Sunday, 28 February 2010

Something Different...

I talk too much, I know I do.
And there are always so many words whizzing round my head that sometimes I can scarcely hear myself think.
This week I'm going to try something different.
Each day this week I'm just going to post some photos of whatever is going on, or even the weather, and cut out the words.
Which may or may not make sense to you folk!
See if that clears the head...

Friday, 26 February 2010

A Day Out!

Earlier in the week I said to Mom that I was going stir-crazy cooped up at home, so she suggested a day out. She suggested eating lunch at 'The Ferryman' in Boyle, and then going on to The Leitrim Design Center in Carrick-on-Shannon afterwards.
It was a very pleasant drive to Boyle, but even after parking we couldn't find the restaurant so Mom went into a shop to ask and Dad and I had a look around. Boyle is a lovely country town:
...with a nice Clock Tower. I love clocks, clock towers, and anything that ticks (though not if it's attached to explosives, naturally...) A few minutes later Mum returned, laughing to herself and got back into the car. Puzzled, Dad and I went to see what was happening.
Apparently 'The Ferryman' restaurant is actually 'The Oarsman' and its not in Boyle, its in Carrick!! I think we laughed all the way to Carrick!
But it was worth finding because the food was lovely, the building was lovely and believe it or not, the place was packed and humming. This is the wall behind the downstairs bar, not a good photo but gives you and idea:
Then we ambled around for a bit, watched some men painting lines on the road, you can laugh but did you know they pour the paint into a little box and drag it along to make the line? and found the Design Center.Its in the old Courthouse, a fine old building huh?
Inside we prowled the galleries (weird stuff, except for a couple of small oil paintings which I though were beautiful) and the shop which sells the design items, some of which were beautiful, some unusual, and some you wouldn't want to see on a dark night by yourself...and ALL of which were shockingly dear. Mum took a shine to a beautiful flowery painting which was reduced and asked the price: €700 and something! Yikes! A mere bagatelle, I'll have four! I think the shop lady was a bit taken aback at Mum's gargling noise but she recovered very quickly...

Then we wandered a bit more with Dad pointing out signs which caught his fancy:
'The Magnet' clothes boutique... for clothes which stick to you?
And 'Wispy Discount Store'... for fragile stuff?
And 'Massive Shoe Sale'...for people with big feet?

Yup, that's my Dad's humour, and the thing which really gets Mum is how often Dad and I point out the same thing to each other with the same funny quip...well, we think we're funny...

I saw this sculpture in the courtyard of what looked like an old restored Coaching Inn: it of three Currachs, and I just liked the lines.
It rained as we returned across the Curlew Mountains, and hailed like billy-oh once back at the folks, so we really had the best of the day in Carrick. It makes such a difference to get away from oneself for a while, doesn't it?

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Thankful Thursday

Its been a mixed week, and I have to admit it was difficult coming up with five Thankfuls, but the Bible says 'in ALL things give thanks', not 'now and again when you feel like it give thanks', and I am trying to practise that. If Jesus had said half way through His Ministry 'O Father I've really had enough' where would we be now??

1. Thankful for all the quilt comments and input which has kept my mind and hands occupied. Its both enjoyable and helpful to have all your opinions, so thank you lots and lots! And also thank you for your Jelly Baba poems- you gave me SUCH enjoyment! (winners at the end of the post!)

2. Thankful our Principal is back at school after surgery and time out as we both missed him and were concerned for him.

3. Thankful B Bug's mock exam results are coming back fairly reasonable- enough to indicate that with a bit more work she'll do fine in the summer, but not so bad that she gives up completely.

4. Despite the continuing fierce cold weather I'm thankful for a number of beautiful bright days. It does lift the spirits so.

5. Thankful for lots of Cd's of music to listen to.

OK then folks, the moment you've been waiting for!
The Jelly Baby Poet Laureate is.....drumroll!!.....Jingle!! Hooray! hooray! clapping!!!!
And the runners up are....Ulla, Kat, and Diana! Yes! Yes! a round of applause for the elegant poets that are in it
I know I don't have Jingle and Diana's addresses, so if you go to the profile page and like to email me them then I'll post you all your Jelly Baby Medals!!

Ha! Ha! That was fun!

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Doggerel (I mean Poetry) Challenge and Flowers

Ok you chaps here's a Doggerel (whoops! I mean Poetry) Challenge for you: Write a rhyme starting with-

Five little jelly babies standing in a row...
As long or short or corney or daft as you like! Post it in the comments, and if you're REALLY good I'll find a prize!
Now here's the middle section of appliqué from the pink yoke of a quilt, if you can see it:-
I think I need to do similar on the two sides, yes?
And should I add a few leaves or something on the bare bends of the stem?
I'm doing a few embroidery bits to accent the flowers but they're not visible from a distance:

Opinions? Please?

Monday, 22 February 2010

Challenge Check #7 and Decisions

Housekeeping first:
Since the main Giveaway winner and one of the surprise winners hasn't answered my email or notice on her blog, I'm going to divide the surprises and the main Giveaway into two parcels and post them to Andrea and Jona- I hope this is ok?
I know Andrea could do with a care package as her family has problems...actually she could probably do with knee pads for all the praying she's doing! You can see why Medieval monks and nuns had a prie-dieu always to knee, I mean!

Tomorrow I'll post the links for my Sunshine Award from Elaine, I'm thinking!

The Barter Swap doesn't seem to be working out so I'll do March, and then call it quits afterwards if it doesn't get anywhere...its was worth a try though. For March (first Wed) I'm going to put in some novels for swapping as several of you are poorly, or know people who are, they might be useful.

New post over at 'Our Inheritance', if you are interested- Hymns Ancient and Modern!

For Dottie Angel's Challenge the Hub has been raiding skips this weekend for possible firewood and sawing it up:

And I'm doing appliqué on the pink scrap yoke from yet more scraps! The stem is the belt from a long since worn out dress, goodness knows why the belt hung around for so long! I'll show you tomorrow how its looking and you can advise me on the next step; since I began in the center sashing I don't know whether to go sideways or not, you'll see.

And for the CED Challenge I'm cheating and showing you some things around the house which I especially like!
This window was salvaged from a demolished Church, and though it makes me sad to see de-consecrated Churches, and, worse, ones which are falling down, I thought that to save a piece in my home would be good. It is upstairs and overlooks the hall.

All our doors were also salvaged...from a 17C Courthouse and gaol over at Ballygawley, Co. Sligo. It has been turned into a Guesthouse, but they were not allowed to re-use the original doors for reasons of fire safety. I think this is the oldest door, the back is quite different, and every bit of wood is different. One day I'll get around to stripping it and deciding whether to repaint or not.
Also all the doors were different shapes and sizes and too short for a modern house so the carpenter added top and bottom strips. We have the handle, it just isn't attached, which goes for most doors in this house!

The kitchen, hall and passageway floors are Douglas Fir, probably imported from the States in the 1880s. The pine is so old that it acts like hardwood; it was the flooring from a Convent in Belfast built in the 1900s and demolished about 1990. A man over Lough Arrow way bought it for a conversion and then had his planning turned down so sold it to us; each plank is 1" thick! I just put linseed oil down and despite a lot of traffic and two big dogs it takes the battering well.

My sisters joke that ex-Convent flooring should overcome possible vibes from the Gaol doors...!!!

But this is what sold the place to our girls, apart form the ruins behind the house, a Fairy Fort!

Its difficult to see but the tree in the center is at the center of the Ring, the edge is sort of along the top of the fence posts. Its in the field next to us, the fence marking the boundary, but all the girls and their friends hang out there in the trees during summer or on any dry day. A Fort is a big deal here, and even the archaeologist admitted it was interesting! Its also possible that our garden is the second enclosure in a prehistoric stone fort, which is why we have such amazing views- tactical placement, you know- but since no hard evidence was found in the digging we were allowed to stay.

Anyhow, that winds up the 'Home' section for the month of February!

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Sanctuary Tiles and How Not To Behave In Church

Remember on Thursday I said that the new encaustic tiles in the Sanctuary had finished being laid?
Aren't they wonderful? Each colour is a different tile.

Today's Gospel reading was Luke Ch 4 v 1-13 and the Dean spoke about the purpose for Lent, based on Luke. He said we should be looking at the effectiveness of our witness for God and also be willing to lean more on God for strength.

Firstly, the Holy Spirit can only fill the space we give it, so if unGodly things are cluttering up spiritual space then some Spring-cleaning is required. The purpose should be to get rid of anything in us which is taking up space that the Holy Spirit could be using, otherwise we will be running on half empty tanks!

Secondly, we do not do this journey alone. The Church and our fellow Christians are there to help, encourage, and to be helped and encouraged. We need to commit to walking together and not all doing our own thing and hoping for the best.

The first point about the holy Spirit's space struck home with me particularly- clearing of clutter is definitely on the agenda for this week!

There was a Baptism during the Service, and since the Font is at the back of the Church, everyone turned round to face the opposite way to share the event. As a result the two children sitting beside the organ were then in front of me, so when the Dean was sloshing water over the baby's head and was hidden behind everyone I lent forward and whispered to S and I; 'This is when the Dean takes the baby by his feet and holds him upside down over the font to dunk him like a chocolate biscuit. He did the same to you when you were baptised.'
They started giggling and their Granny turned round to hiss at them, saw it was me, rolled her eyes and gave up! (Their Granny was my Sunday School teacher when I was their age and still tries to keep me in line...fails miserably but not for the want of trying!)

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Frost and Fog and Foliage!

Thank you to Elaine at Arctic View for the Sunshine Award! Coming from her I feel its a real compliment- her blog is always interesting and her photos wonderful to see, do visit!

Aren't we just having the Weather!

Today its frost and fog- very beautiful in a grey way, and very cold! I'll just post some photos I took around the garden an hour ago as its wonderful to look at. I haven't altered them in any way although some look almost black and white.

S'long and thanks for all the fish!

Friday, 19 February 2010

Stuff...and PINK Stuff...eeeww!

Remember the box of pink scraps? ta-dah!
You surely wouldn't mistake it for anything other than a scrap quilt!
I was going to leave the border as is, though I'd usually add a wider one. I was also thinking to appliqué some flowers up the plain sashing- opinions? (partly to disguise the fact that I had to piece the sashing...)

If you nip over to Robin's Egg Bleues she is having one splendiferous giveaway!

(And I'm only telling you as that is a condition of entering...)

The other evening I was visiting Sue, and after inspecting all her potted plants, was laughing at the fact that she has 50 plants around inside her house! Well, sez I, I've only about I went and counted them...ahem, sez I, I've 32! Golly but they do multiply so!

This morning I went around the garden for a think of what to plant where and its really looking most awfully sorry for itself. We've had snow every day this week and night temperatures at -5 which is normally very rare, but this winter fairly continual and I'm afraid to even touch the soil for fear of damaging the cell structure, even if it thawed enough to weed.

These are shrubs and tree seedlings I'm growing on, but I can't tell yet if they are all alive:

This is the most sheltered of the beds, parsley and cress doing fine, but even the bay seems to be suffering:
Everything looks so terrible in February, like it'll never be summer. And these are the other veg beds in which everything had died it seems. I'm hoping the rhubarb and raspberry are resting underground and will return.
But, lest I leave you depressed at the ravages of winter, here's some photos I took on Wednesday (I think) as a storm was building:
In this I suddenly noticed the Rowan tree has buds, obviously I got the focus wrong...I just can't sort it on the digital camera...yet!!
Thought for the day:

How many times do I have to tell them-

Do NOT use the stairs with a TOOTHBRUSH in your mouth when you are carrying the vacuum cleaner!

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Thankful Thursday and a Funny Story

My! Don't Thursday's come around fast!

1. After yesterday's grizzle, just look what we got up to today!
Blazing sunshine, blue sky, and scarcely a cloud in sight! Oh THANK YOU LORD!

2. Here we have a 22 year old sewing machine (ignore the mess please, its not part of the Thankful) which has been in use almost every day of its life.
Mom brought it out to East Africa as a Wedding present for us, and promptly set it up on the dining table and made my wedding dress! (Well she made her own, and her bridesmaids' dresses so why stop at that?)
Thankful for this machine and the employment it gives me- to occupy me, to save money (as in clothes and curtain making), to earn something (as in sewing for other folks), to make friends (as in quilting circles and household mending for people); its been bumped and bashed halfway round the world and back, and I haven't arrived in a new home until it is set up!

3. Behold! An equally battered piano! Although this is not my original piano, we bought it soon after we arrived in 2000 and it has done trusty service albeit rather tuneless at times. (please excuse the black tail, Ben thought I was photographing him!)My two Grandmothers gave us Wedding money which was used for the first piano as I was teaching Music at the time, and to be able to do so from home was a financial asset, but in 2000 we sold that piano to pay for our air fares to move back to Ireland.
Thankful that I can sit down and play any time I want or need to; for me, playing the piano has always been a safety valve!

4. I know you have met these two lunatics many times before!
Bertie, 'Why the heck won't she open the door? Its freezing out here!'
Ben, 'Photo op, bro, keep your fur on!'
Thankful for these two, their attention, nosiness, and especially their 'new-every-morning' attitude to life!
5. And after the long day that's invariably in it- comfortable African bed!
Those are my regular, un-Godly, material, non-essential, everyday Thankfuls, all else is transitory!
Funny Story
As you'll know, yesterday was Ash Wednesday and as it happened, I was playing for the Evening Service. We had a clergyman who comes to us once every three weeks to help our rector, so although folk enjoy his preaching (good solid Bible based), as yet he doesn't really know us and our congregational idiosyncrasies...(this is relevant to the amusement factor!)
Last night, after the Penitential Service of Holy Communion, whilst I was playing the Recessional Voluntary, I watched the congregation file down the aisle to the porch, shake hands with and thank the Canon, then loop back and file solemnly back UP the aisle to the sanctuary...I don't think the Canon realised as he was busy greeting, and the look on his face when he came through the porch doors and saw most of the congregation on their knees by the altar rail was PRICELESS!
(The Altar is in the Chancel at present.)
Well the reason for it all is this: some years ago the vault under the Sanctuary pushed up and destroyed the floor. Now the vault is repaired, the floor replaced, and over the past five weeks a craftsman has been laying a new 'encaustic' tiled floor. Last night it was complete except for the grouting and it is simply a work of art...hence the viewing from hands and knees at the altar rail!!!!
(I'll try remember to take a photo on Sunday for you!)

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Huh! and Oh My! and a matter of muesli...

One World One Heart Giveaway results.

Look what we got up to yesterday...again...
So, no expedition to Enniskillen for us, boo hoo...

But the Postman got up the hill alright and look what he brought:
Isn't it just fantabulogorgeous? Its from Angela, and I'm dancing inside I'm so delighted! Isn't she kind to make me an embroidered postcard? And also, these are the first snowdrops I've had this spring, the first I saw were on Amanda's Garden Excursion!
And if you know the book 'The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady' by Edith Holden you'll appreciate this card even more. I LOVE that book but have never had a copy myself, I guess folks don't part with it as I've never found one in the second hand bookshop!
So thank you soooo much, Angela!
(Yes, you may shake my hand if you like because I know such amazing people!)
Snow again this morning, but less, took longer to scrape the ice off the windscreen than the snow. Beautiful sunshine now though!
By the way- do you think it matters if one accidentally sews breakfast muesli into a quilt seam? Obviously someone prepared breakfast on the ironing board...and you can guess the rest...
So what d'you think? To rip or not?

Monday, 15 February 2010

OWOH Giveaway Result and Challenge Check #6

One World One Heart Giveaway Result:
Voila! Le chapeau avec les people who entered giveaway de moi!
Music...Jaws? da da da da da da da da....
Et le Winner Fabulouso is....
Amanda31Gifts!! Hooray! Hooray!
But because so many folks entered I thought I'd draw three more names and send you each un petit cadeau surprise! So....cue more tense music....I am sending a surprise each to-
jonaks, Andrea and Becca-Bluebird Rose!
Congratulations! And I'll email and post to you later today!
To be honest, I didn't really 'get' the whole giveaway thing at first, but now I see it's such fun that I think I'll do another one soon for my regulars...does that make me sound like a Bar?? Oops!
Another thing- I aim to visit all of you who entered in the weeks to come, and I'm sorry for not visiting you during the Magic Carpet Ride.

Challenge Check #6
For this week's Dottie Angel Challenge I dug out a hoarder box of scraps to start a quilt. I thought there would be lots of floral so I was going to do a Log Cabin sunshine and shadows layout,
but when I opened the box it was almost all plain pinks, I chose a magazine pattern to try out
I've never worked with so much pink in my life but am finding it quite challenging, and enjoyable, to get the effect I want with a limited palette.
All my quilts are scrap quilts, as I think I've said before, as fabric in East Africa and also here is very dear. But that suits my 'something for nothing' philosophy and also my 'sustainability' beliefs. God gave us the earth to care for, not squander its resources, and I am very very happy to use other's leftovers, I'm not an artist or needing this and that special item for my perfect masterpiece. If I was a settler I'd be the one rooting through your waste sweepings picking out bits of fabric to reuse.
Remember the lovely fabric which Ulla sent me? It'll be worn out from stroking soon as I can't bear to cut it up!!!
And the CED Challenge?
Well I was going to write something different, and then on Saturday I opened a wrongly labelled box (it said 'Purple and Mauve Floral') and found some hoarded baby clothes!
Dilly's first boots and slippers, both of which were sent to her in East Africa from here by my Mom...they're so small! The collar I cross-stitched for Sos when she was a baby to go with a very plain pink dress I made her. It may sound silly but I so wanted my babies to look pretty when we went to Church but we were dependant upon the Missionaries for anything which wasn't a bare necessity. Someone gave me a piece of pink corduroy and a scrap of Aida cloth and Sos got a Sunday outfit!
And this is a later Sunday dress I made for Sos from some Viyella fabric Mom had hoarded which my Godmother had sent her when I was born to make a dress for me! Mom made one dress, and then I made the second!
At the time I was into smocking, as you can see, but my girls have long since refused to wear smocked dresses, which isn't surprising, but I so love doing smocking!
Anyhow, I'm not sure if these are relevant to CED but I thought they would interest you!
And now I'm off for another cup of tea, then to email all the winners, and then to carry on sewing together chopped up bits of cloth!!!

Saturday, 13 February 2010

My house was tidy yesterday, sorry you missed it!

Thank you my people for your comments on yesterday's post...I was VERY comforted! Strange as it may seem all my friends have tidy houses- toys in the playroom, food prep the only items in the kitchen, and the sitting always ready for guests. I don't understand how they count me as a friend, OR how they manage it...

Yesterday's interview went sort of ok, I think. The Hub was told he needs much more experience in various fields and to try get it, and if that doesn't work then this guy will see what he can do to help. So it wasn't an 'No' and it wasn't a 'Yes'; in Kiswahili the word would be 'bado' which translates sort of as 'not now'.
I can't say I'm sorry because firstly, I need time to accustom myself to change, and secondly, I can't hear God's will for me and the girls yet in this, and I can't do a huge thing unless I'm sure it's God's plan.

But the house is IMMACULATE! So I invited my Mom and big sister to tea this afternoon so they can be impressed!!! Don't laugh, this is a Red Letter Event!

The Hub is outside cutting up all the old wood he can find to keep us going in firewood till the end of the month as they say there's another week of freeze on the way.
There was a terrible accident on our road yesterday when a car went out of control on ice- I keep thinking of the family, though I don't know them, who won't hug their little girl again in this life, and possibly the mother too as she's in ICU. It breaks my heart.

I'm reading 'A Single Thread' by Marie Bostwick at the moment, and its a bit harrowing too. I saw it on some one's blog but I forget whose and it centers round a woman who is going through breast cancer. Its very good, I guess if it wasn't so well written then it wouldn't pull at me, would it?

BBug is going to the cinema with friends this afternoon to see 'Valentine's Day' which is being released here today. Her best friend said he'd go with her if no one else would, which I thought was ever so kind because he much prefers political or intelligent movies. She's lucky to have him I think.

This morning I was messing with my hair, after chopping most of it off, and asked B what she thought? Straight faced she answered: 'Mom, the 1980's called and they want their hairstyle back.'


Now I feel a quilt coming on which I've been denying all week but just won't wait any longer...I think its going to be a pink and floral Log Cabin design. I've mislaid one of my main quilt books which I always use when deciding so its a bit discombobulating deciding without it.

Have a good weekend you people!

Friday, 12 February 2010

Permission to Panic, Sir!

One World One Heart giveaway
Another story- ‘Summers in France’.
Anyone remember Corporal Jones from 'Dad's Army'?
When there was a crisis he ran around like a headless chicken shouting 'Don't panic, don't panic!'
Occasionally this changed ad he'd demand of Captain Mannering, 'Permission to panic, Sir!'

What do you do when someone potentially important to your husband's future asks if he and his wife can come to tea and interview the Hub in your house? Taking into consideration the fact I haven't had a huge clean and tidy since before Christmas, and that the last six weeks I've been crafting, knitting, sewing and there's stuff everywhere?

I panic
You panic
He/She panics
We panic
Ye panic
They panic.

Then you take time out to blog!

Then I clean and tidy like a demented spinning top!

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Thankful Thursday

Barter/Swap link.
One World One Heart giveaway.
Another story- 'Summers in France'.

The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention. ~Oscar Wilde

Although Sonja is having a bloggish sabbatical I've missed the reflection which Thankful Thursday brings, so will try and continue it....when I remember that it's Thursday!

1. Thankful for several gorgeous sunny days, bitterly cold but the sunshine counts for so much! It really lifts the heart, and this morning, once the frost melted I could actually smell the beginning of Spring.

2. Thankful that B Bug is much better after nearly a week of being poorly with a bug. She has also been doing mock exams so had to keep going despite being very unwell.

3. Thankful that Sos is really enjoying her live-in job and doing extra student teaching in School, as well as her College Course. She is really happy and loving life at present.

4. Thankful that our God continues to provide for us and somehow (miraculously) we continue to make ends just about meet. On paper we ought to be in a Debtors' Prison by now!!!

5. Thankful for people such as Nelson Mandela who uphold freedom and right thinking and God's potential perfection in this Godless world. There are so many unsung heroes out there fighting wars we know nothing about. God's Grace on them and their struggles on others' behalf.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Barter/Swap #1 February '10

If you're looking for the One World One Heart Giveaway please click here.

New story 'Summers in France'.

Welcome to the first Barter/Swap Gathering! NOW CLOSED-SORRY!
This will run through what's left of February; a new one will begin the first Wednesday in March. If you wish to participate please take the logo and link back here with your offerings!
If you want to know more, this is the outline, and these are the details.

Here are my Barter/Swap items:
One pair of wrist warmers knitted from Donegal Wool.
They are 7" long and edged with purple crochet.
Value: about €15 or $20.
A gift or party bag, or a girl's hand bag or purse.
Size: 6" x 6", handles 9", lined.
Value: about €10 or $13


A crochet belt with wooden button which can close anywhere along the belt.
Length: 47", width 1 1/2", it should fit through average jeans' belt loops.

Value: about €15 or $ 20 If you have something to offer please add your name to the Linky below, and quick list your items in my comments for this page, with a more detailed description in your own blog.

Thank you for participating!


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