"Although I speak from my own experience, I feel that no one has the right to impose his or her beliefs on another person. I will not propose to you that my way is best. The decision is up to you. If you find some point which may be suitable for you, then you can carry out experiments for yourself. If you find that it is off no use, then you can discard it." Dalai Lama...

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Sleepover Tag and the I love you game!!

Began feeling more human a couple of days ago:-)

Emily and E(teenage friend) have been playing sleepover tag:-)

We took E with us to see Twilight on Sunday.Alan and I have enjoyed reading the book to Emily and I was very impressed with the film,it wasn't totally Al's cup of tea although he did enjoy it.I can't wait to read the rest of the books now!!

On Monday I took them both with me while I had my second Cranial osteopathy app and E had made a Twilight Quiz up the night before and they played it while I went in for my treatment.Emily got all 25 questions right and she was very pleased with herself!! When we dropped E off in the afternoon Emily was invited to stay and play and then she rang later to ask to stay over.Last time she stayed over I had around 20 text messages,mainly saying I love you or variations of that:-)This time she only felt the need to send 5 or 6 so she was obviously much less anxious!!When Liz the rabbit died Emily was heartbroken that she felt she had been unkind to her that day and had not told her she loved her and since then tells us she loves us at every opportunity many times a day even if she is just going out of the room!! A little game she likes is she say's, I love you and I say, I love you too, she replies I love you more and I say you couldn't possibly to which she replies oh but I could:-))This is played many many times a day....

I went round to pick her up today and was treated to a lovely Chinese lunch and story time. E's Mum is a childminder and Chinese new year celebrations were in full swing.Emily had enjoyed herself and didn't want to come home!!She was a very tired girl although she did go off for a walk with Al who had to become Carlisle Cullen(Twilight) as they went off on the hunt!!

I had a bank statement through today and found that I have rather more money in this particular account than I had thought:-)Before Christmas I had been looking through the Mindware catalogue and Harper's Bazaar and had seen some things I had really wanted to get.I knew I couldn't afford them but made a list and kept the catalogues on my desk hoping that I could jiggle the books and find some pennies and lo and behold the statement came!!I have just spent a very enjoyable time ordering and look forward to them coming:-)I am going to reorganise things in my sunroom,at the moment it has very uncomfortable Rattan furniture and is not a room we choose too spend much time in which is such a shame, so I am on the look out for a second hand two seater sofa and a chair to entice us to sit in there and I am going to put lot's of interesting things(some of which I have just ordered) on the bookshelves and then we can get busy whilst watching TV.

I have been Tagged by Laura at Wistful wanderlust and Claire at Seeing with new eyes.Thank you both, I think!! I will have to find the time to think about 8 random things and then six things that make me happy.That will have to be another night as I am going to get in a lovely hot bath and read my book.Night night.xx

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Quick catch up

We were both feeling quite a bit better last week and on the Tuesday we had quite a bit of shopping to do around town so had invited E (teenage friend) to come with us.She likes to go around the shops and the two of them spent ages in Claire's accessories and Emily chose 5 books from the pound book shop.She has a real love of books and we went into oxfam the next day and we came out with 5 more!! I have so many books on my Amazon list that I think she would like and we have loads she got for Christmas.So many books and it seems so little time to read them in!!It doesn't do any harm to have a good selection and luckily most of them are suitable up to teenage years so maybe we will get on to them.By lunch time we had stopped at Morrison's to eat and a sleepover plan was hatched.After yet more shopping we went to pick up her overnight stuff and then back home where we had a really nice evening.Milly didn't move her mattress into the spare room to sleep with E as she was tired and wanted to sleep with us, she decided to go to bed around 10 so E and I sat up watching a film.She is a lovely girl and easy company.We took her to Home ed group the next day to hand her back over to Mum:-)
We invited her to go out with us again on the Thursday and she ended up staying over again.

On the Saturday Emily and I went off to visit a friend who used to help me out when Emily was born.She had been childminder to my nephew since he was a baby and would come over and do my ironing so I could rest. As time went on we employed her to look after Emily so I was able to rest when my ME was at it's worst.She is like part of the family and as good as an Aunt to Emily.She had come out of hospital having had a gallbladder removed and a kidney.The operations were done at the same time using keyhole surgery and she had recovered in double quick time.She used to manage a local group and mentioned that they were playing a nearby venue and children of 10 could go.Emily has been keen to see them because of H's connection with them and as it is near her birthday decided that it would be good to take E and A and then have a sleepover.So that looks as though it is going to happen,just got to get the tickets.

Quiet day on Sunday (Al worked til 2 on Saturday and 12 on Sunday)I was beginning to feel low and could not motivate myself to do anything.

Monday and Emily had an app with Judith for some more Cranial Osteopathy.Bit of shopping and lunch out then home to watch a film.Both Emily and I were under the weather again and my cough had got worse and was keeping me a wake at night.
Non day on Tuesday,lots of TV and not much else.

Wed Home ed group.Plenty of running around for the children and we all had a good chat.I had been going to call my Homeopath for advice about my cough as I couldn't work out from my books which the best remedy would be( I always find coughs hard to self prescribe as there seem to be so many variables) but luckily one of the Mums is a Homeopath and told me the best Remedy to take for my cough:-)Only had three doses and there is already a significant improvement.

A was coming for tea on Wed and E was invited and was due to sleepover.Both her Mum and I suggested it might be an idea to leave a spare overnight bag at our for any sleepovers in the future that are not planned,so she arrived with that and I will make some room in one of Emily's drawers for her.The evening went well and they walked A home at 7 and came back and we had a chat and then I flaked out in the living room while they drew and played charades and Cadoo with Al.Around 10 Al went off to bed and Emily came through to sort out a film for us to watch,she mentioned that E was feeling unwell.Won't go into too much detail but it was a problem she has had all her life and we rang her mum who came to pick her up,she needed to get antibiotics which they had at home.When I phoned this morning M had decided to take her straight to cue doc and they had checked her out and given antibiotics and she was still quite poorly but not in as much pain.By this evening she was eating well and although still poorly was much better.

Had another rubbish day today.Milly has watched far too much TV which in itself is not a problem, but I feel guilty that I didn't try to offer any alternatives cos I just needed some time on my own.I had a bath and read a book which is unheard of in the daytime.We went to look after my Nephew for a while after school and got a lesson in Xbox games.They are fascinating and I can understand the appeal although I am lost and can't imagine being able to control the many elements of the game.Milly is so uninterested in gaming and even her DS is likely to be sold as she wants a laptop and she so rarely plays with it.I want to hang on to it for a while as it may be something she will go back to.

I realised tonight why I have been so low when I came on which combined with a horrible cold is enough to knock me for six.I was due to go to a Meditation group meeting tonight but just felt too low.I am going to get in another bath(can't seem to stay warm) and have an early night and hope to wake up feeling better tomorrow.xx

Monday, 19 January 2009

New look !!

Thanks to the link On Debs Blog I now have a new toy!! Not enough time to play with it at the moment but looking forward to more investigating and don't be too surprised if I change things around now and again :-)

Adapting a recipe !! Or just bad planning?

I plan a weekly menu each Sunday and make a shopping list up from that and for tea tonight the plan was Butternut squash and blue cheese risotto.

OK into the cupboard to get the arborio rice,ummm I was sure I had a bag in there!!
Google to see if normal rice can be used.My suspicions were confirmed,seems it could but would not be creamy,not wanting to spend all that time slowly adding stock and not ending up with a lovely creamy goo.what else to do?
Put the rice and stock with wine in a casserole and put in oven to cook slowly while squash and onion cooking off in olive oil.Got wine, no veg stock powder left(somebody? had left the tub in the cupboard but there was no powder left in!!) so have to use chicken stock cube.Add squash mixture to rice when cooked and allow rice to cook a bit longer soaking up stock juices and squash juices.Looking good.Get out blue cheese to crumble in,doesn't smell right at all and on closer inspection I find that is because it is way past it's sell by date.Throw it away and use goats cheese instead!! Zest and juice of a lemon and viola. An adapted version and not a risotto but blooming tasty non the less.

OK so the Menu making and list writing should also include a rather more in depth investigation of what is actually in my cupboard!! I always intend to check on things after I have written the list but then something else comes along and I forget!! This happens quite often and I like to think of it as a game of invention;-)

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Indigo,Crystal and Rainbow children....

I have recently been reading a bit more about Indigo,crystal and rainbow children.
Info here andHere
(edited to add) this

Indigo essences Homeopathic Remedys are something we purchased a while ago after our Homeopath brought them into a session, for Emily to use and we now use them regularly to benefit all of us.I am always surprised at the fact that the ones Emily picks out are exactly what she needs at that time.She just likes to pick them out by title or colour and only occasionaly asks me to read out what they say in the description.There are also books about indigo children.

Just thought some of you might enjoy reading about this subject.xx

Saturday, 10 January 2009

A snuggly sneezy saturday...

Still fighting this rotten cough/cold.:-(

Just watched the last three episodes of The Diary of Anne Frank with Emily and cried like a baby at the end.We have seen the old film and Emily is keen for us to get the book.I am also going to download the documentary that was on from BBCi.

While browsing around I also found some intersesting articles I hadn't seen before on unschooling here

Back to lie on the sofa wrapped up in my blanket to watch TV with Emily:-)

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Making our minds up!!!

I have a really awful cold/cough and the last two days have been, by necessity, very relaxed!!We had planned to go to Tullie House Museum in Carlisle on Tues but had to change plans mainly due to how I was feeling but Mum rang and said they had snow over there and it was icy on top so probably wouldn't have gone over anyway.Yesterday was due to be our first Home ed group meeting since before Xmas,but that too was canceled.

As I had some time on my hands today I was able to browse around and went on to Sandra Dodds website and found this(scroll right down to the bottom of the page) on Peaceful parenting.I have often come across the link but never had the time to play it ,one page leads to so many others you can get lost in there and hours can go past as you get led from article to another.I enjoyed listening while I was transferring info from a very old and falling apart telephone/address book into a lovely new one I got for Christmas.

Heard news today of an unschooling 1 day conference in London in July.Dayna Martin is to be a guest speaker.It is something I might consider going to .Emily is keen to go to London and we could fit in a sightseeing tour.I will need to find out more about it first before making any decisions.It depends on finances as well,our car is likely to need replacing soon and Alan has decided to get a small runaround and sell his scooter so we have to find the cash for those:-( There is always something isn't there!!

It has actually been really nice to be having conversations with Emily planning places we would like to visit, as she is usually happier staying home.We have talked about a visit to Yorkshire.We are thinking of going to stay with my Aunt one night and then stay over in the nursing home my Nana is in for one night,apparently they have a little room we can stay in,just have to check if three of us can fit in!! We hope to visit York and relive a few memories,I lived in York for some time when I was about 6 and Alan and I had our first weekend away there.It was the weekend Aldaniti won the grand National and Bucks Fizz won the Eurovision.Just on the spur of the moment as we passed a betting shop Alan suggested putting some money on The National.That morning my stars had mentioned a certain number being lucky for me(so long ago I have now forgotten) so I picked out that Horse and put 50p on big spender that I am:-) Aldaniti bought us a couple of rounds that night!!

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Fun days,Holidays and dog days!!

We have had a lovely couple of days.Both Emily and I have been in good moods and have managed to have fun and laugh a lot:-)It isn't that it is an unusual occurrence but there are times when it seems hard going and I thought a nice reminder of the days we have fun would do no harm;-)

Yesterday we had an outing to the local aquarium.It was bitterly cold and frosty and the hilly roads going out of the village were a real test of nerve!!We had lunch and Emily spent some of her Christmas money at the shop then we had a whizz round the exhibits before going out to the big park(closed out of season) and trying the new exhibition centre(usually open but closed that day) Emily handled both disappointments well and we had a stroll along the harbour in the very cold but sunny weather.Dropped Milly off at home(got stuck on our hilly little drive, but managed not to panic and got up in the end and made sure we got some salt on before I attempted to go out again!!) with Alan.He hadn't been able to go into work as he had fallen on the ice walking Beauty in the morning and had aggravated the injury to his wrist he got when he had the bike accident,he isn't normally accident prone don't know what is going on recently.

I went shopping and then got home to have tea and start some searches for our holiday next year.Looks like Emily will have her wish and we could be off to Mamma Mia Island!!It is years since Alan and I went to Greece, in fact Corfu was the first holiday we had together.Our honeymoon was great because it was our honeymoon but it really couldn't count as a holiday. We hadn't actually been planning going away but Alan (the old romantic that he is)had been secretly taking driving lessons (he was in the navy and was over in Ireland)and passed his test just days before our wedding and surprised me with the fact we could have a touring holiday.We were on a very tight budget and we managed to hire a clapped out old car from some dodgy garage,broke down 500 yards from home,exchanged car for slightly more roadworthy model and drove our Best man home to Whitby where we stayed overnight then toured the seaside towns of,Scarborough Bridlington and Blackpool,staying in very dubious B&B's!! Being young and totally in love it really didn't matter a jot.Corfu was lovely though and we always said we would go back to one of the islands.Emily had fallen in love with the scenery in the film and asked to go and chose it over Disneyland Paris which was our first thought for this year.Fingers crossed we can juggle things financially to enable us to book a villa.

Today we were at home as Alan had the car.First thing this morning Emily went down to watch some TV and left me in bed,unusual because she rarely goes down on her own and hangs around "talking" to me till I drag myself out of bed. I tried very, very hard to wake up but failed miserably !! She only watched a little of Basil brush and decided she didn't want to watch anymore and came up to listen to an Agatha Christie CD.I eventually surfaced and went to make us breakfast and took it back to bed to listen with her for a while.

I then made some Banana oat muffins whilst my assistant did this.

ate a bowl of ice cream whilst talking.talking,talking!!

Emily asked to go up to the park in the village so she could climb tree's so we left the muffins to cool and went out for a while.Lot's of families making the most of the last day of the holiday and were sledging on the grassy bank in the field.We knew most of them and went over to say hi,but in reality I have so little in common with them that the conversation soon dries up.They are nice enough people but we are so far out of their clique .Their children are all at the very highly sought after local school,the one that Emily spent her Nursery Year in. We went back down onto the swings and Emily practised her jumping off,terrifies me how high she is when she leaps off!!Home for hot chocolate and a muffin.Emily had nuts and apple with some chocolate coins but surprised me by actually tasting my muffin and declaring it ok although she didn't want one. We had talked about her having one when we were walking home and she said no she wouldn't have one as she hates bananas,I just said it was a shame to limit herself and she might be pleasantly surprised at how they tasted.

When we got home I went upstairs to discover a trail of destruction from the stairs, where she had opened the pack of new socks I had left there, on to our room where pj's and various other bits of clothing were discarded all over the floor,more chaos in the bathroom and even in her room the clothes she had considered putting on and then deciding against!! I collected things up tidied around quickly.
As I came down the stairs with some of the things I felt a little frazzled,she was going into the living room and I said,
Milly I love you very much and I know you had other things on your mind but it would help me enormously if you could help out a little by picking up things after yourself instead of just leaving them on the floor in every room.
Sorry Mummy
She then went outside and came back and presented me with this as I was sitting reading E mails:-)

Freshly picked from the garden.She said she wanted it to be flowers and it was the only thing she could find with any colour!!

Started reading The dog star by Jenny Nimmo this morning(Interrupted as Milly decided she couldn't sleep and has come down again so we have just finished the book.)At present we have so many books we have started and she has decided to start another and we are flitting from one to the other.Her and Alan have just finished a Jacqueline Wilson one(she joined in a challenge at the library to read or listen to 3 book over the holidays)and have now started The Golden Compass again,They started it shortly after seeing the film but she got them on CD/tape from the library and has been listening to them on and off ever since!! The reason she wants to read the book is because the CD she got of the first book was a dramatization and a shortened version, not cover to cover like the other CD sets she borrows of the Subtle Knife and the Amber Spy Glass.We have a warriors book on the go and also Sophie's Story a book we have read before that she loves and desperately wanted for Christmas.

I found a website on the radical unschoolers site that has taken quite a bit of our time up this afternoon Furry Paws You can create your own dog and feed it train it etc.Early days to give any detailed feedback but so far she loves it and has created two dogs already.It has also inspired a fantastic story that she narrated to me while I was washing up then continued when I was in the bath and getting ready to go into town to have my hair done.Alan had the pleasure of a walk with her where she apparently never stopped talking all the way round as she added to the story!!

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Enjoying a few new christmas traditions.....

Each year we buy a new bauble for the tree and the last few years Emily has chosen.This year's is a rather lovely diamond drop glitzy affair.Sorry the picture isn't great!!

Prior to Christmas we had a couple of parties and met up with friends and had a thoroughly nice time.Xmas eve we spent some time with my sister and her family and a group of their friends.We left after a couple of hours and got home to do our traditional Xmas eve walk around the village.We started it many years ago when Emily was very small as she had wanted to go on a Santa hunt to see if she could see him in the sky.It was a lovely evening, very cold but still and we all enjoyed taking Beauty round with us.We sang a couple of carols going round and got home to throw out the oats with glitter for Rudolph to find his way to us.Then inside for a mug of hot chocolate and Milly opened a present I had got specially for tonight, Nims Island.We all enjoyed watching it,Emily and Alan had seen it at the cinema but it was my first time. Around 10.30 after setting out a plate for Santa and Rudolph Alan and Milly headed to bed to read.She had wanted us all to go to bed together so she could put a chair near the door!! She said she still believed in Santa but wanted to make doubly sure it wasn't us putting the presents out!!

Xmas morning started at 6.30, a bit of a lie in after the 5.00 start last year;-)Milly found the stocking Santa leaves on her bedroom door had opened that in bed with us, then we went down.Milly had decided she would open all her presents in the morning. In previous years we had saved some to open up with family at whoevers house we were eating lunch and even kept some for boxing day.For many years we had gone along with other peoples traditions and it took quite a lot of the joy away from Emily's day.She is a very immediate kind of gal:-))
We decided last year that we were going to do things differently this year and do things in a way that enabled Emily to enjoy it to the fullest.She had a whale of a time opening one after the other:-) I did take pictures but most are very shaky .This was taken later and it is one of her favourite presents from Santa.

After bacon rolls this is pretty much how we all felt:-))

After a clear up we placed all the presents back near the tree.Last year we also decided that it would work better for us to do our christmas dinner on a different day, to enable us to be fully present with Emily and be able to spend time playing and just being together so we had no preparation to do and didn't need to be going back and forth putting things on and checking things out,I was much less frazzled. We had a lovely relaxed day watching Dr Who(new DVD boxed set)and checking out some of her toys and had a lovely walk on the beach with Beauty in the afternoon.Quite uneventful apart from a few frayed nerves and moodiness caused by being so tired and Emily wanting to go barefoot, yes even in the midst of winter she gallops about the beach barefoot.It wasn't so much going barefoot that was the problem, more the clobber that we ended up carrying,socks wellies,shells etc and the faff of getting back to the car having to navigate our way across a rather deep channel of water and not having hands free to hold on when the sides gave way and I toppled down !!I can laugh now but wasn't a happy bunny at the time ;-)
We then drove a short way to the big playground and a rather sticky incident with a merry go round thing brought the trip to an end with tears from Emily(claimed she had a broken leg) and sulks from Daddy(it was his fault,but he hadn't meant it and could not understand all the dramatics!!)however I managed to lighten the mood and we had a good laugh on the way home.We made steak in a lovely pepper sauce with chips and veg and Emily had chosen chicken dippers and chips!!More Dr who on TV and an evening watching bits of TV, reading new books. An early night for Emily and I finished off a super Christmas.

Boxing day was spent over at my Mums with my sisters and husbands and our nephew.She had made Roast beef and yorkshire puds Mmmmm good food and wine,lots of laughter and games.

We had our Christmas dinner on the Saturday evening.I got it all made whilst Emily was taken out for a long walk by some new friends we have made, she had a great time and was home just in time for tea.She was invited to spend time the next day with them on another long walk and then came down with this awful virus:-(

A couple of quiet days watching lot's of new DVDs and busy nights,cuddling when she awoke in pain, getting drinks for sore throats and rubbing sore legs.

Over the last few days Milly has gradually been taking her presents from under the tree and playing with them or reading them or making them.She likes to open things quickly but then enjoys taking her time to go through them and explore them at her own pace when she is ready.Gradually the pile under the tree is going down and finding new homes throughout the house.

Going into 2009 in a quiet fashion but looking forward with great optimism for a good year full of fun and joy.

Wishing all of you some fun and joy too for 2009.xx