Sunday, January 30
Saturday, January 29
Thursday, January 27
Tuesday, January 25
It is time for ABC Wednesday again. For round 8 I am using my home and life as a theme, sharing various posessions and keepsakes.
We have not had many eggs of late but a few weeks ago Olwyn started laying the occasional egg. Olwyn is one of the larger brown ones. A few days ago Bev joined in with the laying and now lays an egg each day. When I let the hens out each morning there is usually 1 or 2 eggs in the henhouse. Eva or May have joined in again, I know this by the colour of egg.
Last year Bev became broody, along with Mabel and spent a while over the road with a neighbors eggs. Bev was not successful in hatching hers, but Mabel was. Sadly the snow was the unexpected hazard and her chick died. Bev returned here and after a short period of establishing a pecking order, soon integrated with the rest of our hens. In the meantime it would seem Mabel has a fan! A banty cockerel who sits by her side day after day and follows her wherever she goes. She will be returning home sometime this week - together with the new love of her life. Currently he hasn't a name - so I am looking for ideas. We tend to name our animals with traditional names. So any ideas?
The suggestions received will be dropped into a box - the winner will receive a set of my cards.
If you fancy joining in gwith ABC Wednesday go here
Sunday, January 23
they both gave me this award which I am sharing with any of my lovely blogging friends who would like to post 7 random facts about themselves. Here are mine :-
MY 7 RANDOM FACTS
1. My little finger on my left hand is bent.
This is a result of a fall in a netball match, teachers v. pupils, back in 1980.
It remained weak and lo and behold I dislocated it again about 8 years ago.
Quite simply it was knocked and jumped out of joint.
One day I will get it fixed, but know it will be painful!
2. My middle name is Elizabeth, after my nana who was Eizabeth Ellen, known as Dolly.
The family came over from Germany just at the beginning of the war.
Her father was a clockmaker. The name was Schumacer, so I may be related to Michael!
3. When I was 16 I worked as a nurse aid in a local hospital, now demolished.
I was based on the men's medical ward.
One job I had to do was to "prepare" the patients for surgery.
This meant shaving private areas with a razor!
4. I can play the spoons.I find the older, soup spoons are the best.
5. I enjoy pease pudding .
I did not eat it for over 15 years following a school dinner episode when I was 7.
On a table of 6, I was the only one who liked it, so I swapped my dinner with the others on my table in return for their pease pudding.
I ate a whole plate full!
I wasn't very popular that afternoon!
6. I have evil thoughts about a former teacher, Mr. Pallister.
When I was 9 and not liking cheese pie or coconut pudding he made an example of me in front of the whole junior school, by forcing me to eat them both!
"People like me pay taxes so people like you can have free school meals!"
Were the kind words he said at the time.
Soon after my dinner I played skips and was sick.
I was so frightened I ran home to Auntie Dot.
I can picture her to this day, baking at the kitchen table.
She walked straight to the school, apron on, rolling pin in hand.
My family had a whip round and from then on I did not have a free school meal again, even though I was entitled to them.
7. I was banned from Weightwatchers in 1986.
I was in the meeting with my friend, we were chatting quietley. However the leader was not happy with this.
She turned and shouted "Would you like to share the secret of your success with the rest of the class Denise?" She bellowed!
"Before I came to Weightwatchers I would have a cooked breakfast, go to school and have tea and biscuits.
At playtime I would have more tea and biscuits.
Lunchtime I would have a school dinner.
Afternoon break, tea and biscuits.
Home for tea then out for a few drinks with friends, followed often by fish and chips.
Home for cocoa and a biscuit!"
"And what now?"
"I don't have a biscuit with my cocoa!"
Was my reply!
"Your attitude is not welcome here at Weightwatchers!"
Meanwhile she had been holding a bread roll up which she had poked her finger into...to show us how much starch was in the bun.
As we stood up my friend shouted..
"If you are going to abuse that roll I have it?"
We never went back, but I did loose 20lbs!
Over to you!
Saturday, January 22
The cupboard in the left corner, currently home to the washing machine will become my pantry. It was one originally but the door was in the hall. We moved it into the kitchen. The floor tiles will remain and again the cupboards will be painted.
I am clicking at my heels to begin! The colour theme will run through the house - inspired by my curtains.
How is this for coincidence - I googled "Next Alium Curtains" a few minutes ago - these are the curtains I have in both the snug and large lounge - bought for next to nothing at the Next Clearance. I love them. Anyway, I came across a link in Google images to a lady who is selling a pair - large size (the curtains not the lady)...and now I have bought them so will have sufficient to make a kitchen blind! Way hey!
Friday, January 21
It's that time of the week again! 3 more reasons to be cheerful.
1. The plans we have for updating the house are coming together. I am particularly happy about the decisions we have made for the kitchen. The pine units are staying, be it a bit of moving and shaking but we are reversing the doors and having a shaker theme. The Aga too is staying and is having a make over. The dust produced from a solid fuel Aga is a huge amount so I don't want any coving or fancy pelmets on any of my cupboards anymore. I have had 20 years of it. All wall cupboards are coming down but going elsewhere in the house. I am a frugal person to heart and I just can not replace the units for the sake of it. No - they are all staying - I look forward to sharing the pictures of our progress.
2. My neighbour has agreed to come with her sewing machine and help me get to grips with mine. One of my New Year's Intentions was to develop my sewing ability. Margie use to be a lecturer in Home Economics and is an excellent sewer. We had a good chat today and we even discussed making loose covers for our settees! lol! Still - watch this space and be prepared to be amazed/shocked/disgusted! Time will tell!
3. I lost 1.5 lb at Slimming World. This brings me 1 lb off being back on track!
Thursday, January 20
Tuesday, January 18
Sunday, January 16
-- Charles M. Schulz
I will explain next time why I feel empowered to wash for England and cook for an army - must get on!
Friday, January 14
The new meme I joined in last week finds me here again with more reasons to be cheerful. A great way to start any day, Friday in particular so here are mine today.
We keep hens and they often cause me to have a smile! One in particular is my shadow, little Eva. This photo was taken yesterday when she followed me down the drive to collect the evening paper from my neighbour Ro. Ro always laughs as she knows when she sees me coming down the drive Eva will be following. The hens reward us with wonderful eggs - sparse at the moment as they don't like the cold weather, but hopefully spring will remind them why we got them in the first place!
My faithful companion Freida. We go for walks everyday and when she sees her lead coming off the hook she makes the most hilarious wolf howl you could imagine, so funny from such a quiet dog.
Thursday, January 13
This morning I received my thought for the day, courtesy of www.innerspace.org.uk
Last night at Slimming World I maintained my current weight – a loss of 9.5 lb which means although I initially lost 12lb I gained 2.5lb over Christmas and the times our classes were cancelled due to bad weather – so I guess I have got to move up the action bar and make a determined effort this week. This quote therefore did seem to ring a few bells. The change in the weather helps and the general temperature does seem warmer – which is a good thing here as we ran out of oil last night and the Aga is making its way through the last bag of coal….hopefully we are having a delivery of oil this afternoon and the coalman is on our case!
Tuesday, January 11
Well here we are week 26 of ABC Wednesday Round 7. I worked out that this is my 182nd ABC Wednesday contribution and this fun weekly meme is set to continue to Round 8! As Wednesday approaches I do find myself thinking what can I possibly think of next, and in this amazing world we live in, there is always something out there. Ofcourse there are some letters more complicated than others, X in particular but people ALWAYS come up with something and when you visit the ABC Wednesday Blog you will get a taste of the great imagination and creativity we see each week. Although it is known as ABC Wednesday we tend to start posting on a Tuesday due to time differences across the world so her is my Z contribution!
It is only recently I have come across the Zen philosophy ......as Wikipedia puts it....
Zen is a school of Mahāyāna Buddhism. The Japanese word Zen is derived from the Chinese word Chán, which in turn is derived from the Sanskrit word dhyāna, which means "meditation" or "meditative state.
Zen emphasizes experiential Wisdom in the attainment of enlightenment. As such, it de-emphasizes theoretical knowledge in favor of direct realization through meditation and dharma practice. The teachings of Zen include various sources of Mahāyāna thought, including the Prajñāpāramitā literature and the teachings of the Yogācāra and Tathāgatagarbha schools.
The emergence of Zen as a distinct school of Buddhism was first documented in China in the 7th century CE. From China, Zen spread south to Vietnam, and east to Korea and Japan. As a matter of tradition, the establishment of Zen is credited to the Persian  or South Indian prince-turned-monk Bodhidharma, who came to China to teach a "special transmission outside scriptures, not founded on words or letters".
Bearing this in mind I thought the following competition was a fun way to illustrate this today! I would also like to make a special mention of one ABC blogger, Gerald who has, like so many others been part of ABC Wednesday since day 1 and writes Haiku and other fantastic poetry! Thanks so much Gerald - Enjoy!
ZEN HAIKU FOR COMPUTER USERS
A contest was held to replace the impersonal and unhelpful Microsoft error messages with Haiku poetry messages led to the following beauties. ((Formal Haiku poetry has strict construction rules; each poem has only 17 syllables; 5 syllables in the first line, 7 in the second line, 5 in the third line. They are used to communicate a timeless message, often achieving a wistful, yearning and powerful insight through extreme brevity.)
Sunday, January 9
Many people, including myself have made a New Year’s resolution to lose weight. I attend Slimming World on a Wednesday night and it was there I met Frances. As you can see from the photograph on the left Frances is now very fit as opposed to how she was only a few years ago. (Far left in the photograph). Frances has lost a staggering 10 stone!
Frances like me, enjoys cooking so I am going to share a recipe each week which follows Slimming World guidelines. This week I am using my own Leek & Potato Soup recipe.
2 vegetable stock cubes
2 laughing cow cheese spread triangles (purple wrappers are the very low fat ones)
Low fat natural yoghurt for stirring in when cooked
Steam vegetables & when cooked blitz to required consistency ie some may like more lumps/texture than others. Pour 1 pint of boiling water into a jug, crumble in stock cubes and add cheese triangles and whisk until all is a liquid. Add to leek and potato mixture in pan and stir until thick. Season add yoghurt and serve.
I enjoy Slimming World – we have a great laugh! Last week I was nominated to be the person who greets new members as they enter class! Wonder why? lol!
Saturday, January 8
2. Tonight we are having another family get together, hosted by the other Mrs Nesbitt in my life, my lovely mother in law. The anticipation of such a gathering makes me very cheerful as we always have great fun. My MIL and I are great friends. My own mum is sadly not here anymore, she passed away in 1994 but the time we spent together always make me smile as such memories are fond and happy.
Thursday, January 6
I love buying books! We have our own allocted shelves in the snug - Jon's to the left, mine to the right. To say they are full is an understatement, but the matter will be addressed when we re-model the house as we are having more shelving built in the lounge. This will allow us to continue acquiring books. Looking at my collection I see a vast amount of "Grow your own" themed books. Trouble is, I read such books and THINK I have carried out what the book has set out to tell me. Most of the time such books leave me feeling overwhelmed with advice and an uncertainty about WHERE to start. Each year I set out WANTINg to grow something but the helplessness sets in and I find myself achieving very little, just a feeling of failure. I read the results of others and the despair grows.........
The other day I was reading through a few blogs and indeed left a comment on one saying I needed to buy a diary! The next thing I knew a lovely person was offering the Sarah Raven's Diary as a swap! Straight away I responded and today a wonderful parcel arrived. What is more the diary sets out simple, manageable tasks for each month so I now can see a plot to my garden plans for 2011! How wonderful is that!
Watch this space for future revelations!
New Year Resolution Update:-
1. Not to use any plastic carrier bags and to really cut down on packaging....done this! Now have a piece of plastic bag on my keyring to remind me as I leave the house.
2. Eat healthily....Back on board with Slimming World - only gained 2.5lb over a month - this is the first gain since joining in September - I can live with this after such a fantastic Christmas and New Year - bring it on!
3. Sew....Bought something - will be experimenting soon - whether or not I share just yet is very touch and go!
Tuesday, January 4
Yorkshire is a historic county of northern England and the largest in the United Kingdom.Because of its great size in comparison to other English counties, functions have been increasingly undertaken over time by its subdivisions, which have also been subject to periodic reform. Throughout these changes, Yorkshire has continued to be recognised as a geographical territory and cultural region The name is familiar and well understood across the United Kingdom and is in common use in the media and the military, and also features in the titles of current areas of civil administration, such as Yorkshire and the Humber and West Yorkshire.
Within the borders of the historic county of Yorkshire are areas which are widely considered to be among the greenest in England, due to the vast stretches of unspoiled countryside in the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors and to the open aspect of some of the major cities. Yorkshire has sometimes been nicknamed God's Own County.[ The emblem of Yorkshire is the white rose of the English royal House of York, and the most commonly used flag representative of Yorkshire is the White Rose on a dark blue background, which after years of use, was recognised by the Flag Institute on 29 July 2008. Yorkshire Day, held on 1 August, is a celebration of the general culture of Yorkshire, ranging from its history to its own dialect.
I was born in North Yorkshire and although I spent 10 years in Nottingham, I returned in 1986 when my Dad died. I love the yorkshire scenery, people and dry sense of humour so I thought for ABC Wednesday I would share some yorkshire fun!
Yorkshire people are a very particular breed: they can be dour, they speak their minds and they are hard working, friendly and kind. Yorkshire people refer to their county as 'God's own county,' and indeed can boast some of the most beautiful countryside in Britain.
Yorkshire man takes his cat to the vet.
Yorkshireman: Ayup, lad, I need to talk to thee about me cat.
Vet: Is it a tom?
Yorkshireman: Nay, I've browt it with us.
A Yorkshireman's dog dies and as it was a favourite pet he decides to have a gold statue made by a jeweller to remember the dog by.
Yorkshireman: Can tha mek us a gold statue of yon dog?
Jeweller: Do you want it 18 carat?
Yorkshireman: No I want it chewin' a bone yer daft beggar.
A Yorkshireman's wife dies and the widower decides that her headstone should have the words "she were thine" engraved on it. He calls the stone mason, who assures him that the headstone will be ready a few days after the funeral. True to his word the stone mason calls the widower to say that the headstone is ready and would he like to come and have a look.
When the widower gets there he takes one look at the stone to see that it's been engraved "she were thin".
He explodes, 'Blimey man, you've left the "e" out.'
The stone mason apologises and assures the poor widower that it will be rectified the following morning. Next day comes and the widower returns to the stone mason, 'There you go sir, I've put the "e" on the stone for you.'
The widower looks at the stone and then reads out aloud, 'E, she were thin.'
Saturday, January 1
New Year is here and like the rest of the planet I have been THINKING about making some resolutions. Notice I use the word THINKING!
Christmas time has been a pretty good time and I have been eating various snacks and treats which I wouldn't normally choose. I am now back on my diet so I will aim to eat healthier in 2011, attending Slimming World each week. Quite a few of the classes were cancelled due to the bad weather, but come Wednesday 5th I will be there. I would think there will be quite a few new members!!!!
I want to do something new. THINKING alond the lines of sewing!!!! THINKING remember! I have a couple of sewing machines - one is a really good one which I bought from a tabletop sale at a local residential home. An absolute bargain - but have I used it? No! Do I KNOW how to use it properly? No! However I KNOW somebody who DOES so I just MAY have a word with my friend and neighbour Margy!
2011 is a very significant year for me as I am taking my early retirement agreement. The Teacher's Pension scheme is one of the better ones and the current financial mess regarding pensions makes me rather nervous of future developments and plans - so I am taking mine on my 55th birthday! Yes I will loose a small % of the lump sum but the annual pension will equal this out and a bit more in the 5 years before I reach 60!
We will have been in our house for 20 years, come 28th June and we need to do some repairs and updating - I am looking forward to this and it WOULD be a good learning curve for my sewing development! Jon is a wizz with DIY so it would be a good joint project! Hmmmm yes, I like the sound of that!
2011 then - I will have 3 basic aims:-
1. Not to use any plastic carrier bags and to really cut down on packaging.
2. Eat healthily.
Anybody else making any plans?