.
But the more I worry, the more I worry.
And what for?
All the worrying in the world, the whole big wide world,
won’t change a damned thing.
In fact, Immodium in Brazil will probably be more useful.

Have a great weekend, and if you’re a worrier, 
give yourself a break.

lots of love,

64 comments:

  1. Hiya, am American here and I have tickets not to the World Cup but to the open day. Glad Mark is getting ready, Grace is coming and that Steve is feeling a little better. How goes the garage project? See you next week... Worry not!

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  2. Your blog and your art work give me joy. Thank you!

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  3. One very worrying time in my life came rushing back to me with a sickening rush on Thursday evening - the riots in Nottingham in particular. While clearing the "rubbish" off the TiVo box, I came across a programme recorded in the city at that time. My son is a police officer and was in the thick of it. Or those few days, I watched the TV coverage and just felt sick with worry for him and his colleagues, who were being deliberately targeted by th rioters. You never stop worrying about your family - it sort of goes with the territory of being a mother. That bunting should be hung in celebration of their success as caring and successful people. xx Maggie

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    1. PS I do remember 1966 vividly. xx Maggie

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  4. First of all happy birthday and get well soon to your brother, secondly congratulations on your great new blog. I too am a worry wort or as I call it a fretter. I frequently find myself saying I will not worry over things I can do nothing about followed ny my other brain saying what about the things I can do something about...

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  5. Hello from Cyprus. Thank you for your posts each day. I hope goes well for all the family and thank you for sharing your work and snippets of life. I love to read your blog over breakfast before heading off to work

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  6. Hi Barb, number 1 worrier here. I worry about my partner who has been out of work for over a year. It's his age (old goat lol). My chronic illness.Then my son who lives with us and his girlfriend and baby (the light of my life) crammed into a 3 bedroomed house.. gets really exciting at times and is probably the reason why I am reading your blog at 4.25 am. I love it and I look forward to reading it everyday. P for positivity, perseverence and only slightly for peed off, as I then have the crafting world, my little piece of heaven and where I love looking at the little pieces of art the design team and you produce, makes my heart soar and all those niggling worries disappear... But I'm talking a load of.... Where's that immodium. Have a wonderful day xxx

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  7. Barbara love your advice about worrying, I'm such a worrier I give myself panic attacks, and like you say it's all out of my hands so why do I do it? I ask myself all the time? Oh well onwards and upwards x

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  8. I agree worrying gets us no were I had a worried day yesterday Bob to had an op panic set in, what if something gies wrong cannot cope with lossing him his my rock I could have got through the last nine months with out him I didn't need to worry all went okay up early to pick him up hopefully op will have put his heart right. And life will be better so much to be thankful for still have three beautiful daughters two granddaughters and grandson and another one due in October life is so precious so silly worrying what of let's enjoy it xxx

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  9. Morning Barb, Hands up - SE London for pin on the map!!
    AH - ammonium such words of wisdom and advice - carry them everywhere these days!! especially when away from home - the younger generation have no idea - mind you some of my own generation have no idea either!!! Apart from my friend Vanessa Hann up above!!!
    Great blog - love your Friday blog - bunting looks great, nice to spoil your mum too - maybe her may pole design should have been german and english bunting!!!
    Am popping card in the post to you this morning for your Steve, just a quickie one so do hope its alright xx
    Anyway - its another sunny morning - a fun weekend ahead for many - so enjoy - bet you will be a cat on a hot tin roof waiting at the airport on Sunday!!! xxx

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  10. Hi Barb, what a great blog this morning. I also worry a lot, and yes I ask myself why. But reading this and the comments. I am glad I am not the only one. Bet you can't wait to have Grace home, and then followed fairly soon by Mark. Happy birthday to Steve, hope he recovers quickly. Make sure you take pics of Mum and Dad's bunting, had to laugh about the rattle. I was born in South Africa, but am now a true blue Brit. Have a great and sunny Friday everyone. Bx

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  11. Hi Barbara, Sunny Cornwall here, we all worry a little bit, it's human nature! I wish I could attend your open days, would love to see where all action takes place but alas it's just too far :o(.
    Here's hoping all works out well. As for me until the 13th July I will be firmly shut in my craft space!!!
    ( and at work of course) X

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  12. Oh Barbara...what a wonderful blog today! Its so good to hear Steve is home! You have an exciting time ahead with Grace coming home and the open days to boot!
    I will stop worrying....or try to ....it's not doing my eczema any good!
    Not long til the retreat!!! I am so excited and counting the days down!
    Love and hugs and a big happy birthday to Steve! xx

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  13. Morning from Doncaster happy birthday to your brother. Lifes to short to worry we all need to live it and laugh x

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  14. Morning Barbara from sunny Berkshire, it's human nature to worry! So glad to hear that Steve is home, and happy birthday to him. A card is on it's way. Lucky Mark to have a fab trip as his graduation gift and lucky you to have Grace home for a while. Looking forward to seeing you and the gang next weekend. Enjoy the glorious weather xx

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  15. Hi Barb , So glad Steve is on the mend , Grace will be on he way home and Mark on his way to Brasil. How good is that . Life is such a gift .
    Here in Wales we had a wonderful warm day yesterday. I made a Get Well card for my daughter in law who is also recovering from an op. I used the Japanese Reed stencil . so proud of myself . Diden't think I would ever be able to do something like this . Thanks to you . Have fun xxp

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  16. Hi Barbara get well wishes to your brother! I do love your philosophy on life and how worrying about things makes no difference, I'm going to copy your wise words and display them in my craft room to keep reminding me! Hope Mark has a great time in Brazil and Grace has a safe journey over here, much love Carolyn x

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  17. Good morning from Cumbria. My mum is a right worrier...had police out looking for me once when I was driving home from my sister's ( Wiltshire to Kent). I was 25 with 2 children and had just left later than I'd told her. Very embarrassing! Now my own children have grown up I make it a rule not to ask too much for my own sanity. Why worry about what you can't change...easier said than done sometimes.
    They'll be one very happy lady at the airport on Sunday. Does Grace realise that she's got quite a following now in the UK? Wish I could get to the open days but I'll see you in August instead. Glad Steve is recovering. Love the bunting story. Your poor mum. Send Mark some Avon Skin so soft spray. The SAS use it as midges hate the smell and the oil on the skin makes it hard for them to land and bite. Anyway...There's a little song I know ...Don't worry, be happy!
    Best wishes
    Jeanette x

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    1. Yes Jeanette I'll second the use of Avon Skin so Soft as the Forestry Commission here in Scotland use it too.
      Sylvia.

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  18. Good morning Barbara from sunny Hampshire. I was a baby in 1966 so memory not so good! Your blog today made me laugh with Mark and the Imodium ( he will learn to thank his mum for her advice) and your mum and dad and the flags! Good to hear Steve is home and recovering I'm sure the enforced football watching will help. Great to hear Grace is on her way home hopefully some mother and daughter time planned and Dave out on grandad practice very exciting. Me yes I'm a worrier but try hard not to, my daughter has her driving test this afternoon on Friday the 13th! I'm sure it will be fine. Have a great weekend and enjoy the sunshine. Love Diane xxx

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  19. Hi Barbara. What a great blog, so much happy good news, sat here with a big smile on my face for you and yours : ))
    Happy Birthday to Steve, I hope you can enjoy some Birthday cake and a drink or two to wash it down : )
    I certainly don't worry anywhere near as much as I used to, it doesn't get you anywhere does it, I try and look at the positives and find that really helps, still have moments about the family but that comes with being a Mum doesn't it : )
    It is fantastic that we can sit at home and yet travel the world via these plastic boxes that we call computers isn't it. I am English born and bred, in 1966, so don't remember much about that year! : )
    May you stay worry free Barbara. Thank you for such a wonderful post today. Have a great day.

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  20. Good morning from Sunny Scarborough in North Yorkshire. Very pleased Steve is home and doing well, Happy Birthday! I always think and try to remind myself if you worry too much you're missing out on the present, good times ahead enjoy xx

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  21. Good Morning from sunny Germany. Love your blog - well, always do. Will check out your German one too later. Good to hear your brother is back home and recovering well! Will be in England next week an am really looking forward to attening your Open Day on 21st! Have a great weekend! Liebe Gruesse Heidi x

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  22. Morning Barbara. Love our daily peek into your world. Thanks for sharing your wisdom about not worrying. I seem to have spent so much of my life worrying about one thing or another; it can't have been good. There's a lot going on in my life too at the moment, but I try to accept things as they are much more now. Like you say, no amount of worrying will change the outcome. "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is the present, thats why its a gift" Off to unwrap whatever today has in store for me! Hope you have a great day too.Xxx

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  23. Good morning from rainy Dundee. Glad your brother's op went well. At least he won't be tempted to overdo things if he's glued to the TV. I've got my immodium and my midge repellent packed,as I'm off to Harris today.....and of course my Wellies!! :-)

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  24. Morning Barbara,
    So glad your Steve is home and a very happy birthday to him !
    We can build up quite a bag of worries if we're not careful and it gets very heavy carrying them around!
    Glad you are giving yourself a break and enjoy your day , and the next day, and the next day..............
    XxxxRuth

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  25. Hi Barbara Thank you for such a delightful post. So glad that Steve is on the mend send him happy birthday wishes from down hear in somerset. 1966 I was 9 we had our first tv and you could spend all day playing in the feilds use to take a jam sandwich and you came home when you were hungrythe care free days . so stay worry free and have a fantastic time with family happy crafting Pauline xxx

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  26. Morning Barbara, glad your brother is getting on well and the kids will soon be home, my son is home next week for the summer so happy days! Worrying is my main occupation always has been, I've inherited it so can't change now!
    Hope the open days go to plan and you have some more, you never know I might be able to come to one and meet you all one day.
    I'm still working backwards through your blog, I do a few each day and am back to Feb now, so many projects to have a go at, especially the gelli, haven't got my confidence with that yet. Yours is the best blog I've ever read, so glad you started it :-)
    Lots of love xx

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  27. I try not to worry too much. I have just supervised my husband having his shower and getting dressed! But next week he is going into respite and I am going to spend the whole week with my cousin. Yay.

    I hope Steve continues to recover and Laura gets the pram she wants.

    Love,
    Rosalind xxx

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  28. West Wales calling! Of course, that's {ususally} wildly wet, wutheringly windy, wibbly wobbly wonderful west Wales!
    The one thing I wish someone had told me before my thyroid surgery was that I would not be able to lift my head off the pillow without using my hands for support {just like a sit up!} for days. Scared the heck out of me. My 'butterflies' looked like a little silver choker too. These days, when people ask about my scar I tell them I had my throat cut by pirates. Hahaha! Hope he recovers soonest. Funnily enough, I had my birthday two days afterwards in hospital! Happy Birthday Steve!

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    1. Football? What football? It's Queens now and Wimbledon very soon ~~~

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  29. Thanks Barb for your words of wisdom. I am a worrier, and I know I can't change things. When I have too much to do I find that helps as I think about what I have to do rather than about what my girls are up to. Both married and 38 and 40, but still can't let go. They live their lives without any interference but I still wonder how they are.

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  30. Hi Barbara from very sunny city of Brighton and Hove, I live in Hove actually. You are so right about worry, just gives you headaches and wrinkles. Having been a Registered Nurse for 42 yrs, seen many ops that your brother has had all with very good results, best of wishes to him and ALL your family. By the way What is this world cup people are talking about?

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  31. Hi from South Yorkshire, what a great post, love the idea of German and British bunting. Nine of the men here like football, it's rugby and cricket here, though I have a soft spot for watching England with hope over experience every time. Just about remember 1966 as I was 7 at the time.

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  32. Morning Barbara, what a great read and so glad to hear so much good news....really pleased all is going well for Steve and Happy Birthday to him. ..looking forward to the Open Day next week and thanks for the permission to stiop worrying for the weekend.....( you know what I am like..lol..) I will sleep easy.....hugs...x

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  33. Hi, sunny Leicestershire, England. I can't wait to meet Gracie next weekend!. Football... what's that??? LOL! Glad you're home and recovering with a smile Steve! Enjoy your shopping Dave, I'm sure you both will... Barbara, deep breath, coffee... and relax a while (but knowing you better... you'll be moving around at mach 3!).

    With love to you all, Mandy xxx

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  34. Good morning Barbara from sunny Bedfordshire!I love your outlook on life! My Dad is the biggest worrier I know shame he doesn`t `do` computers, he might learn something from your blog. Happy birthday to your brother, its my brothers birthday tomorrow need to finish his card. I have a very busy weekend as I have the three grandchildren coming along with their two dogs! enjoy your weekend

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  35. Good morning Barbara from Germany, sun is shining !! Love your blog today and I am glad that the whole Family is well. I like the song "don´t worry - be happy" - have a nice day!

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  36. Hi Barbara... yes worrying don't get us anywhere what will be will be ....happy crafting ...x

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  37. What a lovely way to look at it, instead of worrying, revel in the fact that everyone is enjoying themselves and that Steve is Ok and will have the football to take his mind off things. HAPPY BIRTHDAY STEVE.x All is calm in my Kitchen too. xxx However I AM worried about the open day. But in a good way xxxx

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  38. Happy Birthday Steve - my grandson is ONE YEAR OLD today. Great philosophy you have Barbara and how very kind of you and Dave to give Mark such a fabulous graduation gift. Bet you can't wait to see Grace and have her home with you for a while. Have a great weekend. Pat x

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  39. Hi from a very sunny Essex, I live right on the edge of Epping Forrest which is a wonderful oasis of green and calm.
    How lovely that Grace is coming home for a holiday and I'm sure Mark will have a great time in Brazil and as you say all the worrying in the world on your part won't change anything.
    Happy Birthday Steve and get well soon
    Jackie x

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  40. Happy birthday to Steve, its my daughter Jeni's birthday too. I'm in sunny Manchester. I worry too, fret and cannot sleep and all for nothing really because it doesn't change a thing, but we cannot help the way we are wired. The world will still turn and what ever happens we will deal with. Good news about Grace coming home. Joan x

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  41. Yes Hand Up I am coming to Open Day, hubby will be with me as we staying in the area for a few days. I am so looking forward to it, got a shopping list. I still worry about my kids and they all grown up, don't pester them and always ready to help if needed. They will all be here on Sunday for a barbecue will be fantastic, lots of laughter.
    Yes I remember 1966 only too well. I was in Woodlands hospital having a major op on my leg. Had it shortened by just over an inch. So there was I as a 14 year old girl stuck in front of a TV and not able to move. It was worth it.
    Hope Steve gets on ok, the worst is probably over and he can enjoy World Cup. Lucky Mark you are one fab mum. xx

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  42. I do agree about the worrying Barbara, my Dad used to say the same thing. And definitely the Immodium is likely to be of more help.

    From and English woman, living in a damp west of Ireland! (ps, happy birthday to your brother, it was my birthday on the 10th).

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  43. Hi there, I love this quote "Dont miss the sun today, but worrying about the rain tomorrow", now all I have to do is remember it. I am a terrible worrier. So enjoy today xxx.

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  44. Hi - Barb,
    It's a great blog today and YES I remember 1966 it was the year I got married!!! How could I ever forget it, did something else happen that year? lol
    Worry, me, never. Apart from lying awake worrying that I've got nothing to worry about, and then something crops up and I lie awake worrying about that, I'm lucky if I get 4 hours sleep a night! And the grandchildren - and my daughter and son-in-law - don't even get me started.
    You have a good day, can you stitch the English flag to the back of the German flag and then all will be sweetness and light in you mum and dad's camp?
    Happy birthday to Steve and get well soon.
    You and Dave have a great day - hope his pram buying mission went well. xx
    P>s. I'm writing from Newcastle upon Tyne, and I worry that you'll never come back up here again.

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  45. Hi from GOSPORT, looking forward to the 21st --
    Love watching both youyr blogs -- I put translate onto the German one and get the best on both
    Anne

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  46. Glad your brother is home Barbara, and how lovely to have daughter Grace home for a holiday. I worry about things too much too, and you are quite right that worrying never made anything better. Hope the Open Day is a great success and if I lived closer I would definitely be coming. We all worry about our offspring, mostly I wish mine to be safe and happy and to have the life that he wants, but I do miss him as he is a long way away and I can't see him much to 'mother' him. Thank you for your blog which is always so full of positivity, and you instil a little of it in each of us every time we visit. x

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  47. I'm a worrier Barbara my brave beautiful brother goes into hospital on Monday very I'll with Parkinson's they are going to try some new medication to try to help him please pray for him. So glad your brother is home and all your news is happy love you junexxcx

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  48. It is hard not to worry so I don't - I just get concerned and pray a lot and pretend I am not worried!!
    Matthew 6:27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

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  49. oh yes Barbara - puts me in mind of my fave song - don't worry - be happy!!!! thanks for putting that in my head! Hugs rachel x

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  50. Worry oh yes I am one of those as anyone knows it does not help but we worry anyway .my crafting helps me happy crafting xxx

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  51. Greetings from the Highlands of Scotland! Glad Steve is doing OK post op - strangely I had a thyroid op 12 years ago during the world cup, and the day after my op was visited at the crack of dawn by the consultant so that we could all watch the England match!!! Rosehip oil is really good for the scarring once it has healed. Worry less, smile more - my new mantra for life.... Susan x

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  52. oh thank you Barbara for this post, I am so bad for worrying about things I cannot control. My youngest has just gone off for the weekend with a friend's family and I am worrying already about them driving to and from their destination and that he will be okay while away. I have a constant list of things to worry about so it's time I follow your rules. Happy Birthday to your brother and have a great weekend x

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  53. and I meant to add I am in the Inverness,Highlands of Scotland, near Loch Ness :-) x

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  54. Happy Birthday Steve and I hope your recovery goes well...I opted for the Radioiodene treatment last year for my thyroid troubles, have caught every cold going since then lol. Bio oil is very good for reducing scarring once you are healed of course. So not a football fan! Bit going to Rio well that would be lovely. Great advice to Mark. I am not a worrier. I can usually see where and when things are going to go wrong so I either avoid those moments or pre-empt them with something more positive. (or easier) Wish I could put my hands up to say I was coming to one of your open days but I will put hand up as coming from South Ayrshire at the mo! Have a great weekend Barbara and thank you for sharing xx

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  55. Glad Steve is home and hopefully will recover very quickly. It is my birthday today too, hope he is well enough to enjoy it. I am in West Mids, worry over everything. My philosophy is I have an awful lot of people to worry about, lots of friends, wonderful husband, children and grandchildren, better than having nobody. Would be lovely to have a day off, but it won't happen.

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  56. Hi Barb, glad to read that your brother is recovering well. My husband had a thyroid op when he was 19 and at 70 he's still as fit as a fiddle and three times as active. Still got the practically disappearing slit in his neck. So nice that 'the family' will be altogether in the summer and a new grandbaby, magic. Welcome to the free babysitting service- it's fantastic.

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  57. Hi Barbara,
    1966? Hmm ... nope, can't remember as I'm 12 months too young ;-) (makes a change to be too young for something!)
    Can you see me waving from the East of Yorkshire? I suppose I'm English, but I feel more Yorkshire - never lived anywhere else, tho I've tried each county within Yorkshire!
    Hope Steve had a 'good as is possible' birthday ... certain to be memorable if nothing else! Best wishes from us all here. And thanks for showing me a better way than worrying ... now I must remember not to worry!
    Hugs ((()))

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  58. Hi Barb, glad to hear that Steve is home and doing well. Happy birthday to him. Also glad to hear that Grace will be with you shortly - that will be fantastic for you. Since retiring from teaching two years ago after 37 years, I find that I don't worry anymore - I just enjoy being able to do what I want, when I want! I just tend to let things wash over me and also take things as they come. Have a great weekend, l

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  59. i wasn't around in 1966 (a year too early for me, yay!) but i was there in 1982 and 2006 ;)
    glad Steve is on the mend xx

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  60. Wow what a week. It's really lovely to hear all the good stuff that's happening for you and all your lovely family. You're so right that worrying gets you know where, personally I'm done with it, well ok for most of the time anyway. I'll still worry about my son in Canada at the moment, but at least he's not at war somewhere, then I'll really worry. My sister gave me some words of wisdom a few years ago which helped me no end when I was at breaking point. She said why worry, if you can do something about it do it, if you can't why worry. Maybe there was a bit more to it but I can't remember , anyway at the time it really helped me deal with stuff and I think empowered me to change things that needed changing and gave me a few very precious years with someone very special. Blimey , sorry don't know where all that came from but anyone reading this, just don't waste time worrying about stuff you can't change, life is just too short, enjoy it.
    1966 was a good year for me as that was when I was born!
    Can't wait till next weekend to see you Barbara, ooh and Grace if she's around!?Wx

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Thank you for your kind messages and I hope you get inspiration from my ramblings.

Barb x