Sunday, 27 September 2009

Brambly hedges....

Lots of reasons to be cheerful today.
The weather has continued to be sunny and clear: I was outside in a T-shirt today. We were all out picking blackberries. Lee and me were collecting them in an old ice cream box and Roo was storing more in his tummy. He was like our quality control officer: sampling the produce to make sure it was good enough to use and encouraging us to keep on picking. (Mmmm... it's tayshty, Mama!) When the lunchbox was full we headed home and when the lads were in bed I made jam with our gathered berries. Guided by Darina Allen's excellent advice, I added some stewed bramley apples (to help it set) and ended up with four little pots full of my favourite jam. Lee also collected some sloes with the intention of making sloe gin, which we drank once in the North pre-sprogs. Here is a picture of a ladybird that we met along the way. One of the few I've seen this year.

Earlier at mass we were told that for the first time, the diocese' contribution to Trócaire'sLenten campaign exceeded 300,000 Euro, which is quite something in these times of recession. Maybe we think more of the plight other people when we are in a tight spot ourselves. Or maybe when times are good we think someone else will donate and we don't need to. Or we're too busy?
Fr Noonan also spoke about Holman Hunt's picture, The Light of the World. Apparently, years after it was painted, the version in St Paul's gave everyone a surprise. The image had become obscured with dirt, so they sent it off to be cleaned. The frame was removed and underneath it they discovered a message from the artist saying sorry for leaving the Lord outside for so long.
And look, can you see the brambles on the door?

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Pray, Hope and Don't Worry

I watched a really interesting programme about Padre Pio tonight. A bit spooky in bits, what with the whole bi-location and wrestling with the devil thing. But I didn't realise one of his sayings was 'Pray, hope and don't worry'. It's so simple, like John Paul II's 'Be not afraid'.
Easier said than done, of course. We had a setback today with the house we can't sell. Someone who had agreed to rent it has pulled out. It would have been a huge help as we are paying mortgage on that house and rent on this one each month. We'll just have to pray, hope and not worry....
The picture came from via Google images. If you click on it, you'll find a lovely story about Padre Pio and pasta, which he and my boys share a love of, apparently.

We are still blessed with sunshine here, an Indian summer. It's wonderful to be able to spend time outside with the lads, Lou on my back in the sling, Roo chattering incessantly, picking 'berries' (but 'not red ones') and dig, dig, digging. Today we planted mustard seeds in the veg patch. My hero from Gardener's World, Alys Fowler, recommended it on the telly as a green manure, so it was a good incentive to clear the ground (again) and kick-start our life of self-sufficiency. (Yeah, right!)

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Could do better

My attempt at a caramel cupcake. Notes for next time- use a bit of milk for spongey bit and ice them with the big nozzle on the piping bag.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Flying boats

Today we went on an aeroplane! Roo's favourite story at the moment is 'Going on a plane' much to Lee's annoyance , as he is bored with reading it at this stage. So on a whim, we decided to visit the Flying Boat Museum in nearby Foynes.
We had a great day learning about the exciting times when the first transatlantic flights took off and landed in this little town.
The famous Irish Coffee was apparently invented here when the airport chef wanted to warm and cheer up some miserable travellers who had started off to the U.S. but had to turn back as the plane ran out of fuel. This was a problem back then in the infant jet-setting days of the '30's and'40's. So naturally, as keen historians, we had to partake in one of the tipples. Here it is above and very nice it was too.
Part of the museum is a replica flying boat that you can look at and walk around. That was the best bit for all of us, not least Roo who finally got to go on an aeroplane. He doesn't remember his actual first time on an aeroplane a year and a half ago.
Before we went in, we had a picnic outside in the sunshine. The weather has been great here for the last week or so, which is all the more welcome after the rubbish Summer we've just had. Three wet years in a row. Then later on we went to the park in Adare and ate some cupcakes we brought with us as a newly married couple posed for photos in the near distance and Roo played a one-sided game of hide-and-seek with a little girl on the bandstand.
A lovely day.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

The remote control went missing today, but luckily Mum was on hand to help. She told me about a new prayer she heard recently. To our busy patron saint of lost things. Maybe someone should make it into a rap...
'Tony, Tony, look around
Something's lost and must be found'
And yes, it worked.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

rainy days and wednesdays

Today, I left behind my two little buachailli to attend my first quilting class. I never really had a burning desire to make quilts, but I would really like to learn how to sew properly, having owned a sewing machine since before we got married, so after meeting a nice quilting lady at the show in August, I decided I would sign up for classes at the Limerick Quilting Centre.
As I went in, I met some other 'quilters' carrying their equipment. Inside it was all very friendly and welcoming. The classes go on year-round, so there are people there who've been going for months and years and others like me who've only just begun, as Karen Carpenter would say. Well, I'm afraid to say, I think there's a distinct possibility of me getting hooked. Our lovely teacher, Maeve (an effective blend of encouraging but ever so slightly strict) showed me a photo of the quilt I'm 'going to make' and I nearly fell over. It is beautiful, but seems so intricate and will take ages... and lots of patience, because I am so ham-fisted. But I think I will love it. Today was basic enough- learning to cut straight (not my strong point) and sew straight (even less so), but all around me were tantalising shelves-full of exciting lovely fabrics. I'm looking forward to picking colours for my quilt, but I have a feeling there's a good bit of practising before I'm let loose on that. Not that I'm getting ahead of myself, but I've already decided to put it on the brown squishy sofa in the living room.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Lou has conked out on my lap, just as Roo's birthday begins! He'll be awake again soon though, when he hears what he's missing... He has started bab-bab-babbling in the last few days! Such gorgeous little noises. I love them.

Friday, 4 September 2009

Just wanted to share something. Today's Rosary is the Sorrowful Mysteries, which I find difficult to complete, although my little book is really helping. Here is another help, with great reflections each day for all the mysteries, from the Holy Cross Family Ministries' website.

Show me, show me a birthday boy

Today the buildup to Roo's third birthday begins as Lee's Mum comes to stay for the weekend. For the first time, he is aware of what a birthday entails because he has been to a few birthday parties over the Summer and seen things on his favourite telly programme, the wonderful 'Show Me, Show Me'. So I have requests for a party including jelly, cake (chocolate of course), balloons and sandwiches. The Argos catalogue has been pored over time and again; every so often something gets pointed out to me, usually involving Thomas, Bob or Lego. He didn't realise until very recently that you can actually buy the things in the catalogue. Up until then, it was just this really interesting book which seemed to contain everything in the whole world, although the toy pages were what he looked at most. But he is a good little boy and doesn't pester us for things.

The blog has been quiet lately because my lovely phone, which I sent most of my posts from, got broken. In the meantime, Lou has started crawling! And he has four teeth now, with more on the way, if his nappies are anything to go by...

I must get cracking now and start tidying and baking!