Sunday, 31 October 2010

On this date 10 years ago.....


.....my friend and I drove to the Wood Green Animal Shelter in Godmanchester and brought Amber home to become a much-loved part of this family :-) It doesn't really seem possible that our beloved poochie has lived here with us for ten whole years ~ the time has gone by so very quickly, dear readers!
And yet it feels like she has always been part of the family. Amber is about eleven years old now and I guess you would say that she is definitely approaching her twilight years; some days I look at her and can see that she, like all of us, is ageing and yet most days she still has her mad moments where she plays with her toys like a puppy :-) I hope we have as many years as possible still ahead of us with Amber, but no one knows what may be around the next corner. The one thing I do know for sure though is that she, like all the precious animal companions we have been privileged to welcome into our family over the years, will most certainly have her own special place in our hearts for all time.....

Prayer for World Peace


We pray to the great Spiritual Power in which we live and move and have our being.
We pray that we may at all times keep our minds open to new ideas and shun dogma;
that we may grow in our understanding of the nature of all living beings and our connectedness with the natural world;
that we may become ever more filled with generosity of spirit and true compassion and love for all life;
that we may strive to heal the hurts that we have inflicted on nature and control our greed for material things, knowing that our actions are harming our natural world and the future of our children;
that we may value each and every human being for who he is, for who she is, reaching to the spirit that is within, knowing the power of each individual to change the world.
We pray for social justice, for the alleviation of the crippling poverty that condemns millions of people around the world to lives of misery - hungry, sick, and utterly without hope.
We pray for the children who are starving, who are condemned to homelessness, slave labour, prostitution, and especially for those forced to fight, to kill and torture even members of their own family.
We pray for the victims of violence and war, for those wounded in body and for those wounded in mind.
We pray for the multitudes of refugees, forced from their homes to alien places through war or through the utter destruction of their environment.
We pray for suffering animals everywhere, for an end to the pain caused by scientific experimentation, intensive farming, fur farming, shooting, trapping, training for entertainment, abusive pet owners, and all other forms of exploitation such as overloading and overworking pack animals, bull fighting, badger baiting, dog and cock fighting and so many more.
We pray for an end to cruelty, whether to humans or other animals, for an end to bullying, and torture in all its forms.
We pray that we may learn the peace that comes with forgiving and the strength we gain in loving;
that we may learn to take nothing for granted in this life;
that we may learn to see and understand with our hearts;
that we may learn to rejoice in our being.
We pray for these things with humility;
We pray because of the hope that is within us, and because of a faith in the ultimate triumph of the human spirit;
We pray because of our love for Creation, and because of our trust in God.
We pray, above all, for peace throughout the world.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Bertie and Belinda would like to say.....


.....the clocks go back tonight if you're here in the UK :-)

Obsessions


In a previous post, I casually mentioned my teensy weensy little obsession with making ~ and re-making ~ plans and lists. I sit there writing out my itinery for each and every day, which takes absolutely ages and trust me, dear readers, a sticky memo sheet like the one above is waaaay to small for all the tasks I try to allot myself!

Even this to-do list wouldn't big enough for my needs! I write everything out on A4 sized ruled sheets and because I make and remake so many of the flippin lists, I buy the economy pads from Tesco! The reason why I need such big pieces of paper is because I have long since become dissatisfied with planning my tasks for the coming week (deciding what I would do the next day went out the window years back!). Oh no, dear readers, I have got to the stage where I make plans for weeks ~ note the plural there ~ yet to come. It's utter madness, I tell you!

It wouldn't be quite so bad if I didn't try to cram so many tasks into my day. I start out with all good intentions to be very sensible about just what I can get done, but in the blink of an eye there is a list nigh-on a mile long! I'm defeated before I even start. So, of course, my list never comes to an end; the jobs I couldn't manage today get added to those on tomorrow's agenda and before I know where I am, it all comes to a grinding halt.

So then I feel compelled to write out another list since I've failed miserably with working through the first one *arrgghh* It has to stop and in fact, as from yesterday, it has indeed stopped ~ I ripped up all those ridiculous sheets of paper and used them to start the wood-burner last night ;-) It's not rocket science; I know what needs to be done to keep the house clean and tidy each week and since I don't work outside the home, I have all week to spread those housewifey jobs over. I can do my housework in the morning and have the afternoon free to do whatever I want :-)

Admittedly, dear readers, I do have quite a.....list ;-).... of jobs that have been piling up since my back went but let's face it, we've survived perfectly well with them not having been done for all this time! I'm pretty sure it won't make one jot of difference if it takes me a little while yet to get them caught up with :-)

And one of those delicious 'coincidences' occurred today whilst I was browsing the internet, which really made me smile. I was looking for to-do list pictures for this post when I came across the image above, which stopped me in my tracks whilst I read the post which accompanied it. It all made such sense to me ~ and rather hit home, too. I've no idea what the blog is all about, to be honest, other than its sub-title is 'Practical Tips for Productive Living' and this particular post has certainly proved to be a very practical tip for me!

So I'm going to make myself a stack of pretty little memo sheets and each evening before I go to bed, I shall decide which of those outstanding jobs I will tackle the following day :-)

Chris Jordan pictures some shocking stats


I am fully aware that these are American statistics but the problems they highlight are just as relevant to the UK and other Western countries. Sadly, as so-called Third World countries become more affluent, then I have no doubt that they will follow in our footsteps as well.....

Friday, 29 October 2010

Trying to chat with Amber.....


"Sorry, can't chat right now ~ I have to give this yummy biscuit my full attention"

"I promise I'll be all ears as soon as caninely possible..........especially if you've got any more doggy treats for me :-P"

"Look, you're always complaining about treading on the doggy biscuit crumbs, so I'm doing my doggy best to clear 'em up for you ~ yum, yum, slurp, slurp....."

Capt. Charles Moore on the seas of plastic


Thursday, 28 October 2010

Tough truths about plastic pollution: Dianna Cohen


The Thursday Poem


Young Woman Reading by a Window by Delphin Enjolras

Bustopher Jones: The Cat About Town

Bustopher Jones is not skin and bones--
In fact, he's remarkably fat.
He doesn't haunt pubs--
he has eight or nine clubs,
For he's the St. James's Street Cat!
He's the Cat we all greet as he walks down the street
In his coat of fastidious black:
No commonplace mousers have such well-cut trousers
Or such an impeccable back.
In the whole of St. James's the smartest of names is
The name of this Brummell of Cats;
And we're all of us proud to be nodded or bowed to
By Bustopher Jones in white spats!

His visits are occasional to the Senior Educational
And it is against the rules
For any one Cat to belong both to that
And the Joint Superior Schools.

For a similar reason, when game is in season
He is found, not at Fox's, but Blimpy's;
He is frequently seen at the gay Stage and Screen
Which is famous for winkles and shrimps.
In the season of venison he gives his ben'son
To the Pothunter's succulent bones;
And just before noon's not a moment too soon
To drop in for a drink at the Drones.
When he's seen in a hurry there's probably curry
At the Siamese--or at the Glutton;
If he looks full of gloom then he's lunched at the Tomb
On cabbage, rice pudding and mutton.

So, much in this way, passes Bustopher's day-
At one club or another he's found.
It can be no surprise that under our eyes
He has grown unmistakably round.
He's a twenty-five pounder, or I am a bounder,
And he's putting on weight every day:
But he's so well preserved because he's observed
All his life a routine, so he'll say.
Or, to put it in rhyme: "I shall last out my time"
Is the word of this stoutest of Cats.
It must and it shall be Spring in Pall Mall
While Bustopher Jones wears white spats!

T.S. Eliot
(26th September 1888 - 4th January 1965)

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Longing for a cool, crisp autumn


I thought it best to write a post about nothing in particular this morning, dear readers (which of course means that I'm rambling even more than usual), just to get that sad and scary photograph of your's truly off the top of the page! What was I thinking to post such a thing ~ I'm so sorry if it gave you palpitations when you came across it. Sit yourselves down with a nice hot, restorative cup of tea ~ and don't forget a biscuit or two, just for good measure ;-)

Thankfully I'm British.....which means I always have our favourite topic/obsession to fall back on: The Weather. It's been situation normal here in dear 'ole Blighty: cold, wet, windy, grey and miserable *sigh* Today, though, it is warm-ish, wet, windy, grey and miserable *double sigh* I can see tantalising glimpses of bright blue sky, but alas those grey clouds are rushing across the heavens doing their very best to keep cheerfulness at bay.

The photo of The Shed roof, by the way, was taken a few nights back when we had our first proper frost of the season. It looked so pretty, like it had been sprinkled with icing sugar and glitter :-)

Ha, here's another standby topic: illness! Mr Lurgy is persisting in outstaying his welcome.....not that he was a visitor I was pleased to see in the first place, mind you. Despite feeling so grotty on Monday I didn't have to blow my nose once, so I rather thought he had grown bored of me and had moved on to fresh pastures. The sneaky so-and-so was just being well, sneaky, because the sneezing and nose-blowing returned at full force yesterday *sob, sob* I overslept again, too, and felt hot and miserable all day long :-( Today, though, I feel considerably brighter even if I am still sneezy and sniffly. I woke up about 6am and although I didn't sleep well last night (I'm going through one of my waking-during-the-night-because-I'm-hot phases), I thought it best to get myself up and moving ~ not least because I've got the supermarket shopping coming this morning and my parents, too, later in the day! I'm sure that neither they nor the delivery driver really want to see me in all my disheveled glory, still in my dressing-gown and looking like I've been dragged through a hedge backwards ;-) I rather think Mr Lurgy is sharing his affections with poor Adrian now as he is feeling very tired and none too well. Sam is home this weekend so I just hope Mr L doesn't jump ship once again and travel up to Leicester when he goes back to Uni on Monday!

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Tagged!


I was 'tagged' by a Flickr friend some time back and in my I wisdom decided to follow up on it yesterday ~ goodness knows why when I was feeling so grotty and looked even worse! The 'rules' were that you take a photo of yourself and then reveal 25 random things. I was pretty sure I was supposed to then tag other folk as well but couldn't remember how! Anyhoo, dear readers, if you read this and feel like joining in, jump right in ~ you could leave a comment at the end of this post so that we can all go have a looksie at you and your randomness :-D

1. I haven't brushed my hair today ~ like you won't have guessed that already from looking at this photo ;-)

2. I don't feel well at the mo *sob, sob* (Okay, I admit I'm just looking for a bit of tea and sympathy here!)

3. I've taken up Dottie Angel's Challenge of the Utmost Kind, i.e. to live a more frugal and thrifty lifestyle for a WHOLE YEAR!!!

4. I live in the UK (oh yes, I'm scraping the barrel already for things to tell you ~ my brain has gone to mush today LOL)

5. I am 49 years and 4 months old :-D

6. I look in the mirror and see a decidedly middle-aged woman looking back and wonder where the hell she came from!

7. In my head I still feel like I'm 18.....most days LOL

8. I live in a 1950s three-bedroomed semi but wish it was a cottage in the country with roses around the door

9. On the other hand, if I did live in the country either I would have to start driving again *eeeeek* or Adrian would have to learn.....somehow I don't think we will be moving to the country ;-)

10. I find it hard to believe that my gruesome twosome will be 20 years old next January

11. I find it just as hard to believe that I will be 50 years old next June!!!

12. In a moment of weakness/desperation, I went and did something I swore I would never do again!!!

13. I MAY reveal what I've done hehehehe

14. But not today :-D

15. I don't like hot, humid weather

16. I bruise very easily and have a sensitive skin

17. My kids think that if their Dad 'goes' before me, I will become a mad chicken/cat/dog woman :-P

18. Adrian agrees with number 17!

19. They all think I'm a mad doll woman already ROFL

20. I should eat waaaay more fruit and veggies than I do ~ 'cos I do actually LIKE most fruit and veggies!

21. In my heart, I'd like to be following a vegan diet and lifestyle but my brain is too lazy *blush*

22. I wish I was slim and gorgeous!

23. My head is full of ideas for all sorts of things :-D

24. I wish you could still buy Nutty bars ~ they were my most favourite sweets (candies??) ever!

25. I talk to myself all the time.....but pretend I'm talking to the dog ;-P
So there you have it, dear readers ~ 25 very random things about me and a terrible photo to go with it!

Monday, 25 October 2010

Thank goodness for tissues!


Urgh ~ I feel terrible *sigh* I started to feel decidedly under the weather last Thursday, which dragged on until finally my nose started streaming like a flippin waterfall yesterday and I felt even worse! I woke up this morning as Adrian was getting dressed for work and, of course, once I'm awake I have to go to the loo so I dragged myself out of my cosy warm bed and tottered to the bathroom. I did contemplate staying up but the lure of my bed was too much so I climbed back in again. I drifted off to sleep, woke up when Adrian left the house for work, thought about getting up ~ then found myself waking to the sound of our neighbour scraping last night's frost off his van windscreen. Even then I still managed to drift off to sleep once more, which is quite amazing considering I did nothing even remotely energetic yesterday ~ I spent most of the day sitting in my chair, huddled under my 'ugly lap-blanket' feeling cold, miserable and sorry for myself ;-)

However, this time I managed to haul my sorry self out of bed ~ at ten minutes to nine!! ~ not least because the poor pooch and chickens needed to be let out! My stomach felt hungry but my head couldn't be bothered to think about what to eat.....so I followed the good example of Paddington Bear and had a marmalade sandwich :-D Lordy, I really must be under the weather; usually the combination of marmalade and wholemeal bread is one of my favourite things but today I only finished the sandwich to shut my rumbling tummy up!

Even colds aren't like they used to be in years gone by. Back in the day, you'd be snotty, sneezy and feel like poo for a couple of days, then the cold would clear up and life would be back to normal. I don't know it if it's just me, but nowadays I start to feel unwell ~ achey, tired, headache ~ which goes on for quite a few days with no sign of an actual cold, i.e. the tissue-necessitating side of things. Sometimes, I don't even get to the snotty stage at all ~ I just have the aches and pains with nothing to show for it! How weird is that?

Now that I've made you all feel thoroughly depressed I'll toddle off and drag my aching limbs up Mount Everest ~ well, the stairs certainly feel like that at the moment! We only have one loo and it's upstairs *sigh* Why do colds make your bladder work overtime ~ isn't it enough to have a streaming nose.....

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Prayer for World Peace


Dove of Peace ~ Giclee print

We pray to the great Spiritual Power in which we live and move and have our being.
We pray that we may at all times keep our minds open to new ideas and shun dogma;
that we may grow in our understanding of the nature of all living beings and our connectedness with the natural world;
that we may become ever more filled with generosity of spirit and true compassion and love for all life;
that we may strive to heal the hurts that we have inflicted on nature and control our greed for material things, knowing that our actions are harming our natural world and the future of our children;
that we may value each and every human being for who he is, for who she is, reaching to the spirit that is within, knowing the power of each individual to change the world.

We pray for social justice, for the alleviation of the crippling poverty that condemns millions of people around the world to lives of misery - hungry, sick, and utterly without hope.
We pray for the children who are starving, who are condemned to homelessness, slave labour, prostitution, and especially for those forced to fight, to kill and torture even members of their own family.
We pray for the victims of violence and war, for those wounded in body and for those wounded in mind.
We pray for the multitudes of refugees, forced from their homes to alien places through war or through the utter destruction of their environment.

We pray for suffering animals everywhere, for an end to the pain caused by scientific experimentation, intensive farming, fur farming, shooting, trapping, training for entertainment, abusive pet owners, and all other forms of exploitation such as overloading and overworking pack animals, bull fighting, badger baiting, dog and cock fighting and so many more.

We pray for an end to cruelty, whether to humans or other animals, for an end to bullying, and torture in all its forms.
We pray that we may learn the peace that comes with forgiving and the strength we gain in loving;
that we may learn to take nothing for granted in this life;
that we may learn to see and understand with our hearts;
that we may learn to rejoice in our being.

We pray for these things with humility;
We pray because of the hope that is within us, and because of a faith in the ultimate triumph of the human spirit;
We pray because of our love for Creation, and because of our trust in God.
We pray, above all, for peace throughout the world.

prayer for world peace ~ dr jane goodall

Friday, 22 October 2010

I girded my loins,


rolled up my sleeves and made a start in my extremely grubby kitchen!

I did the window, sill and wall around it a couple of weeks back and surprisingly, it wasn't too bad a job. Adrian helped me clean the top of these wall cabinets as I still don't feel very safe high up on the stepladder.

The vegetable dishes and meat platters on top of the cabinets were washed and rehomed in the sideboard in the dining room. Some of the other items have been found new homes elsewhere in the house, too.

I've now got some of my electric kitchen gadgets on top of the cabinets, which is a much more sensible place for them to live than their previous home ~ the top of our wardrobe! I haven't yet tackled the shelves ~ which explains my severe cropping of these two photos LOL

I took the big chicken ornaments off the windowsill and put them up on the cabinets, along with my Le Creuset kettle which I don't use but love to look at ;-)

On Monday I hopped over to the other side of the kitchen ~ literally, one hop and you're there since the room is so small! As you can see, the kitchen is yet another room in need of decoration but for the time being a good clean-up will just have to suffice :-) The nasty area between the two wall cabinets is where we previously had an extractor-fan. It didn't work very well, was terribly noisy and really horrible to try to keep clean ~ so out it went one day whilst Adrian was at work ;-D The nasty yellow stains on the cabinets are where they had pine-effect cladding stuck to them; frankly, it was beyond cleaning so off it came. At some point, I may well decoupage these cabinet sides :-)

It took me a very long time but eventually I got this cabinet, the little corner shelf and the area around them cleaned. It's a job that hadn't been done since way before my back went, so as you can imagine the grease, grime and dust I had to work my way through way quite horrendous! The larger cabinet houses the gas boiler, which I didn't clean as my sense of balance is still not terribly good! Adrian said he will clean it for me on Sunday ~ I did clean the door, though!

The wall still looks pretty horrible but at least I know it's clean now :-)

It was very sunny when I took these 'after' photos on Wednesday, which made it a tad difficult to take half-decent photos in the kitchen ~ you'll just have to excuse these, I'm afraid!

As you can see, I've had a bit of a change-around and there seems to be a lot more empty space around the hob now!

The microwave was previously on the other side of the room but since I can't really use this little worktop corner to actually work on, I thought it would be the ideal place for the microwave. Plus, of course, it means I now have a fair bit more working space on the other side of the kitchen :-)

I really should have taken a photo of this little cupboard before I emptied it out ;-) It had become a dumping ground for empty storage jars, cutlery from Aunt Mary, baking dishes, etc, which was a very bad use of space considering how small my kitchen is!

I've now got the tea, coffee, sugar, etc off precious worktop space and into the cupboard. The 'bedtime' drinks were previously in the larder, along with yet-to-be-used boxes of tea-bags, so I've moved them here too :-) I would really love to set out a cute tea-tray on the worktop, but alas I have to conserve as much space as I possibly can.

This little collection of jugs was previously sitting on top of the china cabinet in the dining room. I seem to have gathered quite a lot of orangey colours in the kitchen so I thought I may as well add to it! One of my friends said that it looks like a little village on top of the cabinet :-)

I decided to pare down the display on this little corner shelf, to make it easier to keep everything clean.

I bought the teapot on the bottom shelf fairly recently; it is marked 'Japan' on its base. The one above is marked 'Made in Germany' and belonged to Aunt Mary. The cute little cat teapot was a gift from Beverly when she was a little girl :-)

I made these two little pictures a number of years ago, soon after I first started to do cross-stitch. I didn't take photos of their backs because I didn't finish them off very well at all! I even put the top one in its frame the wrong way round ~ hence the word 'Taiwan' is on full show LOL One day I will tidy them up.....maybe ;-)

I think these are chive flowers.....

.....and these look like borage flowers :-)

This little chap is sitting quite happily on the kitchen windowsill beside the red glass vase. He is cosy, snug and bathed in a rosy glow when the sun shines through the vase :-)

Thursday, 21 October 2010

It rained...


...on Tuesday ~ just for a change ;-)

The paved areas in our back garden are very rustic (we are hopeless at anything even close to 'perfection' and have learned to live with what we seem to be capable of LOL), but I admit that I do love this particular piece of the paving just for the sweet little puddles it makes :-)

Wow, would you just look at that ~ it rained out the front too *hehehehe*

Inside-looking-out.....being indoors when it rains like this always makes me feel cosy, snug and warm :-) I bet the cacti are glad they live on a windowsill inside the house LOL
And talking of plants living indoors, this Christmas cactus lived on the landing windowsill for a good couple of years, but when I rearranged the dining room I brought it downstairs. It seems to like it's new home just as much as the old one, judging by the amount of buds it's sending out again this year :-)

You won't be at all surprised to know that I can't remember where I got this little African violet from! It stayed really small and didn't seem to grow for a very long time. When I repotted my other houseplants I did this one too and moved it to a different position. It now lives close to the living room window and has gone from strength-to-strength ~ it's even sending out little flower buds. This window faces north and we don't get the fierce sunlight through it like we do from the windows at the back of the house. I think the African violet must like these conditions judging by the way it has suddenly started to thrive!
I pointed the buds out to Adrian this morning and he told me that his Mum is growing a cutting for me from one of her African violets (she does really well with them), so hopefully my little plant will soon have a friend :-)

The Thursday Poem


Young Woman Reading by a Window by Delphin Enjolras


Touched by An Angel

We, unaccustomed to courage
exiles from delight
live coiled in shells of loneliness
until love leaves its high holy temple
and comes into our sight
to liberate us into life.

Love arrives
and in its train come ecstasies
old memories of pleasure
ancient histories of pain.
Yet if we are bold,
love strikes away the chains of fear
from our souls.

We are weaned from our timidity
In the flush of love's light
we dare be brave
And suddenly we see
that love costs all we are
and will ever be.
Yet it is only love
which sets us free.

Maya Angelou
(4th April 1928 - )

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Looking for this.....and finding that!


This, dear readers, is what I wasn't looking for but now that I've come across it again, I rather think I may give it a whirl ;-)

I actually have two of these chair-backs, which came my way when my Auntie Mavis passed away a few years back. Auntie had started working on one of them and to be honest, I'm not too sure what to do with it since I don't have the threads she was using. Another slight issue is that I haven't actually tried my hand at embroidery yet! Ah well, I'm sure I will think of something eventually ;-)

So, I was thinking that I might work this one using a just simple back-stitch, sort of like blackwork but using an assortment of colours. If it turns out okay, I will probably turn it into a cushion which would be more useful to me than a chair-back :-)

But this little masterpiece is what I was searching for in the deep, dark depths of The Shed!
Dear readers, I'm not at all sure that I actually ever showed you this tapestry ~ which was a UFO of decidedly long-standing! As you can see, though, I finally got myself in gear and finished if off. Rather than saunter down the normal picture road, I've decided to mount it in this wooden crate instead. I freely admit, though, that it's most definitely more luck than skilful judgment that it fits into said crate rather nicely ;-)
I'm going to add little bits of this and tiny pieces of that to the little beauty to dress it up, making it a more three-dimensional piece of 'artwork'. I will try to remember to take photos as I go along but I can't promise that you won't just end up seeing the final result.....if you recall, dear readers, this blog and its ramblings are the work of a memory-shot-to-pieces, menopausal woman!

Make Do and Mend

How appropriate for The Challenge, I thought to myself ~ what a pity, though, that hubby doesn't have any plus fours ;-D

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Hold Me Jesus

First fire of the season


We lit the wood-burner last week as the evenings are starting to turn pretty cold now. Last week was such a funny week, weather-wise; the Sunday and Monday were lovely ~ warm and sunny, real 'Indian summer weather. We have had some nice sunny days since then, too ~ along with rain, of course! It does feel like autumn is finally settling in now, though :-)

Monday, 18 October 2010

The Blog Guidebook

The history of aprons

Aprons ~ a history lesson you won't get in school!

I don't think our kids know what an apron is.

The principal use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath, because she only had a few. It was easier to wash aprons than dresses, and they used less material, but along with that it served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven.

It was wonderful for drying children's tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears.

From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.

When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids.

When the weather was cold Grandma wrapped it around her arms.

Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove.

Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.

From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables. After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls.

When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds!

When dinner was ready Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron and the menfolk knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner.

It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace the 'old-time apron' that served so many purposes.

Grandma used to set her hot baked apple pies on the windowsill to cool. Her granddaughters set theirs on the windowsill to thaw.

They would go crazy now trying to figure out how many germs were on that apron ;-)

I don't think I ever caught anything from an apron.....


Sunday, 17 October 2010

Prayer for World Peace


Dove of Peace ~ Giclee print

We pray to the great Spiritual Power in which we live and move and have our being.
We pray that we may at all times keep our minds open to new ideas and shun dogma;
that we may grow in our understanding of the nature of all living beings and our connectedness with the natural world;
that we may become ever more filled with generosity of spirit and true compassion and love for all life;
that we may strive to heal the hurts that we have inflicted on nature and control our greed for material things, knowing that our actions are harming our natural world and the future of our children;
that we may value each and every human being for who he is, for who she is, reaching to the spirit that is within, knowing the power of each individual to change the world.

We pray for social justice, for the alleviation of the crippling poverty that condemns millions of people around the world to lives of misery - hungry, sick, and utterly without hope.
We pray for the children who are starving, who are condemned to homelessness, slave labour, prostitution, and especially for those forced to fight, to kill and torture even members of their own family.
We pray for the victims of violence and war, for those wounded in body and for those wounded in mind.
We pray for the multitudes of refugees, forced from their homes to alien places through war or through the utter destruction of their environment.

We pray for suffering animals everywhere, for an end to the pain caused by scientific experimentation, intensive farming, fur farming, shooting, trapping, training for entertainment, abusive pet owners, and all other forms of exploitation such as overloading and overworking pack animals, bull fighting, badger baiting, dog and cock fighting and so many more.

We pray for an end to cruelty, whether to humans or other animals, for an end to bullying, and torture in all its forms.
We pray that we may learn the peace that comes with forgiving and the strength we gain in loving;
that we may learn to take nothing for granted in this life;
that we may learn to see and understand with our hearts;
that we may learn to rejoice in our being.

We pray for these things with humility;
We pray because of the hope that is within us, and because of a faith in the ultimate triumph of the human spirit;
We pray because of our love for Creation, and because of our trust in God.
We pray, above all, for peace throughout the world.

prayer for world peace ~ dr jane goodall

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Temptation!


You will have realised by now, dear readers, that I have a highly developed 'collecting' sort of personality ~ I am sure that you have had no trouble whatsoever in coming to this conclusion after being subjected to photo after photo of the latest addition to my dolly family ;-) (Would you believe, by the way, that this mania has actually driven my Dad away from visiting my blog.....which is good in a way, isn't it, as it means we can now safely gossip about him without him having the least idea *hehehehe*)

But I have a confession to make.....Dear readers, I am rather keen on books! In fact, my love for books surpasses even my dolly 'habit'. I love them and can barely resist adding yet another to my already overflowing collection. My love affair with Amazon just slightly has the edge over my infatuation with Ebay! I can find myself lost for what seems like hours wandering the virtual bookshelves of The Temple of Amazon ~ adding a title to my wish list here, dropping another little gem into my on-screen basket there. Right now, I only have a paltry 66 items on my Wish List ~ I recently girded my loins and trimmed said list down from well over 100!

Oh yes, it's true that I have had a few disappointments along the way. Sometimes a book has seemed so alluring in all its technicolour glory there on the screen, the blurb oh so convincing.....but after my lovely postman has passed it into my trembling-with-anticipation hands and I have ripped open the packaging ~ well, on occasion it just hasn't lived up to my expectations. Thankfully, disappointing incidents such as these have been few and far between and so my affection for Amazon has continued unabated. Books, it would seem, are one of those areas in my life where I have that wonderful capacity for unconditional love ~ I am more than willing to forgive and forget, renew the relationship and try again!

I have a handful of spiritual and gardening books as well as smallish fiction and dolls' houses/miniatures collections, but my biggest passion by far is for craft and cookery books. They are just so damn hard to resist! Which is why, it has to be said, they are getting harder to find homes for in my little house and The Shed! I have books on shelves.....books in boxes.....piles of books. My life overflows with books! The suggestion has even been made that I have enough books to open up my own tiny lending library! But I really wouldn't have it any other way; after all, you are never alone if you have a good book to read :-)

Aha ~ libraries! Why, I hear you ask, don't you simply borrow books from your local library Sharon?? Well, of course I could do that. I do indeed have a library card and so it would certainly be easy enough for me to trundle along, browse the shelves and select a nice little pile of enticing books to read. Oh yes, I could indeed do that. But I would have to give those yummy books back; they would not be sitting on my bookshelves/box/pile waiting for me to reach for whenever the mood took me. Which, of course, explains why my home and The Shed are filled to groaning point with those magical worlds that I can hold in my hands, and where I can lose myself for hours on end ;-)

By now, dear readers, I am pretty sure you are waiting for a confession that I have slipped off The Challenge path already! Go on, admit it, you fully believe that I have caved in after less than a week and Bought A Book!! But you would be wrong, my dears. I Avoided Temptation! Oh yes, I confess that I did indeed think about buying yet another craft book. I even hopped over to the bright lights of Amazon and hunted out the book that had so tempted me on a blog I visited. My finger actually hovered over the 'add to basket' button. But then I gave myself a little shake and pulled myself together. I do not need yet another craft book! Lordy, I have enough in my collection to keep me going in projects for years and years ~ maybe even a lifetime! So I pressed the 'add to wish list' button instead LOL

So there you have it. I actually managed to side-step the almost overwhelming temptation to buy something I do not need. Books are a definite 'want', even more so than those poor little dolls in need of TLC that I am always drawn towards! I'm beginning to wonder how many more of these temptations-to-buy I shall encounter over the coming 12 months; let's hope I manage to stay strong each time!

Friday, 15 October 2010

Almost at the end now!

These are all prior to 10th October purchases ~ I'm just waiting for three more dolls to arrive from the USA :-)

I've heard 'Dusty' described as 'homely' but I really like her! Don't you think that Nadia and Moira just look as if they are really nice.....'people' ;-D They could both do with a session in the dolly spa and as you can see, Nadia's outfit is really rather disgusting ~ yuk!

I had to smile when I read the seller's description of Moira; she obviously didn't know that she is a 'Dusty' and described her an 'an unusual doll' LOL She went on to say that her legs appeared to be glued to her body ~ obviously the seller hadn't come across the melting issues that 'Dusty' tends to suffer from!

These clothes came with Nadia. Surprisingly, they are lovely and clean ~ unlike the outfit she arrived in!

Eileen is another addition to my little group of Camay dolls. She is in lovely condition and has a very sweet face ~ judging by her outfit, I think she wishes she was a Tammy ;-)

I think that Doris is the only one of my Sindy collection with jointed hands. Apparently, she has a ballerina body. I hope that I will be able to tame her hair as it is such a pretty auburn shade :-)

Ida is such a cute little doll ~ she is only about 4" tall! She is going to live with the other small hard plastic dollies ~ I'm sure they will look after her :-)

Gosh, how lucky am I to have found Cordelia! She is a sister to Griselda and Phyllis :-)

She has the same hair colour as Griselda and to be honest Cordelia's condition is very much like her's, too; she will most definitely need some TLC!

Did I ever tell you how much I love brooches ;-)
I'm really pleased with both of these and they look quite wonderful in this close-up photo. The tiny Limoge-style porcelain brooch is small enough to go in Charles and Nancy's (dolls') house ~ once they have got it refurbished and decorated, of course :-D