"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, 28 November 2010

Sunday and fingers crossed...

Busy, busy here today :-)

Packing and cleaning ready to go away to Argyll.
Here... to be precise.

I rang this morning to check if they had had snow. Only 8 inches or so!!
The guy said they have had more in one day than they usually get all year :-)
At the time we spoke it was still snowing heavily and it was forecast to do so all day.Luckily they are not far from the main road and it is all passable with care.Will check back tomorrow before setting off...

We have only had an inch or so here.The kennels we take Beauty and Socks to is a bit remote though and the (long) farm track is only passable with a four wheel drive.Alan will have to park up and trek the mile and a half carrying the cat basket and leading Beauty, with a rucksack full of her bones ( she is fed on a raw food diet so we have to take our own with us) on his back.Luckily he is not phased by that at all and just accepts it will be his morning walk...

So, the snow is making things a little difficult for us but the hot tub is calling, the thought of walking along the loch and in the forest means it is a trip worth doing.

We are taking DVD's and books and games and don't intend to travel far at all.We will probably visit Helensburgh as we spent the first years of our married life at the Naval base there.Apart from that the plan is to totally chill out with plenty of walks and long soaks in the hot tub:-) I have made extra portions each meal this week and have frozen the leftovers to take with us so I will not have to cook at all :-)
Fingers and toes crossed the weather is kind to us for the journey ...

We can come back refreshed and raring to go - we will need to be - we have to tackle the mountain of boxes we had to take out of the loft so it could be insulated.We cleared some bags to charity and some to the rubbish, the rest are filling the dining room at the moment, we can't see the table at all.We want to take the opportunity to sort it now or it will just sit up there for years again.

I will have to get cracking and sell the bags and bags of clothes and toys we have got from the various stages of Emily's life!
Ebay and car boot sales...

 Oh, then there is Christmas to think about - haven't started that at all!
It's going to be full on when we return.
Batteries will be on full charge to tackle it though :-)

Friday, 26 November 2010

A quiet day - with added wobble!

It's so cold outside today. It was sunny this morning but that has given way to grey cloudy skies - maybe, just maybe - we will get a share of the snow that is falling elsewhere ;-)

Milly is unwell today.She has been under the weather for a while now.She has had a period of growth and in Emily's cycle that is nearly always followed by a time for relaxing and just being at home.A cough and cold have crept in and that period of cocooning has lasted longer than is usual.

 Alan has been able to have the car this week and we have stayed at home.Our days have been spent quietly.I went for a short walk with Beauty on Wednesday afternoon - Milly was happy to be left for half an hour.She was tucked up in bed listening to a story tape. She had the phone with her so she could reach me if needed.The last two days I have not been able to go as Milly has not wanted to be left.Apart from that I have just pottered at home and kept Milly supplied with food and drinks and sat with her or played when she wanted me to:-)

I could have gone out for a walk when Alan got home but it is dark by then and I don't feel as comfortable being out on the country lanes on my own with Beauty.Last year a couple of dogs ran out of the darkness and attacked her!

This afternoon I was preparing some butternut squash and other veg to roast in the oven.I got to thinking about how long the recipe ( for spicy bean burgers) was going to take .Once the veg was chopped it needed to be roasted for 45 min's or so.Then I needed to mix all the ingredients with spices and leave for a couple of hours to marinate so all the flavours developed.Then they could be cooked. I am not a bad cook and sometimes I do enjoy cooking but quite often I find myself wanting to rush through it - as though it isn't an important thing to be doing and my time should be better spent.For some reason today - probably due to the slow ( and seemingly unproductive ) week we have had -the feeling was very strong and I felt agitated.

 When I put the veg in the oven I took Milly a mug of hot chocolate and a snack and sat down here with my cuppa and snack. I decided to spend a little time and finish a post I had started to write about our trip to London but realised all the pictures are on Milly's laptop which is away for repair!

So I started writing this instead...

I often find - when we are not doing much and are at home more - the wobbles occur!
Even though Milly is unwell at the moment the thoughts like, I'm not doing enough -I should be planning more activities - going places - meeting up with people - introducing new things to Milly - creep in.
The saying 'Live every day as if it were your last' came into my mind as I was chopping the veg. That evoked images of a life of adventure - rock climbing, abseiling, travelling, out and about, busy, never missing an opportunity to explore, fitting in as many things as possible.
What would I actually do if it was my last day - would I want to be busy - packing as many things into my last day as possible?
I thought it through and I realised that - aside from the obvious limitations I have to tackle rock climbing  *grin* -  for me 'living each day as if it is your last' has more to do with how I  live my life rather than how much I do.

 I want to be more mindful - live in each moment.
To appreciate and enjoy the people and activities that make my life worth living..To treat myself well - not in a material way - perhaps just by giving myself the opportunity to lay in a long, hot, bath reading my book and not feel I am wasting time and being lazy.To be fully present and enjoy the cuddles and time spent playing with Milly .To appreciate the fact that I am able to spend my days at home as I do because of my wonderful, supportive husband.
To find joy in all the things ( cooking and cleaning included ) I do every day.

"We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves."

Guatama Buddha

I read a quote on a lovely new blog I found yesterday that ties in with my thoughts.

"Instead of wondering when your next vacation is you ought to set up a life you don't need to escape from." Godin

We are looking at our life and trying to find ways to follow our dream, to cut out any causes of stress and live life the way that suits us.We want to simplify things and try to find a way to earn a living that enables us to spend as much time together as possible.We don't want to look back with regret that we didn't do all that was possible to make that happen.
I do think life is an adventure, I think every day there are exciting things to see and new things to learn.They can be small things though - things that are easy to miss if we live at a fast pace.Some of us need the quiet times,our personalities require it.
Balance is the key for me -I will accept the slow, calm, quiet times as being as important and worthwhile
  as the busier, active days.
Living life to the fullest does not mean packing every moment full of activity.I believe it is about getting the most amount of pleasure from whatever it is you are doing.
Wobble over!
I'm going to go back to preparing the meal with a different attitude.I'm going to enjoy the process and not rush through it.How wonderful for me to have the luxury to spend time in our warm, cosy, home and spend time lovingly preparing a meal for those that mean the most to me.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

I focus on what's really important in life!

I have been feeling very edgy lately - don't know why - just unsettled and unhappy...

After a very grumpy day I sat to have a cup of tea with Alan when he got home from work.We talked - not a deep or emotional talk - just day to day things
.I told him how sad I was feeling and he listened without attempting to fix anything for me, he held me close and I felt heard ...

We all went out in the wild and windy night to walk Beauty.We held hands and Milly told us a story the whole way round.

After food was made and eaten I set about cleaning the living room. As I was dusting near the computer I picked one of the Inner peace cards I keep on my desk...

The back of the card reads...

Quality rather than appearance

ethics rather than rules

integrity rather than domination

knowledge rather than achievement

serenity rather than acquisitions....

Good things to focus on I think :-)

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Sunday and a slideshow...

Must blog about London!!

That is going to take longer than I have at the mo.I have managed to get pictures up on facebook and will endeavour to record it on here this week.

Today was going to be a full day of sorting through a bag of Emily's old clothes to list them on Ebay.Very shortly after waking Milly asked if we could do another set up with her Emily strange figures...

A couple of weeks ago I downloaded one of the Emily the strange audio books for Milly to take on holiday to London.She LOVED the story.When we got home she printed off images and made a collage to hang on her bedroom door .Then she printed off pictures of Emily and laminated them and carried them around with her wrapped in a flannel. We played games with them standing them up and acting out scenes with them. Here are the Emily's and her cats - and the accessories milly has made - stuck on card with blue tac to ensure they don't get bent...

We were playing with them yesterday - I needed to get things ready for our bonfire tea and  mentioned that she could use some card and place the figures on it to make a scene and photograph it to make a comic style book.- I was careful not to do much more than mention the option, as it is often enough to turn her off if I get too involved in the possible outcome. Milly adapted my idea and made a kind of stage set up.That then became a whole afternoon of setting a scene up and photographing it and then making a new blog to record the many pictures on.

Today we started around twelve o'clock.I had mentioned the possibility of doing a slide show yesterday but she wasn't keen - today she said yes when I offered it up again.I suggested I could do a story board to give us a rough idea of where her story was going and to give us a guide to which pictures to use where in the final slide show.Instead of drawing it out - too time consuming for Emily - I wrote it out scene by scene as she set up the action and got the shots :-)

I had taught myself how to do slideshows last year - I spent hours at the computer perfecting them - I still have things to learn but that experience meant things happened quickly today and Milly stayed with it! She did ask me to promise I would stop and just put the pictures on her blog if the process was moving too slowly for her and she asked me to stop....

With changes of scenery and finding props in the Playmobil box we spent a fabulous afternoon together.The final show was finished around 6.00 pm.
Forgive me for any spelling mistakes and there are parts where things move along a little faster than would be ideal but it has been a loooong day:-))

Here for your enjoyment Is Emily's Strange nightmare...
Copy write Emily Bamber Fantasy

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Saturday snapshot ...

 11.20 on a sunny, Saturday morning

There is bread rising...

There is soup making....

There are the usual tasks to do...

There are gutters to be cleared...

And one of us is catching up on some sleep.... Guess who that might be:-))

Friday, 5 November 2010

This moment...

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember