Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy Birthday

....to Basil, the dog of doom, who is three today :-0
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Goodbye 2008

I don't think I will be sorry to see the back of this year.

Please God, 2009 will see a year of much better health and tranquillity for my dear brother, my mother and so many of my loved ones and friends.


Remembering the passing, three years ago on this night, of my beloved stepfather, Gordon.
May he rest in peace and his Memory Eternal........................
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Just Finished Reading...




I giggled, I laughed out loud, I cringed and I cried at this book. It covers almost every experience it is possible to imagine, and is a thoroughly entertaining and informative read. I bought it "remaindered" from EBay :-)
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A Cold End To 2008



Frost patterns on the car this morning !








No snow, just frost !








Even frost on the sand on the beach......... Brrrr !
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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

My Precious.............

Updated to add:
it is very neat and portable. The screen size is 8.9 inches from one diagonal corner to another. Literally small enough to slip into a moderate sized handbag (purse in USA, I think !).




Laura asked about the web book :-)
I wasn't going to blog about it any more, honest, LOL.

It is a scaled down laptop, basically. Or a glorified upmarket PDA.

It has an 8Gb hard drive, but will accept SD expansion cards to bulk out the capacity by up to 64Gb. Or you can use flash drives in the USB ports too. It has WiFi and Bluetooth.

Mine has an Atom processor and is running Linux Ubuntu as its operating system as opposed to Windows.

It has everything a laptop has **except** a CD/DVD drive. It can play streaming DVD/movies/anything from YouTube, streaming audio and internet Radio Stations, so it is tuned in to The Ark already :-)

It has a web browser, email, a complete Open Office suite so it can be used to do spreadsheets, databases, word processing etc.
It can play games, edit photos/videos, has a built in webcam etc.

It does everything I could want it to do, to be honest, at a fraction of the price of a full laptop. I am glad we opted for this rather than a laptop :-)


And Philippa, I will take a webcam photo from it sometime tomorrow, barring disasters. Though if it gets any colder, you will see me blogging in bed, fully dressed, *and* wearing my sheepfleece dressing gown :-)
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This Post Is Brought To You

...........by the new web book.
From my nice warm bed.
I got up several hours ago and turned the central heating on full blast, but the house is still cold. Bed is the warmest place to be at the moment even when already fully dressed :-)
I did toy with the idea of posting a photo of me from the inbuilt webcam, but decided that would probably be inhumane to you, my dear readers, LOL.

I will try not to go on any more today about the whizzy new toy. I promise.
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Monday, December 29, 2008

Photos, As Promised !








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It's Here !

and it works !!!

It arrived at 2.48 pm and now at 4.15pm and a moderate amount of good-natured banter later, DH managed to get the wireless connection to accept our router info.
Apparently when you set it up in Linux it needs to be set up using ascii hexadecimal code not ascii personal.
Don't ask me what that means,I am only the gopher :-)

DH is a superstar and that is official ! My hero !
Photos to follow soon :-)
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Becoming Jane

A few days ago, DH went onto the Sky movies website to which we subscribe and downloaded the film "Becoming Jane" for my entertainment whilst I was confined to my bed of sickness.
It was very sweet of him, and I thoroughly enjoyed the film. I love all things Jane Austen and Regency House Party orientated, so this was a treat.

Today I found a whole gallery of stills from the film , so guess what is on my desktop at the moment ?

When the web book **eventually** arrives, said photos will be duly uploaded to it forthwith :-)
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Still Waiting


Only another 6 hours and 6 minutes in which they can deliver my web book before they are officially late :-)

Picture from this fab site.
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Too Much Information....



I emptied the dust cylinder just before I cleaned the living room. This is the horrifying amount of birdseed and dog hair that was sucked in by my lovely Dyson * just now *.
Sigh.

I do love the pets, but the mess they generate is far greater than the children make. Or my husband. Or myself :-)
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Even The Dog ....



was sick yesterday morning. Here he is, looking very sorry for himself, shortly afterwards........
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A Day In The Life Of....

Woke up whilst it was still dark. My first thought ?
My webbook arrives today !

Got up at 08.00, just as it was getting light. No delivery van in sight.
Took dog into garden to perform his ablutions. Panicked briefly in case delivery man tried to deliver my webbook whilst I was in the garden and took it away again, having had no answer when he knocked at the front door! Needless to say, this did not happen. DH was in the house with the children so he would have heard the delivery man. Wouldn't he ?

Obsessively check front door for sign of any dreaded card stating "You were out when we tried to deliver your long-awaited and beloved parcel. Ha ha ha, Sucker ! We have taken it back to the Depot of Doom for liberation into the commercial Black Hole from whence it can never be retrieved or redelivered!" I can even hear the maniacal laughter..... but there is no such card. DH assures me there has been no fateful knock at the door and that the parcel has not arrived.

08.30. Made cup of tea. Checked email. Read posts on Bloglines. Wrote to my friend Mary.

09.29. Debating whether or not to have another cup of tea. Put bread out in the garden for our resident Robin Redbreast, who was hopping about looking disgruntled that his snack is LATE !

09.53. Emptied the washing machine of the wetload. Re-distributed it all to various radiators to dry, as there is no wind to dry the clothes outside today and it is bitterly cold for us. Temperatures barely hovering around freezing.

09.55. Look at the young ones still slobbing around in PJ's and playing games. Haven't the heart to stop them and make them get changed. Hope no-one decides to visit with the house in chaos. Can't vacuum at the moment as DH is on the phone sorting some business out, and the Dyson cleaner sounds like Armageddon when it is running :-) The budgies have thrown seed all over the floor to add to the fur the dog has shed overnight. It looks like no-one has cleaned the house for a month, which I know isn't true. I cleaned everywhere throughly on Christmas Eve , LOL.
And have cleaned since. Honest. I promise. Though I can't remember exactly what day. Being ill again has messed up my mind..........

10.06. Made a sensible executive decision to feed the budgies now, before I vacuum. Or I will only have to do it all over again in about an hour.

10.07. Where is my webbook ? As DD2 was wont to say when she was a toddler, "I NEEEED it!" LOL. Patience is not my strongest point.

10.08. I think I am getting twitchy.

10.14. I am definitely getting twitchy. Just finished a cup of coffee. Do I need another cup of coffee or do I need............ CHOCOLATE ? Toast would be more sensible. But I don't want toast. I don't even want Chocolate. I want my webbook !

10.15. Still another 8 hours and 45 minutes in which my webbook could be delivered. What if it doesn't arrive till 6.59pm ? Will I end up marching to the door, frothing at the mouth, grey with the strain, twitching and grimacing so much so that the delivery man will just throw the parcel up the path to me and run off screaming ?

DH is about to tell me to get a grip.
He is quite right.
It is only a parcel.
It is only my Christmas and Birthday present from virtually everyone in my entire extended family. Nothing important after all, is it ?
It is only a webbook.
My webbook.
My precious !!!!!!!!!!!!
Check mirror. Despite several new wrinkles, I have not yet turned into Gollum. I feel like Gollum but do not yet look like him.

10.23. I am going to stop Blogging obsessively.
I am.
I am going to do some housework. And some cooking.
Unless of course my webbook arrives.

DH reminds me that the battery will have to be fully charged before I can play with my new toy, and that might take several hours. So there will still be plenty of time to do the housework and cooking even if it arrives now.

I think he is beginning to have second thoughts about the advisability of getting this whizzy new toy for me.
The slide into domestic chaos might be abrupt............
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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Shopping

I felt recovered enough this afternoon to go shopping with DH and the small ones to Blogtown. Still a bit wobbly and feeling weak, but upright and with a smile on my face :-)

The small ones had some Christmas gift money burning holes in their pockets and wanted to get a new Nintendo DS game each. After checking the prices in five different stores, we settled on the Mario Brothers at the Olympics or some such similar title for DD3 and DD4 chose a Hello Kitty game, both at reasonable prices.
We had a quick browse in Asda and I found a two set of duvets pack which DD3 absolutely loved for only £12. Both designs are very pretty and appropriate to a pre-teenager.
DD3 has a fab pair of thick , fleecy lined bright-red cargo pants for £5.

DH and I have a new toasted sandwich maker and a small slow-cooker (crockpot) for a combined total of £12. That is a serious bargain, LOL.

The sandwich maker has been duly christened with DH's baked bean, bacon and cheese toastie and my bacon, Brie and cranberry sauce toastie. Yum !!

DD3 has already chosen which duvet cover she wants to use first on her bed, so that is what I am heading to do right now.
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Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Saga Continues

.........in more ways than one :-)

Last night, DH ordered me not a replacement laptop to compensate for the last disappointment, but even better, an eminently neat, portable and very much less expensive mini webbook, which will be arriving at my home sometime between 7am and 7pm on Monday.
Allegedly.
Apparently.
According to the retail company.

I have to say, I will believe it when it actually appears, LOL. I think I am destined **not** to be able to do wireless mobile blogging, LOL even more.
This may perhaps be a good thing, in view of the return of the evil vile tummy bug with which I have been stricken again overnight.

This makes twice in one week, which I think is a tad unfair :-(
Having spent most of today asleep, I am feeling much better and have braved drinking a cup of weak tea which has had only a passing glimpse of a carton of skimmed milk. Hopefully this will not cause an exacerbation of the rather distressing symptoms.
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Friday, December 26, 2008

Did I Tell You ?

.......about my non-Christmas present ?


UPDATE TO ADD:

Meg,
my birthday isn't till we get to "Russian Christmas", Jan 7th :-)

I was less than impressed with this Company, given that we have actually bought no fewer than *four* computers with them in the last five years or so. And DH's company buys enormous amounts of stuff from them. I am rapidly going off the idea of getting a laptop from them.

I'm still trying to persuade DH that a spiffy new all-singing, all-dancing wireless PDA would be jolly nice instead, buyt he isn't convinced, LOL.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
original post continues here !

DH, my mum and MIL and the young ones' combined Christmas/Birthday present to me was to be a laptop of my very own. It was duly ordered early in December, from a reputable major company, and we even had an email giving us a scheduled delivery date for early January.

Doing the happy dance..........until DH had an email two days before Christmas to say that due to a technical hitch they had had to cancel our order and could we please re-order. Needless to say, the model we want has been discontinued, the specs changed and the price altered to reflect it too.

They could not confirm whether DH's credit card had been charged for the order till after Christmas break and we certainly weren't about to throw more money at them without knowing that piece of information. And it was too late to get another one from elsewhere before Christmas.

So by the time it all gets sorted out, there is no hope at all that the new laptop will be in my grubby little hands anywhere near my birthday.

Definitely a message to me not to be so attached to material things :-)

I did have the DVD of The Spiderwick Chronicles film from my eldest two to open, though :-)
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The Day After

Updated to explain: the vegetable we call Swede I believe is called Rutabaga in the USA :-)




All went well yesterday.

Everyone loved their presents, we had visits from grandparents bearing even more gifts, and lunch was on the table promptly at 1pm with no culinary disasters or even moderately hair-raising moments, LOL.

Turkey, sausages wrapped in bacon, roast potatoes, boiled potatoes, mashed potatoes, carrots, mashed carrots and swede, Brussel sprouts, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower and peas, apple and herb stuffing balls, lashings of bread sauce, cranberry sauce and gravy.
For our vegetarian visitor, nut roast, all the rest of the above vegetables and his own jug of vegetarian-friendly gravy.

A very lengthy hiatus ensued before anyone could face Christmas pudding and custard, though we did snack on chocolate profiteroles and Baileys cheesecake :-)

Needless to say, I did not want any tea, LOL.

Best of all, I had a long talk to my brother on the phone and am really looking forward to seeing him on the weekend :-)
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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Nativity !

My young ones are asleep; their stockings have been filled, presents heaped ready for them in the morning. The bedtime story tonight was a lovely re-telling of Tolstoy's "Papa Panov", though I edited out some of the questionable lines left in by the translator/re-teller. I must read an old version to see how much of the heretical tendencies were present in the original.......

I have duly guzzled the mince pies and drunk the alcohol the children so kindly left out for Santa.
DoomHamster has returned to the family home to celebrate Christmas with us, and DD2 has travelled back so she will be with us tomorrow morning with her lovely boyfriend :-)

DH is feeling much better, though he complained bitterly because I kept him on clear fluids only for a full 24 hours. I assured him that he could not possibly starve to death in 24 hours, despite the tyranny and protests of his empty stomach trying to convince him otherwise :-).

Presents have been delivered, and the house is silent, watchful and expectant of celebration of the radiant Nativity in the Flesh of Our Lord God and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Christ is Born !
Glorify Him !

I wish you all the joy of the Feast, and pray that God will so richly bless you all on this Holy Day !
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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

And More Sighs

DH has now gone down with the vomiting and diarrhoea bug that the girls and I have recently had, poor lamb :-(

We can't go and see my mum and brother for at least three to four days now because of the risk of him catching this bug. His immune system is in negative equity at present !
It seems to take ~48 hours after exposure to it for symptoms to develop. He would end up straight in hospital again.

Please can I just go to a cave and hibernate till Spring ?
Pretty please ?
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Sigh

A while ago I wrote this.

The situation in my brother's family has indeed now gone to Hell in a handbasket. He phoned my mother first thing this morning to say that he is coming home to stay with her for a few weeks as things have now become utterly unbearable at his home.

He is in a very precarious state of health still, even though he is indeed recovering from his very serious recent illness.

Please remember him and his family in your prayers,and also my mother, who is in great anxiety about them all.

Worry worry worry worry worry worry worry
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Christmas Songs

Update :
Thank you, JTKlopcic ! I thought it was a bit strange that I hadn't heard of it before if, it was supposed to be common knowledge and established fact :-0

A sweet idea, but there are no concepts in the song that would not have been acceptable even to the Reformers........


+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


Am I the only person on the planet who did not know that the song "The twelve days of Christmas" was written as a catechetical song at the time that it was illegal to be Catholic in the UK ?


Shamelessly lifted from the blog of St Mary and St Giles church.........





The song goes, "On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me…" The "true love" mentioned in the song doesn’t refer to an earthly suitor, but it refers to God Himself. The "me" who receives the presents refers to every baptized person. i.e. the Church.



1st Day:
The partridge in a pear tree is Christ Jesus upon the Cross. In the song, Christ is symbolically presented as a mother partridge because she would feign injury to decoy a predator away from her nestlings. She was even willing to die for them. The tree is the symbol of the fall of the human race through the sin of Adam and Eve. It is also the symbol of its redemption by Jesus Christ on the tree of the Cross.



2nd Day:
The "two turtle doves" refers to the Old and New Testaments.



3rd Day:
The "three French hens" stand for faith, hope and love—the three gifts of the Spirit that abide (1 Corinthians 13).



4th Day:
The "four calling birds" refers to the four evangelists who wrote the Gospels—Matthew, Mark, Luke and John—which sing the song of salvation through Jesus Christ.



5th Day:
The "five golden rings" represents the first five books of the Bible, also called the Jewish Torah: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.



6th Day:
The "six geese a-laying" is the six days of creation.



7th Day:
The "seven swans a-swimming" refers to the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord.



8th Day:
The "eight maids a milking " reminded children of the eight beatitudes listed in the Sermon on the Mount.



9th Day:
The "nine ladies dancing" were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit found in Galatians 5:22-23: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.



10th Day:
The "ten lords a-leaping" represents the Ten Commandments



11th Day:
The "eleven pipers piping" refers to the eleven faithful apostles.



12th Day:
The ‘twelve drummers drumming" were the twelve points of belief expressed in the Apostles’ Creed: belief in God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, that Jesus Christ was born of the Virgin Mary, made man, crucified, died and arose on the third day, that he sits at the right hand of the father and will come again, the resurrection of the dead and life everlasting.
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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Erk

My small ones have generously spread their germs to me.

I have been a regular visitor to the bathroom facilities all day, and have spent almost all day in bed.

The gastrointestinal upset has been accompanied by whole body aching, even to the joints below my fingernails. Ouch.
Painkillers are finally starting to work.

Hopefully normal service will be resumed tomorrow........ I need to get my presents wrapped and DD2's shawl finished !!!!
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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Feeling Better

I am pleased to report that I actually had more than half an hour's unbroken sleep last night :-)

DD4 is still sleeping, but DD3 is up and looking so very much better than she did yesterday !

There was a heart-warming story on the BBC web today about a Good Samaritan who lent £5 to a stranded tourist nearly forty years ago, and that tourist has now repaid the money with interest, honouring his promise to repay, albeit slightly late :-)
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Friday, December 19, 2008

The World's Tiniest Christmas Tree

............can be seen here.

It literally fits into the eye of a needle !
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Aaaaagh

Last night, Abby said she didn't feel well.

About an hour later she gave us copious visible evidence of exactly how unwell she was feeling. Having cleared that up, and tucked her up in bed, she managed to miss the bucket and decorate the bedroom carpet. Sigh.
She was sick throughout the night, and when she wasn't being sick she was asking for drinks of water.
She is much brighter now, and tolerating clear fluids and dry biscuits well.

Then this morning Helen woke me up having been sick and unreliable at t'other end. So neither of them could go to school for the last day of term and they have missed out on the Christmas festivities, poor lambs.

I walked to school to deliver presents to the staff from the girls whilst DH did sterling duty nursing the suffering ones at home :-)

Helen is starting to feel a little brighter now, so hopefully they will both be on the mend tomorrow.

I just want to go to sleep :-)
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Thursday, December 18, 2008

The End Of Term

......is looming ! My little ones finish school at 3.15pm tomorrow.

I have been at school virtually all day every day this week, and today was a blissful reprieve, being able to go home at 10.15am :-)
Having said that, DH and I zoomed to town to do some last minute Christmas shopping in peace, LOL. Christmas cards have been posted and I think I am pretty much prepared for Christmas now.

I have been involved in a major project at school, which is rapidly nearing completion. It has been hard work but great fun. I must own to being glad that the holidays are upon us, as I am really tired this term. How the teaching staff cope, I shudder to think, for they are at school for longer working days than I am !
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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I Despair

Words fail me.

Official sanction for Skateboarding **inside** an 800 year old Abbey.

These are the depths to which the Church of England has sunk.
Full story here:


Read it and weep.
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Monday, December 15, 2008

Specially for Meg :-)

I have just been reading a delightful book by David Kennard, "A Shepherd's Watch".
It chronicles a year in the life of a Shepherd who farms on the bleak but glorious North Devon coast, with his sheepdogs.
I am keeping an eye out for his second book.

More at his website.
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Missed Opportunities

It was bitterly cold last night; temperatures here reached -4 degrees. The frost was so thick and white that DD4 thought it had been snowing !

We were warmly bundled up for the walk to school, the ground was pretty slippery with ice and frost so we three held tightly onto each other. The lake was almost completely frozen over and it was just magical to walk past it and see the ducks and geese skittering around on the ice.

I hadn't taken my camera with me, and I so wished that I had. It was so lovely walking to school that it made my heart ache at the sight of such beauty.
On the way back to school this afternoon, the sun was so low in the sky that it would have been impossible to take any decent photos and the light was all wrong anyway.

Tomorrow it is forecast to be much warmer, so undoubtedly the ice will melt and the walk will still be lovely, but not quite so spectacular :-)
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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Low Batteries

I feel as though I am running on low batteries at the moment.

It has been a frantically busy week, added to which there has been the school Nativity Play, plus Christmas Concert and Christmas Fair.
I got home last night and just wanted to collapse in a crumpled heap.

I woke up at 2.00am, so DH and I were chatting about last-minute Christmas shopping plans when I heard a tiny "ker-chink" noise. It was the mad dog, savaging the Christmas tree, yet again, despite the barricades. DH was utterly heroic and went zooming to sort things out whilst I stayed lovely and snug in my nice warm bed :-)
Needless to say, I struggled to get back to sleep and only dozed fitfully the rest of the night. When the alarm went off at 7 am I gave it a less than enthusiastic welcome..........

I felt so exhausted and achey that I couldn't even work up any enthusiasm for the last fencing session of the year this morning. And I really love going fencing.

Luckily DoomHamster stayed over with us last night, so she very kindly took DD3 fencing this morning so DH, DD4 and I could have a quiet morning.

We have sorted out the problem with the tree now; we remove it from the living room when we are going out. Considering it is 6 ft tall, it is a tad eccentric but certainly the simplest solution :-)

I did have a nap this afternoon and am feeling a little better now.

A nice hot bath and an early night should see me feeling much better tomorrow, I hope !
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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Not A Happy Camper

Partly, I think, due to the fact I have been out for quite a lot over the last two days, my dearly beloved dog today decided to storm the barricades and destroyed no fewer than six separate ornaments from the Christmas tree.

Humph.

The only answer may be to shut him in the cold and drafty kitchen and hope he doesn't decide to trash that in retaliation. I am glad DH is home tonight so he can keep the dog company and hopefully guard the tree over the next few days........

Crazy dog !!!
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Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Free Book Download !!!

The OCA have made available a wonderful new web-book for download, entitled "Saints In Times Of Trouble" here, to complement the amazing Saints of North America.

The new book covers St Aidan, St Alexander Nevsky,St John Chrysostom, St Maria Skobtsova, St Mitrophan of China and St Gorazd the New Martyr of Prague, amongst others.
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Guarding The Christmas Tree

We put our tree up on Sunday. Lights, baubles, everything. It looked lovely, and a tribute to the hard work of DD3 and 4.
The dog left it all alone on Sunday. He kept shooting suspicious glances at it, though.
On Monday morning he destroyed one bauble. Monday afternoon he shamelessly attacked three more, even though DD3 &4 and I were in the room.

This morning I came downstairs and even though it was pitch-dark in the room, he had still managed to finagle another bauble off the tree and chew it to smithereens.
So now when I go out, I haul over one of the huge leather chairs from the study and barricade the tree from Basil's depredations.


I'm just wondering how long it will be before he finds a way to circumvent the barricade :-)
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Oliver Postgate

I was sorry to read today of the death of one of this country's great eccentrics.

Oliver Postgate, the creator of immortal children's classic TV shows Bagpuss, The Clangers, Ivor the Engine and Noggin the Nog has died at the grand age of 83.
He gave my children and I immense pleasure by his creations.
A very nice tribute to him has appeared on the Telegraph website.

May he rest in peace and his memory be eternal.........
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Monday, December 08, 2008

New To Me !

Thanks to Meg's Muttonings, I have found a new blogger !

Go see Shelley over at My Mountain Home blog :-)
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De-Christianising A Language

Words relating to Christianity have been dropped from a version of the Oxford English dictionary for children in favour of more "modern" words.

So you will look in vain for any of these:-

Abbey, aisle, altar, bishop, chapel, christen, disciple, minister, monastery, monk, nun, nunnery, parish, pew, psalm, pulpit, saint, sin, devil, vicar .

Even words relating to Chriustmas have gone, such as carol, cracker, holly, ivy and mistletoe .

Instead you will find
words like these:-
Blog, broadband, MP3 player, voicemail, attachment, database, export, chatroom, bullet point, cut and paste, analogue .

I don't see any of these "new" words enriching my children's life significantly...........

Even words relating to wildlife and plantlife have gone, because most children live in towns and cities so they don't see flowers etc. Perhaps that is all the more reason these words should be in the wretched dictionary, so children can find out about them !

Full depressing story here, if you can bear to read it.

I am shaking my head in disbelief that even "psalm" has been dumped.
Lord have mercy.
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Cold, Dark And Wet

It is raining today, after several days of glorious but bitterly cold weather. Yesterday, the frost was so very heavy that despite glorious and quite warm sunshine, the frost persisted in the shade till sundown.

The rain has changed the bracing cold to a penetrating, seeping cold dampness, with lowering skies and consequent lowering of my mood. It is only 1.41pm, yet it looks like dusk is imminent.....
I think I prefer it when it is cold, LOL.
I am already casting covetous eyes on some of my husband's socks, Anastasia, so that I can make the rice foot warmers you mentioned :-)

Last night I slept with cotton sheets, two wool blankets and *two* 15 tog duvets on my bed. I was actually too hot at one point in the night.......

At the moment, I am looking at all the birds in the back garden. There is a feeder with bird seed, a fat ball, and a load of bread pieces for them to feed on. Even the jackdaws are coming looking for food, as well as our more usual robins, finches, tits, sparrows, thrushes, starlings and blackbirds.
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Fearfully And Wonderfully Made......

Some facts to ponder, from one of the medical blogs I read :-


All of the blood vessels in your body, including arteries, veins and capillaries, are more than 60,000 miles long.

An adult heart pumps approximately 2,000 gallons of blood each day

The heart beats about 100,000 times each day

An average human heart beats more than 2.5 billion times in 70 years

Blood takes about 20 seconds to circulate throughout the entire vascular system
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


And we take it all for granted...... Blessed art thou, O Lord !
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Saturday, December 06, 2008

Happy Feast !

I hope you all are having a blessed and happy Feast of St Nicholas the Wonderworker, if you are on the NC!

We went to Liturgy today, and I had a much-needed de-tox at Confession and made my Communion. Then up to my mother's to decorate her Christmas tree for her, as requested.

Holy Father Nicholas, pray for us !!!
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Friday, December 05, 2008

Teds In Space



It could only happen in Britain !
Full story and lots more pics here......
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Thursday, December 04, 2008

I'm An Ingrid !!!

Your result for Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz...

You Are an Ingrid!

mm.ingrid_.jpg


You are an Ingrid -- "I am unique"



Ingrids have sensitive feelings and are warm and perceptive.



How to Get Along with Me

  • * Give me plenty of compliments. They mean a lot to me.

  • * Be a supportive friend or partner. Help me to learn to love and value myself.

  • * Respect me for my special gifts of intuition and vision.

  • * Though I don't always want to be cheered up when I'm feeling melancholy, I sometimes like to have someone lighten me up a little.

  • * Don't tell me I'm too sensitive or that I'm overreacting!




What I Like About Being an Ingrid

  • * my ability to find meaning in life and to experience feeling at a deep level

  • * my ability to establish warm connections with people

  • * admiring what is noble, truthful, and beautiful in life

  • * my creativity, intuition, and sense of humor

  • * being unique and being seen as unique by others

  • * having aesthetic sensibilities

  • * being able to easily pick up the feelings of people around me




What's Hard About Being an Ingrid

  • * experiencing dark moods of emptiness and despair

  • * feelings of self-hatred and shame; believing I don't deserve to be loved

  • * feeling guilty when I disappoint people

  • * feeling hurt or attacked when someone misundertands me

  • * expecting too much from myself and life

  • * fearing being abandoned

  • * obsessing over resentments

  • * longing for what I don't have




Ingrids as Children Often

  • * have active imaginations: play creatively alone or organize playmates in original games

  • * are very sensitive

  • * feel that they don't fit in

  • * believe they are missing something that other people have

  • * attach themselves to idealized teachers, heroes, artists, etc.

  • * become antiauthoritarian or rebellious when criticized or not understood

  • * feel lonely or abandoned (perhaps as a result of a death or their parents' divorce)




Ingrids as Parents

  • * help their children become who they really are

  • * support their children's creativity and originality

  • * are good at helping their children get in touch with their feelings

  • * are sometimes overly critical or overly protective

  • * are usually very good with children if not too self-absorbed




Take Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz
at HelloQuizzy

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How To Strikethrough

Anastasia,
it is a bit fiddly but not difficult.

There is a nice tutorial here ,

but they use codes to indicate the start of a new paragraph as well, which confused me a bit.
Just remove the code which says < p > at the start and end.....
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Widgets

Philippa, the Women of the Bible widget can be found here.

There are two options; one will display a single profile for a week, another will randomise each time the page is visited/refreshed.
I went for the second option :-)

Just copy the code, go to the layout page and insert the code. It is very easy on Blogger, but I'm not sure how difficult it will be with other formats......
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Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Cccccc-old !

It is absolutely freezing here :-)

We have had our third night of very heavy frost and the small lake is about one third frozen over, even at lunchtime, despite the sun shining brightly.

I must go and replenish the wild bird seed in the back garden feeder so the wee ones can refuel for the cold night ahead.

I just wish I could make my feet feel warm again ...... Brrrrr.
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Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Women Of The Bible

I have found a randomised Women of the Bible widget !
Have a look at my sidebar - now that's not something you get to say every day , LOL. :-)
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Monday, December 01, 2008

Latin Carols

I absolutely have to show you this site !
A different Christmas carol or song in Latin for each day of December :-)
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Amazing !

Australians have had a rare opportunity to see an amazing "smile in the Sky", formed by the alignment of Jupter and Venus with the crescent moon.
Go here to see the pictures !
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Blogroll Again !

Magda,
**of course** baby pictures count as updates !!!!!!!!!
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