Work for today

Have a photograph (passport size, in colour) for the renewal of my driving licence.

Gather the items I need for identification purposes,

Fill the now two page form…

I never remember having to answer all those questions on health in past years, but it is important and necessary to keep us all safe on the road.

No more ten year licences for me… I may well have to do it all again when I reach seventy years of age.

 

Saving

This morning I am running late, not exactly running, more of a crawling pace and I am not facing the first day back at work. I am off for some knitting & nattering. Sure you never know I might come home with a story…

In the mean time, a little something I came across on Facebook yesterday:

Penny Jar

Penny Jar

Alas my jar full of colourful buttons won’t buy much cake..

This year, I think I’ll change the contents!

Food Monday ~ Bread

At some stage last year I visited a small craft & food fair.

Being small it gave ample opportunity to chat to all the exhibitors. The food stalls had the added bonus of tasting their wares: Chutneys, jams, breads and cakes. I bought a coffee and wandered happily sipping in the sunshine and talking to every one I met.

One particular bread took my fancy… the memory of the taste stayed with me all day.

Late that night I went searching online… and found exactly what I wanted.
I bookmarked it for use at a future date.

Stuff happens… time passes… and it was the following week before I printed out my recipe.

I was short one vital ingredient and vowed to add it to my shopping list. Again weeks passed into months, but eventually, I remembered to add the required liquid to my basket: A bottle of Guinness.

Truth be told, there was another recipe I wanted to try with Guinness, so my purchase was a 500ml bottle. That covered both recipes and a few mouthfuls to quench my thirst as I worked! By now I think you know where this is going…

Guinness® Bread
Preheat oven to 220°C

75g porridge oats
250g wholemeal flour*
100g dark brown soft sugar
2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
50g melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
225ml buttermilk
330 ml Guinness® beer (1 bottle)

Preheat oven to 220 degrees C (gas mark 7). Grease an 23 x 30cm baking.
Mix together the oats, flour, sugar, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. In a separate large bowl, stir together the butter, vanilla, buttermilk and Guinness®. Pour the flour mixture into the beer mixture, and gently stir until well blended. Pour mixture into the prepared baking tin, and sprinkle with additional oats if desired.

Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, then turn the temperature down to 200°C and bake for an additional 30 minutes. Turn the oven off, open the door, and allow to cool for 30 minutes in the oven before turning out onto a wire rack.
Serve warm with butter and honey.

*I found this to be a very wet mixture, think pouring rather than the usual stiff Wheaten bread, I added a little more wholemeal flour, in Mammy fashion:- Stuck my hand in the bag and sprinkled about half my handful to the mix. One of these days I must weigh ‘my handful’!

The quantities above gave me a 2lb loaf and a skimpy 1lb loaf. I made both Guinness recipes last Monday, the day before Elly & George arrived. Naturally, I cut into the little one as soon as it was cold. I loved it. So did Elly & George.

I have tried it with smoked salmon, hummus, marmalade and with a skim of Chocolate nut spread and topped with mashed banana. They all worked for me. I made it on a Monday and the last two slices were just as soft and delicious on Saturday – five days later. With normal wheaten bread, I would need to toast it by the third day.

I will make it again.

The other recipe will show up next Monday… in the meantime I need visit the off-licence!

Thoughtful friends

I have some very thoughtful friends.

Clair is one of them.

Even when she goes shopping she has my best interest at heart. She saw a bargain that was right up my street and she let me know.

Not alone the perfect bargain, but at two for the price of one…

AND

With 33% off the price, how could I refuse?

Perfect Man

I might have the answer to my warm cold toes… 😉 😉

Coming in Last

 

“I’ll tell you a true story,” he said. “A young man with disabilities wanted to win the 100-metre race. And he got into the finals. And he was running like crazy to get that gold medal, and somebody in the next lane tripped and fell. And he stopped, picked this guy up, and they ran together, and both of them were the last.

“That’s a true story,” Mr. Vanier confirmed. It’s the deepest lesson the disabled have to teach. “It’s not that they can become like us – but how can we become like them and have fun together. And lift up the chap who has fallen on the other lane, and come in last. There’s in us all an ego we have to conquer. You kill the ego so that the real person may rise up. And the real person is the one who’s learning to love.”

Jean Vanier created L’Arche – a unique community for mentally disabled adults

The full article is well worth reading. There are lessons for all of us in it.

With thanks to my pal in Newfoundland for directing me to this heart warming article.

A new beginning

While I slept, the new year began.

The last days of 2015 were special with a late Christmas visit from Elly, George & Buffy. Good food, wine, treats and shared time are what I like about these visits. Storm Frank howled about outside, but indoors, the fire sparkled and glowed as we chatted and shared stories from the past few months. It has been a busy year but Elly was here at the important times – making the days around surgery easier for me, and assuring her that I was coping well.

I gave Elly life, but not a life sentence to be tied to my apron strings for all my days. Some people find this difficult to accept, there are those who feels she neglects me… just because she does not run up the road every other weekend. I never want her visits to be a chore for her, she still has a key and knows the door will always be open for her and or George.

We may not see each other for months at a time, but we are in contact on an almost daily basis in the background. Modern technology allows her many options of checking on me. We share a calendar, so she is aware if I have medical appointments, meet friends for coffee or have lunch dates with Toyboys! She knows if I am active on social media, and if I am missing in action or awol …  She will make contact to check that all is well with me. Once I am happy, she is happy!

It is not much fun for her at times being a ‘one and only‘ with no siblings to share the burden of her mother. Thankfully with George she has been welcomed into the heart of his family, and for that I will be forever grateful.

I try not to be the Motherinlawfromhell, but George assures me that I am not and that I came as part of the package with Elly when they married. He is always helpful, kind and caring to me. I am so lucky – there are many out there who are not so fortunate with family relationships or in-laws.

So, all the ‘Mum you need to try this’ or ‘Mum you need to install that’ and ‘Mum can you fix this or sew that’ moments, keep me not alone up to date, but using the grey cells and my talents.

Day and daily I give thanks for life’s greatest gift:-

A bundle of joy and wonder, effervescence and caring for all she meets – a real chip off the old block that was her father. 

That is my Elly!

On this first day of the new year, my wish for her is a long, loving and interesting life with my son in law, George.

here-we-come

George & Elly on the first steps as a married couple.

May there be many new years ahead for them.

Thanksgiving

I would swap the modern Christmas celebrations for Thanksgiving Day at the drop of a hat. With each year that passes the simplicity of the former has been drowned in a loud opera of noise & commercialism. Unnecessary hours, days and weeks spent on the one-up-man-ship of proving how much people care by buying the biggest flashiest present, no matter whether they can really afford it, or if the gifted really wants or needs it.

Time is the cheapest most precious personal gift that anyone can receive. I mean real time… without the interruption of modern technology – a phones/games off zone!

So on this THANKSGIVING DAY, my message to all my American friends and family, far and near:

If you are travelling, may the roads rise with you,

no traffic and no troubles delay you.  

Hoping all of you will remain safe and well,

May your celebrations and gatherings be happy, serene and fun loving.

Your meals are delicious and your dessert sweeten the love in your hearts…

 

…With no need to loosen your belts!…

Wee Wimmin’s Worries.

Over the past few days I was far too busy thinking and you know some thing…

I came up with answers to a few major Problems!

As we wee wimmin grow older mature like good wine, several things happen to us and we keep blaming ourselves when they are not really our fault!

We wake up each morning with our hair standing on end and a hole in the middle of it. This is due to the fact our brains have collected so much knowledge down the years that our heads grow heavier. when we lie down, the hair is flattened to spread like sun-rays on the pillow.

And another problem…

As we mature, we grow down a little. First gravity squeezes the bits between the bones of the spine making them shrink. :sad:

Add to that, if there is any space left, that we are carrying around an amazing amount of information:

  • To-do lists, ideas of how to get our husbands to think they ‘want’ to help us with the chores, the garden and the car!
  • Then there are all the wurds for scrabble that we learned in the bukes we read.
  • The gossipy news to share with our hubbies… and the information we need to remember NOT to tell them… like the new handbag, gloves, scarf that we snuck into the back of the wardrobe, never mind the new boots we have our eye on to buy next week! 😉

Let me explain…

When the bits between the bones shrink there is less vertical space for all the ‘soft’ bits to sit neatly in place. Then a heavy head acts like an elephant sitting on a jam do-nut…. the soft bits flatten and spread horizontally!

So there you have it.. we are not Fat at all.

We are informative and walking cuddly cushions!

I didn’t colour my face

Almost everyone on my Facebook contact list changed their avatar to a French flag over their faces. To me it was all a knee jerk reaction, done as easily as the rainbow avatars a few months ago for marriage equality or the Santa hats for the past few Christmas seasons. My feed yesterday was a constant stream of posts about the attacks in Paris.

I could not join in.

My head was in another place.

My Elly left home on Friday morning to fly to the Middle East. She has been flying since she was one year old, in fact we celebrated her first birthday in the Balearic Islands. Normally her flights through the air, are as matter a fact as jumping on a local bus.

On her Facebook page she announced she was about to board her first flight of the day, to Paris. Travelling on Friday 13th with her allocated seat in row 13. We all wished her a safe and comfortable journey. She would have a few hours lay over at CDG airport before her onward flight to Tel Aviv. Thankfully she was out of French airspace before the atrocities began and the borders closed.

I might sound selfish, but I am not. The world we live in, is now very unstable. What happened in Paris was not forgivable, but there were bombings and killings in other cities and countries where Real people live, that got barely a mention.

I have friends living in Paris and my heart goes out to them. I have a friend who was born in Lebanon and evacuated to Paris at an early age, much later she emigrated to Australia. She has family still living in both places as well as across the US.

Can you imagine for one moment how she is feeling? To her there will be no difference between bombings in Paris or Beirut. People, ordinary people were blown to bits or shot as they went about their daily lives!

On Friday I was numb. After thirty eight years living in Northern Ireland with bombings and killings a daily occurrence, I was not immune to these feelings. Years when I kissed my husband and daughter goodbye as they headed out to work and school, not knowing if I would see them at the end of the day. I could tell many stories of those days that would set your hair on end!

BBC has a whole year full of programmes with a WW1 theme. Royalty were paraded to memorial functions with chests so full of medals, a dozen rapid fire Kalashnikovs would not penetrate them.

We were told that all this was to honour the dead, the wounded and the work done by those back on the home front, working in the factories making armaments, working in the mines digging coal, and the land Girls digging, planting and growing food to keep the nation going. Every scrap of garden or free space was used for vegetables.

The aim was to remind us – who were not even a sparkle in our father’s eyes back then – that it was the war to end all wars and should never be allowed to happen again.

It didn’t work.

It never will.

Not while weapons and armaments are made and sold across the world. Surely the sellers are not expecting the buyers to put their purchases’ on the mantelpiece or in a glass case and throw sugar at them.

How can you sell arms and then stand up and complain about those who use them. Why does Pilate come to mind?

Now is time for reflection. The answer can’t be bombing people to smithereens, fighting fire with fire and making martyrs out of extremists. There are no easy answers, we need to learn how we co-exist on this planet of ours.

“I will not play tug o’ war. I’d rather play hug o’ war. Where everyone hugs instead of tugs, Where everyone giggles and rolls on the rug, Where everyone kisses, and everyone grins, and everyone cuddles, and everyone wins.”
Shel Silverstein