just an old-fashioned girl

Hello and welcome. I'm glad you dropped by. If you´re looking for something a little nostalgic of bygone eras with a timeless elegance and a little modern twist – in other words, something slightly “retro” – then you should feel right at home here in my shabby chic room. Month by month, there will always be something new to see so I hope you´ll enjoy your stay and come back again soon.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Advice From A Cow

I´ve been missing in action, or rather in inaction, since July when I was struck down and brought to a standstill, or rather a lie still, by a particularly vicious bout of sciatica. At first I resigned myself to lying around on the lawn alternating between reading and enjoying the garden but after a while reading began to pall, the garden and the house began to look neglected, the laundry remained unironed and I began to fret. It was around that time that I came upon this poem...

When life seems one too many for
Go and look at a cow.
When the future’s black and the
outlook blue,
Go and look at a cow.
For she does nothing but eat her
And sleep in the meadows entirely
Refusing to fret or worry or
Because she doesn’t know how.

Whenever you’re feeling bothered
and sore,
Go and look at a cow.
When everything else is a fearful
Go and look at a cow.
Observe her gentle and placid air,
Her nonchalance and savoir faire,
Her absolute freedom from every
Her imperturbable brow.

So when you’re at the end of your
Go and look at a cow.
Or when your nerves are frayed
to bits,
And wrinkles furrow your brow;
She’ll merely moo in her gentle
Switching her rudder as if to say:
“Bother tomorrow! Let’s live
Take the advice of a cow.”

Not only did I find this advice a-moo-sing but I started thinking about it and realised that I was worrying needlessly and spoiling a lovely peaceful summer by feeling guilty about neglecting my chores. I don´t mean that I took the advice literally and just lay there chewing the cud and staring placidly into the distance but I finally started to enjoy my enforced inactivity rather than brooding on it. I´ve since had the first appointment with my osteopath and feel a little better already. I´ve even managed to sit rather than recline for long enough to swap my book for needle and thread.
So this page is my tribute to the wise old cow and also my thank you to Diane who gave me her permission to use a photo of her beautiful Lilly with her first calf, the equally beautiful Gabby. Hope she´ll forgive me for altering that perfect photo ever so slightly to give it a painted look to go with the background. 
Try to take that advice to heart. Enjoy what´s left of the summer and leave the chores for a rainy day.


  1. I've never heard that poem and I LOVE it! I'll have to print your beautiful layout with my sweet girls. As always, your needlework is spot on. Such talent. Hope you continue to feel better with each day and have sunshine for your spirits. Give Dora a kiss for me!

  2. I had noticed your absence, but figured you were still enjoying the coast..... So sorry you were in so much pain again, and hoping with Diane that you will feel better every day from here on out. Not sure about the sunshine part, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you :-) Love, hugs and good thoughts coming your way

  3. I hope you are feeling better and not in so much pain anymore. I love the poem you shared, and your layout with Diane's Cows. Love the little cross stitch! I've been so busy with work that my house and chores get neglected on a regular basis... but I did get to make a big pot of chili yesterday as the weather has turned perfect for the dish. I feel stews and soups coming on a regular basis... hugs :)

  4. Oh, Helen, I'm so sorry you were suffering again and am wishing you improvement and better days. What a marvelous poem and great treatment of it with Diane's cows. And the stitchery is a delight. All of it brought me a big smile.

  5. So hope you are feeling much better by now. Where has time gone. I can so identify with your neglected house, ironing, and garden chores. Same goes for around here so much of the time. Love the poem and layout...just perfect for me right now. Your cow cross stitch is adorable. Oh, by the way, I have a number of cow cross stitch patterns if you ever want to do another one. Hope Autumn will bring a much more healthy season for you!