Monthly Archives: August 2008

Paper Weight

This Tyrone Crystal paper weight sat in the same corner year by year. Recently on one of our rare sunny days I took it outside to play with.

Once I had a shot I came indoor and played some more

I have a long way to go to win prizes!!

What is it?

Who said “A tree”?

I did know that much. But what type of tree is it? There are a whole row of them planted along the front of the IKEA store in Belfast. I never saw anything like them before.

At first glance you would think it was planted upside down with the roots skyward.

Perhaps the top is sprouting in Baino’s garden 🙄

A Book to Drool Over

Earlier in the week I had a book in my hand and it brought back memories.

Memories of the many Usborne titles.

The memories it invoked were like this:

And this:

The item this week was a little different. It was bright, colourful and very useful. In fact I wouldn’t mind having a copy myself. It was The Usborne Cookbook for Children.

  • A bumper cookbook with 70 recipes taken from “The Usborne Children’s Cookbook” and “The Children’s Book of Baking”.
  • Contains both sweet and savoury recipes, including chicken stir-fry, salmon fishcakes, pizzas, ice-cream, mint choc chip muffins and a classic chocolate cake.
  • Each recipe is explained in simple step-by-step instructions and clear illustrations.
  • A super spiral-bound edition of two excellent recipe books for budding cooks.

It would make a wonderful gift for a fledgling cook out there of any age. The recipes were modern simple and inviting.

Thursday Special ~ A Mechanic vs. A Cardiologist

A mechanic was removing a cylinder-head from the motor of a Harley motorcycle when he spotted a well-known cardiologist in his shop……..

The cardiologist was there waiting for the service manager to come take a look at his bike when the mechanic shouted across the garage, ‘Hey Doc, want to take a look at this?’
The cardiologist, a bit surprised, walked over to where the mechanic was working on the motorcycle.

The mechanic straightened up, wiped his hands on a rag and asked, ‘So Doc, look at this engine. I open its heart, take the valves out, repair any damage, and then put them back in, and when I finish, it works just like new. So how come I make $39,675 a year and you get the really big bucks ($1,695,759) when you and I are doing basically the same work?’

The cardiologist paused, smiled and leaned over, then whispered to the mechanic….

‘Try doing it with the engine running.’

A little light reading

What’s Your Name’s Hidden Meaning?

Chrisb is always good for ideas so today I have broken the 7th commandment once more….. I stole it!

You all think you know the real Grannymar, so tell me if you agree.

What Grannymar Means
You are deeply philosophical and thoughtful. You tend to analyze every aspect of your life.

You are intuitive, brilliant, and quite introverted. You value your time alone.

Often times, you are grumpy with other people. You don’t appreciate them trying to interfere in your affairs.

You are wild, crazy, and a huge rebel. You’re always up to something.

You have a ton of energy, and most people can’t handle you. You’re very intense.

You definitely are a handful, and you’re likely to get in trouble. But your kind of trouble is a lot of fun.

You are usually the best at everything … you strive for perfection.

You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive.

You have the classic “Type A” personality.

You are very intuitive and wise. You understand the world better than most people.

You also have a very active imagination. You often get carried away with your thoughts.

You are prone to a little paranoia and jealousy. You sometimes go overboard in interpreting signals.

You are a free spirit, and you resent anyone who tries to fence you in.

You are unpredictable, adventurous, and always a little surprising.

You may miss out by not settling down, but you’re too busy having fun to care.

You are confident, self assured, and capable. You are not easily intimidated.

You master any and all skills easily. You don’t have to work hard for what you want.

You make your life out to be exactly how you want it. And you’ll knock down anyone who gets in your way!

You are deeply philosophical and thoughtful. You tend to analyze every aspect of your life. – Not really

You are intuitive, brilliant, and quite introverted. You value your time alone. – Not sure I agree but I am happy in my skin.

Often times, you are grumpy with other people. You don’t appreciate them trying to interfere in your affairs. – True. I don’t like people interfering in my affairs

You are wild, crazy, and a huge rebel. You’re always up to something. – Well what can I say 🙄

You have a ton of energy, and most people can’t handle you. You’re very intense. – I wish! I used to have the energy but alas it left home in disgust 😉

You definitely are a handful, and you’re likely to get in trouble. But your kind of trouble is a lot of fun. – Now that sounds about right! 😀

You are usually the best at everything … you strive for perfection. – I do strive for perfection but seldom achieve it.

You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive. – I hope I am not aggressive, confident would be good.

You have the classic “Type A” personality. – What is a Type A” personality?

You are very intuitive and wise. You understand the world better than most people. – I muddle through like everyone else.

You also have a very active imagination. You often get carried away with your thoughts. – I will confess to that one!

You are prone to a little paranoia and jealousy. You sometimes go overboard in interpreting signals. – I don’t think I agree with this one.

You are a free spirit, and you resent anyone who tries to fence you in. – I would like to be a free spirit.

You are unpredictable, adventurous, and always a little surprising. – Sometimes I don’t know what I am doing myself!

You may miss out by not settling down, but you’re too busy having fun to care. – I might settle down when I grow up! 😉

You are confident, self assured, and capable. You are not easily intimidated. – I do try.

You master any and all skills easily. You don’t have to work hard for what you want. – I work very hard for everything I want, always have!

You make your life out to be exactly how you want it. And you’ll knock down anyone who gets in your way! – I wish I could for the first part, but I won’t ride roughshod through anyone.

I had my eye wiped!

Well not exactly. But I want you to listen up and pay attention.

On Sunday I was busily sorting and organising the very first Grannymar International Sports Special for 2012! It was fun with plenty of suggestions for events.

Now what happened next is a bit of a blur. Literally! It might have been the glare of the lights (inside my brain) or all those sequins suggested by Steph, but something happened. I know I turned my head to the left and felt a pain in my right eye. Now all my life all you had to do was say the word ‘Eye’ to me and they went red. In fact my mother often called me ‘scaldy eyes’!

So now back to Sunday.

I pushed on and tried to ignore the problem thinking like a man – if you ignore something it will go away! 🙄 It didn’t and it seemed to get worse. Knowing there was a history of eye problems in the family I decided as evening went on to have it checked out. One of my younger brothers had a problem a few years ago and ignored it for a few days. When finally pushed into going to see about it, he was given a dressing down and admitted for immediate surgery as the retina had become detached. In this kind of situation it is imperative to seek help ASAP. Alas the problem was not resolved and he has since lost the sight in that eye. Since another brother has been diagnosed with Glaucoma I am sure you can understand my concern.

Being a weekend I called the local out of hours medical service for advice and they suggested I head straight to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast. Since my newly returned friendly neighbour was not at home I called a taxi. So armed with my permanently packed overnight bag we set out on the nearest thing to a Formula 1 race. I did say that I was not pregnant and that we could slow a little but the driver was not amused. Racing down the M2 is a little like the M50 in Dublin right now, a chicane of cones all the way. Thankfully I was trying to keep my eye closed and could not see the speedometer!

We arrived safely and I was seen by the triage nurse quickly, followed by a rather long wait. I did not complain. I have gone through A&E before and each time the need was really urgent and I was seen to immediately. While I was looked after others had to wait. Sunday night was my turn to wait. My turn eventually came and a handsome young Toyboy took great care to check me out thoroughly. He even tried turning me into an ‘orange woman’! The dye he used for one of the tests was bright orange and some of it overflowed onto my face. It clashed with my red rims and flushed cheeks.

Finally we discovered there was no major damage but the cornea was scratched. I was given some drops and allowed home. I was assured that I did the correct thing by having it checked out. So please mind your eyes they have to work for a lifetime!

Imagine not being able to see my Toyboys…..


Food Monday ~ Italian Cooked Cod

Italian Cooked Cod
Preheat oven to 190ºC

4 Cod fillets*
2×15 ml sp Olive Oil
1 med Onion chopped
2 cloves Garlic crushed
14oz can Tomatoes chopped
5oz Mushrooms sliced
1x15ml sp freshly chopped Basil
Juice of half a lemon
8 Black Olives
Salt & Black Pepper

Heat the oil in a saucepan and fry the onion until soft. Add the garlic, tomatoes and season with salt & black pepper. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the mushrooms and simmer for a further 10 minutes until the sauce thickens and then stir in the basil. Place the fish in an ovenproof dish, season & sprinkle with a little lemon juice. Spoon the sauce over the fish and place in the centre of a preheated oven for 25 minutes.
Serves 4 
Serve with boiled potatoes and a green salad.

* Any white fish will do if cod is not available.

Olympic Games

So today sees the closing of the present Olympic extravaganza in Beijing. With wall to wall coverage of the events have you developed an interest in a new sport? Not having an eye for a ball or a love of water, sports of any kind were to be avoided in my book.

Now the other day while visiting Chrisb I discovered this little game What Olympic Sport Are You?

Naturally I had to give it a go and the answer was a real surprise…

You Are Kayaking

You have a competitive spirit, but you don’t like to compete alone.

You do well in a partnership, where you can feed off the other person’s energy.

If you have the right partner, nothing can stop you. Your energy is infinite!

So toyboys lets get started!

Household Help

Over the years I have heard, tried and tested some unusual household hints. Today I would like to share some with you. The animal ones come from animal lovers. My sister uses the dog shampoo on her two Shelties and their coats are very soft.

Toothpaste

Did you know that toothpaste (not the gel) makes an excellent salve for burns?

It also works as a cleaner for brass ware.

Vinegar

Soaking your nails in vinegar for as little as five minutes a day will help cure your brittle nails.

Spray your hands with a mist of vinegar, or dip them in vinegar and dry after washing dishes or having them in soapy water to keep your hands soft.

Do you bruise easily? Use a mixture of vinegar and cold water, wetting your towel, and apply overnight. You can even tape the towel on or use an ace bandage to better placement.

If you have burned yourself cooking, a quick dose of vinegar on the burn will prevent blistering in that area.

Horseradish

Achy muscles from a bout of the flu? Mix 1 Tablespoon of horseradish in 1 cup of olive oil. Let the mixture sit for 30 minutes, then apply it as massage oil, for instant relief for aching muscles.

Honey

Honey remedy for skin blemishes … Cover the blemish with a dab of honey and place a Band-Aid over it. Honey kills the bacteria, keeps the skin sterile, and speeds healing. Works best overnight.

Alka-Seltzer

Cure urinary tract infections with Alka-Seltzer. Just dissolve two tablets in a glass of water and drink it at the onset of the symptoms. Alka-Seltzer begins eliminating urinary tract infections almost instantly– even though the product was never been advertised for this use.

Animal Magic

Eliminate ear mites in Cats. All it takes is a few drops of corn oil in your cat’s ear…Massage it in, then clean with a cotton ball. Repeat daily for 3 days. The oil soothes the cat’s skin, smothers the mites, and accelerates healing.

Kill fleas instantly…Dawn dishwashing liquid does the trick. Add a few drops to your dog’s bath and shampoo the animal thoroughly. Rinse well to avoid skin irritations. Good-bye fleas. Thanks to Judy I learned that if you have a cat or dog, putting a flea collar in the vacuum bag helps kill any fleas you vacuum up.

Rainy day cure for dog odour ….Next time your dog comes in from the rain, simply wipe down the animal with Bounce or any dryer sheet, instantly making your dog smell springtime fresh.

A Dog Shampoo (Kennel’s recipe)

1 part TCP (Liquid Antiseptic)

2 parts Stergene (Liquid Wash for Delicate)

3 parts water

Mix a convenient quantity and store in a screw top container and use as required.

Methylated Spirits

To clean secateurs rub thoroughly with Methylated Spirits and then with an oily rag.

Now do you have any handy hints to share?

Muggins

I am always amazed how blog posts awaken a memory.

Lottie’s post about being mugged brought back two.

The first happened while I was on holiday in England at the age of twelve. Always underweight and small for my age I would have easily passed as a ten year old. Until now I had forgotten or buried the episode deep down in order not to remember.

While walking along a quiet country road two boys pushed me to the ground with a bicycle. They held me on the ground and although I struggled, they managed to remove my panties.

I won’t go into details but as I think about it today with a shiver, I suppose they were only checking out and testing what they had learned or talked about behind the bike shed at school. Those were days long before sex education was introduced into the school curriculum. It was a terrible experience and one I would not wish happen any girl, young or old. I was in tears when I reached my Aunts house and she called the police. There were endless interviews and questions, in a way I was glad the boys were never found because if they were I would have had to go through it all again in court. After that holiday the topic was never raised. My parents never spoke about it and to this day I have no idea if my aunt ever told them.

The second was when I lived in Germany in the early 1970’s. My apartment had a communal front entrance with a buzzer system of entry. The Penthouse suite contained an apartment and offices for the owner. A gentleman I met through friends became infatuated without reason. Our paths crossed several times at social gatherings, I was courteous but gave no encouragement. Somehow he discovered where I lived and he began to stalk me. One evening the internal doorbell to my apartment rang. Thankfully it had a peep hole viewer and when I looked through it I saw it was my ‘stalker’ I didn’t open the door. It was before we had mobile phones and I did not have a land-line phone installed at the time.

Needless to say sleep evaded me that night and indeed for several weeks. He was still sitting there in the carpeted hallway outside my door all warm and cosy when I went to bed. I have no idea how long he stayed as I resisted the urge to get out of my bed to check. Thankfully in the morning he was gone. I knew the time my neighbours left for work, so I made sure I was walking down the hall at the same time. Several nights later the same thing happened. I followed the same procedure and when I returned from work that evening I made it my business to speak to the caretaker. He said he would have the owners send a note to all residents reminding them not to let anyone in as they opened the front door. All visitors were supposed to buzz the person they had come to visit and only gain access on invitation.

Originally I had gone to see about a ground floor apartment and was surprised that the owners would not let me rent it. They explained that they would not rent a ground floor apartment to a lady living on her own and showed me around an empty one on the first floor which I agreed to take. Many times later I was to feel thankful for that decision. It was a lovely compact home for me in a nice area and I walked through the park to work each day. I did not want to move and nobody was going to push me out. After the third visit I reported my uninvited guest, who had a wife, and I then discovered a history of this kind of behaviour. The last I heard he was admitted as a patient to the Psychiatric Ward of the hospital where I worked.

Thankfully that was the only down point of my time in Germany and there were so many happy times to make up for it. Like the first incident above I buried it deep and moved on.

Now that apartment living is so prevalent in Ireland, just stop for a moment and think before you hold open a door for a stranger. If they are a genuine visitor they will understand why you ask them to press the buzzer!