Friday, January 23, 2015

This moment

Sharing a moment that I want to remember. No words, just a single special image. Joining in with Soulemama for This Moment. Wishing you all a happy weekend. 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Good little things

The wind still blew this week - it moved to the north and brought a dusting of arctic chill with it too, but we managed out most days. Its always a thought to drag ourselves away from the warmth, get togged up, and face the cold, but always so worth the effort. There isn't really a lot on the camera roll this week, just a few shots taken on our walks, so I thought I would share a few internet links that have caught my attention this week:

I am taking part in a wonderful online retreat run facilitated by Heather from Beauty that Moves. I cant believe we are at the end of the first week already. I am so enjoying the activities and sharing from a fabulous group of like minded women. It has been a very nourishing time - and much love to my dear friend Denise for bringing me along..

I enjoyed listening to this - fascinating.

And I read this at just the right time.

One more photo on the camera phone tonight - caramelised pear skillet pie - so easy.

Line a cast iron skillet, or a pie dish with a puff pastry sheet

into a frying pan put
4 oz caster sugar
4 fl oz water
1 tsp vanilla

bring to the boil and simmer for a few minutes until caramel coloured.
1 oz butter
4 pears, peeled, cored and cut into eighths

stir till butter has melted and pears are nicely coated in caramel
cook for a further 5 minutes
1/2 tsp each of ground cinnamon and ginger

pour pears and caramel into pastry shell and cook at 200 deg C for 20 mins, until the pastry is nicely puffed up and browned.

We had ours with creme fraiche.

Wishing you all good things in the week ahead xx

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Cosy Yarn Along

We have been having a few power cuts lately and now some snow has fallen. I'ts perfect weather to cosy in by the fire with a nice warm drink, a bit of crochet and some reading.

 It must be the season and the stormy conditions, because our reading has taken a distinctly survivalist, self sufficiency sort of turn. I found this book, Self-Reliance by John Yeomans up in the loft a few days ago. I remember flicking through it years ago and didn't really take to it at the time, but it called to me from the discarded book shelf as I looked for something else. Its actually quite interesting, and having begun at the beginning, I now get the slightly tongue in cheek tone, and it seems a more relevant read. He has some great money saving ideas, and tips for coping in difficult situations (such as power failure and hurricane winds) and I like his take on self-reliance as moving in and out of the consumer society as we need to. Good for dipping into and there are plenty "why didn't I think of that" moments too. 

I am also reading Cold Antler Farm on my kindle app. Its a nice gentle read, and I so relate to many of  Jenna's anecdotes - especially the sheep ones. Perfect for dark nights with no bedside lamp.

James and I are reading Hatchet by Gary Paulsen. A 13 yr old boy is stranded in the Canadian forest and has to learn to survice with nothing but a hatchet, which we think is an axe in English. My goodness, it is so exciting! We only have 2 chapters to read and there has been much discussion on how we think it will end. Don't tell us....

Oops I nearly forgot to mention my current project. I've just been dabbling with little bits of things lately - a hat, beginning to square off the circles on my Bullseye blanket, a few rows here and there on the ripple. I have just begun to crochet another circle cushion cover to go in the living room.

I crocheted a hot water bottle cover last week. It is a very cosy thing indeed. I made it up as I went along, so it is extremely improvised. I'm not very good at explaining patterns, and I can't guarantee anything, but here is how I did it anyway:

I used 1 skein of Sublime organic merino, for the main colour and scraps of merino from my stash for the granny squares. 3 buttons
Crochet 2 sides.

Side 1 (front)
Make 4 granny squares in whatever colour combination you like - I used this pattern
Using MC, single crochet squares together. (dc UK). I like the raised edge to show on the front.
SC along bottom edge 
turning chain 1
SC 5 more rows.
fasten off.

Top edge
SC 3 rows
Sc 3 rows decreasing 1 at each edge for shoulders of bottle
fasten off
Count your stitches and  SC into middle 12 - chain 1
SC 6 more rows, increasing 1 at each end of this and every alt row to cover neck.
fasten off
SC up sides to neaten.

Side 2 (Back)
Decide where you want to place the buttonholes. I used 3 - one at each edge and one in the middle
Crochet as side 1 but work 9 rows of sc
On row 7, make buttonholes by missing 2 stitches at desired place. I think I did mine at 3, 15 and 27, but your measurements may be different.

SC both sides together, leaving top and bottom open. 
Weave in ends.
Sew on buttons to bottom edge of front, corresponding with buttonholes,

Insert hot water bottle and snuggle.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Stormy weather

We had a storm - hurricane force winds over 100 mph hit the islands, wreaking havoc all over the place. The schools were closed, ferries cancelled and everyone battened down the hatches as much as possible. Even so there was a lot of damage.

The polytunnel was ripped, the cattle truck blown halfway up the field, the caravan window blown in, our storage container moved from its base, and some flying objects ended up in our garden. I have to say that we got off lightly, compared to many. Other neighbours had roof damage and two had their caravans totally wrecked. There were similar stories from all over the island.

The power has been off a lot - not too bad here, but some parts of the island were off for several days. I was so thankful for my calor gas hob and open fire. At least we could stay warm and have a hot meal. I have nothing but admiration and praise for the linesmen from the Hydro Electric company who worked in the most horrendous conditions to get our supplies back on as quickly as possible. And, as usual,all the communities have pulled together to help those most in need.

But it's an ill wind as they say (sorry) and James was not complaining at his two storm days off school - especially when we managed a quick trip into town for lunch out to celebrate his Dad's birthday. There are still strong winds forecast for the next week, but I am hoping that normal service will be resumed soon. Stay safe everyone xx

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Twelve Days

It has been a grand holiday, filled with family time, delicious food - (and drink), striding out on breezy walks, snuggling by the fire, lots of film watching, playing card games - and washing up. There are a few early signs of the returning light, eggs appearing in the nest box, bulb shoots popping up through the ground. I am always sad to pack away the Christmas decorations, on the twelfth day, but there is something  incredibly clearing about it too - a fresh clean start once more. Wishing you all the very best for 2015. xxx

Sunday, January 4, 2015

In celebration

Last year was not one of the best for us, its fair to say. John's diagnosis of cancer in spring took the ground from under our feet and cast us into a twilight world where we just had to keep our heads down, hold our breath and hope for the odd pocket of air. We passed the summer in different hospitals, as he had spinal surgery and then radiotherapy. The autumn was spent lurching from one chemotherapy treatment to the next, with all the attendant side effects - nausea, exhaustion, pneumonia..... In early winter he had a couple of scans to see how the various treatments had worked. We knew just before Christmas that his lung lesion had shrunk by a couple of centimeters, and on New Year's day, the neurosurgeon rang to say he was happy that the spinal tumour had remained stable. We are so grateful to all skillful and compassionate doctors for their care.

So now, there will be some maintenance chemo next year, to keep on top of things, but we are hopeful that he will have a long period of remission ahead.

It's not cured, we know that, and he certainly wont be able to lead the active life he has been used to, but we have him with us, and right now - that's enough for me.

I have to thank everyone here who has prayed for us, thought about us, worried for us and sent love to us. I found such comfort and support here, as we were going through this. I am so grateful for each one of you. Prayer works - Thank You Lord.

Friday, January 2, 2015

This Moment

Sharing a moment that I want to remember. No words, just a single special image. Joining in with Soulemama for This Moment. Wishing you all a fun weekend. Merry Christmas xx


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