Posts in random randomness
How We Do Things

::Complex photoshoots take place here...mostly involving yarn and food (sometimes both in the same shot)

yarn

:: A combination of an over the door shoe organiser and old jam jars makes a great children's craft supply organiser (whilst shoes most often lay piled at the bottom of the stairs, making it impossible to open the front door all the way).

06Jan2010_5607

::'Grumpy' is Ellis' favourite new word.  And if he doesn't want to do something, he's "sick and needs to lie down".  Where does he get these things?

::These shelves from ikea make great book display/library book collection so I don't pay Stirling Council even more money in fines (Ok, so that doesn't work that well, but, you know, I consider my library fines charitable donations at this stage).

06Jan2010_5612

:: Seashells are our bath toy of choice (when I am able to hide the sharks).

06Jan2010_5619

Hmmm...feeling a bit grumpy this morning, think I'll go lie down.

Big City

Slowly, slowly, I am coming back to life and re-entering the world after months of sickness.  To celebrate that fact (and my birthday), Kevin whisked us to the beautiful city of Edinburgh for a night.  Ellis got to stay overnight with his beloved Tantie and Kev and I slept in a hotel...in the same bed WITHOUT two-year old sized feet kicking us in the face.  Bliss (though of course we missed E terribly, spent most of our time apart talking about him and he got extra snuggles when he came into our bed last night...absense certainly does make the heart grow fonder).

edinburgh castle

just us

chocolate

bread

door knobs

Maybe it was the fact that I have been holed up in bed and ventured no further than Stirling in almost 2 months.  Maybe it was the fact that the sun shone and the weather was crisp and perfectly autumnal.  Maybe it was the fact that Stirling is less shiny than it used to be, but I re-fell in love with Edinburgh this weekend.

I always have said I am more of a country mouse than a city girl, but sometimes I do wonder.  Having Ellis means I am more and more aware of how limited the offerings are in the area for basic things...even local food, decent activities, even somewhere to meet friends as E runs around when the weather is poor are all hard to come by.  In Edinburgh, we saw so many people like ourselves and so many things we love--green grocers, museums, play areas, parks, gardens, theatre shows, art, children's activities. 

For now, it is just an idea.  We are firmly rooted here for the time being, but maybe these country mice need a bit more frequent exposure to big city life.

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Huge thank you to Kerstin a) being a wonderful friend and b) letting us borrow her camera so there can be something pretty on the blog.

Also, thank you to all of you for your amazing and thoughtful comments on the post about homeschooling.  It has given me so much to think about.  I keep re-reading the comments and getting new insights into our own thinking on the subject.

Oh and wish me luck...I am back at work today. 

4x4

4 Things You May Not Have Known About Me:
1. I can only cycle with one hand when its my left hand is holding the handlebars.  I can not remove my left hand from steering or I swerve into on coming traffic.

2. I can not sew in a circle or curve, but I can only crochet in the round.

3. Every time I have started a new job, something semi-calamitous happens on the first day or at the interview: soaked to the bone in a thunderstorm on the way there, viral conjunctivitis, one of the members of the interview panel falls asleep, kicked by a client...its a running joke around these parts.

4. I only watch movies with happy endings, can eat an entire container of sweet popcorn at the cinema and think the previews are the best bit.

4 Things That Have Delighted Me Recently
1. This postcard from Claire!  It made a really dreadful day end with a silver lining!  Thank you.

claire's postcard

2. The way Ellis says "there you are" and eats so that almost every inch of his face is covered in whatever he is devouring.

3. Kevin, Ellis and I cycling back from a barbecue after a great day with wonderful new friends.

4. A new washing line so I can hang out even more clothes to dry when we have sun...if we have sun.

4 Things I Made This Long Weekend:
1. A house-warming gift of a linen bread bag and a laminated recipe of my favourite bread recipe.

housewarming

(yes, I still have all of my appendages after carving the bread stamp!)

2. 3 new leaf ipod/mobile phone covers as gifts to send around the world.

3. Food: Bread, potato salad twice, carrot salad, eggs, grilled sweet potato, pizza.

4. The Bed

4 Things I am Looking Forward To On This Short Week:

1. 6 Hours on a train through the highlands to meetings in Inverness and back.  Work on the way there, re-reading Gift of Good Land on the way home.

2. Undertaking my first assignment for my Unravelling e-course. 

3. Making my first batch of cheese...will it be mozzarella or ricotta???

4. Putting in a fabric order with my new pay pal balance from selling on ebay...fabricworm, here I come!

What do you do...
...with a bucket of snails collected from the strawberry patch? P1070447

Hold a snail race, of course:

snail race

The winner (and the losers) get re-homed in the woods, safely away from fruit and vegetables
P1070463

We only realised later that you are supposed to race them in a circular track starting from the centre to the perimeter...would have been much more practical as the vast majority of the snails gave up under the pressure and scattered.  I guess Scottish snails don't have a competitive streak.

***no snails were harmed in the making of this blog post***

Seven

So, reading the last few posts, I realise how negative they all sound, so here are some random thoughts from the last few days:

1.  On my way into work yesterday morning, I started composing a poem to my washing machine (if Ktae Bush can do it, why can't I).  It seems my poetic skills aren't very good and I only got as far as:
Washing Machine, Washing Machine
Your make my dirty laundry so clean
You are 20 years old and smell of mould
But to get a new model'd be obscene

Don't worry.  I am not giving up my day job

2. Ellis is convinced that choo choos go in the sky.  He will not be told otherwise.  I have yet to meet the person who can argue successfully with a two year old.  As an aside, apparently when I was 2, I used to argue with my oldest brother who is 11 years older than I am.  T is logical and persuasive, but I am stubborn and he used to give up in frustration.  I am beginning to understand...

3. I think I have to give up red wine (sob, sob).  If I have so much as a glass these days, I wake up feeling sick.  Someone may as well cut off my left arm. 

4. we tried taking a "fun family foto" last night.  This is what we came up with:

P1040222
5. My house, which normally only falls into the disgraceful catagory from Thursday onward, hit this catagory on a Tuesday night.  Now the choice...do I attempt to rectify?  Or just give up and live in (marginal) squalor?

6. E Man is not a happy bunny this morning.  I can confirm that spirited/high need children are a wonderous gift to humanity.  However, on the days where the extreme sensitivity and tearfulness come out, its a challenge.  I think this afternoon we will go and take a long walk somewhere wooded.  That usually helps.

7.  If you haven't seen it already.  I really recommend reading Kate Evan's article in the Independent yesterday about miscarriage.  It is beautiful and touching and articulates so clearly the loss that women feel when you lose a baby in pregnancy. http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-wellbeing/features/miscarriage-the-loneliest-grief-of-all-1516750.html

IRRATIONAL

I am afraid of the Wii. I can't look at it without thinking that it is a very clever way to infiltrate all levels of Western Middle-Class society. Think about it, little boxes with remotes and radio waves that hook up to the global network (aka the internet). I am certain that someone will one day emit some sort of a signal that will brain wash us all into doing something evil. I am afraid to play it. Really.