Monthly Archives: June 2010

Art with My Needle ~ Week 44

My wool project is proving rather slow this week.  Gallivanting and lunching with friends are proving an easy distraction.

In the mean time I have a cushion with a difference.  It was made by my sister.

“Nothing spectacular!” I hear you say, a plain brown granny square.  Well this is the back.  The interest is in the front.

The front of the cushion is completed with rug canvas and rug wool.  The back can be worked in any toning fabric.  It certainly makes for very comfortable sitting.

Now that has given me an idea……..!

A Palindrome

Darlene sent this and it is far too good to keep to myself!



A palindrome reads the same backwards as forward.  This video reads the exact opposite backwards as forward.
Not only does it read the opposite, the meaning is the exact opposite too.
This is only a 1 minute 44 second long video, but it is brilliant.  Make sure you read as well as listen…forward and backward.

This is a video that was submitted in a contest by a 20 year old.  The contest was titled “u @ 50” by  AARP. This video won second place.  When they showed it, everyone in the room was awe-struck and broke into spontaneous applause.  So simple and yet so brilliant.

Take a minute and watch it..

Click here >>>>>>>> Lost Generation

Food Monday ~ Gateau au Pommes

I wonder if Elly remembers this Apple Cake?  It was made by Robin, a French flat-mate who shared a house in Scotland.

Gateau au Pommes
Preheat the oven to 180°C

3 Cooking Apples
1 egg
4 dessert-spoons granulated sugar
7 dessert-spoons Plain Flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
7 dessert-spoons Milk
2 dessert-spoons Sunflower Oil

1 Egg
4 dessert-spoons Granulated Sugar
100g Butter

In a large bowl put 1 whole egg, sugar, flour and baking powder.  Beat together with the milk and oil.  Cut the apples.  Place in a greased baking tin.  Spread flour mixture over the apples.  Bake for 25 minutes.

For the topping melt the butter. Mix sugar and egg add to melted butter and mix well and spread over cake.  Bake for a further 15 minutes until golden.

The world is your Oyster

The world is your Oyster – where would you like to visit?

Meme question No. 4.

Obertauern I was there in Wintertime, now I would like to visit in Summer.

Yosemite National Park A place I have heard about since childhood, now might be the time to lose myself there.

Sydney A girl needs to visit a City every now and then, so why not this one?  When I have had enough I might move on to pester my Little Brother!

Timbuktu Simply because this was the answer to the question ‘Mammy where are you going?’.  She may have been going to the local shops, or to town, I only remember asking if she was leaving the house alone.  Never fear, there was always an adult about to look after us.  We were never latch key kids!

Easter Island Because it is there and old.

Reykjavík Capital and the largest City of Iceland. I would like to visit during the summer, when the nights are almost as bright as the days.

Now if that is out of the question, I would like to do a tour of the world, visiting all the owners of the Blogs I read and enjoy, and the wonderful people who visit my blog!

Bloggers Meet-Up on Saturday 3rd July

It was all Lily’s idea!

We were sitting in a relaxed group in the aftermath of the Irish Blog Awards 2010 in Galway.  Our thoughts were drawn to the missing faces – Steph, Annb , Marian etc.  So Lily wondered aloud about us all meeting up when the days were longer and perhaps the weather better.

‘Wondering aloud’ can be a dangerous exercise in the Irish Blog scene.  Ideas quickly become set in concrete.  A date was thrown down as a guide, none of us had a diary to hand.  Well time has passed….. the suggested date is fast approaching

Our Bloggers Meet-Up is on Saturday 3rd July, in Jim’s Kitchen in Portlaoise, with a start time of 1pm. Please do come along if you can make it. Let’s see who are on the list so far….  Lily of course, MarianLorna, Marie, Elly and yours truly.  I suggest you leave a comment Here so a check can be kept on numbers – you won’t all fit on my knee. 😉  I am looking forward to hearing about all the craft work that Marian has put into her arrangements including the table runners, invitations, etc for her forthcoming wedding – twenty days later. I’ll being my new needlethreader and the needles just in case we have stitches to add.

Please pass the word about the meet-up.  We have great craic and you will be sorry later if you miss the fun.

Now what will I wear?  Wanders off planning mischief….!

Inessential things

Our Loose Blogging consortium includes Anu, Ashok, Conrad, Gaelikaa, Ginger, Judy, Magpie 11, Maria, Ramana and yours truly.  Each of us when available, will contribute a piece for the topic for the week. The call of work, study or family concerns, often prevents some members from taking part on the day or indeed the week in question.  This weeks offering was chosen by Magpie 11

The Inessential Belongings that we collect

I moved into a ready made home when I married.  One or two of my friends wondered aloud why I had not cleared everything out and started again with a make over.  Why should I?  It would have been changing for changing sake.  If things worked I was happy to keep them.  Slowly over the years I made changes, but the house is basically still as it was.  It suits me and that is what matters.  The house is compact, bright, full of light, clean and dry.  What more do I need?

Some of the Inessential things I keep and now wonder why?

This Nut tin was in a cupboard when I arrived, it was custodian for most of the contents you see above.  One of these days I must……

From Scrambled Eggs to…..

I was a little confused yesterday and who could blame me.  You see my ‘Love Birds’ celebrated their 3rd Wedding Anniversary on Wednesday and yesterday they were marking another landmark.  This time it was 102.  One Hundred and Two?  If you add their ages together they do not make 102.  Adding my age to the picture does not bring us to the magic figure of 102.  So I was on the wrong track.

I was reading Not Junk Food.  It was The One Hundred and Second Post on the site.  I mean marking the 100th Post is so yesterday. 😉  My pair have to be different!

It was a review of how the site has grown over the past six months through Blog, Facebook and Twitter traffic bringing comments, questions and requests.  These interactions arrive not alone from around the corner, but from places as far flung as the USA, India and even Australia.

Today I am almost sorry to be the Mother-in-Law from Hell. 🙁 “Why?” I hear you ask.  It is because of this:

So to mark the occasion of our one hundred and second post, we’re having a draw with a great prize, a copy of “Easy Entertaining” by Darina Allen of the Ballymaloe Cookery School and also a Ballymaloe Cookery School apron….

To enter all you have to do is leave a comment on this post telling us what your favourite meal is and we will pick a winner at random from all the entries after the closing date, Wednesday 30th June at 5pm GMT so get your entries in and tell your friends, families and loved ones to do the same 😉

I cannot enter because I am related to the ‘Staff’ 🙄 and it would not do for me to win.  That does not rule out my telling you about it.

Arragh, go on!  You know you want to.  Have fun and the best of Irish to you.  Remember, if you are not in you cannot win!

I wonder if they will get 102 comments?

Thursday Special ~ Four Brothers

Be aware about what you gift to whom …

Four brothers left home for college, and they became successful doctors and lawyers and prospered.

Some years later, they chatted after having dinner together. They discussed the gifts they were able to give their elderly mother who lived far away in another city.

The first said, “I had a big house built for Mama”.

The second said, ” I had a hundred thousand dollar theatre built in the house”.

The third said, “I had my Mercedes dealer deliver an SL600 to her”.

The fourth said, “You know how Mama loved reading the Bible and you know she can’t read any more because she can’t see very well. I met this preacher who told me about a parrot that can recite the entire Bible. It took twenty preachers 12 years to teach him. I had to pledge to contribute $100,000 a year for twenty years to the church, but it was worth it. Mama just has to name the chapter and verse and the parrot will recite it”.

The other brothers were impressed.

After the holidays Mama sent out her “Thank You” notes.

She wrote: “Milton, the house you built is so huge I live in only one room, but I have to clean the whole house. Thanks anyway”.

“Marvin, I am too old to travel. I stay home, I have my groceries delivered, so I never use the Mercedes. The thought was good. Thanks”.

“Michael, you gave me an expensive theatre with Dolby sound, it could hold 50 people, but all of my friends are dead, I’ve lost my hearing and I’m nearly blind. I’ll never use it. Thank you for the gesture just the same”.

“Dearest Melvin, you were the only son to have the good sense to give a little thought to your gift. The chicken was delicious. Thank you”.

Luv You,



With thanks this week to RR for the story.

PPM –Week 1

Along the road of my blog life I have done some strange things and stepped up to many challenges.

  • I made a CD Cover with clues from a Meme.
  • Wrote a post using all the words in my category tag cloud
  • Wrote a post using a word from the fifth sentence of a book, chosen and opened by someone else.
  • I often begin with a line of utter rubbish (You will say I do that all the time), let it run and end up with a post and erase the original line completely.
  • Every Friday afternoon I produce something based on a common topic chosen by the members of the LBC (Loose Blogging Consortium).

BUT today beats the band altogether.  We have a new challenge and scary it is too.

Conrad – You heard of him. Right?  I worry about him by times,  He is like the naughty schoolboy in the back of the class thinking up mischief!! 🙄

Well the latest shenanigans involves some of the regular ‘Non Bloggers’ who are very much part of our blogging world.  Some of them make Fridays ‘FUN night’ bouncing backward and forward with us – most of it you do not see.  I cry!  Yes, I regularly spend Friday evenings with tears tripping down my face.  Have no fear, they are not being nasty to me, no, they are shared tears of laughter between us.  The craic is mighty!

Conrad, the guy I mentioned above has suggested this:


The idea is:

We get about five non-bloggers to each produce a paragraph, no idea what the other four are producing, and each of us as bloggers try to take those five random paragraphs and put them together into a coherent post!  And, you can’t alter the paragraphs a whit.
I think we should ask: Maynard, Deb, Magit and two people that each of us know and can ask independently.

So Maynard, Deb, Magit will be the common core to all of us taking part and I needed two more victims collaborators.  No sooner was the ball set in motion than the paragraphs arrived like falling rain.  Famine or feast, and it suddenly looked like It was time for a feast in my neck of the woods.

Magpie 11 did not feel able to give the time to the needlework involved in this one, but offered to write a paragraph.  Conrad and I had a race to accept, but ever the gentleman, Magpie provided each of us with a contribution.  The other person that I have chosen is Nancy Leitz a regular visitor offering pearls of wisdom with great humour in her comments.

As with the LBC where we began with a small group the Bloggers taking part in this new experiment are Conrad, Ramana, My very own self and Perhaps Maria Silver Fox.  Once we are up and running with the glitches ironed out the circle may grow!

So where did I put those needles… I need to join some seams and I hope the stitches are not very visible.


Now in the past I have told you about my days as a member of the Rubber Knees/ Number Please Club.  It was my jumping off step to the world of earning my keep and playing at being a grown-up!

Telephonist at work

Each position for a telephonist had ten pairs of cords and a dial.  One cord was used to answer the incoming caller and the other to connect to a line on which to dial the requested number. For each pair of cords there was a little switch with three positions.  It was used to open the line for the operator to speak to either or both parties.  Once the call was connected the switch sat in the middle or upright position.  Moving the switch to the third position allowed the call to be monitored without interrupting the conversation.  It was important to do so as long distance calls were considered expensive and the caller did not wish to pay for wasted time if disconnected.

There were times when the lines were all in use and you were unable to deal with any more calls so on occasions to prevent boredom I would flick the switches in quick succession along the line and mix up all the conversations (only I knew about it and not the callers).  Another game was to throw a switch and listen to the conversation for a few minutes.

It might work like this:

Pressing the first key into the listening position….

It sounds like a young girl in her early twenties, a right scatterbrain with no brothers to settle her, I bet she is blonde with long fine fluffy curls……

This morning, around the time of my second cup of strong coffee, realized that I did not dream again last night.  This has me wondering if I’m not dreaming at all or if I’m just not remembering my dreams.  I miss them.  Have always dreamed vividly, lots of thrashing around, talking out loud, waking up any house guests, and about the strangest things.  Some have been down right scary, waking up with a jolt of adrenalin and thinking WOW!!  But for the most part, my dreams have just been entertainment for me,  fun to rethink and try to make sense of.  I’ve decided to take action in the form of supreme pizza right before bedtime.  Sure hope it works!

Pizza before bed… that would surely give me nightmares!  That young lady needs to start taking hold of her diet.  TWO cups of strong coffee on an empty stomach!  I hear the American twang, so I bet the cups are huge (Everything in America is HUGE!), that is surely the express route to a stomach ulcer and if she is not careful her skin will match a rhinoceros before she is forty!

Moving the next key forwards…

A man this time….. deep voice, crisp like a good dry wine and clipped, yet still a little sexiness to it……  Professorial type I imagine, long and lean like good streaky bacon…..

Among the many signs used in the past by countrymen to predict the weather is the phenomenon of distant objects appearing nearer than they are. This foretells the onset of rain within the next few hours. You may be wondering how this can be. Well, it has something to do with the refractive index of air changing with the amount of water  vapour held in the air. The variation of the refractive index of air with temperature also has an effect and can give rise to mirages in the desert.

Hmmmm! I wonder if that is why I can smell the rain before it arrives?  Now I must remember that snippet of information, I might used it to impress Tony at the dance tonight! 😉

Forward with switch number three…

A mature female voice here….. I see her like a well sprung mattress, very motherly with a good heart and arms well used to giving comfort….

“I knew I shouldn’t have adopted that dog. What did I know about dogs, anyway? Weren’t four kids enough for me to handle? But they begged and cajoled and promised that THEY would be the caretaker of the dog, so I gave in and we went to the Animal Shelter to look for our new pet. It was like a Shirley Temple movie in there. Remember when Shirley was in the orphanage in a few of her pictures and the rich people came in the big black Buick to pick out a kid? Shirley was all pretty with her blonde hair and blue eyes and next to her stood Jane Withers with her dark sad eyes and limp brown hair. Shirley was always picked to ride to her new adopted home in the Buick and Jane was left there at the orphanage to cry and break our hearts. Well, I was determined that wouldn’t happen today. We would pick out the saddest, scruffiest, skinniest little dog in the place and name her Jane. There she was in the corner of the cage; just sitting there, without hope, while all the brazen Shirleys made eyes at us and tried to lick the kids. We told the attendant that we would take her and he was surprised at our choice. But take her we did and, as I knew they would, the kids left all of the doggy duties to Mom. So, through all the years that Jane lived with us she was my best pal and companion. When it was her time to go, I sat by her side at the Veterinary Clinic and petted her as I thanked her for the years of joy she had brought me and how happy I was that those people with the big black Buick hadn’t picked her before it was our turn to choose.

Well, our Mrs Shirley Temple here must have spent her childhood at the movies!  Imagine picking a skinny scruffy dog!  It would be worse than having a baby.  The baby eventually grows up and can do things for itself, but a dog is like a baby for all of its life!  You get to cook and clean up after it and if that is not enough it wants to play ball or have a walk and don’t mention the puddles or the other stuff it sticks its nose in!

Moving on to switch number four….

More dogs!  No it is not a dog talking on the phone, I know it has been a long day, but I am not ga-ga yet!  A woman is talking about her dog, I’m no vet but it sounds a little like curtains for Bubba – that is the name of the dog!

You all have probably seen pics of my Sheltie dogs.  I have had Bubba, the male dog, for almost 13 years!
Yesterday, he got up from a long nap on the ceramic floor, shook himself and fell flat and could not get back up.  I was immediately sick to my stomach because I know he has reached the expensive stage of his life.  I also know that I won’t have him much longer and that makes me even sicker to my stomach.  He and I have a lot of history together and that will leave a huge hole in my heart.  I guess all I can hope for is that he goes quietly and doesn’t suffer.  If he does suffer, I wonder who I can bribe to take him to be euthanised because I know that is something I won’t be able to do!  I start to cry just thinking about how much I will miss my best friend.

Oh dearly beloved potato peeler,  yer wan is weeping all over the mouth piece.  If she is not careful, she’ll be gone before the dog, ‘quietly and no suffering’ is right – ELECTROCUTED that’s what will happen to her, all those tears dripping into the phone.  Ah now seriously; The poor wee dog; and the poor wee woman – her best friend….. Do you think I should phone her back when the call is over, I could give her the number for that Dating Agency that is on the wall over the phone in the Call Box on the corner of the street!

Hello Mildew! (Number Five)

Mildew Mengle is the young lad who collects up all our call cards, every forty-five minutes.  On these cards I record all the information from each call including my initials and special number.  It is so that I can be traced if there is a problem later on.  You have no idea how cantankerous some customers can be.  It might be three months after a call was made and I am supposed to remember.  I mean, when I’ve been out with Tony for a date on a Wednesday night, I hardly remember my name never mind what happened on a call three months ago!

Some of the girls really tease Mildew unmercifully.  I don’t because he is shy and I look on him as a younger brother.  He is supposed to move quietly along the line and not speak to us or interrupt us while we are talking to the customers.  I always make time for him and ask him a question or tell him a joke to make him smile.  He has a lovely smile, but it is a pity about his uniform.  His uniform has a pretty strong musty smell to it and a slight green tinge!  There are white specks on the shoulders and drips down the back of the jacket.  The girls say he keeps it in a hen house or garden shed over night.  I wonder if he has brothers like mine, ready to stitch up the trouser legs or hide the suit in the refuse bin.

Sometimes when Mildew is collecting my cards, he will leave me a note or a little drawing.  He loves to draw and they are usually cartoons.  Today he did slip a little folded note onto the corner of my desk.  When I unfolded it I found this:

His drawings are usually good, but the message in this one is a little fishy today!  If the Supervisor saw it he would be homeless.  You see; her name is HAKE!  I need to be careful and not risk having Mildew laugh out loud or Missy Fishy Hake will swim right over here faster than a mako shark, and have both of us out the door and singing for our supper!  I can’t afford that, I need my wages to buy new nail polish.

“Hey Mildew!”  I say smiling.  “It’s four O’clock and my shift is over, I’m out of here.  See you tomorrow!”


With thanks to the five contributors who appeared In the following order:






Art with My Needle ~ Week 43

I promised you a progress report on my homework for the week.  The week has been so busy I nearly forgot what was supposed to show you.

It was blue.  Right?

Yes, 3 Double Knitting skeins X 100g of blue acrylic and each skein is 300m long.  As you can see I set up a base row on the needles.  Soon it began to look like this:-

As you can see I was half way through casting off at this stage.  Now what would I do with that ❓  Make a tie for teddy?  Nah!  Don’t be impatient, Rome was not built in a day.

Do you want to see more?

Now I have changed to crochet.  The stitch was taken from the pattern in the last photo and I needed a rough guide for the number of stitches and rows to get shaping for this part.  The pattern is worked over two rows and by the end of the first two rows, it was a matter of working with out thinking.  I sat in the sunshine each day and totally cleared my mind as I worked.

Now you see what the piece of ribbing was all about at the beginning.  I worked two inches of rib as normal for the beginning of any knitted jumper, and then I cast off until I had one stitch remaining.  This last stitch was used to crochet back along the rib following the pattern on the sheet.  The ruler is to give you a guide of how much I achieved with one skein of wool.  You can see the tail coming from the needle to the ruler.

I didn’t show you the picture on the pattern sheet as it would confuse you at this stage.  I promise to show you at the end of the project.

So for today, as they say on the Loony Tunes That’s All Folks!

P.S. I’ll be back at 3pm with a surprise for you!