Wednesday, 27 May 2009

How our lives change.....

It'll be 9 years this Autumn since I gave up work - by work, I mean "paid employment outside the home" of course! I was reminded how much my life has changed by a phone call I received a couple of weeks ago. The nice lady on the phone said she was ringing about the trailer I had ordered. I couldn't think what she was talking about and, seeing as I had been surfing on e-bay that morning, wondered what I had done now. Bear with me, as this call was in a foreign language and sometimes I am a bit slow to catch on. Ahh, now I remembered. The lady was from a toy shop in town and was talking about a very specific toy trailer which I had ordered for my 5 year old son. She was just ringing to confirm the price and the fact that one lying down cow was included. At this point I had to stifle a giggle and those who know me will know that that can be tricky for me at times. Heartily, I joined in the conversation and said I was glad to hear that one lying down cow was included, as it was important that the accessories were the correct scale. As I worked in tourism prior to having children, my phone conversations used to be about double and single rooms, meal plans, cancellations, prices, contracts etc. But thinking about it, I think I would rather talk about toy trailers and lying down cows. I think I need to find a job. Soon.
BTW I have been tagged by the lovely Sam of Saffie's Blog. Will get my 8 things together and post them here asap !

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Uncle Brian

It's great having an Uncle Brian. Not only does he pass on loads of books to me, sometimes with witty notes in the margin, and send me silly jokes by e-mail, but he also provides me with EASY RECIPES! I'm not a whizz in the kitchen and anything with more than a handful of ingredients makes my eyes glaze over, so the following recipe is right up my street:

Uncle Brian's Caribbean Chicken

1 tablespoon oil
2 chicken breasts, skinned
1 onion, chopped
1 green or red pepper, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons of flour
1 small tin of pineapple chunks (watch out, these get very hot, take care when eating)
2 tablespoons tomato ketchup
2 teaspoons curry powder
half pint of chicken stock (stock cube is fine)

Heat oil and fry chicken until brown. Transfer to casserole dish. Fry onion and pepper. Transfer to casserole dish with the chicken. Mix rest of ingredients, add to pan and bring to the boil. Pour over chicken, onion and pepper and cook for one and a quarter hours at 180°C. Great served with rice.

And why am I telling you all this? Because it's his birthday today.
Happy Birthday Brian!

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Book review

As you know, I am a bit of a bookworm. I've just finished reading this book, which my Auntie lent me during my last visit to the U.K:


I'd never read anything by Marcia Willett before and I must say, it is a really good read, very well written and one of those books you keep wanting just to read a few more pages of to see what happens (cursing yourself next day for not going to bed earlier!). The story revolves around Lizzie and her search later in life to find her mother's former lover, who became like a father to her, but who ultimately went back to his wife. It is set for the most part in Dunster, a picturesque village on Exmoor and this was a bit of trip down memory lane for me too. As a child, we used to drive down to North Devon from the Midlands for a week each Summer. As we set off during the night, we used to have a breakfast stop in Dunster and I can still picture the Yarn Market. What a lovely surprise then, this week, with the book still fresh in my mind, to receive a postcard of the Yarn Market, Dunster from my Auntie and Uncle who are on holiday in Devon this week.

I'd be interested to know if you find these reviews useful/interesting :) Off to find a new book now.....

Tuesday, 12 May 2009


In the end I made a casual necklace - here it is:

Purple suede necklace

I faffed around quite a bit with it, before leaving it fairly simple. The large amethyst stone and the amethyst chips on the dangle (which you can only just see) have been recycled from an old necklace, so feeling a bit green as well as purple...

Monday, 11 May 2009

New Features

Rhine Falls
Hope you all had a happy Mother's Day ! We went to the Rhine Falls in Schaffhausen. A bit smaller than Niagara, obviously, but stunning all the same. We took a boat ride right up to the Falls and felt the spray - very refreshing on a hot day !

I have added 2 features to my blog to let you keep up to date more easily. The first is the "subscribe by e-mail" feature, which you will see to the right of this post. Just enter your e-mail address in the box, press subscribe and you're done. Scroll further down and again, on the right, you will see the "Subscribe in a reader" icon. Both features are quick and easy to use and mean you are notified each time there is a new post on my blog.

I have made a start on the purple jewellery I mentioned last week, so should be posting that soon.

Have a great week!

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

An Important Subject

How To Recognize A Stroke

Here is a translation of an e-mail I received recently. Especially as many of us have elderly relatives, this could be important:

During a BBQ a friend stumbled and took a little fall - she assured everyone that she was fine (they offered to call paramedics) and just tripped over a brick because of her new shoes. They got her cleaned up and got her a new plate of food - while she appeared a bit pale and shaken up, the rest of the evening passed without incident. The woman's husband called later to say that his wife had been taken to the hospital - a little later she died. She had suffered a stroke at the BBQ - had they known how to identify the signs of a stroke she may have been saved.

----- A neurologist says that if he can get to a stroke victim within 3 hours he can totally reverse the effects of a stroke...totally. He said the trick was getting a stroke recognized, diagnosed and getting to the patient within 3 hours which is tough.


3 steps. Read and Learn!

Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke.

Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions:

1. *Ask the individual to SMILE.

2. *Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS.

3. *Ask the person to SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE (Coherently) (i.e. . It is sunny out today)

If he or she has trouble with any of these tasks, call the emergency services immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.


I also found these criteria from the American Stroke Association:
Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
Sudden, severe headache with no known cause

If you or someone with you has one or more of these signs, don't delay! Also, check the time so you'll know when the first symptoms appeared. It's very important to take immediate action. If given within three hours of the start of symptoms, a clot-busting drug called tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) can reduce long-term disability for the most common type of stroke. tPA is the only FDA-approved medication for the treatment of stroke within three hours of stroke symptom onset.

A TIA or transient ischemic attack is a "warning stroke" or "mini-stroke" that produces stroke-like symptoms but no lasting damage. Recognizing and treating TIAs can reduce your risk of a major stroke. The usual TIA symptoms are the same as those of stroke, only temporary. The short duration of these symptoms and lack of permanent brain injury is the main difference between TIA and stroke.

I, for one, had no idea how to recognize these signs, nor that time is paramount when seeking treatment. I'm making every effort to commit these steps to memory.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Making boxes from old greeting cards

Check out this tutorial - it's a great, recycling idea.


I'm not very good with clothes. By that, I don't mean that I walk around like a scarecrow - it's just that I never know what suits me. Being short, I tend to feel frumpy and dumpy in everything. Then there's the question of colour - do I need to go for pastels, cool black and white, brights or pattern ? Hmm. I often try on half of the shop and non of it is any good. So frustrating - is it just me I wonder? Anyway, no-one was more surprised than me, when, the other day, I managed to buy 8 tops in one morning! Yes, 8. And 7 of them from the same shop. According to all the magazines (well, OK then, Marie-Claire) we should be going for bold blocks of colour this season. Good job then, that a number of my tops fit this bill. Phew ! Usually, by the time I've got the message what might be in fashion and psyche myself up to go out and buy it, it's out of fashion. I must say that I am well chuffed with my purchases and this little spree caused me to go through my jewellery to see if anything would go with the new clothes or if I would have to make new pieces! Surprisingly, I had necklaces to go with most of the things, except for the 2 purple tops I had bought. So next I got my bead stash out and this is what I found:

Come back soon to see what I made.


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