Hibernating

View from my window

View from my window

This was the view from my bedroom window yesterday morning, Can anyone spot the sky?

I was tempted…. really tempted, to slide back down under the duvet for the duration, but thankfully hunger got the better of me. The house was cosy and warm, so I had a quick shower, donned the layers and headed for the kitchen.

Our snow was more a nuisance than anything else.  Pretty for an hour but that was all. It made several attempts throughout Wednesday to fall, but the ground was wet and the snow had nothing to stick to. Once the sun disappeared the ground froze so overnight snow had a base to stick to. Trying to drive downhill with the road camber not helping, add the ice and I can tell you it is no G&T!

I had no need to go outside the door

A day of indoor sports was called for, and I had a choice: a bundle of sewing repairs and alterations, some crochet, baking and a jigsaw.

Sewing repairs are complete and the ironing is now up to date. The scones are eaten or in the freezer and I lit the fire early and pulled up the table with the jigsaw. The crochet is in progress and should keep me busy for a week or so.

Warm persuits

Warm persuits

With the jigsaw I travelled the world. It was fun.

What is on my mind?

Goodness there is so much rattling around in there that I would not know where to start.

I do know that a priority for me is NOT TO GET COLD – Doctor’s orders!

The last time I bought heating oil was April 2014. and it cost me £468.91/US$703.84 for 900 litres. Some people might think I was silly to top up my tank so late in the season, but this is Ireland, and the seasons have a habit of being confused. There are days when we have all four seasons in one day! Thankfully we had a fairly good summer but I do use the oil to heat water.

At the beginning of November I set the thermostat to 15° and left the heat on 24/7, I probably could keep going for another month, but in case the weather gods are feeling cruel, I am not taking chances.

With the threat of colder weather from Thursday with winds coming from the Arctic and risk of heavy falls of snow overnight into Friday, I want to cover all contingencies, We got away lightly so far this winter, but our poor relations and friends across the pond are due to disappear under a mountain of snow and we all know what that means…

When they get fed up with the white  stuff they ship over to us! Thanks very much!

Well I am ready. Today I ordered another 900 litres of heating oil. Boy, what a shock I got. The 900 litres of heating oil was £143.93 GBP/215.996 US$ CHEAPER than nine months ago. News like that is enough to warm the cockles of my heart!

I feel like dancing, but not before I open the lock on my tank.

Warm blessings to all.

 

 

 

“Do you feel like coffee?”

 

Wednesday forgot to dawn. I know you are fed up with me saying that. But it happens way to much, this is Ireland and not Denmark or further north.

What happened the sky?

What happened the sky?

I took my mug of hot water back to bed, re closed the curtains and decided to toddle round blogland and FB ‘till the day improved. Then the phone rang…

“Do you feel like coffee?” asked an elderly friend.

With my mind moving to overdrive… I replied.

“That sounds like a nice idea”

“I know a nice Farm shop & Tearoom, in Straid.  I have been there a few times and I thought we might go. Would 10:30 suit you?”

Glancing down to the clock on my laptop I see it is 9:20 – Where had the hours gone?
A fourminuteshowerandhairwash plus a banana & pills on the run, and I would just about make it.

“Great! I’ll pick you up at 10:30.” I said.

I did.

My friend was a good navigator, and we chatted our way through the gloomy countryside. Our destination was well sign posted along the way.

Ballylagan Organic Farm shop

Ballylagan Organic Farm shop

A warm wood fire greeted us in the Tea room quickly followed by a welcome from the staff and service at our table. All food was prepared on the premises.

We each decided on a scone with our coffee. My friend opted for a fruit one and mine was pear with almond. Yummy! I so want to make these.

There was no rush, no fuss and we happily chatted the morning away.

As we headed back to the car, I took two photos, the one above and the one below. You can see from the bottom one the time I took them – still no proper sky detail. I have not altered them apart from cropping.

20150121_123405

20150121_123405

For more info: Ballylagan Organic Farm, shop, Tea Room and Guest House

Pay It Forward

 

This post has appeared several times on my Facebook homepage over the past twenty days.

To start the new year off right, I’m participating in this “Pay It Forward” initiative: The first five people who comment on this status with “I’m in” will receive a surprise from me at some point during the year – anything from a book, a ticket, something home-grown, homemade, a postcard, absolutely any surprise! There will be no warning and it will happen when the mood comes over me and I find something that I believe would suit you and make you happy. These five people must make the same offer on their Facebook status. Once my first five have commented “I’m in” I will forward this message to you privately, so that you can copy and paste it, and put it on your status, (don’t share it) so that we can form a web of connection of kindness.
Let’s do more nice and loving things in 2015, without any reason other than to make each other smile and show that we think of each other. Here’s to a more enjoyable and friendly, and love filled year….

The wording of the post above makes me feel very uneasy. It has a hint of …. ‘You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours’. Asking people to post a comment in order to gain a perhaps unwanted gift is not what the original concept was all about.

I think it may have been Lily Hardy Hammond in her 1916 book In the Garden of Delight, who originally came up with the concept.

In the year 2000 an American drama film Pay It Forward, based on the novel of the same name by Catherine Ryan Hyde, came to our screens. It was directed by Mimi Leder and written by Leslie Dixon. It stars Haley Joel Osment as a boy who launches a good-will movement, Helen Hunt as his single mother, and Kevin Spacey as his social-studies teacher. I did read the book and watched the movie. I have blogged about the concept here. 

‘Pay it forward’ is an expression for describing the beneficiary of a good deed repaying it to others instead of to the original benefactor. It is not announced in advanced. You don’t tell people you are going to do it. No. It is done spontaneously and randomly when you see someone in need.

IT SHOULD NOT BE CONDITIONAL.

Stuck for ideas? Here are some simple suggestions – one for each day of the week.

  1. Giving up your seat on a busy bus/tram/train to an elderly person.
  2. Seeing someone at a cash till who is short of change for the newspaper, and offer the coins.
  3. Reaching up to the top shelf in a supermarket for someone struggling to get at the item they need.
  4. Carrying a heavy load for someone.
  5. Offering a lift to someone walking uphill in the rain.
  6. Giving time to someone in need of a listening ear.
  7. Providing a hot meal for a frail elderly person living on their own.

There are so many other ways we can pay it forward without breaking the bank. If you have starved for a week, a cup of tea or coffee with a sandwich would be manna from heaven.

My answer to a comment….

 

Yesterday in my post A caller, one comment caught me:

“Much nicer than Islam… convert or die”

The one thing we on this earth, have in common, is that we are HUMAN.

Not all the same colour, Race or Creed. Temperaments vary as do our views.

Just like the fruit on the trees, sometimes the rosiest apple is rotten at the core while the bruised misshaped one can be the sweetest.

The church I was baptised into, claimed to be ‘the ONE holy Catholic Church’. We were brought up with the idea that the aim of the church was: To convert all the Heathens across the world who were not as fortunate as us. In primary/Junior school, we were constantly encouraged to bring in money for ‘the Black Babies’, read the Missions. Where that money went we have no record, we were never told, just asked for more.

Some so fortunate young children of ‘the ONE holy Catholic Church’ were raped, abused and or even allowed to die at the hands of Priests and nuns. before being secretly buried in unmarked graves.

Around the corner from where I grew up, was a St Mary’s Asylum laundry run by the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity of Refuge. The Asylum laundry ceased operation in 1991 and when the Sisters decided to sell off some of the land, they applied to the Department of the Environment for permission to exhume the remains of 133 women from unmarked graves. In fact the remains of 154 women were eventually recovered, cremated and then re-interred at Glasnevin Cemetery. You can read about it here.

NOT ALL MUSLIMS ARE MURDERERS!

Just as in my example above about the so called religious who were part of the church I was a member of, there are some bad eggs among the followers of Allah, who at the hands of corrupt and twisted leaders, carry out atrocities’.

Even without mention of religion, politicians give permission for military interference in countries other than their own sending young men and now women to kill and maim. I am not taking sides, but just look at the results of Vietnam, Bosnia, Northern Ireland, Iraq x 2 and more recently Afghanistan. Each person killed was someone’s son/grandson/partner/family member! Flesh and blood possibly now in an unmarked grave like the innocents in the convent ground in High Park.

Then we have the young men acting alone who walk into a school or public gathering place and shoot those around before turning the gun on themselves. We saw it in Scotland and many times across the United States of America. There are bad apples all around us.

Do others see us by our actions as bad apples?

Rant over, time to smooth that chip on my shoulder. Have a good day!

A caller.

 

I decided to be lazy and brought my breakfast back to bed about four hours ago. Okay, so the temperature has now risen from 1°C to 2°C and it is still snowing outside.

Just as I was thinking of getting up, the door bell rang.

“Who was it?” I hear you ask.

A gentleman wanting to give me a bible tract leaflet. Holy Hallelujahs, in this weather? He could have put it through the letterbox.

I did not even wait to find out which of the twelve varieties of churches/gospel hall/meeting houses that we have within walking distance down in the town. Not counting those from surrounding villages or occasional visits from Jehovah witnesses or Mormons.

For the first time in my life, I told him to keep his leaflet. I said that I had my own views on religion and preferred to keep them to myself. Adding that in these troubled times if everyone kept their religious views to themselves, we would not have half the trouble in the world.

His answer: “I’ll not keep you standing in the cold!”