Thursday, March 29, 2007

I am better for knowing you

A daughter is a mother's gender partner, her closest ally in the family confederacy, an extension of her self. And mothers are their daughters' role model, their biological and emotional road map, the arbiter of all their relationships. ~Victoria Secunda

My daughter will be eighteen later this year and even before that she will be away at university. We have grown close- closer than l ever thought we would. We both travel the ups and downs with each other- the way only women can understand. I will miss her so very much.
The other day she handed me a CD and told me that there was a song on it that reminded her of me- she had tears in her eyes. The song was called Mariana by Yvonne Lyon. Yvonne is a Scottish singer/songwriter from Glasgow. M and l both enjoy her music. You can read more about her HERE.
Click HERE TO HEAR THE SONG (you have to click on the link 'MARIANA'- it's the fourth song down on the right) The lyrics are below.
I can’t express to you the emotion l felt when we listened to it together. It's not always easy being a mum but the rewards far outweigh the challenges.

As for today- l’ve been gardening down at my Mum’s, signing loads of Easter cards and delivering chocolate eggs to S’s nursery. Lots of fun ;)
Hope you are all keeping well.


Summer seems a distant dream, a lifetime away
And now December howls and turns an ugly grey
Time and miles can dull your thoughts and seem so unkind
But your words they bring a thousand suns to my mind

A mother and a sister and a friend to me
A song of loving kindness as it’s meant to be
You gave all that you had when there was nothing to give
And taught an unfair world just what it means to forgive

How do you find the strength to carry on?
Your love keeps on

I see the burden and the beauty in your heart
I feel the wounds where life has tried to tear you apart
You’ve taken tears and drowned them in devotion and love
These children are the stars in your heaven above

I miss the eyes that tell of the adventure years
I miss the smile that gently melts away all my fears
Grief has only fuelled your faith and made your heart strong
Mourning turns to dancing and your sadness to song

I am changed, I am moved, I am better for knowing you

© 2005 Yvonne Lyon

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The essence of time

I started the day with good intentions. Now it’s past seven in the evening and I’m just though putting dinner on the table, fresh sheets on the beds, rinsing out the bath etc. Seems like I’m doing things in reverse but such is life- mine anyway! I’m tired, have had a few days of non-stop running around! Ahh, my daughter (M) just gave me a nice piece of chocolate- yum! She must think l need it- lol- now where’s the coffee?
Tomorrow is S’s last day of nursery for a few weeks. He has spent the last couple of days pretending to be a Time Lord - ‘Dr. Who’ to be precise. Today we’ve been busy building a Tardis. It is a fine thing- just a bit concerned it might just take off!
Don’t we live in such a fast moving society? I lived in the States for 10 years and thought that was a fast pace - but really the fastest thing on earth is being a mum, daughter and wife in one day - all three makes time spin madly round. During my moments and l say moments of ambushed spare time l think of my blogging friends and what they are getting up to. However just before l rush onto the computer l remember the inevitable consequence of spending time to blog, and bang goes any more spare time! Just to let you know l am getting around to catching up with you all ASAP!
Now on the other hand, pottering is serious business for me- l long to potter. This happens on days that there is not so much to do- the most fun you can have in slippers or for me, bare feet! It starts with a little light cleaning and then ends in an old photo album or in the blogosphere with terrific company. I have a blogging cardigan that l wear. The kids laugh at me in the ratty old thing but l love it. Apart from blog pottering my other pottering focuses on packets of chocolate biscuits, which, because they have been stared, need to be finished.
Now perhaps tomorrow or the next day l will be sitting here visiting my blogging friends (while wearing that ratty old cardigan), pack of half eaten biscuits beside me- only then l will have achieved the quintessence of potter!
Bests all
PS- the picture on the last post was indeed wee 'S'- shows me just how fast time flies!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Me, myself and l as the Social Gardener

Deep inner peace flows in with the fresh spring air ~ only to be plugged short when the garden fork goes straight through my foot! Ouch.. Horizon ye should have worn yer wellies!
l guess the nicest thing about gardening is that it gets me away from everyone else. Enjoying also the fact that l can wear whatever is comfortable while pretending it's just my gardening garb. ;)
Ironically most gardeners, like myself, do in fact enjoy a little 'over the dyke* banter' with the neighbour or local passer by- basically any other soul with a gardener's eye for creativeness!
The weekend visit to the garden tip with other like minded gardening people also draws out the communal spirit - 'chewing the fat'* uninvited about what mulch is best and, 'oh, has someone left that chimney pot?!'-lol.
As for the lawn- l leave that to hubby. For most British men it is important to mow ones own meadow no matter how small. Lawn mowing in this country has become a national obsession. You can cut and blow dry using the hovercraft method or go for the more serious petrol motor, with grown-up metal that chop small rock to talcum powder! As for the father-in-law he zips around on his riding mower- a small bright red toy tractor but that's another story!
Sunny spring ~ sprightly Saturday ~ here l come!
(You know l was only kidding about my foot ;)

There can be no other occupation like gardening in which, if you were to creep up behind someone at their work, you would find them smiling. ~Mirabel Osler

*chew the fat/rag Slang
To talk together in a friendly, leisurely way; chat at length.
*Dyke/ a dry stone wall

Friday, March 23, 2007

Low Tides, Lego and missing socks

I have been across the water so many times lately that our ferry service should be giving me a VIP discount! The tides have been much lower than usual because of the lunar-solar phenomena, etc. If interested you can read more about Neap tides HERE and HERE, If not, read on...

On Wednesday we went across the water yet again but this time ending the day in IKEA, where l bought a small wardrobe for S. With D coming home from his university this summer l needed to make more space so decided that he could have the older furniture set while S has this new wardrobe.
So yesterday when S was at nursery l put the new wardrobe together - adding another shelf for extra storage. I bought some coloured tubs and organised his clothes into these. Later S covered the front of this new unit in stickers-lol. I don’t mind so much as long as he doesn’t do in on the antique furniture.
It felt good to see this messy room of S’s looking more organised. You know, reorganising a child’s room with heaps of mixed toys is a cheap form of therapy, if you discount the medical costs of having the Lego pieces surgically removed from your feet afterwards!

Anyway while organising S’s clothes l was not surprised to find so many mismatched socks. The saga of ‘the disappearing sock’ is not uncommon in this home! It’s only when you’re moving house that you start to find them again... behind the radiator, under the dryer, in with your hats and scarfs etc.
I’ve heard that you can tell a lot about a person from their sock drawer. If they have a sock drawer in the first place, they’re likely to pay regularly into a pension. My hubby is very organised about his socks- l’m not. I have one very large drawer, undies thrown in one side, socks the other, and often these get muddled up together. I guess socks in their own right are technically underwear. Just a pity that lingerie departments don’t have any bra-knicker- socks sets. lol

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Nature at its best...Springtime

Spring is officially here!! I am definitely a Spring body- all geared up and ready to get my home and garden in order. How far back does it go- this internal clock of mine?
It’s my theory that this type of Spring readiness and feeling that so many of us share comes from ancestral memories- a sort of 'collective unconscious'. An internal seasonal clock going back to a time when we were governed by them, taking note of when to plant, harvest, hunt etc.
The lengthening days spur people on to do things. Who can resist the feelings of hope and joy that one gets from participating in nature’s awakening? With the sun shining today and fresh crisp breeze- well, it's just the perfect day for Spring to arrive!
I’m away to make a start ;)
Bests all.

Spring Cleaning

March bustles in on windy feet And sweeps my doorstep and my street. She washes and cleans with pounding rains, Scrubbing the earth of winter stains. She shakes the grime from carpet green Till naught but fresh new blades are seen. Then, house in order, all neat as a pin, She ushers gentle springtime in.

~Author: Susan Reiner

Monday, March 19, 2007

“To feel safe and warm on a cold wet night...

…all you really need it soup.”
~ Laurie Colwin

Our dinner last night was utterly delicious! Thanks love!
Now between that and the chocolates l should think l have once again put on more than a few pounds!
After the comments on G’s menu last night l thought about my many blogging friends who so often post their recipes and wonderful results. So although it’s only soup and bread for tonight l thought l’d post our meal. lol

CREAM OF PARSNIP SOUP- The bread machine does the rest

Simple Ingredients:

2 tblspns butter or olive oil (Large blob of butter is what l use ;)
1 large onion (chopped)
4/5 good-sized parsnips (peeled, cored and cut into chunks)
( now you could add other veg. to this recipe if you wished- leeks, potato, celery)
Chicken Stock- l just use stock cubes
Salt, pepper and a dash of nutmeg to taste.
(I also add a pinch of curry powder to pep it up)
1 cup of cream or yogurt

First l warm the butter in a large saucepan. Then add the chopped onion and parsnip- turning these over so they are well coated in butter. Do this for 4/5 mins over medium heat.
Transfer this lot into the pot of stock, stir and season. Bring mixture to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat, cover and simmer until parsnips are soft, 30-40 minutes.
Remove soup from heat and working in batches, ladle into a food processor and process until smooth. Return soup to the saucepan and stir in cream just before serving.
If you want to be fancy you can serve with a parsley garnish.

Cream of parsley soup is an easy and delicious soup to make. Added with some homemade bread (or store bought -crusty bread is nice too) it is a perfect meal for a cold day.
If you want to make it less fattening use olive oil and yogurt instead of butter and cream.


Sunday, March 18, 2007

The MacDonald Years ;)

Being a mother means that your heart is no longer yours; it wanders wherever your children do.

We took D back to university yesterday because a severe weather warning had been issued for today. So the lot of us piled in the car and headed for the city. The G & S family circus hits the road with the usual built in screams, wrong turns and ‘are we there yet’ symphony.

We did some food shopping en-route which compensates for the ferry fare. The estate car groans and suspension checks its insurance under the weight of enough supplies for D to feed the Indian sub-continent. He’s a big lad!
We stopped to eat at Macdonalds. This is G’s nemesis. He makes no secret of his view that
when the history of the decline of the human species is told there will be a chapter all to itself titled The Macdonald Years’.
But where else can we go on a rainy Saturday where S can run around the play area while we watch and eat.
On G’s nausea factor scale of 10 this was peaking at 9.5 it having some formidable features of heavy rain, many damp and screaming children and queues that could have queued for Scotland.

'The emporium of bad food where the inedible meets the uneatable.'
and 'Bun wrapped misery with no chips' he muttered darkly. I kid you not! lol

I enjoyed us all being together and we did have a few giggles along the way as well as a few mumbles but that’s what being a family is all about. ;)

So far today we’ve seen snow, sun, hail and gusty winds- typical Scottish ‘can’t make my mind up’ type of weather.

This morning l got a bunch of flowers and chocolates handed to me in bed - wonderful! We all had a few chocolates before breakfast :) Wee S made a beautiful card and some clay moulds- a love heart and dish! Mel has promised me a massage for later- looking forward to that! I am just taking it easy today and will be visiting my blog friends to see what’s been happening in their part of the world.
Later on G is making dinner- I saw his ‘menu’---

Wild Scottish Salmon drizzled with lemon sauce on a bed of saffron rice with sideservice of wild mushrooms and honey toasted potato. Wine –Italian chilled Barbera d’Alba Vigna 2003 - a Rose wine to enchant. Afters – Profiteroles with Cornish Clotted cream from Helston with a bittersweet hot orange and chocolate sauce – and a little Muscati to sip.

I think he is still trying to prove a point about MacDondalds-lol.
Total brownie points however> 1,000,0000!!

S keeps saying prayers for snow and throwing God kisses. Instead of finishing his prayer with ‘Amen’, he says ‘Amanger’, in one word (from the song ‘Away in a Manger’)-lol. He keeps going in and out the back door and l can feel the cold air sweeping though the house, finding it’s way under my desk and wrapping itself around my legs- brrr. I’m off to put on the kettle and make a cup of tea.
Keep warm all.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

May love and laughter light your days, and warm your heart and home. May good and faithful friends be yours, wherever you may roam. May peace and plenty bless your world with joy that long endures. May all life's passing seasons bring the best to you and yours!~ An Old Irish Blessing

My maiden name is Irish. My dad’s name starts with ‘Mc’ and my mum’s ‘Mac’ so l’m a ‘Mc-mac’ (sounds like mic-mac). The popular belief is that Mc is a distinctively Irish prefix while Mac is exclusively Scottish. I think it has as much to do with religion and whether your family spoke Gaelic- 'Mac' meaning ‘son of’. While doing family research l have found that the spelling of a name can change through the years- from Mc to Mac and then back again. Even the end of my father’s name changed with his grandparents from ‘ie’ to ‘y’.
Half my father’s family were from Ireland as were my mother’s side. Dublin, Banbridge, Seapatrick, Cork etc., just some of the places the family were from in Ireland. I call myself Scottish as l was born and raised here but know that my roots are Celtic.
When my mum’s granny came over from Ireland as a wee lass she performed her Irish dancing for Queen Mary at Stirling Castle. Her name was Sarah Neill and her mother was Sarah Finlay.
Sarah Finlay married William Neill on 31 Aug 1872, St. Luke’s Church of Ireland, Belfast, County Antrim. Sadly out of ten children, at the end of this Sarah’s life (54 years), she only had 3 children near her. Infant mortality was high in those days – l do not know how she would have coped. Four of her children had died as infants another wee girl at only 8 yrs. Later two of her daughters, Annie and Fanny emigrated to America.
Now Annie and Fanny became Mormons. My Mum remembers driving back from a Mormon funeral with her parents. Mum’s dad, Charles Mackenzie though it was strange that during the funeral they chanted, ”There she goes and here she comes!” as a sort of valediction. Being that the Mackenzie’s were Brethern they thought this was quite hysterical and mum remembers her parents giggling at it on the drive home.
Sadly l have found it difficult to go as far back with my family history on the Irish side and really need to visit to do a bit more research and therefore proceed further.
My own dad attended the Belfast Bible College in the late 1950's where he was head boy.
Have a great day and don’t forget to ‘drown your shamrock’!
This takes place on St. Patrick's Day, when the shamrock that has been worn in the hat or lapel is removed and put into the last drink of the evening. A toast is proposed and then, when the toast has been honoured, the shamrock is taken from the bottom of the glass and thrown over the left shoulder. Sláinte!

Friday, March 16, 2007

We few, we happy few, we band of sisters.


Band Bio:
At first it was a rumble, but in case you haven’t noticed, a roar of anticipation has been sweeping across the 'Blogosphere'. The legendary INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF 'W' LOVERS has arrived, bringing their special brand of Bluegrass, Rock & Roll, and Good Time Blogitiville party music to sold out venues from site to site, leaving audiences dancing in their ergonomic I.T. seating! Swivel time!
This is a band who refuses to be pigeon holed; whose credo is found in the joy of the moment, refusing to let anything get in the way of the music, the friendships and the audiences they draw their energy from. An International Jet Set on the way to the next level!


I hope you do not mind the results as l did my best in time permissible- matching heads with different bodies-lol. l am a bit embarrassed that l am in the centre of the top promo pic. but found that it was the only place that worked. It's a bit of a juggling game taking in different head angles, pixels per inch, shades, hair styles, etc. I think it looks like we are all looking at the same photographer for the shot though.
The promo pic is a mix of different background images with borrowed bodies so don't look too close.
At one point l had us all with different hair colours and Connie with funky earings but then my photoshop crashed on me- arghh!
Anyway l can't tell you l did not giggle at least a few times during the making. l think we all look quite hip :)
Enjoy the weekend!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

It's all about building memories

Wee 'S' isn't well today so l can't get around to visiting. Would love to but he needs me just now. Quick post below.
Welcome to the band Winsome Willa aka Lorraine. l hope that is all members in because l finished the promo picture and CD cover last night. Will reveal all tomorrow for Friday Frolics ;)

My daughter, 'M' had her dress design picked for a fashion show. The old post and dress HERE. Well done love!

'D's' PC finally arrived! He is coming home this weekend to collect it and visit with me for Mother's Day :)

I am missing my Mum. She has been over in Germany visiting my sister for a while (my youngest sis who just had her first wee baby). She will be there for Mothering Sunday this coming weekend. It seems appropriate that they should be together for this. Picture above is of Mum with wee 'S'. Mum is just the best with the wee ones. She worked as a Nanny when younger and has a wonderful touch!
Mother's Day has been celebrated in the UK on the fourth Sunday in Lent since at least the 16th century- that’s March 18th this year. I'm aware that it is different in other places because my other sister celebrates it in May.
'S' has been busy making me something at nursery. It is quite funny when l go to pick him up because he quickly steers me to the cloakroom deliberately avoiding the wall where the Mother's Day display is-lol. He won't be there today though.
l am glad that l will have 'D' home this weekend- all the kids at home and safe - that is the best l could ask for!
'M' will be away doing her nursing before l know it- time passes all too quickly when you are raising a family. l am so very aware of how precious this time is.

I have been planning a camping holiday for this summer to Mull, Iona and Staffa. Plenty to do there and l have always wanted to take the boat out to Fingals cave with the kids, where there are Puffins - my favourite bird (very old post here on the Whirring Winged Wonders).
It's a bit sad when it is cheaper to holiday overseas (not if you want to go overseas of course). This trip will cost a fare bit- mostly because of the ferry costs! Just to Mull with the car it will cost £50- and that's not including passenger fares!

As my granny used to say, "Buying right is buying dear- unless fae the gerdin!" Meaning, 'Quality is never cheap- unless it grows naturally!'

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Hands-on learning

Firstly l'd like to introduce you to new band member 'Waddling Willoree', aka Betty from Country Charm. I have been inspired by Sue's suggestion of a virtual photograph ;) Perhaps for next weekend.
As for the blog's new look, l am glad you find it easy on the eyes. Lorraine made me laugh when she said it was 'like reading chocolate'. Perhaps l was subconsciously swayed on my decision when choosing the template?
It's been a busy morning so far. l've been sweeping out back with 'S' and organising some of my old garden tubs. Giving them a quick clean out and some fresh soil- ready for planting.
'S' and l have been also been growing Cress indoors. His big sister 'M' helped him paint his 'Scooby Doo' pot.
All my children have enjoyed gardening with me. Gardening can be a great experience for children, teaching them about responsibility, satisfying work and reward! Mostly though introducing them to the joys of nature. The older two, 'D' & 'M' used to love planting sunflowers. Wee 'S' has grown carrot tops with his dad too- carrot tops are very simple to grow.

Try to use a carrot that shows some sign of a shoot on the top.
Slice about 2cm off the top of the carrot and place this on a saucer with a small amount of water in it. Then just leave in a light place like a windowsill making sure to continually top up the water. In a few days leaves should start to appear from the top of the carrot.

'S' loves his time in the garden- he isn't afraid of getting dirty, he loves all the bugs he can find etc. Now there's a thought - l'll give him a bucket to help collect the snails & slugs this summer :) Here is an old post on my bug problem-lol.

When you teach your kids to garden, you're teaching life-long lessons.

I'm away to get back to work now- lots to do.
Bests all

Monday, March 12, 2007

“It doesn't hurt to be optimistic...

... You can always cry later.”It is Monday and the sun is shining which makes all the difference. I have a list the length of my arm to get through today but first a little blogging.

Thanks for all the comments on my last post about 'S'- he is such a comic.

The 'W' Band so Far:
Pea ~ Wailing Wacko
Sue ~ Warbly Werdna
Kerri ~ Wheezy Winifred
Connie ~ Wiggin Wanda
Horizon ~ Windbag Wooly
This is an International Jet Set .
If you want to join feel free to add your name :)

Over the weekend l dabbled with a bit of XHTML/Markup. l got as far as building a single web page linked to three other pages. Nothing fancy to look at but that's the next stage. From humble beginnings, great things will evolve! lol
l could use browser software (quicker and easier) but l am actually enjoying the challenge of learning how to build the site from scratch. l'll let you know when l get it all up and running- hopefully l will be able to link it to my blog site as well. :)

If you want a Scotsman to do something, tell him it cannot be done.
'Canna be done' means he'll do it or 'he'll die tryin'!

Friday, March 09, 2007

Friday Frolics with the Band

Ahh- it's Friday! Thought l'd bring a smile with our local band pictures- a family group no less! (lol).
'M' with her beautiful hair had her brother in fits of giggles pulling funny faces- too good not to blog;) That first photo of 'S' peeking out reminds me of Alien or Cousin Itt from the Addam's family!
I have to say that wee 'S' is just a dab hand at pulling funny faces- he can always make me laugh. Do you have a favourite? Can you think of any names for these band members? Wacky Weasley- Wanton Wilma Wise or Willoughby Wild- Wanna join the band? :)
Enjoy your weekend!

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