Posts in simple pleasures


This is the view from my washing line.  I liked hanging out washing at the old house.  I actually think I might love it here. The only problem is that its quite a posh neighbourhood, so I feel like I need to be dressed to hang out my washing...flip flops and jammies doen't seem to cut it.



I swear I cleaned this room mere moments before this photo was taken. Kevin thinks I just make up the cleaning so it seems like I do something all day.  I think its lucky he's still alive after 10 years. 



Theo sleeps in a baby hammock. All day.  He loves it.  Except between the hours of 4pm and 3am, when he doesn't.




We eat a lot of eggs.  A lot.  Well, I don't really eat that many.  Its because when I lived in Calcutta there was a flood and I was stuck in my accomodation and all they served us was eggs for two weeks.  Deep fat fried, curried eggs was my breaking point.  Of course I get a child that loves to eat eggs above all else.




Georgia loves Theo. As in Hugo the Abominable Snowman "I will love him pat him and squeeze him and call him George" sort of way.  



Ellis loves him to, but I am less worried about Theo being literally smothered with love. 



My life is filled with Lego.  We've graduated to itty bitty lego.  Is it wrong to hate it? It'd suck it up with the vacuum, but then I'd have to listen to how all the pieces are missing. 



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 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



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.

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. 

Simple Pleasures: Taste

There are so many foods I love, but for me the pleasures comes notso much from the food itself but a few key elements that make a meal an experience...

I love when food triggers a memory. The moment my first peas of the season are ready
They'll be thrown instantly into a pot to make the Venetian rice and peas recipe from the cookbook we bought on our honeymoon.  I am transported back to that crazy floating flooded city, being continually lost and eating more risotto and pizza I thought possible.  It also happens to be Ellis' favourite food.

Or breaking bread with good friends as we spend an afternoon creating and chatting (oh and the first day its warm enough to drink Rose wine, isn't too bad either)


Or a summer of eating outside (when its not raining, the midges aren't biting and we don't have gale force winds, of course), with the South African where he feels most at home, next to a Braai (BBQ)


Pleasure comes from looking in an empty fridge and pulling out the dregs and making something delicious and healthy for my family (like this grated carrot salad with lemon, garlic and green onions)

Simple Pleasures: Sight

I love simple moments that inspire awe.  I see them everywhere, butthey are gone so quickly. Life steps in and we are off, chasing a toddler, paying at the check-out, cleaning the window.  Its why I love my weekly list of simple pleasures.  It keeps the few things I can remember safe for the future.

A view of the Ochils*:

The past and the future, side by side*:


A perfect crow in a perfect tree*

Just Looking*

Sharing a passion:


As it should be: stale Easter Bread made into bread and butter pudding with orange marmalade, served with ice cream.

*photos taken by Kev

Simple Pleasure Wednesday - guilty pleasures

- Craft Books. I have WAY too many.  Way too many. To make it allworse, I am constantly slavering over the next an addict...the first hit is never good enough.  I need more, more, more I tell you. I keep looking at Socken aus aller Welt and I haven't even finished my first sock yet!!! Its just sick.

- "I Like Big Butts" by Sir Mixalot.  I learned the words in the 8th grade with my friend S.  I still know them to this day and any time I hear the song I am transported back to being 13 and I have to sing a long and dance.  Yes. I know its sexist trash, but I can't help it, I like big butts and I can not lie.


- I eat Nutella with a spoon.  Always.  I usually have to hide it from Kevin so he doesn't even know we have any because he's mortified that it disappears so quickly.

- I own the Corrs greatest hits and I like it.

- The only TV programme I have watched in 3 months (and I record) is Jon and Kate Plus 8.  Don't judge me, OK.

- I take long, water-wasting, molten-lava hot baths.  It is so wasteful, so bad for my blood pressure, but sooooo good.

Simple Pleasures Wednesday
Here are five of the simple moments we are enjoying this balmy spring week in Iowa.
Yarn (it almost seems a shame to make something out of it all).
An Iowan Sunrise 
Puddles (a perennial favourite)
Just being by the river, knitting and watching bald eagles circle overhead.
Watching a small boy take as much pleasure as I do out of a bowl of old buttons
 What are you loving right now, wherever you are?
Simple Iowan Pleasures

Some days I am so deliriously happy in Scotland.  The people, the landscape, the lifestyle...all things that I value deeply and love dearly.  Other days, I find myself only half present here while the rest of me longs for the open landscape and people of the place I grew up.

I made a list of the simple Iowan pleasures that I miss:

1. Red Winged Blackbirds.  They would line up on the telephone wires in their hundreds.  I remember thinking every time that it could be a photo out of a nature magazine.


2. The open, singing, green expanse of Iowa in spring.  After the brown of late autumn, the barren white of long winter and the mucky ochre after the seems like the whole place just bursts forth in a musical number. 

3. Tiger Lilies in the ditches in summer.  To this day, I find their orange audacity shocking.  How can something so opulent grow in a ditch? 


3. Milkweed in autumn...well all year, really.  My brother and I used to pry open their pods in summer to get at the feathery masses, but we were usually left covered in sticky sap (which tasted awful when it coated my thumb-sucking thumb)


4. Iced Tea...wherever you go.

5. Cinnamon flavoured everything: Scones, Rolls, Chewing Gum

6. That first hug with my mother when I arrive...both of us in tears.  Actually, that pleasures not such a simple one.  Its complex and rich, delectable and bitter-sweet, but mostly heavy.  Heavy with sadness and regret for choosing a life so far away.  


I know I usually do simple pleasures on a Wednesday, but yesterday was full of unhappy and unwell boy-needs, so crafting and blogging had to rightly take a back seat.  Hopefully today will see a bit more health and wellness, as its simply unfair for small people to be sick on nice days. Though it seems fever and cold phlegm have been added to the pox.

Simple Pleasures and a Giveaway

- The Ochils.  I love how they rise out of the flat land around them.  They are not the biggest hills in Scotland, but you can see them from most everywhere in Stirling.  I love how they tell the world about the seasons and reflect the sunlight in the evenings, glowing red and pink. Somedays they look so close and others like they are from another world.


- Checking on Ellis at night and finding him in the strangest of positions, holding the strangest of things:


- Daffodils peeking up through the ground. Spring is here. 


- This wordle a friend from BLW did of the blog.  I love how many wierd words are in it!!  Thanks, C!  It really made my day.



Felt Bowl Giveaway

So, onto the giveaway.  My tiny house now holds 21 bowls.  Obviously, i need to move some on to new homes, where they can be loved and appreciated for their individuality.

I have set up a shop over at misi and in celebration of actually doing something , I have decided to give away a bowl to one reader.  Just make a comment on this post about what your favourite simple pleasure is and I will select a winner on Saturday using a random number generator.  Your prize?  A choice of any bowl out of the shop.  I am happy to send it anywhere with a postal service, so don't be shy.  More bowls will be added to the shop on Wednesday (and probably every day this week because I love making them!)

So, what's your simple pleasure today?

Ok, so after the initial bravado of this, I am really nervous no one will comment and I will die of embarrassment.  Even if you don't want a bowl, just comment so I don't feel like a complete and total loser.  And sorry, Mom, K and K, you aren't eligible because it would be unfair and I won't have anything to give you for birthdays and holidays. Thanks, Kat

Simple Pleasures

- Funny names for personal favourites at the minute are the "Kebab Mahal" (take away) and "Curl Up and Dye" (Hairdresser).  I chuckle to myself whenever I pass.


- Baths.  With water hot as molten lava.  I know they aren't very environmentally friendly, but ooooh...


- Finding weird and wonderful things on the internet.



February 124
Paper Heart Flowers from Maya Made

- Coming into the house through the back door at night.  The house looks so warm and welcoming.



- My lamb crafting socks.  They warm the cockles (and my toes) whenever I wear them.


- The toddler scheming know the one that says, "look out world, I have a plan"