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it is raining today and tres gloomy,
the rain and gloominess matches the mood within the shed.
alas school starts tomorrow and with it
comes the horrible feeling of summer ending
and 'back to reality' has enveloped us somewhat.

but even in the most gloomiest of settings,
small miracles can occur.
i am most partial to a small miracle or two,
what i like best of all,
is when they appear when one is not looking.


yes indeedy, i was resigned to Carlos my camera going to his resting place,
i spent over three hours researching cameras and reading feedback.
after three hours i must say i was none the wiser...
i read all the blurb and all the wisdom written by knowledgeable folk.
and every time a camera came up trumps,
with all it's capability for simple camera users such as myself,
it always let me down by either being so hefty i needed to add 'pumping iron' to my latest keep fit regime,
or it was so petite i was having trouble actually finding it on the screen i was reading.


that was friday night,
on saturday morning the light in the shed was most pleasing.
the clan were missing and i was itching.
not itching in an unsociable way that random passer-bys may not wish to see
but itching to continue my 'perfectly peachy finds in retrospect' series.


showcasing all the lovely forsaken souls who have come my way over the past year,
letting them know how much i care for them.
how despite being discarded by others,
they make me happy in all their peachy second hand goodness
which in it's self is rather nice of them.


and that, dearest readers is when a small miracle happened inside the shed,
i do not believe this time a chorus of angels gathered outside the front door
nor do i recall a bright light of glory shining down upon the shed's roof.
just the sound of little olive and Used Dog's tippity tapping paws on the wood floor,
'the ping' of a tired camera coming back to life
and a lone voice, quite off key
and belonging to a woman living in suburbia singing "hallelujah hallelujah"


the rest of the day past in a blur of wonderful moments,
Carlos was on tippity top form, indeed better than his younger years
and my forsaken little souls positively beamed with all the attention they received.


i have quite the way to go with recording their pretty selves
and indeed all the fabrics i have stashed away in cupboards all over the shed.
but for now, whilst Our Carlos has decided to delay his retirement,
we shall continue our new found friendship.
i promise from this day forth to treat him with care and respect
and if ever he appears to become a little 'iffy',
just sit him down in front of my computer screen
and pull up the browser for new cameras.


she is aware of a pesky little mousey living under the stairs ~ Tif

Google come to Stronsay

On the 16th August, just after having told a good friend that I had never seen a "Google Car" in real life, what was my surprise to arrive on the Stronsay pier and find one waiting for the ferry! They are currently taking the "Google Street View" photos of Orkney. The only islands not included are Papa Westray and North Ronaldsay, since it is not possible to get there and back quickly enough. I asked him how long it was likely to be before they would be online and he told me that the last lot took about a year to get processed.



The Google Car. The camera is computer controlled from a laptop on the passenger side. The operator simply starts the software and then drives — the computer does the rest.


a 'tubby tummy' episode...


little olive returned from the kennels a little tubby.
the morning of collecting her i stood at the desk,
the lad behind the desk mumbled something.
after several times of saying "excuse me i didn't quite catch what you said"
i decoded his mumblings to say
"er yes, you're the one with the little dog right? yes well, we kind of noted she was gaining weight, so we separated her from the big dog at feeding times"

after i had decoded his mumblings,
i felt the color drain from my face, and my pulse a quicken.
the words 'gaining weight' and 'little dog' especially a daxie dog
should never be said in the same sentence.
i recovered my composure,
which i was quite impressed by, considering the long haul flight was still not far behind me.

"and when did you notice this happening?" i enquired.
further mumbling came forth
after a few delayed seconds i decoded it to say
"yesterday afternoon"

i must tell you dearest readers i was a little speechless at this point,
little olive and used dog had been together on their vacation for over two weeks
and yet it wasn't until the afternoon before they were due to go home,
her tubby ways were discovered.
i am thinking little olive had been helping herself to used dog's dinner
for over 14 days before being detected.
the only explanation being
she must have been sucking in her tummy every time someone walked by
and then let it go when they had passed onto the doggie in the next run.
by now i had an image of a barrel on little short legs
running out to greet me...

being the Brit i am, i thanked them kindly,
wrote a cheque that had the color draining from my face once again
collected up used dog, bingo, linus and 'tubby tummy'
and bought them home to the shed.
upon arrival, 'tubby tummy' hid away in her suitcase.




i told little olive
"do not fret nor worry about your tubby tummy,
sweet little doggie,
i too am sporting an extra ring around my middle
since my return from old blighty"

i then announced,
how the two of us would embark on a 'keep fit' regime starting the very next day.
how thrilling it would be to launch into our new fitness fad together,
having each other for support...
she would also cut down on the quantity of her breakfast
and i in return, to show my support
would give up chocolate spread on toast.
having eaten chocolate spread on toast for 40 years of my life,
this rash decision had me more concerned than little olive's growing mid drift.
however the situation called for drastic measures
and so drastic measures i took.
this show of support appeared to perk little olive up no end


and after several days of keeping fit together
she is looking most pesky and peachy indeed.
i wish i could say the same for myself but i can't,
going cold turkey from chocolate spread on toast
has sent my body into shock
and i fear it may never quite recover...

she is wishing you all a rather peachy weekend in your neck of the woods ~ Tif

it's the silly things...


yesterday i was greatly inspired at dinner time by the latest fabric love in my life,
found as a 'pair of curtains' in a wonderful retro granny chic store in Rye, (Kent) England.
the store was called 'new 2 you retro' and the inside, filled to the rafters with vintage and retro goodness.
everything reminded me of grannies in the most perfectly perfect way,
indeed Debbie, my soul sister and i would have quite happily moved in

i have just had to pause from my tale and switch the radio off,
i am listening as always to Radio 2,
at the moment it is a long programme about the history of the Bee Gees
and i cannot for the life of me tippity tap when i have 'Jive Talking' going on at full blast....
the funny thing about listening to Radio 2 Live is i am 8 hours behind,
so quite often i am listening to the night time shows or early morning programmes.
i know what the weather forecast will be for the majority,
i know who has got up to what in the news
and most importantly of all,
i know which roads to avoid due to roadworks and traffic hold ups.
all of which, some may think, are completely useless for moi living on this side of the pond...
however in a nice warm fuzzy way it keeps me connected to my home country, my family
and of course, now Our #1


which is where i was going with the old curtain story before the Bee Gees interrupted...
so my lovely 'faded around the edge' curtains came back on the plane with me
and after a few happy hours spent with Miss Ethel
(all in the name of sanity i might add, notching up 8 weeks or more of school holidays, one does need to find the odd bit of sanity that still remains)
i had myself two rather lovely 'going into fall' retro cushions for the lounge.
under the influence of my cushions i turned my crafty attention from Miss Ethel,
towards the kitchen and dinner.
i worked carefully with my usual palette of orange but added a little extra with brown and yellow,
thus showing my newly made cushions how much i loved their retro peachiness.


after a short while of pottering around
doing just fine and dandy,
the gravy was the brown,
the leftover turkey meat, a shade of something similar in tone,
and then the yorkshire puds adding a lovely sandy yellow to the mix.
i started on the orange ingredient
and that is where i came undone...
until that moment i had tucked my little bit of sadness away deep inside,
feeling most proud of my stiff upper lip and 'carrying on' resolve
but the blimen' carrots had to go and weaken my emotional brick wall,
and despite trying my terribly best,
the flood waters came rushing through for the first time since Our #1 left the shed behind
and headed off to the bright lights of old blighty to live.

how could a humble silly little carrot cause such distress i am thinking you are wondering,
it's a silly thing really, but it always is the silly things.
Our #1 eats carrots every day,
any given day i would find her in the kitchen peeling and chomping on raw carrots,
other days she would happily make a whole mountain of grated carrots to bake a carrot cake for tea.
and without fail,
whenever i made turkey in gravy she always chopped the carrots into lovely chunks to pop in the pot,
always with a tale to tell
and always with a smile on her face...
yesterday whilst chopping the carrots into chunks
i noted there was not a tale being told to me,
nor a smiling face looking back at me,
just an empty space
and the sound of my own sadness.

today as i tippity tap about my carrot moment
i am wondering, if a carrot can set off such a tidal wave of tears,
then how on earth will i be able to go thrifting again,
knowing my thrifty buddy is no longer by my side.

she is thinking carrots maybe off the menu for a while at mossy shed ~ Tif

i am a little lost...

despite the woes of Carlos i did indeed take a few snaps of old blighty with a borrowed camera,
however i am going to save it all for next week.
for next week is when my clan returns to school and the shed takes on hushed tones again.
in turn, giving me more time to gather my thoughts and tell you my tales...


in the meantime i have located the 'big camera' my man bought several years back,
claiming it was a marvelous camera with the ability to capture the world around us with ease.
i was sceptical at the time and after today, i continue to remain so...
perhaps not the fault of the camera, more to do with my inability to embrace new things.
i wish i was better in that respect but alas i appear as every year goes by, to become more crappity crap at it.


after five minutes of struggling with the beast of a camera,
i came to the conclusion, a strap around my neck was required.
upon fixing the strap on, it became clear not only were my arm muscles lacking
but so were my neck muscles.
i then discovered if i combined the strength of my neck and arms together,
i was able to lift the camera high enough to see through the lens.
this little fiasco took up about twenty minutes
by now my heart was quickening,
and i longed for Carlos of the old days to return to me.
i told myself to recall my breathing exercises from child birth
so i may remain calm,
giving the 'beast camera' a chance to show me his skills.

to be fair to the camera,
i do believe he has great potential to achieve shots way superior to Carlos.
if i took the time to locate the manual from it's hiding place,
spent further time reading what it has to say,
and start a strict daily regime of lifting weights
i think we may start to get along.
but i don't think that will ever happen,
i am still grieving for Carlos and his perfect little weighted ways
his ability to record a moment
without strap around neck and a weight lifting programme in place.

proceeding around the shed i took snap shot after shot.
i do believe by shot 12 i had broken a sweat
and the struggle to avoid tripping over things in my path was becoming more and more tres tricky.
'beast camera' was blocking most of my view as i pottered around
and for a pesky doggie such as little olive,
this could only spell danger.


after taking twenty four pictures i needed a lie down,
upon recovery i discovered only three shots worth keeping.
i think them quite acceptable,
but for me they lack a certain je ne sais quoi
that Carlos brought to the frame...

so for now i shall continue taking photos with Carlos.
when he is having a good day we will make magic together
and on his bad days i will not get frustrated or bad tempered but accept him as he is.
until i am ready that is,
to make the big step of finding a light weight replacement
so he may rest in peace, knowing he was my first camera love
and therefore always hold a special place in my heart

she is thanking you most kindly for your 'welcome homes' and the kindness you have shown toward Carlos and his demise ~ Tif

Carrots, Eggs and Coffee



A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up, She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.



Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil; without saying a word.



About twenty minutes later she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, "Tell me what you see".



"Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied.



Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg. Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, "What does it mean, mother?"



Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.



"Which are you?" she asked her daughter, "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?"



---



Which are you?



Are you the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity you wilt, become soft and lose your strength?



Are you the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did you have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have you become hardened and stiff? Does your shell look the same, but on the inside you've become bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?



Or are you like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate yourself to another level?



How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

home again, jiggy jig...

i am not quite sure why i did not read the signs, perhaps if i had i would have seen it coming... now i think back, before we left he felt a little off color, wasn't quite up to his usual tasks. i blamed my man, accused him outright of fiddling with bits he should not have been fiddling with. my man denied all knowledge of what i was referring to, i saw his firm protest of denial as guilt.
i harbored resentment in his direction, hoping my vibes would break him and a confession would be forth coming. my man stayed strong so i left for england with no explanation as to why Carlos, my trusty camera was seeing the world through blurry eyes.

after a few days in old blighty, i began to suspect Carlos of perhaps partaking in his favorite tipple more than is acceptable for a camera of his age. the shakes and the blurriness all pointing toward his decline, i began to fret, thinking of all the demands i had made upon his little gadgety soul, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year.
alas the strain was beginning to show... if i had only taken time to listen, to not berate him for his blurry vision and the frustration it caused me. if perhaps i had not ranted a torrid of unkind names in his direction from the end of june until the fateful day in july it would indeed have been a different story.
but i did not, i was a fool to myself, and that foolishness cost me 'my Carlos'.

it was an ordinary day on our trip back home to a small island, the sun was shining. i am now thinking that perhaps it wasn't such an ordinary day for this day was in england and the sun was shining. so therefore i must correct that bit and say, it was an extraordinary day in an ordinary way when we arose, nothing out of the ordinary unless we count the large amount of sunshine, thus making is extraordinary. nothing that would suspect me to sense this was the day Carlos, sweet dear 'oh i do so need you' Carlos was going to have his breakdown.

one minute he was compos mentis, then next he was 'non'. no amount of apologizes, sweet talking or recharged batteries was going to get him to see straight... for one small moment he appeared to be responding, in that moment he found the words to tell me how he wished to take a little time away from me, to think things through, he wasn't sure the life i had offered him a few years back when he arrived as a 'mailorder camera', was in fact the life for him. with that he shut down, remaining unreachable for the rest of our trip.
i placed him in his padded pouch with little pink deer on and kept my fingers crossed he would come back to his senses and return to me fully in charge of his gadgety bits.
meanwhile i perused the two shots we had taken together before his meltdown.

dallying with Mr Hook on Branscombe beach in Devon


and my derriere as i bravely climbed a whole foot and a half off the ground


on returning to the shed it would appear Carlos is feeling a little more perky, he told me that the rest has done him good and he is perhaps willing to come back to work with better pay and kinder hours.
however having spent a few minutes with him yesterday it would appear he may think himself better but the results i have seen are telling me otherwise...

i fear Carlos, my trusty camera, is indeed losing his marbles, has seen much better days and although it grieves me to say it, (indeed i say it in a whisper so as not to reach his sensitive little ears,) it is perhaps only a matter of time before the pearly gates open up above, revealing the great Las Vegas in the sky for broken down cameras and he starts climbing the stairway.

she is thinking how lovely it is to be back and how greatly she missed you all ~ Tif

Picking A Glider


I found a chair company I like, a lot. Now my biggest problem is that I can't decide which glider I like better. I've only gotten to sit in the "Sarah" but I sat in a few other chairs from this company (Four Seasons Furniture) and they are all super comfy, so I don't think I can make a bad choice.





This is the "Sarah" which I got to sit in yesterday.


We'd actually get this in an XL as it is a bit taller and wider.






Sarah: 34L x 35D x 36H




The other chair I like is called the Taylor. I like the shape and I love that it's wider, taller and deeper. But I'd have to order it sight unseen, which is never easy to do. I think the fabric that they show it in doesn't do this chair justice. I guess I think it looks a little feminine and old fashioned. But fabric changes everything.






Taylor: 36L x 36D x 39H





So which do you like better? The Sarah or the Taylor?


I suck at making decisions. Although I did decide on a slipcover fabric (go me!)







The pattern is called "Baldwin" and we chose  "Celery" as the color.


Here's a crappy iPhone photo of the fabric with our crib skirt.









If you're interested in Four Seasons furniture you can find them online at Layla Grace and Posh Tots. If you'd like to find a dealer in your area, their website is not helpful at all! Call them during normal business hours and they'll be able to help you find a reseller in your area (336) 873-7520.





And don't forget to help me pick!


Sarah XL or Taylor???


Final Profession on Papa Stronsay

The feast of the Assumption of our Lady into heaven, 15th August, saw the wonderful occasion of the final religious profession of Br. Martin Mary, F.SS.R. Most of his family were able to be present and his father and brothers sang in the schola. Here are some photos and video of that great day.


Brother is questioned by the superior who will receive his vows.


While the Veni Creator Spiritus is sung, brother prostrates himself on the floor and is covered with the pall, symbolising his death to the world.


The schola — Brother's father, Julian and his two brothers, Bill and Nick also sang.


Holy Mass — Suscipe Sancte Pater Omnipotens Æterne Deus.


Brother pronounces his holy vows of poverty, chastity and obedience as well as a vow and oath of perseverance.




The sacrifice is accomplished. Brother, having made his final vows, receives the biretta.


The community.


Brother with his family.


Brother's mother and father.


In the evening, to celebrate brother's profession and the feast of the Assumption, we had our annual bonfire and BBQ to which all are invited.





Deo Gratias et Mariæ!

The Letter R


Dear Friends and Family,


I'm collecting the letter R.


If you happen to spy one, please grab it for me!


I'll pay you back in either cash, favors or cookies.


(whichever you prefer)








Love you! 


Niki

Nursery Progress





PB Kendall knockoff from JCP here


Half the price and free shipping = two cribs for the price of one!

Do These Babies Make My Butt Look Big?




17 Week Stats 





Blood Pressure: 100/68



Stretch Marks: I have fallen victim to the stretch mark :( I would be devestated if it wasn't so funny. I got them…(ready? wait for it, wait for it…) on my boobies. I guess this is what happens when you go from a 34C to an F+. Yes, they are still growing, much to my husband's delight and dismay. 





Movement: Here and there, unless I'm hungry.

If I'm hungry they turn into a fetal marching band. 





Food Cravings: eggs, scrambled, fried, on a bagel, on a plate.

I would eat them on a boat, I would eat them with a goat, I would eat them here or there, I would eat them anywhere… 





Food Aversions: olives, onions, garlic, anything grilled and meat. 





Belly Button: half flat, half outtie. Yes, it does look weird. 





And just for fun, here's a comparison shot:




{ Left: 7 weeks, up 5 pounds; Right: 17 weeks, up 16 pounds }

Thank you from the Redemptoristines


THANK YOU!
To all who contributed to the appeal for the Redemptoristine nuns.
On their behalf
we thank you most sincerely.

We have raised over $1,000:
exactly
$1,101.00 USD & £216.40
The nuns are anxious to receive your names
and they are already praying for your intentions.
You are their benefactors.
THANK YOU!


***
Good news came in from the Redemptoristine Nuns of
São Fidélis today.
Last week, on 6 August, they commemorated 297 years
since they received the traditional Redemptoristine habit
in honour of the Most Holy Redeemer.

They had been patiently waiting for their sewing machine
for some time
and it has arrived at last.

Already the Nuns are trying it out by making Palls.

Last week we received the following donations:
£50.00 from H. Ce of England
9 August, 2010
$20.00 from Paul Cl of England with the message:
God bless your invaluable work. Paul.
9 July, 2010
£96.40 Anon. England
13 August, 2010
$50.00 from Robert P , IN, USA with message:
Dear Sisters, May God bless you all. In Her Immaculate Heart, Bob P
14 August, 2010
$20.00 from Andrew B. Ont. Canada (3rd donation)

16 August, 2010
$50.00 from Kristijan Ci, Velika Gorica, Croatia

17 August, 2010
$25.00 from Tom Mn, NY, USA
$100.00 from Sheldon Ss, GA, USA
$10.00 from Jim Kk, AP, USA

18 August, 2010
$50.00 from Dan Pz, CA, USA

19 August, 2010
$50.00 from Susan De, CA, USA


This brings the total of money raised to:
Total 19 August: $1,101.00 USD & £216.40 + £20.00 per month.
THANK YOU!

We continue to appeal to every visitor:

Please, if you could,
kindly make an offering to the worthy cause
of these enclosed
traditional Redemptoristine Nuns
in Brazil.


Your cheques will also be listed on this site:

Please send cheques to:
Redemptoristines
Golgotha Monastery Island
Papa Stronsay, KW17 2AR
Orkney, UK

Make cheques payable to "Transalpine Redemptorists"

Thank you for helping.

Devotedly,
Fr. Michael Mary, F.SS.R.





Garage Sale - This Saturday

If you are local email me through the blog or comment and I'll send you the address. Selling:


  • PB bedding, rugs and furniture

  • Pier One furniture

  • Nursery furniture

  • HP Desktop Computer

  • 17" Dell laptop

  • 32" Sony TV

  • wing chairs

  • Behr and Benjamin Moore paint

  • luggage

  • roman shades

  • bamboo roman shades

  • and much more.


Saturday August 14, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.




















link to more photos:

http://s88.photobucket.com/albums/k196/nikinikinine/garage%20sale/

I'm Hans and I'm Franz


and we are going to pump you up.










okay, all kidding aside, I'm still having trouble with the whole meat concept. 


At my last OB they found trace amounts of protein in my urine, which could mean that my body is breaking down muscle to sustain the babies since I'm not getting enough protein in my diet.





I've tried, and I can do a little bit of meat, sometimes, but it has to be hidden. Pathetic, I know. So I've taken to drinking protein shakes at least once a day. I'm using two scoops of powder (54 g of protein and 280 calories) and milk so far and mixing in frozen fruit but I'm getting bored.





So if you have a recipe that tastes good and won't turn this into a 1200 calorie endeavor please post them! I would so appreciate any and all help I can get.


In Dire Need of Fabric Help!


Everything featured on Lonny is linked with a source and a url.


Everything of course, except the fabric on the window below.


It's Always Something.










I spent 2 hours today looking for striped fabric online, but came up empty handed. 


If you know what this fabric is or a manufacturer that makes something like it…


HELP!










I will owe you my third born. We're keeping the first two ;)

 

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