"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...

Sunday, 31 January 2010

The purple palace!

A busy day today.Emily has had a full play day with her best friend.They had a great time last night.They began making dresses for a doll that Emily had bought yesterday.Hours later they were still making and photographing their creations ,coming through to share each creation with us.They have a box full of hand made couture outfits:-)

 After pancakes here they left around 11 this morning to go to A's house.We saw them on and off during the day,they popped back in with A's younger brother who had requested a visit to see our house:-) They have been to the park with him and Emily's arms are aching because they played 123 swing with him all the way to and from the park:-)

Alan and I have managed to get the house straight!!
Here are some pics of our efforts.

Through the door into the Purple Palace!


The £20 bargain dressing table....

Bookcase and toy storage,a work in progress.More books to be chosen from downstairs and picture frames to be sprayed black and art to be made for them.


Trinkets bought by good friends displayed on the dressing table.Jewellry all untangled and hung awaiting an outing.



Precious dolls and teddies displayed for play.Petz and Rodney are pottery bears that were bought by a very close friend for Emily's first birthday.They have been kept safe on a high shelf til now.Here they are fulfilling their purpose as book ends.

The star christmas decoration she bought and an angel in a globe to look down on her.An angel in a glass bauble makes two.

A makeshift double bed with a very happy Emily.


Still finishing touches to do.An electrician is needed to put this up.

 

The bed to go up on Tuesday,


and underbed storage for soft toys to be purchased.

It has been a great deal of hard work but so worth it.From start to finish Emily has been in charge of design and has been involved in all purchases with the budget in mind.She knew how she wanted things to look and has managed to move it from her imagination to reality.She has real flair for design :-)

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Tired and agitated...

I have been sat at this computer for far too long searching around for things to read.I am feeling really unsettled and agitated and can't settle for some reason.It feels a little bit like I get prior to a period,not had one of those for around 9 months so if it comes it could be a doozy!

I decided I would write something,not too sure what will come out,may not be that interesting ;-)

Milly's room is now painted and the furniture is also painted and has gone into her room.It is finally off the dining table HURRAH!!

Alan has had to touch up in places.The dining room is not the brightest of rooms and I missed bits on a couple of the bits of furniture.I think if they were not wet I would be up there sorting it out and trying to get the house back in some kind of order.The spare room is full to the brim with stuff from Emily's room and the landing has accumulated ironing,bedding and basically anything that would have been put away in the spare room but can't be because of the boxes of toys etc.Plus when there is mess it tends to attract mess and things have just been dumped:-( Our room and the bathroom are also now full of clutter!It has been two weeks on Tuesday since we started and it has been long enough!

I took Emily and A to see New moon at the cinema.I had said they could go in on their own and they were up for the idea,however on the way I remembered it was a 12 and said I should perhaps go in with them.They both said that was ok and that they would actually prefer it.Emily said " After all we've never been on our own before,we are only 11!"

I had planned to go into the cafe and read my book and wander round the shopping arcade while they were in the cinema.We got there to find that the department store was closing down and they were closed, preparing for a sale midweek, so I couldn't have done that anyway!The cinema and the few shops in the complex are on the side of Workington cut off due to a bridge collapsing in the floods.Not sure if that has been a deciding factor in the move to the centre of town but business has been hit severely as people are just not making the major detour to get to that part of town.

 Meanwhile Alan finalised Emily's room, he got curtain poles up and little bits like that.Oh, the other thing was, he dismantled the cabin bed.I know I had said we couldn't, but as I was laid in bed this morning I thought about the pros and cons of leaving it up and the sense of anti climax there would be in having the room done, but without the double bed up.It could be weeks before the bed sells and the excitement of her new space ( and moving back into her own bedroom again after 4 years in ours ) would be gone.It is now in bits in the spare room.Well bits that could fit in, the rest will go in when I move Emily's stuff back into her room,its like one of those sliding puzzles,you know the ones with the squares that are a jumbled picture and you have to move them around with only one square free to make the picture again. I decided that even if it didn't sell it would not be the end of the world.It would go on freecycle or to Impact housing, it would just take us longer to save the money to put back into her savings account.I talked to Al and we decided to do it, so the double bed can go up on Tuesday.She was so excited when we got back fom the cinema and it was down.

Emily and A are sleeping on mattress's in the dining room tonight and then a day of play for them tomorrow.I will get on with putting things back together with Als help.Milly was really keen to be involved,then the sleepover was suggested and she was invited to A's to play tomorrow,so no contest really :-) She is trusting me to display all her things.

Whilst the girls are busy Al and I are going to watch a film When I was in Sainsbury last night I got him a boxed set of war films I knew he would enjoy.Letters from Imo Jima and Flags of our fathers.

Cup of tea,book and a bath first though. xx



Thursday, 28 January 2010

Thoughts on this Blog

When I began this blog I fell in love with writing.I loved the way it enabled me to work through stuff.The connections it enabled  me to make with like minded folk.I "needed" to record our days,it was compulsive.
Over the last few months I have fallen out of love a little.

I often get frustrated because I can't find the right words to convey things in the way I would like. I don't know if people are able to read what I write in the way I intended it.I look at the other blogs out there that are writing such inspirational posts.Some of the posts about the Badman situation have been amazing.I suppose I have been feeling a little inadequate:-/

I toyed with the idea of quitting or having a break.I felt like I had lost my way. This was never intended as an"educational" record.It was set up because I got so much from reading other blogs and finding those that I could identify with.Others who were autonomous,or those that had an only child,with the anxieties that can cause.Those who were trying new parenting methods.Those who made me laugh.Those who provided me with inspiration.
I thought that there might be someone out there who could relate to us and our journey.


The more I thought it through, the more I realised I wanted to keep on going.My reasons for doing it now are more personal I think.

I have felt recently that there are only so many posts you can do about the day to day things we do because we aren't out and about visiting places.We haven't curriculum type things to share.Millys days are relaxed and not always full of things to blog about!

I have spent some time over the last few weeks just reading back through old posts I have done.I "see" Emily in this blog.I see the growth she has made since she came out of school.I see her passions the things that are important to her.I see how our journey into unschooling and a more peaceful and respectful parenting has brought us to this place.

I have found by recording our days on here it has allowed me to see Emily's strengths/passions in a much clearer light.It is too easy for me to focus on the TV watching or computer use as wasting time,missing the "education" that comes from all sources.It is easy to dismiss the creative process or assimilation of facts that happens when swinging in your hammock, staring dreamily at the sky :-)

No one knows Emily as well as we do.Not just because we spend so much time with her,but because we listen to her,we talk to her.We value her opinion.She has a voice in the way things are done..She is a fully paid up member of this family.She is not waiting to grow up,to become a person.She is a child, but she is a person .She is growing, with our guidance.She does not have to be a grown up before she can make grown up decisions.We trust her to make the right decisions for her.She is "learning" by living a life that involves real challenges and real outcomes.

There is so much about the learning process that is hidden,we can't measure with tests,but being with our children so much of the time, we can see with our eyes and hear with our ears.

This blog is my hearing aid and maginfying glass when I need it ;-)

I am exactly where I need to be......

I have been feeling really well for the last few days :-) I have been energetic,confident,happy,loving.

I have been thankful for so many things.I have felt so incredibly sure that I am on the right path in my life.
I wish I could bottle this feeling :-)

I find myself singing to the radio and dancing around the kitchen.Problems are not getting me down, I see they are just challenges that need a solution,it is not the end of the world.I am in a really positive place.
I wanted to record this as a reminder on the days when things are not as joyous!

I am not in this space every day.Life is not without it's difficulties at the moment.M.E. still causes limitations for me and I am having so many hot sweats during the night that I am not getting anywhere enough sleep:-/ Some days I feel it is an impossible task to get out of bed.thinking about going out of the door,seeing anybody, seems like too much hard work.I am being much kinder on myself and accepting those days and doing what I need to do (so long as Emily is happy to be at home otherwise I will make the effort) I no longer allow myself to think it will be forever,it will pass.

Somehow I am managing to stay positive! I have had a couple of healing sessions with Rezwana and after the last one I came home on cloud nine.I know something has shifted.

I accept each day as it comes.I realise, even though it may be hard sometimes, that growth comes from difficult times.I know that this euphoric feeling of joy may pass for a time but I now have a strong belief that it will return!

Emily just came down and out of the blue ( not knowing what I was writing about said "If you ever need another word for joy use Bliss"(she is listening to Breaking Dawn and had heard it on there) That is what I am feeling at the moment,
BLISS, long may it last :-))

I heard this song quite a while ago and enjoyed listening to it.I was having a conversation with my lovely friend Maria and it came up again today. I found it tonight and read the lyrics and it all just fits :-)



Exactly

by Amy Steinberg
i am exactly where i need to be
i need to be exactly where i am
i am a blessing manifest
i can undress the moment
naked time unwinds beneath my mind
and from within i find the kind of beauty
only i can find
i am exactly where i need to be
i need to be exactly where i am
i am surrendering so willingly
to be the perfect me inside this now
and truly how else could it be
destiny she blesses me
destiny she blesses me
when i try to fight or run
i only wind up back at square one
when i think i know what’s best for me
fate she takes me back
to exactly where i need to be
i am exactly where i need to be
i need to be exactly where i am
i am divinely timed and shining brightly
yes i believe that there’s a purpose just for me
yes i believe that we are light
and we shine infinitely
i am exactly where i need to be
i need to be exactly where i am
i am not aimlessly existing see
i am in perfect harmony with universal energy
and i am truly free when i accept my own divinity
look at me look at me closely
tell me exactly what you see
if you are paying attention you will now begin ascension of the mind
why, because if you look at me just right you will see a kiss
for it took a kiss to make this breath exist
the intersection of my mother’s and father’s lips
to touch twist and perfect what came next to produce me
look at me and you will see the breeze
the breeze it took to shake the leaves to make
my mother’s hair move, my father dare touch it and say
please may i have a kiss
yes the breeze made me exist
and if you want to get even deeper into this
when you look at me you will see a cloud
the cloud it took to form the storm to make the breeze shake the leaves to
inspire the liplock – yes a raindrop will pop up out these words
you heard me right
if you look at me close enough you will see a dark stormy night
and what is night
well night ain’t night without it’s polar opposite of sunlight
so if you watch the way my hands sway
you’ll see the light of day
and everyday is a testament to the sediment of the earth’s core
it’s ever spinning enormous force so if you look at me just right
you will see a spark of the source
but the most fascinating thing about this, and it’s true
is that if you look at me just right, you see you
it’s only what you perceive how you believe the space between
you and me
that creates reality
so when i sing you can feel it
when i cry you can heal it
when i speak words you can be the words i speak by singing with me
peace love free, peace love free
peace love free, peace love free
peace love free, peace love free
peace love free, peace love free
when i try to fight or run
i only wind up back at square one
when i think i know what’s best for me
fate she takes me back
to exactly where i need to be
and when i am alone and full of fear
i just remember the rising sun always appears
everyday miracles, miracles that i see
well they take me back
they take me back
they take me back
to exactly where i need to be

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Emily Humour :-)

I went upsatirs to see if Emily was awake and found her listening to Eclipse on her MP3.

"I have just been thinking how lucky I am to have you in my life"I said .

"Have you had a knock on the head then" she replied with a chuckle.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Making a wish come true and painting,recycling and more painting!


Some time ago Emily spent quite a lot of time cutting out images of furniture from a catalogue and sticking them into a scrapbook she was making.Later that day she asked if we could paint her room.My initial reaction was to say no.It seemed no time at all since we had papered and decorated her room and it was still in good shape. I have checked since I started writing this and it was 2003,how time flies! I  listened to her explaining about wanting a double bed and could tell  it was so important to her.The decorating we had done was quite girly and she was wanting a much more grown up room.
I didn't say no.
 I explained we didn't have the money right then, but we could set things in motion and work out ways to save.

We measured and drew up a plan of her room.We looked through a catalogue and she chose the things she would like in her room.We took the measurements and made cardboard cutouts to scale and stuck them on the "room" in the position she wanted them.Milly was with me throughout this process and helped with measuring and looking up the measurements for the furniture in the catalogue,and cutting out the shapes.She had got a little fed up and wandered off to play when it took me ages to work out how to do a scale drawing (never had to do one since school and have, of course, forgotten all that info) of the room dimensions! I wanted it to be big enough for her to get a sense of how it would look.I had trouble finding just the right scale to do that, without  it being too complicated . I faffed around and got there eventually!

 We added up how much it would be and wrote out the budget.
Then came the biggy,where would the money come from? We brainstormed and wrote all the likely money making and money saving ideas down.Items that could be sold were also recorded .We had a discrepancy between the two figures of about 50% .We hung it in a prominent position in the kitchen and set about saving the money. Milly was really keen to have it done for her birthday and chose not to have the usual party so the money could go to the bedroom fund.It was a tall order as the final cost figure was quite high. As we had worked it all out together she could see it in black and white on our plan .I always like to have a positive attitude about these things though and believe a way will be found,however as this was really important for her to have it done for her birthday I did talk to her about what we could do if we were not able to finish it all off as she wanted .
Now we had a plan and a date to work to.

We began saving and then after Christmas (with a decent amount saved but no where near enough to complete her room ) Milly was watching TV one day and fell in love with the style of the bedroom of one of the characters in the programme.She found the scene on BBCi showing the room and printed it out for me to see.The furniture was an eclectic mix(very Emily!) of very old fashioned painted pieces and I suggested that a good way to do that would be to go to Impact and buy used furniture to recycle and paint.

So that's what we have done and over the last few weeks we have visited Impact housing and sourced a dressing table for £20, a bedside table for £5, a cabinet for £15 and a bookcase for £25.






 The dining room table is a painting production line!!





The dark purple gloss Emily chose is looking much better than I anticipated :-)
I will post pictures of the finished articles.

We have found bedding and curtains,bedside lamp and a curtain pole in a style she likes but within the budget.Milly fell in love with a black chandelier in B&Q that cost £100.We scoured the Internet and found one in Wilkinsons for £35, a large chunk of our budget. After discussion Milly decided to forgo some of the other things she had on her list as she really wanted the chandelier.

 A major stumbling block is that we need to sell Emily's cabin bed so we can put up a double bed.The double bed is the most important thing for her! The sale of her bed was in the plan to partly fund the purchase of her new one.

On Friday we bought the bookcase from Impact and then went off to Bensons beds to get an idea of prices.There was a special offer on one and she loved the black metal frame,So perfect for her purple Gothic fairy palace.
We talked about the problem of her old bed and how it could be weeks before it sells and how we could put ads in the paper as well as all the other areas we had thought of (we have already discussed the possibility that she would have the room all furnished and decorated by her birthday sleepover with Emily,but might have to use her old bed ).I said we couldn't afford to buy the bed as we just didn't have that amount in savings,and I won't put anything on the credit card unless I have the funds to pay it off,I explained the reasons for this and had a chat about interest payments and debt.

After brainstorming other possibilities we asked  if the costs could be spread interest free over the year as we had done with our bed (she had said she would use her pocket money each month). We were told this couldn't be done for the amount we were spending. She then remembered her bank account.This is an account we set up for her to save birthday money or Xmas money (there is rarely much put in now as she tends to spend it :-0) and we put in £5 a month (outside the pocket money she receives) as savings.There was more than enough in to cover the cost of the bed and the plan  is to put all the money earned over the next few months from bed sale, toy sales and car boot sales back in to her account to cover the cost.

I ordered it today and it will be delivered Monday the first.It does come flat packed so it will store in the spare room until her bed goes.We can't dismantle her bed (which is the only way to move it from her room) so that anyone interested in buying it can see it up.

Alan and Emily have been painting the walls.




The initial thought Emily had was a red and black theme but out of the blue she changed it to Purple and black.I have suggested silver as an accent to brighten things up a little and she agreed. We have to spray some of her picture frames silver and do some art to go in them for her walls.There is a chrome bedside lamp and Cd player and I will get some cushions or make them if I can't find them cheap enough.
An Idea she had for a mural of the moon and a howling wolf on the wall next to her bed has since been
discarded,I am not too sure why she changed her mind on that one.

So this week will be more of the same as we continue painting walls and furniture.We hope to have it all finished and back together by next weekend.

 I like living with a "can do" mindset.In my experience ( over the last 2 or 3 years ) it is amazing how things slot into place when you have a positive attitude.I've found that being open to making a thing happen enables creative thinking for solutions and that compromise happens easily because of the genuine attempt to make something happen.

Emily would like a piano,we simply can't afford one but we are checking freecycle and putting the word out that we are keen to get one.I missed one on freecycle the other day but I have a great belief that there is one out there for us somewhere.It might require another brainstorming session to think up more ideas to make it happen :-)




Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Life lessons from a computer game?

 This morning,after a little TV and some imaginary games with her soft toys, Emily sat down for another go on poptropica.I sat with her for a while and watched her play.I showed her the tips and cheats page I had found and then went off to do some jobs.I kept coming back and sitting with her and would help her to read the tips when asked but generally just watched her/brought her food/water etc.She had been on a couple of hours when Al came back from shopping .She was getting a little frustrated as she was stuck in one section.He cleaned the mouse as it seemed to be sticking and the played for her to get past the stage she had got stuck.She happily went on again while he went off to paint some bargain basement dining chairs I had got months ago.

I finished what I was doing and sat with her.By now she was tired and getting frustrated.I talked to her and suggested a break for a while.She refused! She was getting very angry that she couldn't get to where she wanted to and needed to express it. My first instinct was to insist she came off it,I let that thought float through but ignored it and decided to help her get through it.

I began rubbing her back and she said to keep doing it because it helped to calm her.She was talking to herself all the time,one minute it was"I can't do this" " I am rubbish at this" and she was crying, then she would say " I can do this", " its only a game" "take deep breaths and focus" on and on the self talk went. Every time she fell back down she just got right back up again,there were lots of screams and at more than one point, tears,but she kept at it.

She moved quickly from screams and despair, through to a calmer response and then back again.She was adamant she didn't want to give up though and persisted.She kept going until she needed the loo and the break away was enough to come back to it with a little frustration released. She got to where she needed to be in the game soon after and moved on to another game.

At that point,when she was more open to suggestions,we talked about frustrations building and how beneficial saving the game and walking away could be.I also brought in her punch ball and gloves for her to use:-)

I left to walk Beauty and when I got back an hour later she was still on.She told me about the games she had mastered and tokens she had picked up.She had been flicking back and forth to the cheats tab, but had done quite a few of the games with no help at all.She continued on happily, taking short breaks, until teatime.

This was a big deal for a girl who normally runs a mile from anything that involves putting herself under that kind of pressure.It may only be a computer game but I do believe that the lessons she learnt about herself  and how she can make stressful situations easier will trickle into real life too ;-)

Nephew A came at teatime for a sleep over ........  SOO HAPPY TO HAVE HIM :) MY GENIUS COUSIN BY MILLIE :):):):) .........

I was sitting in the sun room on the sofa and started to write this (quarter to midnight) Emily came over and sat on one side of me .Then A came over with some of his drawings of guns and armour that he had designed.As I was looking at them and trying to take in the info on Kevlar and various other technical specifications of the materials he would use, Milly hijacked my post :-)

Anyhow,didn't get to finish it as we then went to find out if we had any cornflour to experiment with! A had a stress ball that had come apart and the goo he had brought with him from inside had similar properties to cornflour goo.It was pliable when handled but was rock hard when it was hit Unfortunately I didn't have any.Milly decided to paint and A found a spray bottle with some watered down paint we had used to snow paint and he used that to create a few pics.A then blew some touchable bubbles and we had fun with those for a while.Finally managed to sit and read the end of The lost Symbol when they went up at 12.30.

A good day all round.

Friday, 8 January 2010

Thursday

Millie has the virus I had last week and has a sore throat and flu type symptoms :-(

So the morning started with duvets brought down and a tired Millie watching TV.Music channels were the pick of day.I began downloading some music she had requested.The new Lady Ga Ga album and a couple of singles ,a new Katy Perry one and Empire state of mind by Alicia Keys and Jay Z.I love to see her musical tastes changing and growing.I enjoy listening to the music she likes and find out about the artists with her.I often talk about other (oldies) she may like and her teenage friend Millii also opens new sounds up to her.She does have a leaning toward a rock style.She is not limited to one genre though and there are classical tracks she hears that she enjoys, but she is not sitting listening to classical Cd's too often ;-) At the moment her fav track is a song from the anime film Spirited away (her fav film)



She got out a couple of boxed sets of Dr Who DVDs  and playing around with the menu on one, she found the audio navigation selection.After a while she announced she was very disappointed with the commentary given.She didn't feel it conveyed the scene in a very interesting way and she would not be happy if she was blind and had need to use it!!

As she was watching TV she was drawing and also did a quiz from the Pokemon annual she got for Christmas.

We have made a scrap book up with pictures from Emily's year in to give to my Mum and Dad.It is just a very cheap scrapbook with pics glued in, with funny comments I have written about them,but it is a lovely thing and I am sure it will give them a lot of pleasure to see all the photos.Today Emily decorated the paper to wrap it in so Alan could post it tomorrow.I included a copy of the poem about a wolf that she had written last week and a copy of a picture of a map she had made some weeks ago that showed her wolf world .They had admired  it when they had visited the day she had done it.

When I was finishing the scrapbook at the weekend I remembered a site a friend had used.Foto .com .She had done a book showing her visit to Austria when she did The Sound of Music tour with her pals.
I spent a long time putting a book together which should (when it arrives) be much more professional looking and nice as a keepsake for Mum and Dad.As there was an offer on to order a second book for half price, I also ordered one for Millie to keep :-)
We do have 6 scrapbooks that I made each year when she was small.We love to look back on them but it was a bit of a hassle sticking all the cinema stubs and birthday cards,pictures etc in and I ran out of steam when she was about 7.I still have a scrapbook with a mountain of stuff stored ready for glueing!
One day,maybe:-)

More music after lunch as she listened to her MP3.
We drafted a letter to Drue in America and started to think of things to put in her package.

In the afternoon she decided to go up and lay in bed and listen to a Cd.
I took the opportunity to browse and found a link to a free game called Poptropica whilst reading on a yahoo group.
Milly happened to come down for something as I was checking it out.
She has not taken to games much, apart from a little bit of club penguin and moshi monsters which she finds relatively easy.After an initial splurge on them she rarely goes on either now.
Her DS gets sporadic use, but only easy games like Dogz, where she feels no pressure.The vet practice game made her angry when she wasn't paid for treating an animal and she couldn't work out why.I do try to help her obviously but once she has made her mind up not to do something I may as well knock my head against a brick wall.She has other games for it too but as yet they don't interest her enough to go through the learning process! ..

As we started to explore Poptropica I realised it was the kind of game that got her heated with frustration:-( I geared myself up for what has normally been a short lived exploration once she realises the complexity of mouse control.
How wrong I was,she actually seemed to enjoy challenging herself! It did lead to frustrations and there were lots of very loud screams as she fell off some swaying bridge or other having made it to the top of the task!However I sat with her (NOT giving advice or asking her to read the help page etc as this is a sure fire way to get her to quit!!) and empathised with the difficulty she was experiencing,but focusing on the things she had done well to get to that point and she kept going.She really does have to do things her own way and over the years I have had to bite my tongue and then seen her work her own way round something.I may see an easier way that I would take or do, but the look on her face when she does it her way is priceless:-)
We sat for quite some time. When she got stuck one time and couldn't get out of a pool at the bottom of a shaft,she just managed to find a way to use something in her belongings bag to get her out and then created another character to play another game.There are ways to earn credits but she didn't want to go into that.If she goes on again I have found a cheats and tips website so that may help if I leave it on her favourites.She may go on again or she may not but we had great fun for the hours we did it and she has gained a little more confidence in her ability in these things:-)
 I made tea
POINTS® Value: 4.5
Servings: 4
Preparation Time: 10 min
Cooking Time: 20 min
Level of Difficulty: Easy
Use super-lean pork fillet for this fabulous dish.

Ingredients
5 spray low-fat cooking spray
500 g Pork Fillet, Raw, lean, (1lb 2oz), sliced
1 large onion(s), thinly sliced
150 ml cider, dry
150 ml apple juice, unsweetened (1/4 pint)
1 portion stock cube, vegetable
1 teaspoon grated ginger root, fresh
5 g lemon grass stems, (1 tsp) finely chopped
200 g apricots, (7oz) fresh, halved and pitted
1 pinch salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper, freshly ground black
15 g almonds, flaked (1/2oz)

Instructions

Heat a large frying pan and spray with low fat cooking spray. Add the slices of pork fillet and cook for about 1 minute on each side, or until seared and browned. Add the onion and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
Pour in the cider and allow it to bubble up for a few moments, then add the apple juice, stock cube, ginger and lemon grass. Heat until simmering, making sure that the stock cube has dissolved.
Add the apricots, reduce the heat and cook gently for 12-15 minutes. If the sauce liquid reduces too much, add a splash of water. Check the seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste.
Serve the pork sprinkled with the almonds.
Notes
You could use lean pork steaks instead of fillet – they tend to be a little cheaper.

I made oven roasted new pots (Very easy but lovely.Just a drizzle of olive oil and roasted slowly) spinach,broccoli and carrots to accomany it.

Emily and Alan played and even though she is under the weather she wanted a tickle/roughhouse session.
I went up after tea,whilst Alan washed up.She wanted to tickle and fight again! She is sooo strong,we had a good giggle, although I emerged disheveled and exhausted ;-)  then back down to watch the final part in the X Men series of films we had been watching the last few nights.
They went off to bed and I watched The F word final on 4 +1 and blogged.Emily couldn't sleep, so came down and watched the end of it with me and stayed up to watch celeb big brother while I started this post.









Thursday, 7 January 2010

Shadows and decoupage



A fab walk down the lane.
Playing with the camera on my phone :-)




Milly took this as we cuddled in the cold.She saw that our shadow looked like one person with three legs :-))



I have been working on a box for a wolf lover I know :-0
Take one of these.



Source and print of lots of these.



Glue and stick and glue some more.
(picture not good I am afraid,it really does look better in real life!)



Not finished yet.
I underestimated just how many images I would need! The cutting out takes forever!!
Will try to remember to take a picture of finished item,which I am informed is to be used as a special box for keepsakes.

Wolf Poem by Millie





A WOLF POEM BY MILLIE BAMBER


A wolf sits on a rock

a howl runs through the morning

a tap tap tap on the soft earth

a clack clack clack on the old oak tree

a blackbird rises its wings and flies

a drip drip drip on the old waterfall

a wolf ,new this time, regal, sits above a cave

a whimper from the forest

the wolfess her eyes bright howls into the morning light and waits for her cubs to return……….
 

Wednesday.....

It finally gets to a point in the night when I have time to myself and there just isn't enough time to fit in all the things I would like to do!  It always seems I have three or more things happening so I can fit them in :-)

At the moment, I am snuggled up in my bargain faux fur throw from Aldi ,very warm and well worth the 16,99 :-) I am watching The F word, fitting in a few text messages to family,and reading Dan Brown The Lost Symbol in the breaks.I have decided to leave the reading till I go in a bath as I am finding it just too difficult to put it down when the ad finishes.So as I have been wanting to blog I thought I would pop on and be able to tick that off :-)

I have had so many posts started in my head and a few may make it here but I have only a short window tonight so it will be a quick catch up.

The last few days have been spent at home Alan has had the car,it has been too dangerous to take the scooter cos we have finally got some snow!! Emily and I have been walking Beauty,I say walking but it has involved some fancy footwork to keep upright at times:-)) I have T'shirt,two fleeces,body warmer,scarf,gloves,and fur hat.Milly on the other hand has on two occasions been out with her PJ's over leggings and a baggy tshirt and one of Alan's fleeces on top.Unbelievably she takes the fleece off after a while and walks in her t'shirt!!

We have....

spent some time working through Dr Who quizzes and pokemon trivia in her annuals and reading some T.S.Elliot cat poetry.

Started a roman scroll using the t bag method.This is now dry and waiting the message and the wax seal.

Butterfly pictures,using paint then folding paper.

Snowball fights.

Sledging.

Watching X Men  Origins together on Monday night then starting the trilogy on Tuesday to be completed tomorrow.

Dog grooming.

A game of draughts instigated by Milly who really doesn't like games! She decided she didn't enjoy it after all so we quit it and moved on to something more enjoyable.

TV watching,snuggled on the sofa.

Lots of dressing up games on PC.

Ordering new shoes,boots and waterproofs online for Emily,my "little" girl is growing so much I am having to shop in the ladies section now!

Sadly missed meeting home ed group,weather played a part but I had Migraine anyway:-(

Can't remember much else but there has been laughing,tickling,playing just the usual stuff.......