Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Gypsies, Tramps & Theives.....

I love Cher songs...mostly.

What made me start humming this one is the Happoween Costume Party I talked about in an earlier post this week.
I've thought about it and thought about it and I have decided on my costume. I'm going to go with an old standard- the Gypsy Fortune Teller.
And I'll tell you for why....

Now first of all, I thought Mrs. Claus would be the perfect choice for me to dress up as...A bit older, chubby woman who loves all things Christmas. Then I looked at some Mrs. Claus outfits/costumes and did a double take. Holy COW those things are expensive!!!  Then I thought, well, how hard could it be to make one? I have a sewing machine hubby bought us- and material cant me that expensive.....
So a bit more research later- making it was actually going to be MORE expensive than buying one ready made. Seriously.

Then I thought how about an elf outfit? Surely THAT cant be too expensive. And I found a really cute one for about £10...$15. Cool- so I ordered it- and while I was ordering it- I ordered all that stuff I posted about too- the tablecloth and serving platters and chargers and goblets....really cute and inexpensive.......Less that £50 for the entire lot including the elf costume.

So then I thought- well, One holiday at a time....hmmmm...I need an alternate plan.

So I got looking thru my clothing and found a black and garnet full skirt with sequins that someone had given me. The top had long been gone, but the skirt would be wicked as a gypsy Fortune teller costume. So I looked further into my stash of clothes- and I found several scarves hanging in my closet that would be perfect as a hip scarf and a head scarf...with a bit of beaded trim and a few faux coins sewn on it will be awesome! My Mother in law even got in the spirit and said she has a peasant blouse that would be perfect for the outfit if I wanted it!!  Bless her- she is becoming one of my favorite people now that we arent stepping on each others nerves in the same house.  It's true- two women cannot live in the same house for very long.

Anyway, I can pair the skirt and scarves and blouse with a pair of boots and voila!!!! An outfit that is awesome and comfortable enough to be able to cook in, too!!

Now my husband- he has an outfit that is to DIE for- he actually MADE most of it and I cannot wait to see him finally WEAR it!!! We will have photos for me to post on here!!! I cant WAIT!!!!

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In other news...
This Friday my department at work is having our quarterly Sammich Swap.

The Rules:

*1) You make a sammich. (No pre bought ones allowed- you MUST make it yourself.) Any fillings are allowed as long as they are edible. Any bread may be used....Flour/cormeal wraps, ciabatta, sub rolls, dinner rolls, baps, loaf bread........whatever suits your fancy.

*2) You name your sammich, then wrap and label it.

*3) Write the Name of your creation on a ready made tag- fold it- and  put it in the "hat".

*4) At lunch time- you draw a name from the hat and that is the sammich you have for lunch.

*5) After eating your lunch- you write a short review on it and send to all participants.

I'll be making my standard sammich. I named it. It was a joke because some of those names were REALLY well thought out catchy ones. And I couldnt compete with that- so I went in the totally opposite direction and called mine Fred. And the name stuck.
I made a bog standard Philly Cheesesteak, only I add a bit of Teriyaki sauce and cajun seasoning to my onions, mushrooms and peppers when I sautee them, Then I put them aside in a container.  I put the bread with the roast beef and the cheese. Then I add a smidge of English Mustard with 3 times as much mayo with some cracked Black pepper in it and set that to the side so the sammich doesnt get soggy. Then come lunchtime- I put the sammich together. I heat the veg mixture put it on the bread on top of the roast beef and cheese on the bread, then put the sammich in the microwave for 15 seconds to freshen the bread and warm the cheese, then when it comes out- smear the mayo-stard on it before I give it to the lucky recipient.

I was going to try something different this year- maybe a BBQ Chicken with Caramelized onions ...or a Shrimp Po- Boy, but when I said I was thinking about doing something different this time I almost caused a riot. So I suppose Fred it will be...again.
Owww- maybe I will add a bit of pastrami to it this time. Too much?


Monday, August 31, 2015

Last Day of Holiday/Vacation

I'm sitting here in the early morning dawn, coffee cup in hand, gazing over the greenery of the land that is my view from the window.

It's, sadly, the last day of my and Paul's time off. The first really LONG holiday we have had together since we went on our honeymoon eleven years ago.

This ten days has been just what the doctor ordered. This month of August has been an emotional one for several years now. And this year- it was over the top emotional. ten days before my son's Angelversary, my best friend of 45+ years who lives with her middle son, went to wake him and found he had passed away in his sleep. She called EMS- then me. There was nothing she could do- rigour had already set in. He was beyond help.
Our firstborns are a bit over a year apart in age...our middle children were 6 months apart in age...our babies are 6 weeks apart in age. When they were growing up we saw each other almost every day. We lived within a stones throw of each other.
It was devastating for me and my family- as well as for her. It made it worse that I couldn't work details out so I could go back to be by her side, so my sisters and daughter stood by her side in my stead. But rest assured, as she sat in that service and as she listened to the prayers and hymns...as her tears fell and her heart breaks , I am, in my heart and mind, by her side, my tears falling as surely as hers are. My children are her children, and her children are my children.
I love that sweet girl and am praying God gives her strength to get thru this, her darkest hour.

But back to my point.....August has been triply stressful this year and the situations(yes there was more involving my daughters family but we will save that story for another day.) just amplified and brought back the freshness of the pain of losing my son.

So this holiday was just what the doctor ordered. Paul and I didn't travel anywhere. It was a stay at home or local, quiet time to rejuvenate kind of holiday. We haven't stuck as strictly to our diets as we have been(we didn't go crazy either, however).he refuses to weigh this week, but I still managed to lose a half pound on holiday which I am THRILLED about! We slept in every single day. We stayed up as late as we wanted- or we went to bed as early as we wanted. We cooked if we wanted, or we ordered delivery. We did go out to the pub Friday night for one of hubby's co-workers leaving do. But even then, we went early, we left early, we didn't over-do it- and we got lots of exercise in walking most of the way back home from the pub. My back started seizing up and we ended up having to call a cab the last quarter half mile. I know- I should have been able to make it- but it's a three mile walk and I walked until I was literally crying before I gave in to a taxi.

I kept the dishes done.....and I hoovered once. but that was the extent of housework done. Hubby took the bin bags out to the dumpsters  and cleaned the g-piggie cage for his part in housework. It was holiday- neither of us wanted to make housework a priority, so we didn't.

We went out shopping twice, and out to eat lunch both times. We managed to get a refund on an electronic we had bought less than three months ago that had  failed, so we took the money from that and went to the sports shop and  bought me anew set of walking/jogging/running pants & shirt, and Paul a pair of running pants and a new pair of trainers(running shoes). Then when we went to his parents, his dad gave him another practically brand new pair he had and hadn't worn but a couple of times in the couple of years he had them. Dad Glenn spends his free time golfing or fishing, or going on holiday with Mama Joan.

We watched movies, we played our games. I worked on my memoirs and got quite a bit done. I got two books read. CELL by Stephen King, and Did You Miss Me by Karen Rose. Meh on both. Since his accident years ago- Stephen King seems to have lost his special brand of sparkle in his writing style. His storys have become a bit ho-hum. Bless his heart. Lord knows I have a whole shelf of his pre-accident books to fall back on and reread. And bad mojo to the driver that hit him.

I listened to my classical music. I got a bit more into the yoga I have started doing.
Sadly, I didn't get a Photo walk in as the weather hasn't really permitted. Sad, but Autumn is coming and I plan on going out or carrying my gear with me everywhere I go to be able to capture the beautiful colors.

So- today I am doing a couple of loads of laundry and cleaning the kitchen floor and that's about it. I think I'll order Pizza tonight for supper and then tomorrow morning- it's back to the rat race until Thanksgiving.

It's been just the break I've needed with my husband by my side.


Sunday, August 30, 2015

On The Lighter Side......Autumnal Celebrations!!!!!

Only 31 Days til Autumn!!!!

My favorite SEASON of the year!!!!

I love the cool crisp days.....Not too warm, not too cool......just perfect!!!

This year- Paul and I have decided to host a Halloween Dinner Party for Six. Two of his workmates and their partners have been invited along. I'm working on the invites now.

I don't do a lot of decorating for Autumn....RARELY for Halloween specifically, so I have a bit of prep to do for this one. Since Storage space is limited in our flat, I'm going to have to fit almost everything into ONE big plastic bin for Autumn Decorating. So I've decided to do smaller vignettes for the rooms.

The Kitchen will sport a few of these. Made with old containers, glue, and some chalk or matte paint, I'll line them on the kitchen windowsill and stick a couple of bare branches painted black into my windowsill herb garden. That's about as much as my kitchen will allow for decorating.

The Bathroom will be veryyyyyy simple......

Ive been needing to buy a new Bathmat- so I will buy one in Black(our towels are already black, sand and Aqua) and along with a few snips of black electrical tape- this will be easy peasy!!
I have a pair of old vinyl gloves from a hair Dye Kit that might be fun to stuff with a bit of tissue to make it all look a bit more 3D...


The Living room I'm going to add a few touches here and there...maybe a single vignette using these ideas together....






The entrance hall will have a combination of these three ideas.....




And the table will have these elements.....









I don't much care for the wheat sheaf...I will use bare branches - either natural or painted black instead. I don't like centerpieces that block views and conversations. We will be using proper metal flatware for it too...no Plastic forks for US!

The Menu....I know there's going to be a Caramel & Apple Cinnamon Spice Cake with Maple Glaze for Dessert.



 I'm still pondering the Main course and the Horse Doovers. (Sorry- I couldn't resist using that mis-pronunciation of it!!!)
Any suggestions would be most appreciated.
The theme is Defo NOT a happy spooky child's version of Halloween...but a more grown up- tasteful version. (if there IS such a thing?) I'm thinking more Goth than anything - altho we ARE going to dress in different Costumes. I have an outfit in mind for mine- but I don't want to ruin the surprise!!!

So......suggestions for Main Course and Horse Doovers, please....

And what Autumnal Celebrations do Y'ALL have planned????







Thursday, August 27, 2015

Random Acts Of Kindness........



“Claying It Forward”

Several of my lovely friends and family member’s have already begun “Claying It Forward” and also shared the post causing a ripple effect! I want to thank each and every one of you that has participated and as surely as I sit here, the people you have helped have been as touched as I am by your generosity and will remember their Angel on Earth for a very long time. 
Many that are participating have expressed the desire to remain anonymous. So, in keeping with the spirit of it all and to honour those wishes, I’m using Initials in all unless the desire to remain anonymous was declared, in which they will be known as Anon. Again, I love you all and thank you for your generosity and care and I’m sure Clay is looking down from heaven smiling and sending his love as well.
Xxx
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*T.C. is helping a friend buy her daughter a walker she needs.
*E.&C.M. bought gifts for Service Personnel overseas to be sent in care packages and additional items for Country Santa for children in need for the holidays
*Anon bought school supplies for a family with several school children.
*K.B. is feeding and watering the stray animals in the neighbourhood.
*Anon bought meds for the elderly person in line in front of him at the pharmacy.
*Anon is helping a young person in need.
*C.C. went out to breakfast after work and paid for an elderly ladies breakfast that came in and was dining alone.
*F.H. & S.S. always buy a homeless person they see food and drink.

*F.H. and his co-worker A. helped an elderly gentleman in a big truck push his vehicle out of the busy road when it broke down.
*L.B. paid for three young girls sweets when they came up short at the register.
*Anon bought a school uniform for the 3 school age children of a family.
*J.J. paid for two police officers meals.
*T.C. put flowers on the grave next to her mom’s gravesite. She said she had never seen flowers on it in all the years she had been going.
* Anon brought a big box of chocolates to the lady in the room next door to his mom at the retirement home. He also brought a chocolate cake to the nurses station. Clayton loved chocolate.
* Anon cut a truckload of firewood and delivered it to his elderly neighbours so they have wood cured for a nice fire in their fireplace this year in cool weather time.
*K.G. brought 5 big bags of dog and cat food to the local Humane Society.
*Anon paid for the elderly couples medications at the drug store when he heard the woman ask for a half script because it was too expensive.
*A.D. continues to contribute regularly to a house in Clay's memory. She has done for over a year- and will continue to do so until the house is paid off.

I’m sure there are more people out there who haven’t told me about what they did- and prob never will.
All the acts of kindness shown this week, it causes a ripple effect- one person shows unexpected kindness to another- and then that person remembers it and somewhere down the line in the future does the same thing when THEY are in a position to help someone out. Then those people remember and do a good deed for someone later on……and on and on and on……

I thank you all from the bottom of my heart….It makes my heart sing and I’m sure Clayton is smiling down from Heaven, too.

Bless you all. Each and every one. xoxoxoxxoxo

A B C D E F G.........



 Just a little something fun today to keep me sane......(Sidenote.......I forgot to post it- that's how scrambled my brain was. )


A- Age: Old enough to do what I want- too many aches and pains to actually be able to go out and do it
B- Biggest Fear: Dieting actually makes you gain weight in a delayed chemical reaction.
C- Current Time: Too early to be up on my vacation week.

D- Drink you last had: White Russian- before work- last Tuesday morning.
E- Easiest Person To Talk to: Myself- I'm a Fabulous listener and I never interupt myself- and I always afree with everything I say.
F- Favorite Song: Whatever you would like to sing to me.
G- Ghosts, are they real: Absolutely- Have you never seen Casper on TV?
H- Hometown: Yes- I come from the best hometown in the world!!! Easley South Carolina.
I- In love with: My husband Paul and the dream of winning that big ole lottery.
J- Jealous Of: People who have already won that big ole lottery.
K- Killed Someone? In my mind- a thousand times- otherwise, I'll plead the fifth and hope the graves were deep enough you'll never find out the answer.
L- Last time you cried?: Not yet- but someday I hope it will be the last time I cried.
M- Middle Name: I do have one. Not the one I would have chosen, but better than not having one and I know several people who actually DONT have one. Odd.
N- Number of Siblings: Just the right amount. Wouldn't trade em for the world.
O- One Wish: One? Seriously? ...Dont you think that's being a bit stingy? Genies and Fairy Godmothers and even Rumple Stiltskins gave THREE!!!! ...Selfish.
P- Person who you last called: ...called what? Usually when I call someone something it's something muttered under my breath and being a lady I cant repeat it here on social media in good taste. If you'd like I can PM it to you.
Q- Question you're always asked: No One DARES Question The Goddess!!!!
R- Reason to smile: Hopefully cause you are laughing at this post!
S- Song last sang: How would I know what the last song sang is? Do you have ANY IDEA how MANY radio stations there are playing songs in the world right this very second?
T- Time you woke up: When I felt the need to go have a wee.
U- Underwear Color: I have all colors- but mostly black or pink ones....some black AND pink ones!!!
V- Vacation Destination: There are many. Ask a Travel Agent. They'll help you choose.I dont have a clue where you would like to go.
W- Worst Habit: Being annoying- like doing this this way instead of being serious about it. 
X- X-Rays you've had: presently, I have none in my posession...they usually keep them in the hospital or doctors office in my file.
Y- Your favorite food: Any I dont have to cook myself.
Z- Zodiac Sign:You can't tell by the creative nonsense I just wrote that I'm a Pisces? Tsk....

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Paying It Forward.......

I've thought a lot about how to honour my youngest son, Clay's , memory this year.








This will be his 8th Angelversary.  
And I've decided to ask a favour of all my friends and loved ones.
Clay was always such a kind and generous soul...he always stopped and helped people broken down on the side of the road, or bought a homeless person a meal, or helped the elderly load their groceries into their car.( Actually, all my children do these type things but this is in memory of Clay for now...they understand and support me fully)
So for the days from now until his Angelversary on Wednesday the 26th of August, I want to ask that we all do at least one random act of kindness in his memory.
Pay for a persons drink or meal..visit an elderly person..help someone with something they are struggling with -physically or mentally...
Or just tell someone how much you appreciate everything someone does..for the community...or the city...or the country.
Feed a stray animal...or drop a bag of food by the local animal shelter - he loved animals.
Just do a good deed in his memory. I'm going to call it "Claying It Forward".
And Thank y'all.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

LYNDSAY BUCKINGHAM - HOLIDAY ROAD- The countdown has begun!!!

The Countdown has begun!!!! (For the second time, since I went into work on THIS past Monday thinking it was the following week, only to realize MUCH to my disappointment that I was WRO.... WRON...... Oh, I can't do it- I''ve gone all Fonzie on y'all)..... SO -Only SIX days until Paul and I take our 10 day holiday- the first of the new year!!!

I'm really excited about it- it's the first holiday I've taken in a couple of years that I've made no plans(so much) for- nor had any kind of medical appointment or testing scheduled in.

I do have a few tentative plans lined up- in case I get bored with just sitting around resting and relaxing tho.

This short list includes things such as:

*Reading a couple of books at my leisure.

* Listening to my favorite music- classical. Full orchestra, Piano and Guitar solos as well.

* Going a new route on a Photo walk.......weather permitting, of course.

* Walking into the village to have a bite of lunch at a pub or cafe I've seen as we rode past on our way into / home from work every day since moving here.

* Painting or drawing something new to hang on the walls- or if I get a particularly fetching photo- framing it to hang......I like to change up the artwork in our home occasionally.

 *And watching two of my favorite NON-Christmas movies (If I can find them)... National Lampoons Vacation (Chevy Chase)& The Great Outdoors(John Candy). I would say DUTCH too- but I saw that last weekend-(it was GREAT!!!)

Otherwise, I'm planning on blitzing the house one room at a time this week so there is absolutely NOTHING to detract from our R&R on those 10 days.......other than go on Saturday to buy groceries.

And as an added bonus, one of Hubby's office mates(an intern) has come to the end of his time with the company, so they're all going out to the pub to give him a send off and I've been invited. It's been awhile since hubby and I went out to the pub so I think I'll defo accept and go with them to say goodbye to Jon.

Anyway, the countdown has begun......Yay!!!