Saturday, 28 May 2011

Yesterday I deleted this blog. Today I re-installed to leave this last message.

"All Things Bright & Beautiful" no longer represents who I am.

I feel uncomfortable with this blog as it stands.

So I deleted it.

Life is hard. You know a lot (maybe too much!) about who I am but there is a lot of hard stuff that I have not shared. I worry that eventually I will share too much. It is too easy to write forgetting that there is an audience :)

My life is quite bleak right now.
I have to haul myself up and focus, focus, focus.

I have a new blog :)

A blog with definition and discipline.

It does what it says on the can.....

You are very welcome to join me.

Much love, as always.

Friday, 27 May 2011

Make hay while the sun shines.........

........ and clear out yer garage when it doesn't!

Yesterday we had plenty of liquid sunshine (rain!) So I spent the day de-cluttering the garage. The idea was that it would be far easier for Greg to take all his stuff when he leaves if he could actually see what was in there! Gosh it was a mess.

I like de-cluttering.

My boys were in & out yesterday working different shift hours at work and school. I was happily surprised to find each one came to find me with a cup of tea in hand.

When Alex got home from school he spent a couple of hours helping me - I didn't even ask! It is amazing how even clearing the garage is preferable to revising for exams!

Steve came home early, just as I finished - typical - lol!

With flowers! Forgiven!!!

So now we have a tidy garage which Alex says will be even tidier and will remain so seeing as our untidiest house member is leaving.

Greg is probably the untidiest and the noisiest of our household especially when he leaves the house at 5am when he is on early shift. On his return he leaves a trail of post, clothes, work stuff from front door to his room. And he is always surrounded by noise - music, Formula 1 racing car commmentaries, phone calls etc etc.

And anything that is broken ..... well he's your man - he can fix anything. He is also the first to notice if anyone is fed up and goes out of his way to make you laugh again.

We all joke nervously about how quiet and tidy the house is going to be. Watch out Southampton - my mini tornado, Greg, is heading your way!


Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Is it just me?

I know I say it a lot but the world's gorn mad governor!

As my lifestyle is less rushed these days I seem to notice the mad bad sad more and more.

Is it just me but..........

Surely I am not the only one totally not bothered to know the name of the "secret must not be named" footballer who of course has now been named despite the court injunction?

Surely I am not the only one to notice how politicians & the media confuse "in the public interest" with "what the public are supposedly interested in"?

Oh and while I'm wittering, Grumpy Old Woman fashion - I really didn't get the excitement about the mapped out route of the journey of the Olympic torch.

The TV presenter even excitedly told us where it was staying overnight!

"Travel Lodge or Premier Inn? Will it be guarded from the Bryant & May mob and drug tested for Duracelle?" I grumpily asked the TV screen.

Then a VERY grumpy lady was interviewed from my local patch about why her town should have "hosted" the torch. It's a torch????

I feel quite ashamed that I can not get excited about the Olympic torch honestly, I do but I can't. Can you?

Is it in the public interest? - lol.

Much love.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

He got the job!! - I even managed to look happy for him

My eldest son has got a new job - over a hundred miles away - gulp.
He moves out at the end of June - gulp gulp.
I am trying to be positive.
I am not losing a son I am gaining a craft room - lol - gulp, gulp, gulp.

My youngest son is going to university- over a hundred miles away - gulp.
He moves out in September - gulp, gulp.
I am trying to be positive.
I am not losing a son I am gaining yet another ****** craft room - gulp, gulp, gulp.

How many craft rooms does one woman need?

I don't even craft any more.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Yesterday I woke up to find I could read - I mean really read a lot. So I downed all tools - well Sunday is a day of rest and I read all day - all day!!!! I don't think I have ever, ever read all day. I read a whole book! This is just astoundingly good news for me.

And this is the book that grabbed me.

I had put off reading it as I thought it would be a harsh read. Daley's girlfriend's Mom had loaned it to me. She too works with children. I thought it would be a busman's holiday type read - lol!!

But it is so poignant. I could relate so much to the teacher's work. I read remembering some of the special needs children I have loved and loathed all in the same moment - it is hard to love a child who is kicking you or throwing furniture round the room! But you get over it!!

At times I laughed reading this book and at times I was close to tears.

And I was reminded of one particular incident - in the book a child buys Torey Hayden a gift from Poundland.

In my own class, one Christmas, a child who was loveable, funny, sunny but had challenging behaviour bought me a gift. He found academic work difficult and each afternoon I spent extra catch up time with him. We had been working on number recognition 50-100. Gaining the giddy heights of 90 plus had quite gone to our heads but we were having problems getting much further and recognising 100 was particularly elusive. But that did not stop us trying - lol!

Anyway, that Christmas he excitedly shoved the gift on my lap at register time and said "Quick, open it. I bought it all meself and everythin'." I opened the package which was looking a bit dog-eared by now but well-loved and inside was a large and very luminous lime green frog! This child loved frogs and was busy trying to convert the rest of us.

"Oh it's lovely!" I gasped wondering what on earth I was going to do with it.
"Lovely - you'll put that on your mantlepiece at home won't you?" smirked my naughty teaching assistant.
The child just glowed with pleasure.

The Poundland price sticker was still on; "£1.00" - "And look," he stabbed a finger at the price tag. "It cost me a HUNDRED pounds!"

Our adult eyes met and, ever the teachers, we silently agreed that this counted as number recognition of 100, who cared about the decimal point - lol !! My TA & I were ecstatic!

He shared our joy thinking it was financial rather educational, "I know, A HUNDRED POUNDS!" the child repeated!

That luminous lime green frog is still much loved by me. As I cleaned the little pond by the greenhouse last week and placed it back at the edge I could still hear that six year old's excited chatter,"I know, A HUNDRED pounds!"

Well, it's priceless to me, sweetheart.

Edited to add: We also made a note to re-visit money values in the January term. You can't win 'em all!

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Answered prayer

This time last year I asked you to pray for my friend who was critically ill in intensive care.

Tonight we shall be whooping it up at her wedding reception!

I have rested all day to ensure maximum whooping it up energy - well I shall be sitting in a corner sipping a glass of wine watching the others whooping it up!

It will be nice to catch up with mutual friends I haven't seen in a while. And maybe have one dance with Mr All Things B&B!!

This is the card I made......

.....the first card I have made in an age.

I looked at the cards whilst out on my jolly yesterday and thought 'I could make that' and so I did - using materials I already had but which would have cost about
25p if I had had to buy them and not the £3:95 the shop was charging for something similar!!

Such little frugal joys can still make me smile.

Happy Saturday.


Friday, 20 May 2011

Hello :)

Long time no blog. Sorry.

Some days these days, I can barely string a sentence together. So I am better trying to do something and blogging about it another day.

These daisies have inspired me this week...

The weather has been glorious so I gardened........

This mixed planter is made up of evergreens(lavender, silver daisy rhodenthemum, festuca), scented plants (lavender and lillies), perennial ox eye daisies & intermingled with my favourite, favourite light blue lobelia. Everything in it is blue or white. Have finally realised that my gardening squirrel friend stops re-arranging the display if I add a light dusting of pepper. He and I have fallen out; especially since he decided to try out my house loft space for future living accommodation.

Just one day we had some rain - two hours of rain - I still gardened!!

I have now almost caught up with two years of garden neglect and am on course to be only maintaining the garden so I am looking for a new gardening project.

I was offered an allotment last week but having had one before I realise the hard work involved and anyway I want to garden where I live and not have to travel to where I garden - some days I don't want to drive. It's easier to just pop out the kitchen door, do twenty minutes and pop back in for a cup of tea and a rest - lol. So I have to decide whether to further develop our own plot.

I went out today!!!!! I bought this

- a HUGE treat as I think it was expensive but I am hoping it will offer me some incentive to start crafting again. I gave it a good look through in the shop - I was so pleased it was non packaged so you could look through. I actually had the last one on the shelf and I had had to hunt it down. I think it was worth the money - especially as I think it will inspire me to have a go again.

I have had to have a re-think lately and further simplify my life. Little driving meant I was home all the time and had to make more stuff rather than just be able to zip off in the car and buy what I needed. To be able to be more self sufficient is good. I also used up what I already had made up in the freezer - a stock of home-made ready meals is a real boon - most of it is just say one additional portion that I had eked out of an ordinary meal by adding more veg. But over a period of time I had two freezer drawers full of these single portions and they have really been a help. I warmed a few altogether in a large casserole adding a little extra sauce or some cheese or whatever served with some salad and it was easy and home cooked; and cheaper than take-away.

I had to re-think what I need to stock in my pantry & freezer for days I can't go out, reconsider substitutes for recipes etc.

And I went back to having my shopping delivered via an internet shop. I used to do this occasionally when I worked full time. I now realise that even when I am well I need to conserve my energy for other housework stuff and for having some fun. So I shall continue having the heavy or boring staples - tinned stuff, loo rolls, laundry cleaning products etc delivered. I kept a careful log of the costs etc and found the delivery charge was worth it when I took into account the petrol, putting nothing extra into the trolley and saving my husband's time - he works long days and though he has offered I don't want him having to shop. Also as I cook the food I like to "shop" for it albeit sat at the computer with my recipe books - and I am way more frugal than my lovely husband :)

I also researched easier ways to clean the house and got into the habit of making a realistic weekly list rather than a daily one. And I stopped feeling anxy if stuff didn't get done :)

And after months of just flicking through books and mags just looking at the pictures, reading is easier some days so I have got back into Bible study again - I LOVE my Bible!! Am also reading this.........

But it's taking an age for me to read!

Do you remember this Alan Ahlberg poem?

I – am – in – the – slow - read – ers’ - group –
my – broth – er – is – in – the – foot – ball – team –
my – sis – ter – is – a – ser – ver –
my – lit – tle – broth – er – was – a – wise – man –
in – the – in -fants’ - Christ – mas – play –
I – am – in – the – slow – read – ers’ – group –
that – is – all – I – am – in –
I – hate – it.”

Slow Reader from Please Mrs. Butler, Allan Ahlberg (Penguin, 1983)

Poor - kid -
I - know - how - he - feels.

So that's what I've been up to. How about you? Hope you are in fine fettle.

Much love.