Being a mom is not easy!

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This title is so understated. It should read ‘Being a mom is bloody hard!’

If you are a lucky mom you will have family around you when your baby is born and in the years that follow. Family to guide you, support you and simply ‘just be there’.  Don’t get me wrong, this does not mean that they are at your beck and call every minute of the day or live in your shoes day and night, but simply to be there for you at the end of a phone or, in this day and age, FaceTime/Skype.   If you are extremely lucky you will have close friends who also have/had children and can relate stories of how they coped with just that emotion you’re experiencing or that wonderful tantrum you are trying to control when in the street.

Some of us aren’t that lucky and find ourselves doing what we can with the knowledge we have, albeit very little. I was just one of those moms.  I had no parents or close friends to rely on and I was young and very naive.  But, with lots of love and a certain amount of intelligence you can raise your child to be just as great. Morals and manners are easy to teach and worth every minute of your time. They are a great grounding for adult hood.  Hearing from our family and friends how little Tommy was potty trained or how Sam was reading at the age of 2 is often unhelpful anyway. We all know that children are different. They grow at different stages, their development comes at different times and speeds and …. very importantly, we should never compare children with each other. Does it matter if your child is not reading at the age of 2 but little Sam is on her next boxed set of books? 99.9% of the time the answer is no. Children catch up very quickly. By the time they go to school the gap will be a lot smaller albeit if any gap at all.

We automatically want our first child to walk, talk and generally grow up far to quickly. We have that sense of pride when others notice that little Dan is no longer in nappies and he has only just had his 1st birthday! The second child is different. We are not in such a rush. We have learnt that children grow up far far too quick and we try and savour each stage of our child’s growth. With the third child (I would imagine this to be true as I only had two) all rule books go out of the window and the child dictates what they do and when they do it.

Problems start when they grow up to be teenagers and adults. But… that is for another day.

My advice to all moms – enjoy every minute with your children and never regret the ‘me time’ that you don’t seem to be able to get because you need to bath your child, sort their clothes, make meals or just read to them. You will get the ‘me time’ you need and far too quickly. I promise.

 

 

Does money make us happy? If not, what does?

images-1Deep down we all know that money is not the ‘be all and end all’ but …..in this modern society we live in today it is necessary if we want to live comfortably.   However, what is the definition of comfortable and how much money do we need to achieve it?   I believe that the sum of money you need to be comfortable cannot be quantified. Why? Living in London you will need more of the ‘cash’ to live the same life as you would in say, in Thailand.

So my definition of comfortable would be whether I have enough food, shelter and love around me to live a good and happy life.  I personally have too much food, have a lovely ‘shelter’ and lots of love. I am one of the lucky ones. If I was to loose one of those elements, my life would soon turn upside down.  It has happened to me in the past but, in time, I managed to replace that missing element which allowed me to live life again with a smile.

The future is unpredictable – you may have years of happiness still to go but you may not! Make everyday count. Don’t let others put you down, make you feel worthless or insecure. If they do, get rid and quickly. You deserve better.

Sometimes we can overlook the smaller things in our life.  However, if they ceases to exist or exit our lives, we may find a hole in our very existence. That hole could be filled with other similar things, but occasionally, filling that hole is like trying to put a square peg into a round hole. It just cannot happen.

So…. Continue reading

Rules of my house.

IMG_0817Rules of my house.

1. If you see dirt, clean it up.
2. No number two. That’s it!

Living with two rescue dogs and a man, the house does not stay clean for long. In fact, blink and you could easily miss it completely. I always warn friends to wear dark glasses if they don’t want to adhere to my house rule.

Once upon a time I was fanatical about sweeping dog hairs up from the floor, mopping paw prints off the tiles or wiping finger prints off doors left behind by my lovely man who goes around blindfold. But…..age and life experiences have taught me a. Life is too short and b. There are more important things to do, such as living your life.

Don’t get me wrong, I still like my house to be clean but not to the extent that it cannot be left in a ‘state’ for a short period of time. Some time ago now I purchased my first Henry. My not so old Dyson had died and I was desperate. I immediately fell in love with Henry. Great suction, great attachments and a wonderful long electric cable. It simply makes my life easier with less hassles. Isn’t that what we all want. My second great purchase was my steam cleaner. My only gripe is the length of its cable. It is far too short. To overcome this problem I have added an extension. Not perfect but it does the job. Click on the pictures below and take a look.  I cannot recommend them more. Just brilliant.

All I need now is a cook, washer upper, dog groomer and walker, gardener and someone/thing to do the ironing. My life would be sorted.

I must add these items to my bucket list.

Living the Dream?

IMG_0571Life began in Cyprus 10 years ago now. For the first 12 months we were on holiday. We went out for meals in the many tavernas, drank the local Keo beers, enjoyed the family who came and went at regular intervals, swam in the med most days and enjoyed the weather. What a life.

But, reality kicked in as it often tends to do. We needed to earn money as our savings were dwindling. John, who was already a UK Chartered Accountant, sat the Cypriot Law and Tax exams and I started voluntary work and painting. We opened a local shop which served as John’s office and a place I could sell my paintings. I say paintings but I am certainly no artist. I put colours together! Life was busy but the sun shone and people were happy.

10 years on and life in Cyprus has not been 100% easy but that would be the same in any country wouldn’t it? Continue reading

Why move to Cyprus?

Why move to Cyprus?  I have been asked this simDSCN1175ple question many times but the answer is not that straight forward. But, here goes….

The answer has several parts which, put together, made our decision. John was getting more and more stressed with work and general life in the UK. The weather did not help either, it was terrible. Wind, rain, cold and just miserable. Then there was the fact that my sister had not long died. This was hard for me to come to terms with losing such a strong and formidable individual as Pat was. Life was not easy and we were not getting any younger.

We had often dreamed of retiring to the sun and initially thought of Lanzarote but prices there were going sky high. We started coming to Cyprus more and more. The prices were cheaper and the life style was good. So good that we decided to buy a penthouse apartment, that had spectacular views of the Mediterranean, to use as our future holiday base. It was going to be our first stepping stone onto the property ladder for when the day came for us to retire in the sun. But that was a long way off yet! Or was it?

Take a look at Peyia Sea View Penthouse – it is for sale.  For more info contact sue.horton@me.com

 

One night while sitting in front of the TV John said, Continue reading

Then there were two!

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In my last blog I introduced Charlie.  Our golden boy.

When Charlie was around 18 months we considered whether he would benefit from having a canine friend around the house.  He was getting very attached to us – not a bad thing at all but I did worry that he was becoming more human than dog!   He did not want to leave my side. He watched every move I made.  Was he bored?

We took a trip to the local dog sanctuary to take a look at the lost dogs in their care.  There were over 129 dogs and the numbers continued to grow each day.  We asked to take 3 of the dogs out for a walk to see how we all got along.  We chose three similar looking dogs to Charlie and off we went.  Please don’t get me wrong, they were perfect dogs.  But..they were not Charlie or nothing like.  It just did not feel right with each one of the lovely boys we walked.

As we returned from our last walk we began to head for the door when we notices 7 or 8 puppies in a cage.  As puppies do, they were all scrambling to get to us.  All except one.  He was a white and beige pointer cross pup that sat in the corner and looked really sad.  I had seen that look before 18 months ago!  John and I just looked at each other and knew immediately that we wanted to take him home.  But…. Continue reading

An addition to the family

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Our golden fluffy bundle of joy

“I need someone to foster a ball of fluff for 2 weeks”, is what the kennel lady said.  I could do that, two weeks is nothing.  Well, that is how it all started.

I arranged to meet this lady to see which of the 5 pups I would like to share my home with for those two weeks.  Immediately my eyes went to the white fluffy thing running around with his brothers, searching for that crumb someone may have dropped or that lost ant to play with.  Within minutes one of his brothers, more golden that the rest, sat by my feet and looked up at me.  I said hello but my attention went back to watching the white fluffy thing causing havoc around the garden.  Every few minutes I would look down to see my new golden friend watching me and sitting patiently as if he was waiting for something.  I stroked him and tickled his ear but went back to watching my white ball of fluff.

My new golden friend was still at my feet 25 minutes later.  After several pick ups and hugs I knew my decision to which pup to take home would be difficult – I had fallen in love with two very different pups.  Could I possibly take two!   Definitely not, my hubby would not be a happy chappy.

It ended up to be not that difficult a decision to make.  The white fluffy thing was certainly not interested in anything but his own little world.  He was having fun.  It was a different story with the golden fluffy thing at my feet.  His eyes never left mine.  He was trying to tell me something….. Continue reading

Small can be beautiful.

imageI prefer the smaller dreams to come true, less chance of being disappointed. However, the smaller dreams can become a huge and happy part of your life.

I love lemons.  Lemon curd, lemon ice cream, lemon sliced in a drink…..even lemon scented cleaning products.  So when we moved to Cyprus the first things I wanted to do was plant a lemon tree.   I went to the local garden centre and bought, what I thought was the ideal tree.  The tree was small but it already had one lemon and new flowers.

Home it came and I began making the tree a home to call its own.  Plenty of water and weeks later I peered through the greenery Continue reading