Just about bordering on odd, I see things through different eyes.The heading says it all - I live, I love, I craft, I am me...

30/07/2013

Ta-da!

It has been quite a while since I have done any crochet, knitting suddenly seemed to take over and work filled up the rest of my time.
Then yesterday evening, I sat outside with Himself in the evening warmth and felt an itch. A crochet itch.
 
 I almost tried to suppress it then I decided that I would give in and soon ruffled around in my cotton yarns and found several shades of blue....an idea began to formulate.  I washed out an olive jar that I had already designated to the recycling, removed its label and lid and started crafting.
The next morning, with help from Pepper, I crocheted a few more rows then it was time to pack up for a walk. Of course I took my WIP with me and when I could, did a row or two more.
Then, on the way home in the car, I finished the last few rows.
 Filled with a sprig of alchemilla mollis and a few sweet peas it make my heart skippity skip 
and I am happy happy happy :)
Oh crochet - why have I left it you so-oo long!?!

28/07/2013

Ta-da! A quick how-to and a happy me :)



A little while ago, Jak (aka my mom) sent me an image she had found on the tinter and I was inspired! It was using an old plastic pop bottle and with a snip here and a cut there it makes the most wonderful mini propagator. The picture she sent didn't have any instructions and I am sorry that I can't credit it as I now can not find it - if you know who/where it comes from - let me know so I can link to it and give credit where it is due.

Until then - here is my version!



You will need a large plastic bottle - wash it out and remove all labels and the lid 
including the little secruity band below the lid.
 Once it is clean cut off the top flared piece before it begins to become the main body,
 then measure it against the base of the bottle.
Cut the middle section of the bottle away.
 Insert the 'funnel' end of the bottle into the base and trim until both pieces are the same height
make sure the mouth of the bottle reaches the base.

Pour in water until it fills just the neck of the bottle before it widens out, pop in your cutting making sure it just reaches the water and fairly quickly roots appear. The cutting sits in the 'funnel' part without rotting in the water and the water seems to stay cleaner and clearer for much longer!

I have a row of these mini propagators and they are rather pretty when the sun light shines through it them in the morning. A vast improvement on the motley crew of jars and glasses I used to use.

Happy happy me :)



26/07/2013

Today

His eyes were glassy with tears.
She's just died he whispered.
Oh, Oh I am so sorry I managed to say before feeling my throat restricting at his pain. I reached out and briefly touched the back of his sun tanned hand.
He turned gruffly away and stumbled back to the waiting room, only to get up again and say..
My friend, he is coming to collect us, the nurse...his voiced cracked....the nurse is..... wrapping up her body for me...his voice faded to a whisper.

All the time he could not raise his eyes as a lone tear quietly ran down his cheek.

He turned and sat back down in the waiting room.



20 minutes earlier a young man had dashed in, the blood drained from his face, and grabbed my arm
Excuse me, I have just run over a dog - I have it here with his owner!

I looked up to see an older man with a shocked and dazed look on his face. He was struggling to get out of the front seat of the car as he clutched a blood soaked towel to his chest. All I could see was the snout of a small dog poking upward, it's jaws agape as it was gasping for breath.

The vet was soon out and bustling the owner and the towel into the surgery and the young man stood pale and trembling.




The phone screamed an interuption and I was dragged away from this small but intense dama. When I returned the waiting room was empty.

There are good days.

There are bad days.

All days are busy.

All days have mini dramas, incredible highs and moments of tear jerking sadness.

Today was no different.

24/07/2013

Sign of the times

When we are out and about, we love looking for odd signs and notices. Some times they are in unexpected places.

 Some are local to where I work
 Others, poignant reminders of others now gone
 In case of emergency - drink wine?
 A lovely 'to the wedding' sign - pointing along a remote and wild flower filled lane - how romantic
 Farmer-made signs, protecting their fields from wandering walkers
A new woodland with a nettle strewn pathway.



22/07/2013

In which we go walking...

It didn't have the best of starts, our walk that is.

We'd already set off and been going 15 minutes when.....we had to turn back to collect my wallet. Big sigh from husband. 

Then having returned home, found the errant wallet and had gone about 20 minutes when whilst trundling along a quiet country lane, a large lamb leapt out of the hedgerow. Himself stamped so hard on the brakes it felt as if the car did a nosestand and the sheep disappeared from view. We all gasped and held our communal breath and for a brief moment there was no movement.

Suddenly a dazed but perfectly fine sheep dashed out from beneath the car, ran up the lane and shot back through into the hedge. Phew.

Time for our walk.

 Lunch break
 Spooked highland bullocks
 Just us
 Shades of blue and purples
 Shades of yellow


Locals 
 Another local

Tortie cats and Indian Runners 
Oops - been spotted by one of the cats!

Think that cat has just given us the 'stink eye'!


The problem with working on Saturdays is that your weekend is drastically shorter and as a consequence seem to fly by even quicker that normal.

Still - going to keep a positive lid on things and see it as a count down to our summer holidays!

Woo Hoo here they come :)


21/07/2013

Hose pipe pieces in various colours

I have been a bit quiet on the downsize and declutter challenge I set myself but we are still shifting things either to the charity shop or via Freegle.

Have you ever heard of Freegle?

It metamorphosed  from Freecycle into Freegle a few years ago but still is a lifeline for anyone one trying to declutter their homes or have a need but have a very tight budget.

We have over the years managed to rehome a lot of 'stuff' that we didn't need to folk who did.  I regularly get bulletins with the latest wants and offers, some quite legitimate and others...well lets say... a little odd.

For example...
OFFER: approx 2 ton of rubble - can not deliver, come and collect otherwise am taking to the tip.
WANTED: i want a nintendo wii or som otha game plz
OFFER: Got a bag full of pieces of hose pipe, mixed colours - first come first gets.

Some requests seem to have the worst spelling possible...not even text-speak is this rubbish....

OFFER: im looking fore some old glamor magizens for a project im doing. i want old ones becuase they need to be tastfull not shocking. I can collect an dont mind if you only one or a hundred,any will be apreciated thank you

Some requests or offers are very specific -

WANTED: I want an anvil and a vice and a kiln. Look at the back of your shed or your garage and if you want to get rid of them I will make good use of them.

OFFER: 
2 sachets raspberry flavour energy drink
i sachet lemon flavour energy drink
2 sachets hot chocolate drink
4 sachets sugar free chewing gum
4 sachets coffee creamer
3 sachets white tea mix
2 sachets sugar
1 sachet boiled sweets with honey or cough drops


Not sure if I would want to either meet the bloke wanting the anvil or the woman who has had a clear out of her cupboard.....


But, jokes aside, it is a brilliant way of passing on unneeded, unwanted and unnecessary stuff and it is a great service manned by volunteer moderators - you should check out your local branch and declutter your home and if you feel the need - get a bag of hose pipe pieces - in various colours....!


19/07/2013

That's it! I've had enough!!


After a fairly stress-filled day, Saturday afternoon suddenly calmed down. Eldest is away for a week on his DofE and we had finally sorted out all his camping equipment and food needs. He, although ready mentally for his expedition, found the actual physical effort of putting together his paraphernalia almost beyond his ability. He languidly slouched about the place having seemingly lost all capacity to speak, his only activity was to check his cell phone or to change his music. Gah! My teeth were beginning to wear away with all the grinding.

Then, I had had enough. 
I dramatically pronounced that I was going to pack a picnic and we were going to eat out somewhere in the cool of the evening air. Initially startled by my sudden demand, Youngest and Himself soon got into the swing of things and joined in. Eldest moved marginally quicker......barely discernable but enough to give me hope!

 Himself brought Gertie out of the garage, she was going to trundle us out on our adventure! He rolled back her roof and the cool air flying over our heads was exhilarating, I could not help but put my hands out and feel the wind flying through my fingers. Eldest seemed to be invigorated by this blast of fresh air and started to take photos and to speak in complete sentences.
 We parked up near the village of Airton and dropped down to the river's edge. Swallows screeched overhead as they hunted for flying insects.
 Eldest and Himself carried the picnic on ahead as I took photos.I smiled as the teenager began to morphose back into my son.
 We ate homity pie (cheese, onion and potato) still warm from the hasty baking, salad and crusty bread. There was a definite congenial air as we chatted and laughed. Eldest relaxed and we spoke about this and that, my heart skipping with joy as whole loquacious paragraphs fell from his mouth instead of the usual neanderthal grunts.

 After we'd eaten, the boys went down to the river to skim stones. Himself and I sat in companionable silence surrounded by buttercups and swallows.

 Then, as the sun faded and the biting midges awoke, we packed up and drove over Malhamdale following the sunset. We stopped just above where I work and revelled in the joy of a warm sunset. Himself and Youngest playing about in the long grass.

I sat in Gertie, quietly enjoying the evening, sad that it was winding down and Eldest seemed to have exhausted his conversation and was beginning to retreat back to his cell phone. Texting his girl taking precedence to talking to his mom, hey ho..... I will just have to treasure those few short hours when he was mine again :)


  

17/07/2013

sweet treats

Two years ago, I planted one or two small wild strawberry plants, I wanted them to cover bare patches of soil in the garden. The first year they quietly rambled about and I smiled benevolently at their cheerful little flowers and competed with the birds for the few strawberries.

The following year the plants and the strawberries were of a greater number but still not enough for the birds and ourselves, so we picked one or two juicy intense brilliant red berries and enjoyed the taste sensations on our tongues.
This year. The wild strawberries have reached their potential and have rampaged joyfully across any bare soil. They have flowered with gay abandon and the mini crop of strawberries has been glorious. We can pick handfuls of sweet sweet bright red fruits on a daily basis and they are delicious!


Yum.

15/07/2013

Observations

It is hot, unusually hot for this little lush cool country. The queue is long, snaking along the counter, bulging at the door then continuing out of the hot cafe in to the hotter sun. Warm sweaty folk put in their lunch orders, patiently waiting whilst sandwiches are slapped together and rapidly wrapped in waxed paper before being exchanged for payment.  I have already put in my order, my stomach in rumbling and in the classic 'don't buy food when you are hungry' mode, I stepped out of the queue to select some crisps to go with my sandwich.

People come in, people go out. I return to my spot in the line.

'You will have to get to the back of the queue' says the lemon yellow crimplene skirt and  bri-nylon top.

I turn to explain 'I've already ordered - just have to pay' I smile at the disgruntled face.

'Humph' Her face shows her disbelief at my reply.

A moment or two pass, more folk try to get in. We shuffle along, the queue is a sweaty line of bodies. 

The crimplene skirt, by way of an apology begrudgingly mutters...'I get sick of queue jumpers.....  Lots of them about today.'

I, as way of an acceptance agree....'Yes, there are a lot a people about today, must be the sunshine, it's brought them out'

She turns towards me, lifting a crepey wax-white arm up towards my face to wave a aluminium walking stick..'.I don't like the sun. I hate it. It's too hot.' Her lips tight and pinched on her pale face, two pink flushes on her sweat-glossy cheeks complete the picture.

'Excuse me love, your sandwich is ready, that will be £2.25'....I am grateful for the intervention by my lunch. I pay and beat a hasty retreat, out of the heat of the yellow crimplene's mood and into the heat of the day.

*************************

It is the awards evening, the hall is filling rapidly with parents and siblings. The dress code has no formality about it, T shirts and wrap-around skirts, flip-flops and sandals. People are too warm to dress smartly, they just turn up and wipe away the sweat.

Teachers, ties pinching hot necks, are being miked up. 

'One two, one two, one..yes, the sound system in on.' A large excessively jovial sir exclaims, he is holding a microphone, a computer tablet and a bunch of papers as he waves at the prizewinners.

'Right, as we rehearsed, when you are called remember to come down in the order you are sitting, go round the back, come down here and receive your award, stand at the front then return to your seats'

Languid teenagers, flop their fringes, slump their shoulders and sigh at the reminder.
More staff are coming in to the auditorium, carrying tables and certificates, ties and badges. There is a lot of shuffling and sorting, rearranging and tidying.

The jovial sir keeps up a repertoire of pithy (well - he thought so) remarks. He cheerfully quipped about his new ipad, and how he needs four fingers to work it, how he'd just been given it by the PTA and how it was dangerously low on battery. His forehead shines under the spotlights.

'Use pen and paper sir' a lone voice pipes up from the back....teenagers snigger.

Ho ho good one son, he replies, I have my paper and notes with me too - just in case! He laughs at his own joke. Most of the auditorium shuffle about, not many laugh. It is too warm, he is too cheerful and the seats are too hard.

Finally, the lights dim, the shiny headed sir keeps up the banter, starts to sing, jokes about the fact that he sings at the drop of a hat, quips about and to the staff. It is relentless.

'And remember....no photos please, turn your mobiles off, it affects our sound system'. He witters on. There is a definite discontent feel in the audience as we reluctantly switch off camera phones and put down cameras.

A new voice comes over the tannoy, he is quietly spoken, to the point, welcomes sweaty family members, congratulates the award winners and starts to list out the names.........in a different order to the way the teenagers are been seated.

There is a momentary pause by the students then they make a collective decision to ignore the teacher and get up to stomp down the steps to the front and do the previously practiced drill and collect their ties/certificates/awards in the correct order.

We, the parents start to applaud.....and the proceedings are halted immediately - please, please, wait until the end, otherwise you will get clap-fatigue heh heh heh heh ' says shiny foreheaded sir.

??? clap fatigue?

So, in stoney silence, the students stand at the front of the seated parents, squirming and embarrassed and not not knowing where to look while we have to sit on our hands and not applaud and recognise our pride of our children until we are given the go ahead.....

In between each group of awards we are treated to a song or a dance routine by the drama elite. Teenagers are either passive in their indifference or exhibitionist drama students. We were inflicted by both lots. In excessive amounts......

It was a long and hot evening.

However, it was worth it in the end, to see Eldest receive recognition for his academic prowess. Photos of student and awarded tie will follow (once I have bribed/forced/cajoled or begged him to pose....)

**********************







07/07/2013

A sweet recipe - the making of a bee-hotel

INGREDIENTS

1 hot sunny Sunday afternoon
1 almost teenage lad who hasn't had enough sleep
1 old and practically unusable chest of drawers
Left over roofing felt and roofing tacks
2 hammers (one is NEVER enough)
Odd nails and tacks and screws - just in case....
Pine cones, twigs, old festive wreaths, canes, scraps of wood and sticks
A fairly good temper - the longer the better
Several breaks to make tea/search for tools/drink tea/search for more tools/make lunch/cuss
Camera
A willing and patient husband

METHOD

  1. Have the brilliant idea of turning a scrap piece of furniture into a bee hotel
  2. Turn on the laptop and being absolutely blown away by all the gorgeous insect-hotels and bee homes being made out there
  3. Decide that combining the making of a similarly gorgeous bee-hotel and the entertaining the yawning almost teenager improves the already brilliant idea
  4. Press gang long suffering husband into carrying the unexpectedly heavy chest of drawers
  5. Follow said long-suffering husband picking bits of wood and plants as the chest of drawers starts to collapse as he struggles with the weight
  6. Set up in the shade on the lawn
  7. Find at the back of the drawers are many stones and pebbles (which explains the weight)
  8. Still feeling inspired, start dismantling the unit, ignore any bits that inexplicably fall off 
  9. Keep removing loose bits and remind oneself that this is a form of recycling as well as entertaining Youngest
  10. Wipe beads of sweat off brow - Did I mention it was a hot and sunny Sunday afternoon?
  11. Attempt to fix loose bits and panelling - try to jolly along Youngest son who is still yawning and muttering things under his breath.
  12. Step back to 'admire' progress only to see the drawers have collapsed
  13. Grit teeth
  14. Make lunch
  15. Eat lunch
  16. Ask Youngest in bestest lovingest mummy voice to fix the drawers 
  17. Find him the hammer
  18. Pass him the nails
  19. Tell him how to do it
  20. Wipe away sweat trickling down brow
  21. Suggest we move into the shade again
  22. Realise that long-suffering husband has noticed that all is not going to plan and has come to help
  23. Grit teeth (again) and accept all help
  24. Cover the now repaired (and slightly less wonky) unit with roofing felt....find that you don't have enough tacks
  25. Get Youngest to start filling the first drawer
  26. Find things to put into the bee hotel
  27. Find you don't have enough things
  28. Find more things
  29. Start filling the second drawer
  30. Finally feel like it is all coming together
  31. Hang up both drawers and tuck the unit in amongst the plants
  32. Step back
  33. Smile.
 Unit about to have the roofing felt tacked on, 
Youngest rebuilding the drawers and filling the space with pinecones
Youngest's finished pine cone filled drawer, 
hanging behind a Rambling Rector rose

My attempt to fill the second drawer. 
Now residing within the hydrangea petiolaris (climbing hydrangea)

 Filling the empty drawer spaces with recycled festive wreaths
saved each year for... well, for anything really!

The chest of drawers hiding near the pond in amongst the flowers. 
The roofing felt looks a bit too new for my liking 
so I have covered the top with pebbles, terracotta pots and sea glass.


So - that was my Sunday. It was filled with more than just this, there was friends and girlfriends, there was sleep-overs and walking, there were silly cats and hot cats and cats playing in the greenhouse. 

How was your weekend?
Did you get up to anything creative?
Did you cuss and grind your teeth and something you were trying to do?

I must, before I finish, say hello to some new bloggy friends that have popped in and left some lovely comments. Hello to Joy from Joy Jinks Creations , Tails from Swallow Barn and Bethany from Pretty Little Fibre Co.



Thoughts

Today, whilst walking, a thought or two rattled around my head.

Expect the unexpected.
A hairy haggis of highland coos on the moorland road in West Yorkshire

Sleep more.
Boys, whatever their ages, will be boys.

Footbridges have a symmetrical beauty of their own.

A small bottle of kids bubbles brings me endless joy. I carry it in my backpack.

Woodland glades have a wistful magick about them.

I love my family.

It is never too warm to knit.

Get more sleep.

Carry more water - your son will probably drink yours once he has finished his......

Walk more - it clears my head.

I love finding oddities 
like this small laminated card tucked into the derelict rail bridge footings giving details and dates. 
I am holding it as near to it's original site as possible.

Hot sheep can't be bothered to move.

Some weeks are good 
and some just don't live up to my expectations. 
I have to accept that.



Not exactly revelations but gentle reminders to myself of things I love, things that happen, things I should do and things I have done.















March 2017 Link up Party

If you have joined in with my Scavenger hunt, please link with me on your blog :) Please add your name to the link up ...