Monday, November 30, 2009

Fun Monday # 145 The season for giving

This week Sayre asks:

How will you express your inner-Giver this season? Do you donate to a major charity? Do you serve food in a soup kitchen? Is your generosity something private that you do without recognition or do you hand the guy on the corner a dollar whenever you drive by?
Not only do I want to know what you do, but how you do it, why you do it, and a story about your activity and how it made you feel.

I have always thought that charitable acts are not really something I would talk about. Then I realised that I have blogged about 'Race for Life" which I participated in for the past three years year. This is to fund raise for cancer research.

For a couple of years now I have been supporting 'Operation Christmas Child' which is an initiative of Samaritan's Purse. It's all about packing shoe boxes with gifts for a child. I collect items all the year round, it's very easy to go down the aisles in the supermarket and pop something into the trolley each week. It's amazing how quickly you gather up the small toys and craft items. For example, soft toys, crayons, paper, pencil cases, that will make a child happy; as well as much needed things like toiletries. It's often more difficult to get the actual shoe boxes! I probably get as much fun collecting things as the children do opening their presents.

Every Christmas we give a couple of sort toys to a charity Embee supports providing gifts for children who, with their mothers, are in refuges after suffering domestic violence.

I have a small box that I use to collect coppers and when it's full I send it off to the Life Boat Association. It's not much in monetary terms but every little helps.

I always sponsor my three grandchildren when they are raising funds for different charities.

Then I tend to give to all the local collections often outside the supermarket or the ones that come knocking at the door. Having been a volunteer collector in the past I know it's not an easy task.

I'm very late getting this post published, even though I started it on Monday, so as I'm not on the FM list I realise none of the regulars are likely to read it. I'll try and do better next week!

2008: Corfu-6 Vidos Island Part 1
2007: Twin Peaks at Sunset
2006: None

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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Now we are nine!

Just thought I would share my grandson playing with the present he had from his parents. Sam listen carefully to what he says!

2008: Marmite is Spreading
2007: Homeward Bound
2006: None

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Birthday Boy

Now I wonder who this is trying on some winter warmers!

You probably guessed that it's my youngest grandson and today he's celebrating his 9th Birthday.

He is always very reluctant to let me take a photo, but yesterday evening his mother had to attend a meeting and I was left in charge at home. So after a bath and hair wash, which he does himself, I managed to snap this picture just before he got into bed. For once he went straight to sleep, instead of finding reasons to come back downstairs. He thought today would come more quickly if he went to sleep early!

Happy Birthday Ben
I hope that you are going to enjoy your special day
Lots of Love Grandma xxx

I would also like to wish all my blogging friends a very Happy Thanksgiving
I also hope Sam and Fred enjoy their weekend in Las Vagas.

2008: Now we are eight
2007: Birthday Boy Ben
2006: Happy Birthday Ben

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Post from Dublin: Avoca Handweavers

Today Beccy and I decided to take a trip to Avoca Handweavers to have a look around the shop and visit their cafe where we had the most delicious hot chocolate.
In the picture below Beccy is posting to Flook on her new iphone!

A not very good picture of the entrance

A random shot in one area of the store.

I noticed this cute little sheep under one of the tables.

Beccy did a little shopping, and as we walked back to the car I took a couple of pictures of a little stream that looked quite pretty.

2008: Getting Worried
2007: Postcard from San Francisco-5
2006: None

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Fun Monday # 144 Thankful

Our hostess this week is Wendishness and she says

I thought we could consider Thanksgiving Day which will be the following Thursday in the USA. Though I know a lot of us aren’t in the US so don’t celebrate this, it might be nice to share some of the things we are thankful for in our lives.

I haven't had much time to prepare a post this week, as I'm in Dublin, but I am thankful for many things in my life.
It will be of no surprise that the most important thing in my life is my family.
I'm so thankful to have a close and loving family who are willing to support each other. Many of you will know that Sam and Fred, flew all the way to Dublin from the USA just to be with us for the weekend. This was arranged by Beccy's husband. I'm very thankful he can cheerfully put with me as a mother-in-law! I'm also thankful to have three wonderful grandchildren who always seem pleased to see me.
I didn't really managed to take a family photo this weekend everything was so hectic but I did take one of the girls together.

I'll try and get round all your posts over the next week or so, but I don't go home until Saturday.

2008: Did I do the wrong thing!
2007: Postcard from Stinson Beach
2006: OrganOrganic Recipes ' Little Red Goosberries' Daphne Lambertic recipes

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This is for my friend Rantz who always posts 23's on the 23rd of the month. I haven't joined his group (they are all brilliant photographers) but that still doesn't stop me looking for unusual 23's; I rarely seem to find any! However when I was in Tunisia I did see this on one of the houses.....

The other 23 is also a puzzle. I saw this singer being interview on TV the other evening and my eyes kept getting drawn to the tattooo on his wrist as part of it was 23. I just had to take a picture.

No prizes for naming the singer! Do you recognise him??

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Sunday, November 22, 2009

China # 21 Olympic area

Olympic Pool in the distance
National Stadium

If I recollect correctly this is an Hotel.

We didn't actually visit 'the Bird's nest' but we stopped to take pictures and hear a little bit about the surrounding buildings. It's become a tourist stop off and although I'm pleased to have seen it, I have to say it was one of my least favourite places!

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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Beccy's Big Birthday

2008: Happy Birthday to my baby
2007: Beccy's Birthday
2006: Hidden Talents

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Friday, November 20, 2009

China # 20 Terracotta Warriors Xian

One cannot visit China and not see some of the Terracotta Warriors. I'm not going to write masses about them but for anyone who is interested the link will give you a lot more information. Basically thousands of workers took more than a decade to create a life size terracotta army that was designed to defend the Emperor Qin Shi Huang's Tomb and protect him in the afterlife.

The museum site is very well maintained and the various buildings are called 'pits'

The picture below is said to be the site of the well where farmers were digging and found the first evidence of the tomb.

All the warriors have different faces.

Below there are still very large areas that have not been excavated because they have learned that one uncovered the vibrant colours are soon lost with oxidization(hope that's the right word).

Having just found a lot of draft posts from my trip to China in 2009 I have decided to post them even though they are not finished.

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Surprise Surprise

This morning we were waiting in, supposedly, for a package that was arriving from Sam before 10.30am. When the doorbell rang at 10.42am, Beccy answered the door and shrieked "what are you doing here" and guess who was standing on the door step? It was Sam and Fred who had travelled all the way from San Francisco to spend the weekend with us. My son-in-law had done all the arranging and unbeknown to us had taken the day off work to collect them from the airport.

It was the best of surprises as you can imagine.
2008: Am I the oldest swinger in town!
2007: San Francisco here I come!
2006: Goodbye Dublin

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

On my travels again!!

This evening I'm leaving this to spend about 9 days with Beccy and the family in Dublin. We will be celebrating a couple of birthdays while I'm there (more of that later).
I am taking my laptop so I might manage to write a couple of postcards to let Sam, Embee, my mother and you, my blog friends, know how we're doing.
The only problem being there is a weather warning for high winds, so hope this doesn't affect flights! I was in Dublin around this time last year and, if any of you remember, we were grounded by snow. So please keep your fingers crossed that I have a safe journey. Thank you x

2007: Witty Wednesday-73
2007: Fun Monday-42
2007: None

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Witty Wednesday # 119 Brooms and Playing Hookey

It seems ages since I published a WW post and I don't think anyone has really noticed. This one came from my friend Daffy

Two brooms were hanging in the closet and after a while they got to know each other so well, they decided to get married.

One broom was, of course, the bride broom, the other the groom broom.

The bride broom looked very beautiful in her white dress. The groom broom was handsome and suave in his tuxedo. The wedding was lovely.

After the wedding, at the wedding dinner, the bride-broom leaned over and said to the groom-broom, 'I think I am going to have a little whisk broom!'

'IMPOSSIBLE !' said the groom broom.


Sounds to me like she's ........been ....sweeping around!!!

OK I can see you groaning.
So how about this one from Pamela.......

Three employees who work in the same office notice that their boss has started leaving work early every day. One day they decide that after he leaves, they'll take off early, too. After all, he never calls or comes back, so how will he know?

The 1st was thrilled to get home early. he does a little gardening, watches a movie and then goes to bed early.
The 2nd is excited to be able to get in a quick workout at her health club before meeting a dinner date.
The 3rd is also very happy to be home early, but as he goes upstairs he hears noises coming from his bedroom. he quietly opens the door a crack and is mortified to see his wife in bed with HIS BOSS! Ever so gently, he closes the door and creeps out of his house.

The next day, the other two talk about leaving early again, but when they ask the 3rd if he wants to leave early also, he exclaims, "NO WAY! Yesterday I almost got caught!"

Hope you are smiling!

2008: Cheesy Vegetable Hotpot
2007: Ladies Lunching Organic
2006: At the end of the day

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tunisia # 11 Desert Rose

A piece of Desert Rose

I carried this lump of mineral back from Tunisia.

2008: Fun Monday-91 Jewellery
2007: New Office Junior
2006: Diabetic Food Blogs

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Fun Monday # 143 My Oldest possession

This week Ari is hosting and she asks this question:

What is the oldest possession in your house or flat? Describe it or show us a picture. Where did it come from? Why do you hang on to it?

I thought this one was going to be easy but actually it wasn't because although I have a few things that could be classed as antique, (including Embee LOL), I don't have dates for all these items.

So I'm just going to show you a couple of things:

I know I've mentioed in a previous FM post that we live in a Victorian house that was built in 1851 and we found this hay basket in the cellars. It was probably for the horses that used to live in the stable attached to the rear of the house.

Below is a half sovereign dated 1898 it belonged to my father and was given to me on my 21st birthday.

Below is one of a pair of Victorian ornaments. Sadly the other one fell from a shelf and got damaged and I've never had it repaired (actually not sure it can be repaired) and of course the value would have been in the pair). Originally these belonged to my grandmother and I don't know the date.

The Bristol Blue bowl belonged to EmBee's mother and he understands it to be from 1875.

The collection below is of two ginger jars (Crown Derby) and one of two large ornamental jugs; I have no idea of the dates but I guess 1800's

I really don't know if these are the oldest items I have but I think you've probably seen enough. The reason I keep them is because they belonged to family members who loved them as much as I do.

Sorry I'm a bit late getting this post published. Looking forward to seeing your treasures.

2008: Holiday Reunion
2007: Secret Ornament Exchange
2006: Coffee with Clare

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Sunday, November 15, 2009

The work of a fox maybe!!!

Now if you're squeamish don't look any further. Today we have found another decapitated hedgehog left on our front lawn. Last week I found one on our back lawn, and we are wondering if this is the work of an urban fox. There was also quite a large hole dug in the border under a bush. My friend (the one with the chickens) says that her neighbour had three ducks killed in a similar fashion and the bodies just left. I just hope that we don't find any more I rather like the hedgehogs even if they are flea ridden!

P.S. Talking to my brother he wondered if the culprit might be a rat; however I've seen no evidence of rats. What do you think!

2008: None
2007: My plants don't know it's winter
2006: None

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Friday, November 13, 2009

An afternoon sky

Taken last week during the afternoon

2008: Thurday Thoughts
2007: Spicy Pumpkin Soup
2006: None

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

My mother loves her new coat

On Tuesday I took my mother shopping to buy a warm jacket for the winter. We did eventually find a warm padded jacket and she decided to wear it out the next day.

It was quite expensive, and when I came downstairs that morning my mother was in a panic because she thought she had spent too much money and as she put it 'be in trouble with the bank'. Everything was fine but I've now tried to convince her to write everything down when she does telephone ordering so that we can keep a record.

Here she is posing for a photo.

I teased her and called her "Michelin Man" do you remember the advert for the tires.

2008: Witty Wednesday-72
2007: Fun Monday-41
2006: Oliver

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The world remembers

At 11.11 this morning The Queen led the two minute silence at Westminster Abbey

Armistace Day

2008: Give these a try
2007: Armistice day Remembrance Sunday
2006: Saturday Saunter


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tunisia # 10 Sahara Desert (part 2)

We headed out into the desert, some riding camels and the rest of us in our horse drawn 'carriages'.

In the distance we could see ruined buildings and a few palm trees and that was where we were headed.

As we got closer to the palm trees we saw a herd of goats appearing out of the sand dunes.

I'm not quite sure what they find to eat but they looked in good condition.

I think I imagined that we would see sand dunes that were much higher, but that was to come later in the day when we visited Nefta and Ong Jemel.

2008: Fun Monday-90 We must never forget
2007: PFriendship Award
2006: Traditional Champ

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Monday, November 09, 2009

Fun Monday # 142 Another day in my life

When I saw the topic Grace chose for this week, I went back to look at the first time I wrote about my day. This was not long after Fun Monday started, week 9 to be precise. As I read through the post it made me laugh because today was very similar to my Monday way back on March 19th 2007 A day in my life or my life in a day. I lead a very dull, day-to-day existence....

For example, this morning I got up and showered really early, well that is if you call 6am early, remember I am supposed to be retired!

The reason I was getting up earlier than usual was because I had an appointment with my Doctor at 9am and I wasn't too sure how long it would take me to get there given the early morning traffic (if I'd been energetic I could actually have walked there and back as it's only about a 2 mile round trip but I'm lazy and the reason I was going is because I have a problem with my foot and it's painful to walk).

Also before I set out I had to do a few household chores, have breakfast, check my emails and check out my farm and cafe (on Facebook). I was home by 10am, walked to local shop to collect the daily newspaper and then it was coffee time as I listened to a music quiz on the radio.

I then had to drive to the Council Offices in Thornbury to make a delivery, this took me another hour (17 mile round trip), on the way back I went to the bank and Post office for Embee, and then on to the supermarket to do the grocery shop for my mother as well as ours.

Oh just remembered, I deposited some things for recycling in the containers at the supermarket.

I really don't like shopping over the lunch hour, it's far too busy, the queues at the deli and fresh produce counters are long and getting through the checkout takes ages. I finally got home just before 2pm, unpacked the groceries (not my favourite job), my mother likes to do her own and she is so slow, so by the time I made myself some lunch it was 3pm.

I ate my lunch at the computer, then did a bit of tidying up, vacuuming and mopping floors, sorting laundry and it was then time to think about dinner for Embee (actually knowing I had a busy day coming I prepared a pasta dish yesterday). He always comes home from work and is starving.

I try to sit down and watch a couple of 'soaps' on TV around 6pm and my evenings are taken up reading the paper, doing the crossword, a couple of on line quizzes, reading blogs, plurking and facebook. I usually read in bed before settling down and often don't turn the light off until around midnight.

Tomorrow will be a slight variation. I have to take my mother to the hairdressers and then I have to take her clothes shopping, that will be quite an ordeal! Oh and I have to fit in a visit to the local hospital to have an x-ray on my foot. And so it goes on and on...........

yesterday I put the tortoises into their boxes for their winter hibernation and they are now safely on a shelf, in the garage, where they will stay until around the end of February. I think I'd like to hibernate, or better still move to a warm climate until the spring. Instead I have 10 days in the Emerald Isle coming up soon and as I'll be with Beccy and the grandchildren the weather won't matter.

Well that's it for today folks. I'm now off to me bed to read, I'll catch up with you all tomorrow.


2008: Armistice Day-Remembrance Sunday
2007: How to survive a heart attack alone
2006: Recycling

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