Monday, 31 August 2009

an unexpected visitor!

It was pouring rain here this evening - again!!! - and I happened to look out of the dining room window and saw this wee character sitting on the gravel. By the time Douglas grabbed my camera to go and take his/her photo, he/she'd taken shelter behind some pieces of wood.

I'd estimate that the frog - toad? - was about 3" long not counting its legs. So not so wee! :oD

How cool is that?

Sunday, 30 August 2009

there be monsters

Are you happy to lie in your bed letting a leg or an arm hang out over the mattress? I've talked to a lot of people who won't - ever - let any part of their body hang out over the bed - just in case!

Everyone knows there be monsters under the bed who will grab said leg/arm and pull you under there. And when you're under there - well, nobody's really very sure what happens.

Well, my under-the-bed monsters weren't dragging me under the bed but they were bugging me. I kept thinking of the 4 boxes of shoes I hadn't worn in the last year that I put back under the bed for another year's worth of dust-gathering.

So, yesterday I dragged all 4 boxes back out again and this time was brutally honest about the chances of me wearing the shoes again. I'm now pleased to say that I managed to get the shoes down to 2 boxes. And, yes, the tap shoes and ballet pumps are still there. I wasn't that brutal! :oD

The only worrying thing now is that now there's more room under the bed for monsters! Yikes!!

Friday, 28 August 2009

advice from kids

This is from my "various" folder. There are tons more where this came from! :oD

Advice from kids.

Never trust a dog to watch your food.

When your dad is mad and asks you, "Do I look stupid?' Don't answer.

Never tell your Mom her diet's not working.

Stay away from prunes.

Don't pull Dad's finger when he tells you to.

When your Mom is mad at your dad, don't let her brush your hair.

Never let your three-year old brother in the same room as your school assignment.

A puppy always has bad breath--even after eating a Tic-Tac.

Never hold a dustbuster and a cat at the same time.

You can't hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk.

Don't wear polka-dot underwear under white shorts.

If you want a kitten, start out by asking for a horse.

Felt-tip markers are not good to use as lipstick.

Don't pick on your sister when she's holding a baseball bat.

When you get a bad grade in school, show it to your Mom when she's on the phone.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

shoes, boots, slippers, tap shoes, ballet pumps …

I decided to go through my shoes today. So I dragged the 4 boxes from under the bed and filled another crate with the ones out of the wardrobe.

I then laid them all out on the bedroom floor - had to take 2 photos to get them all in!

Then I took out everything I hadn't worn in the last year. I decided that trying them on to see if I wanted to wear them doesn't count as wearing them!

I then went through the shoes putting several in a box called "if I don't wear these by this time next year, they're going out". I ended up with 4 boxes with that label!! They all went back under the bed.

I did put a few pairs - okay 4 pairs - out to go to the charity shop. These 4 pairs were in the category "why did I buy these?" They're unworn - and uncomfortable - and just don't suit me.

I admit I've put the ballet pumps and tap shoes back under the bed even though I haven't danced in those in about 19 years. You never know - I might take it up again! :oP

I now have 12 pairs of shoes in the wardrobe. All the boots and wellies are under the bed as are the 3 pairs of slippers. Why do I need 4 pairs of slippers? I have no idea. Why didn't I throw some of them out? Because you never know when I might need them!

So, it was fun but I'm not so sure I achieved anything!

Tuesday, 25 August 2009


Joanna took the 3 jeans bum bags I had left - after she'd taken 2 and I'd sent 1 to Debbie - to her work today and sold 2 of them!

The funny thing was, of the three bags she took, I really thought the one with the lime green with white stars lining would go first but that's the one she brought back to me. Shows what I know! :oD

She also has an "order" for another one in which the person would like to have a red flowery lining. I don't know if I've got the flowery fabric but I do know I have red spotty stuff so maybe that will have to do.

But how exciting to have sold a couple of bags! The money has gone into a box which I'm going to try not to touch.

But then, somehow I think that will work as well as the idea that I'm not going to buy any more fabric until I've used everything I already have - ie a complete non-starter!

Well, at least I'm honest! :oD

Monday, 24 August 2009

Right, said Fred

I was looking on youtube for "Right, said Fred" by Bernard Cribbins - another childhood memory of mine. (see Albert and the Lion for another one)

Anyway, I found this.

The person who made this must have patience by the boatload! I love it! :o)

Saturday, 22 August 2009

nice boat!

On the way home from Debbie's flat last night - no, we still haven't finished trying to get it ready for selling. Soon, though, I hope!

Anyway, as I was saying, on the way back from Debbie's flat last night, Douglas took a detour to South Queensferry to see if he could get any decent photos of the liner that was moored out in the middle of the River Forth.

Here are a couple of the photos he took. This one shows how far from - or rather how close - the ship is to the shore. The stonework on the right of the photo is one of the supports of the Forth Bridge.

I know it's not clear in a photo of this size, but the name of the liner is the "Crown Princess". Looks pretty classy.

I still don't think I'd like to go on a cruise, though. I think I'd be looking for Hugh over the sides too much to enjoy myself! :oD

Friday, 21 August 2009

a long lie? - Ha!

I remember when Debbie and Joanna were very young, I commented to Douglas's Auntie Winn that I really could do with a long lie. She told me that when the girls were old enough for me to get a long lie, I probably wouldn't be able to sleep late. I'd be awake early no matter what day of the week it was.

I remember thinking at the time "No way! Surely, if the girls have grown up and left the house and Douglas has a day off, or it's the weekend, we'll easily be able to have a long lie".

Well, Auntie Winn was right. The girls are out of the house, Douglas has occasional days off and the weekends come around faithfully every week. Do we sleep late? Have a long lie? Nope.

We're awake at just the same time every day. Oh well, best just accept it, I suppose. But sometimes I still think I really could do with a long lie!

Maybe tomorrow? I doubt it!

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Albert and the Lion

Douglas and I were talking this morning about the poem/monologue "Albert and the Lion". I think there had been mention of it on the radio - we don't usually have random conversations about stuff. Actually, that's a fib - we often have random conversations about a whole lot of stuff! LOL

Anyway, I wondered if there would be a copy of it on youtube and, sure enough, there it was. Stanley Holloway in all his glory. Enjoy!

I hope my friends from over the pond understand the accent! :o)

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

how to make a placemat bag

I've been making these for years - at least 4, if not 5. I've been making a few recently for this table I *might* be taking at a charity event in November. Just in case anyone would like to make one, here's how I make them. :o)

How to make a placemat bag.
Take a placemat and fold it in half, right sides together with the fold on the short side.

Sew up the side seams with about a ½" seam.

This next bit is more difficult to explain than it is to do - honest!
Take the bottom corner and flatten it out so that the seam you have just sewn is in the middle. The corner forms a triangle. Measure about 1½" down from the point of the triangle. Draw a line across the width of your triangle and sew along that line. To reduce bulk, I cut off the triangle about ¼" out from the seam.

Turn the bag right sides out - that’s the bag bit done!

Handles can be made from lots of things - other placemats cut into strips and finished off, beads, rope, chain - whatever takes your fancy! I usually make them about 16" long and place them 3½" in from the side seams. If I make them out of strips of another placemat, I cut them into 2" strips, overlock (serge) the edges then turn the edges in to meet at the centre and stitch them down. That way there are no bulky seams which you would get if you made a tube and turned it.

If you want to line the bag, cut your lining to the same size as the placemat and make a bag section as above. For the handles, I usually just fold a piece of the lining fabric in the same way as I did the handles and then top stitch them to the handles down each side.

Line the handles first and then put your lining bag inside your placemat bag with wrong sides together. Fold over ½" on the top edge of the lining and top stitch the bag bits together around the top edge.

All done! :o)

Here's a few I've made in the past.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

back door photo 18 August

Everything is so green - must be all the rain we've been having!

Monday, 17 August 2009

Jenni and Cammy's wedding

Last Thursday - the 13th - we were Jenni and Cammy's wedding. Here are just a few photos of the event.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Good luck, Mr Gorsky!

I was looking through some stuff on my computer tonight with a view to tossing some of it out. Needless to say I didn't get very far as I kept reading all the funnies/stories/lists of questions etc that I had saved to use "later".

This one made me giggle again so I thought I'd post it here. :oD
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

When Apollo Mission Astronaut, Neil Armstrong, first walked on the moon, he not only gave his famous "One small step for man; one giant leap for mankind" statement, but followed it by several remarks, including the usual COM traffic between him, the other astronauts, and Mission Control. Before he re-entered the lander, he made the enigmatic remark "Good luck, Mr. Gorsky."

Many people at NASA thought it was a casual remark concerning some rival Soviet Cosmonaut. However, upon checking, they found there was no Gorsky in either the Russian or American space programs.

Over the years, many people have questioned him as to what the "Good luck, Mr. Gorsky" statement meant. On July 5, in Tampa Bay, FL, while answering questions following a speech, a reporter brought up the 26- year-old question to Armstrong. He finally responded. It seems that Mr. Gorsky had died and so Armstrong felt he could answer the question.

When he was a kid, Neil was playing baseball with his brother in the backyard. His brother hit a fly ball which landed in front of his neighbors' bedroom window. The neighbors were Mr. and Mrs. Gorksy. As he leaned down to pick up the ball, he heard Mrs. Gorsky shouting at Mr. Gorsky, "Oral sex? Oral sex you want? You'll get oral sex when the kid next door walks on the moon!"

Saturday, 15 August 2009

what I'm reading

I'm a Nora Roberts fan. I'm not so devoted that I love everything she's written but I have favourites that I read over and over again.

At the moment I'm reading the MacKade brothers books - again. I love them! I also love the Quinn boys, the Dream series, the Gallaghers, the Three Sisters Island books, the MacGregors and so on.

When I re-read any of these books Joanna will say "Jared and Savannah get together, you know!". Or, if I'm quick enough, I'll say to her "I think Jared and Savannah will end up together." I don't know why but it always makes us giggle.

I'm waiting patiently (now that's a lie if ever I heard one!) for the second book in the bride quartet. I enjoyed Vision in White and I've only to wait until December for book number 2 - A Bed of Roses. I keep telling myself it's not too long to wait - but it is! I really think they should release all 4 books at once for impatient people like me! :oD

In the meantime, I'll just read about Devin and Cassie and then Shane and Rebecca. By the way, I suspect Devin and Cassie will end up together - as will Shane and Rebecca! :oD

Friday, 14 August 2009

45 life lessons

This was the Weekly Picker Upper in the pccrafter newsletter this week. I don't agree with all of them, but they're all interesting. :o)

Written By Regina Brett, 90 years old, of The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio

To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most requested column I've ever written. My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.

8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.

12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.

16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

17.. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.

18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.

19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words, 'In five years, will this matter?'

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive everyone everything.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

33. Believe in miracles.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.

35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood.

38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.

41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

42. The best is yet to come.

43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

44. Yield.

45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

of all the blogs in all the world …

I've said before that I love to blog hop - go to one person's blog, read it and then move on to the blog of someone they have in their blog list. Well, let me tell you what happened yesterday!

I went to attic24 and then, from her blog list, chose to visit MarmaladeRose. I have no idea why I chose that blog but I did so I sat and read her latest post which had photos of a car journey home through the Yorkshire Dales - fabulous!

I looked at the photos, giggled at her commentary "OOO! Look! another car!"and, when her camera battery died on her "Oh bum!".

So what? I hear you say. Well, I scrolled on down and was looking at the photos of her patchworks using vintage embroidered linens - what a fabulous idea! - when Douglas strolled into the dining room.

"What're you looking at?" he says so I showed him thinking his eyes would glaze over and he'd walk away wondering why anyone would want to make anything by cutting up something else and sewing it back together again.

He didn't. He said "We have a photo of that exact same river from that exact same place". I just looked at him and said "what?" thinking he'd finally lost it.

He rushed off to the living room where I could hear him muttering about holidays to York and we had lunch in such and such a place and didn't I remember? "(Em, no! It was, at a guess, 5 years ago. You expect me to remember where we had lunch one day 5 years ago?)

So, anyway. A few minutes later, he called me through to see the photo and - wow! it is the same river from the same place!

How cool is that?

Of all the blogs in all the world …

I'm going to go and leave a comment on MarmaladeRose's blog with a link to here - just so she can think "how amazing is that?" too! :o)

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

more sweet peas

I'm going to be boring and show another photo of our sweet peas. These are dwarf sweet peas so they are less tall than "normal" sweet peas but their smell isn't any less powerful. I love sweet peas! :o)

Monday, 10 August 2009

teeny tiny bag

When I make a placemat bag, I usually use 2 placemats - 1 for the bag bit and one for the handles. So, there's always part of a placemat left that I'm never quite sure what to do with.

Today I used the leftover bit to make this teeny tiny bag.

The handles are bangles that I bought many moons ago to make handles for bags but thought they were too small for an adult sized bag. Great for this teeny tiny bag though!

I lined it with a kiddies print curtain fabric that has been in my stash for years. There's still plenty left to make more! :oD

And just in case it's not obvious how teeny tiny this bag is, here it is with an egg on top of it.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

What is it like?

I found a piece of paper tucked into the dictionary when I was doing the crossword this morning and on it was a poem I had written a long time ago. I think I was maybe 12 or 13 when I wrote it judging by the writing but I can't be sure.

Here is my poetic masterpiece - the punctuation is exactly as it is on the piece of paper.

What is it like?

What is it like to be a house?
To watch the people going in and out
To see children playing in the yard
To see trains and buses and motor cars
And still you stay as quiet as a mouse
What is it like to be a house?

What is it like to be a tree?
Beside the city, beside the sea,
Near the houses, in the smoke,
Near the farms and the country folk,
One of the things which interests me is
What is it like to be a tree?

What is it like to be a cat?
A dog, a door or a Sunday hat,
A ruler, a pen, a pencil or book,
A sparrow, a robin or a big black rook
Or even the moon which I am now seeing
Enjoying the life of a human being.

Saturday, 8 August 2009

room for more - if she dares

Joanna and I spent about and hour and a half this afternoon gutting her wardrobe. This had come about because she kept telling me she had no clothes to wear but, in another sentence, would tell me she had no room in her wardrobes as they were stuffed full.

Time for action! I told her I would help her go through her wardrobe but only if she did it properly. She had to be ruthless tossing out anything that didn't fit - no matter if it was too big or too small - and anything she didn't like.

So, we set to. She dragged all her hanging things out of one of the wardrobes and threw them on the bed. She tried things on wondering how the same size of trousers could cut off her circulation in one pair, be far too baggy in another and fit just fine in a third. A lot like Goldilocks's porridge!

We then started on the second wardrobe. This one was actually easier to deal with as they were all tops. Some of them didn't get as far as being tried on because either she would decide they were horrible or I would give them one look and say "don't bother trying that one on!". :oD

In the end we filled 2 huge Ikea bags for the charity shops, the bin in her bedroom was overflowing with stuff that wasn't good enough for even the charity shops and I am home with a carrier bag full of stuff that just needs the hem put up or the sleeves shortened.

And she now has - count them - 78 hangers emptied. Yep! 78! And she'd better not get any ideas of filling them again! :oO

Friday, 7 August 2009

Happy Birthday, Debbie!

29 years ago today, my Dad took this photo of my brand new baby.

Wasn't she cute!

Happy birthday, Debbie! Have a wonderful day - and a great weekend! Love you! :o)

no blog and safari 4

I thought I wasn't going to be able to blog today as none of the blogspot blogs were working for some reason. I kept getting taken to a google page telling me I was trying to do something that I wasn't - don't ask me what it meant - I have no clue!

I even asked Douglas and he had no idea either. He shut down Firefox and, when he put it back on, it was still happening so he shut down the whole computer. Blogspot blogs still wouldn't work.

But they do now so I'd better blog in a hurry in case it happens again!

And what to blog about? Well, Douglas asked me to leave my computer on last night at bedtime as there was a system update that needed - well - updated! I have no clue about these things so I leave them to him.

Anyway, I switched on my computer this morning and all was well. Then I switched on Safari and - drat! - Safari 4 had downloaded. You might ask why that is a problem. Well, Pithhelmet, my adblocker for Safari, doesn't work in Safari 4. That's why I didn't want 4 until Pithhelmet worked on it. And now I have 4 and I also have ads. OMG it's awful! I HATE it!

I'm off to do a google search to see if anyone has an adblocker that does work on Safari 4. If not, I'll be using Firefox all the time.

Thursday, 6 August 2009

sweet peas

I took some photos of some of our sweet peas. I LOVE sweet peas. The smell of them is fabulous! I also quite like the raindrops that are on them in these photos. :o)

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

take a look at this!

I don't know if any of you have clicked on any of the blogs in my blog list. Just in case you haven't, you need to look at the one called Attic24. I'd hate for you to miss the beautiful colours and sheer gorgeousness of this blanket.

It makes me want to dig out my crochet hook and find the yarn in the spare room. Mind you, that's a non-starter at the moment as said spare room is FULL of not only Debbie's stuff but Joanna's as well.

Oh well, I'll just have to admire Lucy's blanket and dream of making one of my own … one day … when I get my spare room back … hopefully soon!

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

you can't have one without the other!

So here's Debbie - same night, same bath. I think her face is clean! :oD

Monday, 3 August 2009

Jo needs her face washed!

I found this photo of Jo and played around with it to see if I could make it a bit sharper. I did succeed - honest! You should have seen the original!!

Shame I didn't think to wipe the orange juice off her chops before I photographed her!

Sunday, 2 August 2009

today is …

I didn't know what I was going to blog about today so I did a google search for "today in history" to see if I could find anything interesting. Let me tell you, August the 2nd was a busy day when it came to wars and revolutions!

I then thought I'd google "today is" and got various suggestions like "boring", "pretty", "the day", "that day" - again nothing very interesting.

So then I looked up "fun things today" and there was one link that caught my eye. The large print said "I'm bored, Fun Things Can I do Today?" and the small print said "sit quietly, read, sleep, eat, talk to someone else, email, text, shop, exercise, cook, clean,..."

I'm sorry … "Clean"? Fun? Who wrote that? Nutter! :oD

Saturday, 1 August 2009

one a day … maybe

I thought I might try this month - note to self, change the calendars!! - to do a new blog post every day. Blethering comes really easy to me so it shouldn't be too hard - you'd think!

Today I'm going to start with posting the you tube version of the Toyota ad. Not only is the ad really clever - you can't see the joins! - but I love the tune.