Sunday, 28 October 2007

Dolly Domestic!

Well, the lemon tea muffins didn't turn out very well, at least from an appearance point of view. They were actually very tasty and daughter no. 4 ate many as a result! We then tried the following day some peanut butter and banana muffins (different recipe book - 250 best ever muffins) but there were disappointing taste-wise. They looked great and smelt wonderful but the taste was surprising bland. So on Friday when I was expecting a visit I made an old favourite - Christmas morning cranberry muffins! Very good and here is a picture. Tasty with cinnamon, ground spice, orange juice and rind and cranberries. We have then each Christmas morning before we head off to church.

So the week has gone by, busy with the new day job which is currently pretty flexible. I am off for an interview on Wednesday for a possible new day job 3 days a week!! Very strange to be on the other side of the interview table after so long of usually being the interviewer. Hopefully hubby will be asking me a few questions in preparation over the next few days.

Now this heading of 'dolly domestic' comes from someone I used to work with and when she use the expression after a weekend of general household chores, it stuck with me. So being 'dolly domestic' was what I was up to all day yesterday. We had friends over for dinner in the evening so it was a good incentive. Pesto chicken roasted with squash, carrots and baby potatoes, together with slow roasted tomatoes in balsamic vinegar and olive oil, and a herb salad was the main course. Starters were crostini with smoked salmon and marscapone cheeses and dessert was normandy apple cake, which we also had for lunch today.

Today it was great to see daughter no. 2 who had just come back from a two week trip to India. She brought loads of photos on dvd which we sat and watched for a couple of hours, so much so that we ended up having lunch at 3.45pm!!! She had a great time and looks so much more relaxed than when she went away.

Well, it is nearly time for West Wing so I had better be off.

Sunday, 21 October 2007

oops forgot to show my fun find from a charity forage

This was a great find when I went hunting around the local charity shops having visited posy's blog and been inspired. I probably wouldn't have chosen these colours myself but it is still a work of art and would have taken a good while to complete.
My next crochet project is going to be a ripple effect afghan - just need to find an easy pattern now and then I can use up lots of my 'spare' wool.

How delightful!

How delightful it is to receive comments on my blog! Thank you to those who took the time to respond. It is so encouraging and it is just such fun to think we can make connections like this all around the world and so easily! I do love that sense of connecting and in fact am still in touch with a penfriend from France who I first started writing to when I was 14 - a very long time ago now! She currently lives in England with her English husband and twin boys ( in their 20's now) and we usually meet up once or twice a year. Each time we do, it feels like we see one another all the time and we spend the day chatting about what is going on in our families and our lives. After Christmas Martine will be moving back to France with her husband so we shall need to begin writing again but then of course there will be the excuse to go and visit!!

And then there is my very special friend in Toronto, Canada, with whom I have corresponded regularly over many many years and who also has four daughters. We now email several times a week often, sharing recipes or thoughts and sometimes we have a skype conversation over the computer which is great fun. Something very exciting this year is that we shall be sharing Christmas with them in Toronto - one of my dream things to do!!

Later today I will be skyping with a friend in Colorado Springs when she gets back from church when it will be evening here. Vangie is a fellow scrapbooker and creative memories consultant and it was her who encouraged me to get 'hooked' on this fun creative journey with scrapbooking.

But before then I am off to make Lemon Tea Muffins with daughter no. 4 who plucked a lemon from the Victoria and Albert Museum garden (don't think she was supposed to do this!!) and as part of her creative art project wants to photograph and illustrate all things lemon. I'll post a picture when we are done.

Autumn Light and Chilli Peppers

Isn't the autumn light wonderful. I nipped out early one morning to take this picture of the lilac tree in sunlight. I am not sure the picture does it justice but it was that irridescent green which seems to light up the whole garden.

And here also is the chilli plant! I tried growing chillis for the first time this year and just in a pot. They seemed to have done really well despite upteem snails and slugs who were determined to demolish everything I managed to plant in pots this year - hence the copper tape to try and ward them off. I am not even sure if snails go for chillis but they sure had a go at the pepper plant but I managed to salvage it and had two peppers from it which were actually delicious.

I would like to do a lot more in the garden but am a complete novice. However it seems to me it is just about having a go and trying something and sees if it works for you. So.... what will it be.... garlic? winter salad in the little plastic greenhouse? Off I go to read some gardening books....

Saturday, 20 October 2007

Remembering Mum

Well, it's been two years now since Mum died and I still miss her! The photo here is how I like to remember her, before the alzheimers set in and she changed her personality and became so much more dependent.

Mum was a fighter and although very small and slim was always full of energy. It was on those nights when Dad was on duty at the fire station, we would have a cozy time together, chatting on the sofa with our tea and toast. Those were the times I felt I could tell her anything at all and indeed did. They were special moments and ones to be treasured. There was nothing that my Mum would not do for me and she was simply the best at finding anything that was lost!
Her last two years on this earth were very difficult and I really cannot bear to think upon them even now.
It is important to remember the good times and the heaps of things to be thankful for. I always knew that my Mum loved me very much despite our very dysfunctional family.
And now I have tea and toast with my daughters on the sofa and listen to their stories and feel privileged that they want to share with me their inner most thoughts.

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

29 done and 19 more to go!

Here are the 29 laid out so far.

The crochet project

Yes, it is granny squares! I started this project when my mum was alive with the aim of giving it to her to keep her knees warm but alas she was taken home before I even got half way. I need to make 48 squares and at the last count I had 29 which I put on the bed to see what it would be like.

The Sunday walk in the woods

It was a glorious sunny day and the paths were all like this one, filled with brown or yellowing leaves, crunchy underfoot.

Oh, the mess, the mess!

So, what can I say but that the work on the new boiler has not yet finished and it is over a week!! As of yesterday there was no hot water! How spoiled we are though when I think that at least a third of the world has no running hot water at all, never mind for one or two days.

The weekend saw me pondering over a meditation I was leading yesterday evening. I had a number of ideas but nothing seemed to come together until Sunday evening and I went with the theme of water. It meant that I took my little water feature (given to me by daughter no. 3 a number of years ago now) and various pictures of water, as well as some H2O in a glass and a handcross. It was peaceful time and those who came appreciated it.

On Sunday P and I went for a lovely walk in the woods. The sun was shining beautifully through the leaves and the trees and we got some good photos as well as having some good conversation. Our hearts were thankful for all God has given us especially the new role for P which he is SO enjoying and which SO uses his skills and experience.

This week sees the second anniversary of my mum's death - on Thursday actually. I will post a picture of her here later in the week. I miss her and my dad - they would be so proud of their granddaughters.

Until the next time...

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Apple and Cranberry Crisp

This is a great favourite in our house especially with hubby -even if he does have to add sugar to what is an already sweet recipe!
My very good friend in Toronto gave me this recipe but I have also seen it in American Country Living and other US cookbooks.
The day job takes me away into the city all day tomorrow and then I take a course in the evening - the first session of one each week during term time for two years. I wonder who I will meet and what we will be doing for three hours?
Next time I must post a picture of the crocheted granny squares I am making for a blanket. I started a long time ago and it is very slow but I love doing it - just need to make more time for it and give myself permission to 'play' more often.

The Boiler Man cometh!

So here we are with mess, mess and more mess. It took a whole day to flush the system (it should only be half a day but the rads were very dirty) and now the pipes are causing problems and need lots of work.
Mr boiler man is very quiet though and works the whole day without stopping much and no radio. I was able to work away in the dining room on my computer all day.
We have hot water but no heating but temperatures outside are not too bad still. I just hope he gets most of it finished by the weekend. I am not very good at living in a mess and especially when it is the kitchen.

The Wonderful Colours of Autumn

Well, the day job took me away for a few days somewhere north of the midlands and it was a very busy few days so I came back exhausted.

Now how is it that the mind races so far ahead of everything else it seems. I have had so many thoughts of what to write in my blog but just haven't got round to entering it. And it seems the whole downloading of pictures takes a bit of time. i wonder if there is a quick way that I am missing out on. If anyone has any ideas please do let me know.

So Autumn has arrived. The leaves are falling all over the place and although the temperatures are pretty mild for this time of year, it certainly feels as though summer is over.

Sunday we took a stroll at a lovely garden and I took these pictures. We sat and looked across at the fields and a lake beyond - just ideal, and I only had a cardi and jeans on, no coat.
Don't you just love the blue of these hydrangeas?
Then it was home for tea and toast!! before I had to move a lot of stuff out of the kitchen in preparation for the boiler man to come and fit a new boiler!!! Ugh!
Once all of that was done it was time for my weekly fix of West Wing and then get ready for the week ahead.