"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, 30 May 2010

Fashion on a budget...

Milly on her way out to Youth Theatre this morning...
She humoured me when I asked for a photo as she was looking so lovely:-)
I had a  day shopping yesterday and managed to find this skirt in one of the charity shops.She teamed it with leggings for a double tartan look:-)

This is the look that says I was pushing my luck trying for more!

At the same shop I found four skirts for myself!!
The pictures don't do them justice.They are all new or very nearly new and in perfect condition.

The two above have a lot of sparkle detail :-)

Although this looks at first glane quite plain (and in need of ironing!)

It too has sparkle!

 This one is linen and looks sooo much better on than it does on the hanger...

Four pounds each! What a bargain.I am quite tall at five nine and have difficulty getting the right length in previously loved clothing:-) The good thing - aside from the price - is that they are all the perfect length...

I also saw this knee length shirt dress in another charity shop.It's in a nice thin material so will be cool - if we ever get any warm weather- but I can wear a t'shirt or strappy top under if it is cooler... 

I rarely wear heels but fell in love with these.

Cute button detail at the side ;-) Brand new and only seven pounds!
Now I will have to plan an evening out with Al so I can wear them....

Friday, 28 May 2010

Urgent request:-)

We are new to Facebook and Milly and I have found the joys of Petville and Zoo paradise!
She has asked me to see if any kind soul out there would like to become our friend/neighbour pleeeease ;-)

Email me at pixiemum@yahoo.co.uk if you or anyone you know can help :-)


Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Boring Ballet!!

Ok - according to Milly the Ballet was "BORING".Over two hours of being bored senseless...
Trying to find some positives - I asked if the costumes had been spectacular? "no!"
Was the music Beautiful? "no!"
Then I asked if she had fallen asleep ;-) No, but very nearly!
Giggling at this point, I asked if they had put in their earphones to listen to their MP3's! They hadn't - but had seriously considered it...

Oh well,at least they can say they have been and it wasn't for them.
I think Millie might like to go back and see another production of Sleeping Beauty later in the year,but my Milly uttered something about never again in her lifetime - so maybe not anytime soon for her then :-)

Monday, 17 May 2010

Ballet and a Funeral...

I have a marathon catch up post to do - probably not tonight though - we have been quite busy and I would like to get it down so I don't have a big gap when I look back!

I took Emily to Millie's house earlier.They are going off to The Theatre by the lake at Keswick to see Giselle.The theatre does free tickets for some shows and Maria had got a couple for tonight's show.Emily is then staying over and I will pick her up some time in the morning.I look forward to hearing what they think.Emily was very happy to go to keep Millie company but was concerned she might find it boring!!
In the car before I dropped her off we talked about it being a good opportunity to experience something new and it would be good to go in with an open mind.Life is all about exploring and we might never know what could engage us if we don't try different things.

I went on to the Weightwatchers meeting to get weighed and have put on two and a half pounds this week.I am annoyed with myself, but I have found it tough this week.My Nan died on Thursday and (understandably) I just haven't been focused.

Nana lives down in Yorkshire and was 91.We were due to see her next month,we haven't seen her since her 90th party in December.
She had a fall a couple of weeks ago and after a brief stay in hospital went back to her flat in a nursing home.She was admitted to hospital again after having a stroke last Tuesday and was in a bad way.She passed away peacefully in the early hours of Thursday morning.

She played a big part in my childhood...
Mum went back to work when I was about nine months old and Dad was abroad (RAF) so Nana looked after me.Throughout the years we often lived with her if we weren't travelling the globe/country with Dad.

Her and Harry (her second husband,my Grandad having died when I was two) took us out for days in their little Mini.I saw Herbie rides again with them and also The jungle book.They took us on so many other outings that Mum just couldn't have afforded to do.

Because Mum worked ,we (my two sisters and myself) spent many days during holidays with her.
She taught me how to make rag rugs,how to crochet,embroider and knit.Non of these skills have stayed with me! It was a way to keep us occupied during the long school hols and I was a rather unwilling participant...

I remember the pattern on her carpet in the living room vividly,we made games up where we couldn't step on various bits of the pattern and have to get from one side of the room to the other to win.
She was a fabulous cook/baker,and I have fond memories of cakes and scrummy meals.
I remember going once and she got me helping to make stuffed Marrow for lunch.Non of us was keen to try it (we had no choice about it of course, if you didn't eat it you were likely to get it for tea ) but it turned out to be delicious. However she made the worst porridge ever!! It was so thin and she put salt in it,put me off it for many years;-)

Her funeral is next Tuesday.

On Friday I was really tired and was in bed by nine.During the day as we had talked Milly had been unsure about going to the funeral.She said she didn't want to see everyone she loves being sad :-(  During the evening while I was in bed and Alan was watching TV she sat at her Laptop and researched funeral poems.She found this one by Mary Elizabeth Frye.She remembered it had been in an episode of Casualty.She wrote it out .

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am in a thousand winds that blow,
I am the softly falling snow.
I am the gentle showers of rain,
I am the fields of ripening grain.
I am in the morning hush,
I am in the graceful rush
Of beautiful birds in circling flight,
I am the star shine of the night.
I am in the flowers that bloom,
I am in a quiet room.
I am in the birds that sing,
I am in each lovely thing.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there. I do not die.
Initially she wanted to read it out at the funeral.After some thought she decided she might get stage fright and decided against that.I said I would talk to my Mum - who was travelling to meet with her Sister and Brothers to plan the service the next day - and ask them if they could print it in the order of service.
They decided it would be nice to have copies made and have them on the pews- with a note on letting everyone know that Emily had chosen it - there will be an opportunity for her to read it out (if she feels able to) on the day.
My Mum had a difficult relationship with her Mum,all her children did actually.
Mum travelled down to see her in the hospital a couple of days before she died but Nana didn't know who she was.The thing that upset me -  for my Mums sake - was that they never had the chance to talk,to forgive and make peace.
Patterns repeat themselves in families,Alan and I set out on our parenting journey to change unhealthy patterns set in both our families.
Another reminder, if one was needed, to keep working at our relationship with Emily.
Rest in peace Nana xxxx

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Sketchy catch up!!

The start of the week was spent quietly at home.Not much to report on those days,we were kept busy but what we actually did has not left any lasting impression on me:-) I know we had lots of conversations on wide ranging issues (not at all unusual) but on this occasion I do remember thinking about purposive conversation again.

 Wednesday was the Home Ed group meet up at Maria's house. After everyone had gone we stayed on.Millie was coming for a sleepover to ours - while she went to her daily babysitting job - I whizzed into town to do a bit of shopping and Emily and D played.

Back home and the girls spent most of the evening doing their own thing - I think this involved planning a duologue that they would like to do at the Youth theatre.We went to bed around midnight and I then had to go in to ask them to stop chatting about 1.15! They were practising their duologue and Emily was performing her part with gusto:-))

Up and out - to travel to the pool - on Thursday.They were in the water for over 2 hours! Playing their games and swimming around the deep end.Only a brief stop for some food during that time.
We got back to Millie's so she could go off to do her babysitting job and Emily and D played while I chatted with M. A feeling of de ja vu this week as we took Millie back to ours for tea and then we went out to the Buddhist meditation course again.

Friday was back to pick up Millie and off to the pool again.We were joined by another couple of home ed families and they spent another 3 1/2 hours in the pool!
I had some company on the poolside and had an enjoyable time chatting.

Saturday involved housework and a long walk for Alan and Emily ( Emily has just read this and said she doesn't consider it a long walk! I think of an hours walk as a long walk!!) can't think of what else went on!Oh yes! We made the chocolate fudge cake to take to the party at my Mum's.

Sunday was Youth theatre again and Alan was taking Emily while I got some paperwork sorted and other bits and bobs done.
Milly had been very nervous the night before.She was tired (who would have guessed after all that activity!) and consequently less able to deal with the emotions.She isn't keen on the early start either! We have to leave around 9.15 and she likes a while to come round slowly, so wants to be up at least an hour before we go.She is worried about remembering lines mostly,she said she also feels embarrassed doing some of the activities as well.
She said that she didn't want to go.
Alan talked about how he felt when he first started Tai chi - how embarrassed he was - how far out of his comfort zone it was to be acting like a tree or some of the other moves:-)
We didn't try to push her into going but we did ask her to think hard about it.It would be a shame to give up without giving it time for the initial nerves to be overcome.

She got up the next morning in a positive frame of mind and went.She enjoyed it and as yet hasn't mentioned not going this week.I think we will just take it a week at a time and see how we go.

On to my Mum's,just in time to sit down for Roast beef and Yorkshire pudds.My mum's butcher supplies the best beef I have tasted, it was delicious. As we were eating Emily had said how delicious it was and after another few mouthfuls she said it was fabulous.My sister jokingly asked if she could come up with any more superlatives and Emily said stupendous!

We all had some chocolate cake(it was even better this time) and then sat around talking.Milly took my phone out and took a picture of my sister E .Then she took a close up of E's eye and went round the room taking close up pictures of all our eyes.She had devised a guessing game:-)
We had so much fun guessing whose eye the pictures were of.Seems as though it would be easy but it wasn't!Great game and lot's of laughter.
Here's the one I took of Emily's eye.

I made a mistake and got her hair in the shot.The ones she took were much harder to work out:-)

Monday had been earmarked for quite some time as a day off for me.Emily and Alan took Beauty off for a long walk up a big hill and I spent the day in bed!! I read and meditated and snoozed and read some more .I caught up on programmes on BBCi,4oD and ITV player.I really need these days every so often,completely switch off,not have to think about anything - no meals to plan and prepare - just relax....

Today the car was having it's MOT and a service so Emily and I got the bus into town to do a bit of shopping.I have only been well enough to drive again for a couple of years and when she was little she always used to love the bus ride,she still does :-)

Home ed group at the farm tomorrow.Must remember to take two changes of clothing for Emily.There's woodland and water, many opportunities for messy wet activities:-)

Saturday, 1 May 2010

My favourite soup recipe!

I love this soup,it is very low in fat (1 point on the weightwatchers plan), creamy,tasty,satisfying and a big point in it's favour is that it is so simple to make:-)

Squash red pepper and soft cheese soup.
This will make 4 good portions.

1 butternut squash diced and put into a roasting pan with one onion cut into quarters,1 red pepper,seeded and sliced,spray with oil and add a sprinkle of rosemary.Roast for around 35 minutes until you have some colour on the veg.

The original recipe calls for the onions to be softened first in a pan and then add the veg and stock and cook for 20/25 mins,I find roasting the veg gives it a deeper flavour but to save time the hob way still makes a nice soup.

Put it all into a large pan and add 2 pints of stock (I use a chicken stock cube but you could use vegetable).Bring to the boil and then simmer for around 20 minutes.
Add 100gm low fat soft cheese and blitz with a hand blender.I add some chilli flakes,but this is not essential.
 I like it with Kallo savoury rice cakes and have some houmous and crudites on the side.