Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Back to Health

I am pleased to report that all members of the family are at last back in good health.
Just the small matter of a trip to the dentists to worry about.
The view: Blue sky, gloriously sunny, our cat is sitting on the outside window sill and there is one plane vapour trail crossing the sky.
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Screaming Mum to the Masses

Apolgies to Carmen for stealing and modifying her blog name, but it was sooo appropriate :-0

I have just been reading Laura`s blog, and laughing my socks off .
http://neepeople.squarespace.com/laurasfrontporch/the-best-thing-i-learned-in-lamaze.html

It has been a looong summer holiday.
DD1 is off to college next week, DD2 is back in school on Thurs and DD3 goes back on Monday next week.
I will be alone with DD4 who is nearly 3. And don`t we know it.

Apart from when we went to Ilfracombe, I seem to have spent most of the summer breaking up fights between the two young ones. They seem to have done little except fight, whine, bicker and scream at regular intervals, necessitating the physical removal of at least one of them from the living room several times a day.

Part of the problem is character and communication.
D3 is loving and affectionate, and likes heaps of hugs, cuddles and kisses every day. Fine, except she keeps trying to do it to her little sister. D4 is very reserved, like her Dad. Very affectionate , but not always very demonstrative. And she hates people in her face, trying to hug and kiss her. So she lashes out and causes physical injury, so D3 starts to scream, then D4 screams as well and it all goes downhill rapidly.
Mum, she hit me.
Mum, she kicked me.
Mum , she hurt my feelings.
Mum, she punched me in the heart.
Mum, I am going upstairs for ever, and nothing you can do will ever make me come downstairs again (until next meal time, of course)

D4 is incredibly strong, and has been seen to drag her six year old sister off the settee by her feet. Problem is D4 regards me as her personal property and no-one should go near me unless she wants them to....and of course, that happens once in a blue moon.
Added to that the fact that she gets incredibly frustrated because she can`t communicate effectively yet, and it all becomes rather explosive.

I will be glad when the the rest all go back to school, then little one will be with me all day and will eventually be bored and look forward to having her sister home to play at the end of the school day.

Hopefully, normal service will be resumed soon, and I will stop shouting.
If I had a pound for very time I have shouted these holidays, I could book myself a seat on the space shuttle , LOL.

Having children is definitely an ascetic podvig, but I wouldn`t be without them for a minute...except maybe to go to the bathroom on my own....well, a girl can dream, can`t she ?
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Head above the parapet

I am doing my best to cross every digit, touch wood and type simultaneously as I write this, but I am hoping we are over the worst.
Daughter 3 is up and about, eating normally, and so is DH.

I know I am sticking my head up above the parapet by saying this, but just maybe we can get back to normality. .... LOL. Unless of course, the bug does the rounds again.
I will be following Philipa`s advice and disinfecting everything.

It certainly makes you appreciate the good health we generally all have.

The view : Blue sky, white clouds,a very full washing line blowing in the breeze. It looks gorgeous, but golly it is cold for August ! Yesterday I was wearing a woolly jumper :-)
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Monday, August 30, 2004

Gremlins Part 2

Dear husband is now down with the BUG.
Please God let him be the last one and we can all get better again.
My poor washing machine is working overtime.....
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Sunday, August 29, 2004

The Return of the Gremlin

Oh dear.
I was woken up in the middle of the night by daughter number 3 being sick.
She has now got the bug.

She is now asleep again, after being comforted, washed, dried, bed sorted out ...for of course, it is one of the bugs that gives you nowhere near enough warning to get to the bathroom in time.

It does not matter how meticulous we have been with handwashing, hygiene, rigorous washing of flannels, towels etc etc etc, it is relentlessly pursuing us one after the other like some virulent predator from a sci-fi film. ( OK, a bit melodramatic maybe, but I have been dealing non-stop with violently extruded digestive waste products from both ends of the alimentary canal for *nine* days now, what with myself and the children !!!!)

On the current schedule, husband -if he contracts it- should be going down with it on Monday evening...just before he is due to go back to work after the long Public holiday weekend.

I haven`t told him my suspicions yet, I didn`t want to spoil the rest of his weekend and make him paranoid .
Somethings are best kept to one`s self. :-)
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Wash day blues

Not really, but I just realised I hadn`t written anything today, as I have been busy washing and ironing all the clothes we used whilst on holidays.

As we don`t have a tumble drier, I am reliant on a good drying day outside in my beloved garden, and today was a good day ! Have done 5 loads of washing and dried 4 of them *and* ironed.

Just hoping for a good breeze tomorrow and then DH will be all set for work next week....otherwise it will be central heating full on and so many clothes on the radiator to dry that the house will look like the local laundromatte...........
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Saturday, August 28, 2004

Candyfloss Clouds

I just had to write about this...
the view from the garden window is glorious...........it is 8.20 pm, and the mostly blue sky has some pale grey wispy clouds and lots of lovely muted pink candyfloss/cottonwool ball clouds. There is a seagull flying across the sky and it is just perfect.
Some days we have ducks and swans fly overhead too, and in the evenings , sometimes bats.
This is a lovely place to live :-)
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Friday, August 27, 2004

St Nicholas Chapel, Ilfracombe.


This is the little chapel of St Nicholas on Lantern Hill, Ilfracombe, Devon.
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Bad news

We have had some bad news...a young schoolfriend of daughters 1 and 2 has died whilst he was on holiday.
Please pray for the soul of the servant of God, Alexandros, and for his grieving family.
Lord have mercy.

It always comes as a blow to be made aware ,yet again, that we are not immortal.
"It`s later than you think".
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Return of the Mummy

I`m baaaack !
The view: Rain. Lots of it.

Today I feel rather more human. The worst of the digestive crisis bug seems to be over.

Having spent most of yesterday either in bed or the bathroom, with DH having to be Mummy as well as Daddy, Mummy has returned to active duty.

It`s probably time for the next person in the family to be stricken ill now :-(



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St Nicholas, Help of Mariners

One of the highlights of our holiday in Ilfracombe was the climb up Lantern Hill to visit the 14th century Chapel of St Nicholas.

Stupidly, I did not take the camera on holidays (Doh!) so I have had to hunt on the web for photos.
Please have a look here for a photo of the Chapel on Lantern hill, and for another further down the page, showing the Chapel as seen from the sea...
http://www.suffolkcam.co.uk/ilfracombe082002.htm

The chapel as it stands now was built 1300-1325, but it is likely that there was a place of worship here long before that, as Ilfracombe was one of the best and safest harbours along this stretch of coast, and also because it was a stopping place for pilgrims visiting the ancient shrine of St Nectan at Hartland. The pilgrim path is marked by the remains of ruined chapels to this day.

The priest lived in rooms attached to the Chapel, and was responsible for keeping a light burning in the Chapel window to guide sailors into safe harbour.

During the Middle ages, the Chapel was used as a place of refuge from the Turkish pirates who harrassed the coast

After the Reformation, the Chapel was turned into a residence, but the lighthouse lantern remained and was extended. In the 1840s, one John Davie and his wife settled in the chapel and rooms, and raised 14 children there until they left in 1871. The chapel was later used as a Reading Room and a Laundry before being restored and maintained by the local Rotary Club .

In a lovely twist, there is a photograph and news paper article in the Chapel showing a descendant of the original Davie family being baptised in the Chapel...the first baptism/Christian service held in the chapel for 450 years.

The chapel area is now decorated and furnished as befits a chapel, with an altarstone and ....an icon of the Mother of God.
I am seriously considering making a donation of an icon of St Nicholas, Help of Mariners, as a fitting ornament to the lovely Chapel which bears his name.
Maybe one day, an Orthodox service could be arranged there..........
One can only hope !
St Nicholas, pray for us !


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Thursday, August 26, 2004

Home Sweet Home

The view : weak sunshine, overcast sky, slight breeze.
We have returned safely home from our holiday, though it was not an unparalleled success :-)
Daughter 1 had the dreaded D and V for 24 hours. Then daughter 4 had spectacular sickness, for two days, plus very high temperature.

We got home, after a 3 hour crossing to cover 19 miles in very high seas. Daughter 3 was seasick. Daughter 1 was an interesting shade of green. I thought the crossing was exhilerating, and actually enjoyed it. Husband thinks I am insane......

Yesterday husband has a return of kidney stone pain.
Today I have THE BUG courtesy of dear daughters.
But we got home OK, and Ilfracombe is just soooo beautiful.
I will post more when I am not so dependent on being near the bathroom with only 5 seconds warning of imminent disaster..............................................
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Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Holiday time

We are due to go on holiday tomorrow :-)
We are going to a beautiful seaside town called Ilfracombe, in South Devon.

However, the weather, both at home and there, is atrocious. Torrential rain, high winds and thunderstorms.

Added to that , a town not too far from Ilfracombe has been severely hit by flash-floods, with a month`s worth of rain falling in less than two hours. The floods in Boscastle were so severe that 7 rescue helicopters were needed to rescue people. Thank God, no-one was seriously hurt and everyone survived.

The long range weather forecast for the next 5 days is equally bad.
We are having some strange weather.

But still, we are going on holiday...and we are not camping, we will be staying in an hotel :-)


So, folks, I will be off-line till Weds of next week. Take care of yourselves !
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Tuesday, August 17, 2004

The Wasp Man

Today was a new experience....we had a visit from the Wasp Man.
We have had a lot of wasps in the back garden, and the wretched little beasts have eaten most of our plums. For the last week, we have been finding wasps in the house, and close investiagtion revealed that outside the bedroom window of DD 1 and 2, just below the guttering, is a gap in the wall, and an awful lot of wasps flying in and out.

Thanks to Google, I found out lots about wasps, and would have preferred to leave them alone, but the weather has been really hot and no-one has been able to open their bedroom windows in case the little perishers came flying in. No joke when the temperature is in the 80`s, and most UK homes don`t have air-conditioning :-)

The last straw was when the DD3 and 4 came galloping in to tell me there was a wasp in the handbasin in the bathroom and no-one could wash or clean their teeth. Having dealt with that crisis, I went to the lavatory (very small separate room) and shut the door, only to find several moments later that I wasn`t alone any more. There was a very angry wasp with me and I was in no position to do anything. Nuff said.


Having contacted the local council and paid them £47, they arranged for the wonderful wasp man to visit. He arrived this afternoon, and within 15 minutes had worked his magic and done the dreadful deed. He did warn us to stay indoors for two hours, as there were an awful lot of seriously unhappy wasps buzzing around outside. Hopefully, we will have a wasp-free house within 24 hours and be able to open our windows again :-0

Wasps rank high on my list of creatures I could live without, including cat fleas and head-lice. But at least you don`t get attacked and dive-bombed by head-lice or cat fleas !
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Monday, August 16, 2004

Sofa Dilemma

We think we need a new sofa.

Our current one is a 5 unit L-shaped corner sofa, which you can split up, move apart etc. This was wonderful in our last house, against the corner of two walls, but in our new house, it doesn`t work so well. If you sit down too quickly, the seat next to you can move because it doesn`t have the support of a wall, and you run the risk of landing flat on your derriere with little warning. If it wasn`t for the throw covers on the seats acting as a safety hammock/parachute, there would have been more than a few injuries in the current week alone :-)
We have been investigating buying a new set of seating arrangements, but with six bottoms(and attatched bodies), and a small room, it is more complicated than it might seem, as so many things in life are.

The one suite we saw which we all loved had a problem....it was like sitting in a giant marshmallow. Very comfortable for every one else, but not for me with my back problems. Everything else we have seen isn`t comfortable, or the wrong dimensions for the room, or the wrong colour ( do we really want cream with a 6 year old and a 2 year old ? Not a chance !)

So....either we get one and hope for the best , which is an expensive gamble, or we make do with the sofa of doom for a while longer. Hubster really really liked the one we saw like a marshmallow, so I am seriously considering investing in some support cushions for my back and go for that one, which will really set off the living room beautifully. I love the muted orangey -red autumn colour so much. And it *is* the right size for the room.

Problem is, I don`t think back pain from deliberately sitting in a giant marshmallow counts as an ascetic practice, even in Great Lent :-)

P.S.
By the way, I did enjoy my meat dinner today :-))))))))
A happy and Blessed Dormition Feast to you all.

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Sunday, August 15, 2004

Hoarding

I have a terrible tendency to hoard things.
Some things could indeed conceivably be useful one day, but much of it isn`t.
In a way, it is a bit like a security blanket, you are cocooned in memories and the knowledge that yes, you have got the obscure widget that belongs to the breast pump . But of what earthly use is it to me, when I finished breastfeeding in February ?
Out it all goes. What is useful can go the charity shop, the rest is being binned. Yes, even the diary from 1999, folks !

There are some things, however, which I just cannot part with. Some of DD4`s outgrown clothes from when she was a baby are actually hand-me-downs from DD1 and were bought for her by my father, who reposed when I was very newly pregnant with DD2.
My father only ever saw one of my four beautiful daughters, and he took such delight in buying pretty dresses for her, that I saved them, and all the subsequent daughters have worn them too. I love looking at photos of them wearing clothes my father chose. It is the closest connection they can have to my father in this earthly life.

My baby-having days are over, but the clothes are safely packed away, ready for possible grandchildren in due course.
One day I hope to pass the clothes on, and perpetuate the memory of my very special, beloved and sadly missed father. He died Feb 14 1989, but he will never be forgotten.
Memory Eternal, Donald !
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Saturday, August 14, 2004

05:38 am

Aaagh.
It is 05:38 am . Daughter number 3 has woken up complaining she can`t get back to sleep. I am too tired to get up, take her back to her room, tuck her in , read her a story, so she hops in bed with hubster and I and daughter 4 (age 2).

Do you remember the song "There were ten in the bed and the little one said Roll over " ?
It felt just like that. DD3 of course fell asleep instantly. I was lying on my side, squashed .
Despite being sleepy, I could not get back to sleep, so I gave up and went downstairs.
Must be the earliest I have said my morning prayers for a good few months :-0

Then kettle on for a cup of coffee, and computer on to read my email.
I have sat by the window watching the sky turn from midnight blue to pink with the sunrise, and now at 06:24 it is blue sky with cotton wool ball clouds.

The garden is very green. That really isn`t such an odd comment, I promise.
The previous owners (we only moved in February of this year) have done a great job of the garden, planned for lots of colour when various plants and shrubs are in bloom, but there are several shrubs which really do need some serious thinning out. The back fence is almost completely covered with a variety of variegated and single colour Ivies, and it is just all so...well, green.

I think I will trim the Ivy plants, and next year I will have raspberry canes along the back fence. Ok, it will be a different kind of green, but the variety I am looking at in the catalogue produce up to 4lbs of fruit per cane. Yes, my favourite fruit is...raspberries.

There are plenty of odd spaces in the flower borders where I could grow veggies, too. I have earmarked sites for potatoes, onions, leeks. The courtyard outside the window is crying out for two big strawberry planters, and there is space for a grape-vine to grow up the pergola, which currently has passion-flowers and honeysuckle.

I am fed up with my dependence on expensive, pesticide ridden supermarket food. With a little effort, I can grow at least some of my food , which will be fresh and organic. The exercise will be good for me, and the necessary discipline of watering, de-weeding etc will undoubtedly be of benefit.

I love being a stay at home mum, and I am profoundly thankful to my dear husband for his hard work and quiet resignation to the days and nights spent away from home in order to provide for us all, and for me to care full-time for our family. He is a whole-hearted believer in one parent being at home as much as possible, especially while the children are young, and he makes it possible for me to do this.
I think doing some serious food-growing will not only lessen our expenditure and be more healthy, but will also remind the children and me of how dependant we are on God`s blessings, and that food doesn`t miraculously appear on the table without someone`s effort, whether mine in growing it or my husband`s in going to work to earn money to buy it.

And I certainly need to cultivate patience and self-discipline, as well as a constant spirit of thanksgiving for the many blessings I have.
If only they too came in packets of seeds with the logo "Just add water !"


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One In, One Out.

This afternoon, hubster and I went to town to buy some cards.
My dear step-father`s very elderly mother passed away and I wanted to get my step-father a condolences card.
We also heard this week that friends of my husband have a safely-arrived new baby, a great joy after the death of their last baby in the womb a few weeks before his birth.

At the counter of the shop, I handed over the two cards, and the cashier remarked how strange it was , to be buying a sympathy card and a birth congratulation card at the same time, and an elderly gentleman in the shop piped up "ah well, one in, one out".
It was so true, and it made me stop and think about how transient and ephemeral our earthly life is.

The old phrase "so much to do, but so little time" takes on a whole new dimension with regard to prayer and repentance. Each night I ask for more time for repentance, but sometimes I feel that even if I lived for a million years, I could not even begin to repent .

Of your charity, please pray for the repose of the soul of Mam Seaward.
May her Memory be Eternal.
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Friday, August 13, 2004

Compassion

One of my favourite hobby-horses is the plight of battery hens in the world of British farming.

My ex-husband and I once bought some hens from a battery farm supplier - they were lovely little pullets, about 16 weeks old. When they were delivered, we took them out the box they had travelled in, and they didn`t know what to do. They had never seen sunlight and when I put them on the grass in the garden, they literally "froze", they were so frightened.

It took several days before they gained confidence and courage in this strange new world where they now had lots of room to walk, run, stretch their wings, climb and look for food.They very soon became tame, would run to the back door as soon as it opened, and would cluck happily at any human. They particularly loved the children (only daughters 1 and 2 then !), and would try to get in the house whenever they could. They were more than once found sitting on the settee watching TV with the children :-)


Their main hobby was chasing our two cats, who soon learned to respect Henrietta and Belladonna for their sharp beaks and claws, and they learned to live in harmony.

I will never forget the day the hens laid their first eggs....we heard some earnest clucking from the hen house, then the hens emerged and carried on eating. The children investigated the hen house and came out with a beautiful, brown, warm egg each.
The eggs were fabulous, tasty, and soon our two little hens were presenting us with 14 eggs a week. Soon we were giving eggs away, and they gave great pleasure to many people.
The most pleasure was for us in knowing that we had given two hens a decent life, doing what hens should be able to do, and not being stuck in a wire mesh cage where each bird has the floor space of a size of A4 paper, and will never see daylight again.

The average battery hen will lay 310 eggs per year. The average free-range hen will lay an average of 295 eggs per year. Can we truly justify keeping hens in frankly obscene living conditions just to squeeze an extra 15 eggs per year out of them ?
If dogs were treated this badly, people would be protesting vehemently, but hens ......who stands up for them ?

Consumer power cannot be over-estimated......buy free-range eggs, and lobby companies who do not use free-range eggs in their products. No -one wants food to become more expensive, but can cruelty be justified either ?
Please have a look at www.thehenshouse.co.uk and see what one woman`s determination has achieved.


Or even better, keep your own hens. You do not need a cockerel unless you want to breed from your hens, hens are affectionate, clever little creatures and will lay lovely eggs for minimal feed costs. They *will* scratch up your grass and produce chicken manure, and they will need feeding, watering and hen -house cleaning, but they are well worth it. You do need to have a reasonable amount of space for them to roam in, so it is not for those with a tiny garden. Our new house probably has too small a garden, but one day I will have my hens again :-)
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Thursday, August 12, 2004

Fear Re-visited

Good morning !
The view from the window this morning is : 50% blue sky, 50% white fluffy clouds. Last night`s torrential rain has stopped, the rubbish has been put out for the refuse collector van and my dear hubster has gone back to work , to return home Friday lunchtime.


Daughters 1 and 3 went to see Thunderbirds at the cinema last night and came home very enthusiastic. I think this will be one film I get on DVD, as I cannot persuade hubster to go to the cinema with me to see it..........me, I love Thunderbirds. [Not just because Anthony Edwards, my favourite ER actor is in it either :-) ]
I also love Star Trek.
And Babylon 5.
There, my guilty secret is out.

Much to hubster`s surprise, I did not enjoy the new Lord of the Rings trilogy films although I love the books. The films were well done, but the hobbits just weren`t the way *I* imagined them. Do any of you remember the wonderful animated LOTR cartoon, back in the 80`s, I think, that only covered part of the story and then, I imagine, the funding ran out ? That had the hobbits just right. Orlando Bloom was just too pretty.
It always amazes me how influential the subjective likes and dislikes in our lives can be .......after all, why could I not suspend my own visualisations and prejudices about hobbits for a short while in order to be able to enjoy someone else`s interpretations?

Said beloved hubster is one of the kindest, gentlest men on the planet. He never speaks ill of anyone. Yet surprisingly, he likes thrillers and agggressive action movies. He has Rambo, every Arnie film, and will watch films that to me are Horror genre and would give me nightmares for months, and he will enjoy them. When I am cringing and hiding my eyes when people are being slit with knives, stalked and generally experiencing the bad side of life, he just laughs and reminds me that "It is only a film !".
Well, I know that, but I still can`t watch them. They raise my Fear levels **way** beyond comfortable.
Which brings me to the point of this post !

Go read this http://neepeople.squarespace.com/journeymanjames/fear.html

Jim and Laura are on my daily blog -read list , though we have never met and may never do so in this life. Jim`s post on Fear left me quaking in my purple slippers.
Hubster works away a lot, and I am in the house with four female offspring many nights. I do not know what I would do if , God forbid, an intruder broke in. I almost always have my mobile phone in my bedroom so I could call for help, but nevertheless............. I am short, and have the physical fitness of a wet noodle. At least in the USA, you are able to protect yourself against invaders in your own home.

In the UK, you cannot rely on it. If an intruder breaks in your home, and you hit him on the head with a frying-pan, he can sue *you* for assault and claim damages. If your dog bites an intruder whilst in your own home, the intruder can sue you for not keeping your animal under control. In the UK, the legal attitude seems to be that the only "reasonable force" you can use to defend yourself against an intruder is limited to " Be a good chap and leave my property, please. I have called the police".

If you do anything more than that, you do risk being imprisoned for assault. My only hope is that daughter number 3 would wallop the intruder with a hockey stick and disable him long enough for us to tie him up. She would be below the age where she could be sent to prison for assault, and we would only have to worry about being charged with keeping a potential weapon in the house.

And yes, here you can be prosecuted for carrying anything that could conceivably be described as a potential weapon if you have the intention of using it as such. So if I carry a metal hair comb with a long handle in my bag, thinking one day it might come in handy to defend myself against an attacker, God help me because the legal system will eat me alive if a poor innocent attacker gets hurt as a result.

The only thing - and perhaps the best thing - I can do is to pray. My children have their guardian angel icons in their rooms and have been taught that their angels are there to help them wherever they are. I do believe it too, but there is always the nagging doubt at the back of my mind.

Jim`s post on fear left me quaking. If I defend my family, I could end up in prison and my family would suffer. If I don`t, we could end up seriously hurt or dead. My only consolation is that we live next door to a lovely couple, and they are both police officers..........I will just train my kids to scream very, very, very loud :-)
Lord, have mercy.
love,
Elizabeth
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Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Fast food

Sometimes, the Orthodox fasts can do strange things to your mind :-)


Yesterday, I was eating fasting food but daughters 3 and 4 are not so keen, so I am breaking them in gently. They had home cooked beefburgers in buns for lunch. The smell was soooo good. When I was clearing up after them, I just stood there and looked at the scraps of food left on the plates, and drooled. Beefburgers....mmmmmmmmm.


I felt like Homer Simpson when confronted with doughnuts or gummy bears , I wanted to taste theose scraps of meat so badly, it was
a/ quite scary and
b/quite funny.
I must have looked at them for a full minute before steeling myself to scrape the remnants in the bin.
Then I was cross with myself for spending so much time thinking about food that I will be able to eat again next week....not next year, but next week !!


How hard it is to fast from food and the tyranny of my stomach. No doubt about it, I am a glutton and a cross one at that. So , only two of the seven deadly sins in one minute......how much worse could it get ? LOL.

Now to cook sausages for said youngest daughters, corn tortillas and chickpeas and salad for me. Good thing I`m not so keen on sausages, I suppose.

Or perhaps the answer is to get a dog who will eat all the scraps and take temptation out of my way, which will do nothing for my self-control though.
Oh well, it was only a thought.

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The curtain opens....

Or for those of a pedantic yet accurate turn of mind, the blind rolls up :-)
My blog is called The Garden Window for the simple reason that my computer desk is in front of the window which overlooks our little courtyard garden.

This is probably my second favourite spot in the house.........my family all swear that it is my favourite simply because I am at the computer, but I spend a lot of time just sitting looking out of the window at the sky, the clouds, passing birds, our plum tree and all the plants in the garden.
Being brutally honest, at the moment I can see a lot of white clouds, the cat`s feeding bowl, daughter number 3`s scooter lain on the path and daughter number 4`s underwear. Sigh. It is that time in my life again when I am toilet-training a two year old. youngest child is currently and affectionately known as "Puddles -R- Us" for obvious reasons. Said underwear has undoubtedly been discarded because it has become damp, so I will go to investigate and mop up.

Aaah, peace and domestic harmony returns.
The joys of playing in a chilly garden (with black clouds looming ) have worn off, and the youngest ones are in the warm house. Daughters 3 and 4 are curled up on the settee, watching the complete series 1 and 2 of Scooby-Doo - yup, the original cartoon series from my own youth, digitally remastered no doubt, and burnt onto DVD for our delectation and purchased from the blessed EBay web site.
I can hear vague sounds upstairs, indicating that eldest daughter is emerging from sleep, which is pretty good considering it is only 09.44 am. Young ones and I have been up since 06.00am, on the other hand ! To be absolutely fair, Daughter 1 is a night-owl, happily staying up till 2 or 3 am, whereas I am desperate for my bed by 10 pm. We do spend the same number of hours awake, just not at the same times, LOL.
As normal, I have strayed from the subject :-)
My favourite place in the house is the icon corner in the dining room. I am an Orthodox Christian (in a parish of the Greek Orthodox Church`s diocese of Thyateira and Great Britain, in communion with the Ecumenical Patriarch) and the icon corner is where I say my prayers, a reminder of the ever constant presence of God, and a prompt to say a prayer, however brief, as I pass through the room . It also sometimes stands as a reproach, a silent rebuke and warning to my guilty conscience that now is the time for repentance, a metanoia, a turning around from my sinful ways which cause God sadness, and to those around me, grief from the hurt I intentionally or unintentionally do to them by my words and deeds.
Living in the icon corner are icons of Christ the Ruler, the Tikhvin Mother of God, St David of Wales, St Tatiana of Rome, St Nicholas of Myra, Sts Helen and Constantine, St Michael the Archangel, St John of Kronstadt, St Herman of Alaska, Great Martyr St Barbara, St Elizabeth and St Barbara the New Russian Martyrs, St Jospeh of Arimathea, St John Chrysostom, St Spyridon of Corfu, St Seraphim of Sarov, St George and St Demetrius. I am eagerly waiting for the delivery of an icon of dear St Xenia of St Petersburg - patience has *never* been one of my strong points !!
Anyway, domestic duties call, and I will return later ;-)
Elizabeth

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