Christmas carols/songs come in all shapes and sizes – sung by huge choirs down to individual performers, they can be found in all forms on the web
One of my particular favourites ’Angels from the realms of glory ’ may not be yours, that’s fine we don’t all like the same, it’d be a funny old world if we did. It’s often confused with ’Angels we have heard on high’, ….both similarly named and both sung to the same/similar french originating tune https://hymnary.org/tune/gloria_french
but I must just tell you that which ever one I’m singing, either in a choir or just listening to it on my own, I get goosebumps if the refrain Gloria in excelsis Deo is used.
I’ve really enjoyed your company (and comments) this past year but like many others I’m feeling a bit tired and weary (and for some reason very emotional – drop of the hat tears) so think now is the right time to push the seasonal pause button
My love to you all – I’ll be back again some time in January
A review of the contents of the veg drawer in the fridge on a cool day last week showed half a butternut pumpkin and a couple of carrots that wouldn’t pass the cut on a dinner plate so it was do (in another form) or die day for them. The doing I had in mind was an old favourite – a one pot ’bubble away quietly in the corner and cook by yourself casseroley thing’ we call Pumpkin Potato Lentil Hotpot
After a bit of rummaging in the spice and pulses dept I discovered that all the ingredients (or substitutes) for the meatless meal were actually in house. So there was no running up the street to the supermarket at the last minute – what you’ve never done that before??
I don’t think it matters if I use liquid oil and not a spray, my veg stock comes as powder not cubes, my garlic is from a jar not fresh, green lentils joined the red ones to make up the numbers and that due to a lack of green beans, carrots were added instead 😊
However I’m at a loss wondering why, when (for once) I actually used (nearly) all the tabled ingredients (weighed and measured properly as well) my hotpot has a ‘redder’ look than the one in the book. Maybe the tomatoes in my tin were riper than hers lol
I possibly could have chopped the veg a bit smaller – it had a rather rustic look on the plate so I added some crusty rolls on the side to mop up the sauce; and the taste according to The Golfer when he put his spoon and fork down and laid his hands on his rather full belly was “Not Bad, Not Bad at all’ …..reinforcing my idea that real men will eat anything that’s put in front of them when they’re hungry 😊
(I used the stove top….but know from experience once all ingredients are combined it cooks just as well in a crockpot/slow cooker)
Remember that old superstition about things coming in threes ~ a couple of good/bad things will happen and we begin to wonder about a third ~
~ well here’s my three feel good ‘smiley’ things from last week ~
1 ~ Smiles galore last week when a granddaughter announced she had just become engaged. A tall girl who managed to snag a tall fella so in time I’m sure there’ll be tall children who’ll dwarf their rather short Gt. Grandma 😊
2 ~ Smiles all round last week when a son we’d had limited contact with for several (non covid related) years walked unannounced into the garden, sat down and started talking as though nothing had happened. We had known he was ’alive and well’, so there was no prying from me or his father (it’ll all come out in time) just sweet joy that he finally came home…..bearing no gifts, just himself for a few hours ❤️
3 ~ Smiles all round last week when I came home from the pool with a little water resistant ’stuff it’ bag to replace the zip lock I had been using to contain all those necessary bits I didn’t want to have contact with wet towels and bathers on the way home. After checking in, the receptionist saw me ’struggling’ to get the new (larger) phone into the plastic bag and with a big smile said…..”today is your lucky day, I have been doing a tidy up out the back and have just the thing for you”
Now I have a neat little bag (plus accompanying water bottle, remainders from a promotion geared towards school children) large enough to comfortably take car keys, phone, wallet, (face cream) and sunnies as well. No more scrabbling around trying to locate things at the bottom of a bag containing soggy wet things. Love it ! 🏊♀️🏊♀️🏊♀️
Did the number three feature in any way in your life recently?
Going through old photos (again) ….aka reliving previous travels…..
September 2004 – a great trip to Canada….
east coast for extended family time – west coast for pleasure, which included time in Calgary, a drive up to Banff for afternoon tea at The Chateau along with the obligatory photo on the terrace in front of Lake Louise.
December 2021 – retrieved from the wardrobe, in working order and used occasionally
all I need are blue jeans (in the wash) and a green screen projecting a photo of the lake and I could travel without the hassle 😊
During our winter stay in Bowen we shop at the same national supermarket chain as down here in Melbourne. It’s a case of doing that (being the only supermarket in town) or using the local independent grocer – IGA – also a sort of national chain but owner run – with slightly higher prices. Being a ’country town’ most of the businesses close at lunchtime Saturday – no city weekend trading hours there…..apart from one chemist/pharmacy and IGA.
We use powdered milk, have done for many a year, it works for us, is easier to have on hand rather than the UHT long life stuff (yuk) and usually mixes quite easily….except for a couple of months prior to going away we noticed it was needing a bit more effort to get rid of lumpy bits of undissolved powder on the top of the liquid. Anyway, one week there was a problem with supply – lots of full cream but no skim on the shelves or out the back. Still none available a few days later so out of necessity one Sunday we went down to the other place….where their shelves were full. Same weight….Same price….bet it’s all packed into different packets in the same factory. Same ratio of powder and water to mix……same taste….but there was one difference……it dissolved and mixed up a dream. Just with a fork, no beater needed. Big smiles all round.
Back home again the last bag of the original brand I had on hand here was almost finished so I decided to hunt out the ’new’ one. Unlike the other national chains those shops aren’t on every corner so it was a fair drive to the closest…half way up the mountain just for a couple of packs of skimmed milk powder😊
And what’s with the picture below ?
Well, I was about to recycle the empty pack and wondered if there was a difference in the health/daily allowance figures on the front. Oh dear…the figures on the lower ‘new’ pink bag are much higher than the ones above on the ‘old’ grassy green one
Oops, now I see why…..one is for a 250ml serve – the other for a 100ml serve. Now where did I put those specs??
It was a bit chilly yesterday morning when I had to nip down to the library at Montrose – the one that sits at the bottom of the Dandenongs. Chilly wasn’t the word for it – the wind blowing along Mt Dandenong Road was freezing. Two weeks into Summer – two weeks before Christmas – and I’m wearing jeans and a windcheater. Which is why we don’t ’put away and store’ our clothes by the season here in Melbourne😊
I’d finished doing the other bits and pieces on my list (a list is definitely needed in the cold, the wind gives me brain freeze – well that’s my excuse) and making my way back to the car I had to walk past the bakery and what do I see but one of the girls filling the pie warmer.
Now meat pies are not normally found on our diet – they are what we call footy food. Small not family sized, fits in the palm of your hand, eaten while still in a paper bag, – comfort food best eaten when the weather is cold and you’re at the footy oval.
The ones I could see were not commercial factory made pies – oh no, these were freshly baked there on the premises, just out of the oven and looking so good. So, as it was nearly 12 noon in I went and bought one.
‘Home is just a couple of kilometers away, if I don’t get caught at the lights it’ll still be nice and hot when I get back so I can have it for lunch’.
That’s what was being said in my head as I paid for it.
Reality set in when I got to the car, I was cold, I was hungry, I just couldn’t help myself – this hot pie didn’t stand a chance. I sat there watching the traffic go by as I took a couple of snaps of the dark clouds over the hills……then ate it, savouring every morsel. Delicious!!
Temptationis a desire to engage in short-term urges for enjoyment that threatens long-term goals – source
Linking to Life this Week hosted by Denyse at Denyse Whelan Blogs. Do pop over and see what others have been up to this week
Q:- Accept a Covid booster offered for two days before Christmas or wait until the middle of January.
~ ~ ~ ~ Health and Safety on Scorching hot Summer days or Soaking wet Winter days…which we’ve had both sorts of recently
Q:- Do I use the little supermarket – closer to home – less stock – strange staff has level undercover parking. Or use the larger one – further from home – far greater stock choice – great friendly helpful staff BUT has open air parking on a slight slope.
~ ~ ~ Continuing to meet with like minded others
Q:- Would I be in favour of the amalgamation of my Probus club with another nearby one. Both have a diminishing membership – both are finding it difficult to attract new members – one is just ladies only….. the other combined (m/f) – one meets in a small hall which must be ’set up’ and ’put away’ by members in line with covid safety precautions….the other in a nearby club where they just walk in to a comfortable prepared room, have their meeting, then walk out again. No risk, no responsibility.
~ ~ ~ Taking part in and enjoying the Christmas spirit in a major or minor way
Q:- Do I ‘decorate’ now (very early) or leave until our usual traditional Christmas Eve time. Do I put up just one small tree or both little/large trees or just place special bits and pieces around the house.
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January will be the jab day….if I have a reaction I certainly don’t want to be running around looking for medical services on public holidays.
Which supermarket I use (same chain/same prices) is an ongoing dilemma ….it usually depends on the weather, what I need and how nimble on my feet I’m feeling
I’m definitely in favour but wonder if we’ll lose the atmosphere and feel of the lively discussions that are part of our all female club
Today is the 10th of December and I still haven’t decided – it’ll either be go go go from tomorrow or slow slow slow until the 24th 😊
Change that to coffee and here you have where The Golfer will spend time (when he’s not ’you know where’ ) enjoying the morning sunshine along with ’snacks’ and his latest read……a very long ’Cormoran Strike ‘ novel ( Troubled Blood – Robert Galbraith)
On a couple of days last week, here in Victoria the weather gods treated us to hot hot summer temperatures plus a couple of the dooziest of storms we’ve seen for a while which will certainly have helped to top up the dams plus scare the living daylights out of anyone when the gale blew and the thunder roared overhead – in actual fact the whole of the east coast has been battling storms and floods for a couple of weeks so dams and rivers have certainly been running fast and furious everywhere
Watching it come down had me thinking about the years when there was no water to be had at all. When here in Australia towards the end of the last century (1996/97) we were in drought, one which lasted for many many years. During that time the word of the day was conserve. Conserve as much water as we could –
– we didn’t know when it was going to rain again and it was possible the drastic water restrictions we had then would last forever.
So as we used them I would gather dishes and stack them in the big kitchen sink to wash once a day (usually mid morning ) in the little sink – that water then washed the stove, cats dishes, and at times was baled into a small bucket to use to wash the kitchen floor – oh, and then it would get tossed over one of the plants near the back door. The first water drawn before it got hot was collected in a jug and used to fill the kettle during the day. ’If it’s yellow let it mellow- if it’s brown flush it down’ was a catch cry even little kids became familiar with.
Showers were cut down to as short a time as possible – always with a bucket to keep you company which was then emptied over a plant near the back door, and the baths I loved were rare treats. Treats that would end in hard work when conscious of making use of every drop The Golfer would bale into the bucket , walk it down the hallway to toss each bucket load over the hardy plants at the front door.
Then La Nina came to visit early in 2010, the drought (now called the Millenium Drought) began to break and the rains returned – heavy rains that brought floods to just about every state – the strict water restrictions were eased and a new set of Permanent (still relevant) Water Saving Rules came into place late in December 2011. Hosing your driveway is still a no – no!
And thats when our attitudes seemed to change – oh how quickly they changed and many of us forgot the conservative ways we’d learn’t over those years. I will acknowledge I am guilty of easing up on some of my practices and I’m also sure that if it didn’t rain so much these days we wouldn’t be so carefree and unconcerned. In my defence I will say we did install a very large water tank to collect rainwater and use on the garden and for many years now haven’t used the hose on any of the plants outside.
As they say, that was then and this is now.
Those who live in rural areas and are on tank water (pumped up or bought in) still follow their same practices.
I’m in town and yes, I still catch the cold before hot water to use in the kettle and unless I’m doing a big cooking session, try to wash up just once a day BUT have been known to rinse cups under the tap. Also I’ve cleaned my teeth with the tap running – flushed the loo after a pee – forgotten to change the load setting on the washing machine – I’ve even put it on for one item. Showers are still short – my baths (more frequent these days) are not quite so full as they used to be – to be honest they help when my back is playing up – and I’ll admit there are times when I just pull the plug and don’t give a thought to the water running out down the drain.
Conserving water for me means a lower water bill (metered) as well as a lower gas bill (heated)
How about you ? Have you stuck to your water saving ways? Or have they changed here and there?
Linking to Life this Week hosted by Denyse at Denyse Whelan Blogs. Do pop over and see what others have been up to this week
I had a friend once who needed to save some ’spending money’ for a holiday she was planning. She decided to give up buying all those glossy monthly magazines she loved. So after opening an account at the library, she then opened an account at a different bank to the one she normally used.
When the library received it’s copies of those same magazines she’d borrow them, then magazine in hand go into the bank and deposit the cost price into the savings account.
She said it was a win – win situation for her. She didn’t miss out on something she enjoyed and little by little (by paying herself the price of the magazine) her spending money grew.
~ ~ ~ ~
I gave up buying books a long time ago, they were going up in price and after retiring my attitude to some things changed. I began to resent all that money just sitting there on the book shelves so my library card very quickly became my book credit card.
But it wasn’t until a few months ago I began to wonder just how much I was actually saving. I didn’t (like my friend did) go the whole hog and physically save the cash…mine was saved virtually.
I’d seen an idea on another blog where the blogger wondered if…..using library books only ….she could ’save’ an amount equal to her yearly council rates. My curiosity didn’t stretch that far – I just wondered how much all these books I was reading….wherever they came from…..would have cost in the real world. Like her I used an Australian online bookshop Booktopia to ’price’ my books and to make it easy any price ending over 50¢ was rounded up, anything under 50¢ went down and anything at 50¢ stayed as is.
Well, as the title says….it all adds up….I worked out that the cost of those 52 books I read to achieve my Goodreads challenge would have been in the region of ….
1240AUD – 676GBP – 909USD
So it’s a good job I I gave up buying because I’d never be able to afford it if I did! How about you – do you have a money tree dedicated to books growing in your back garden?
We all have our likes and dislikes don’t we? Things we will do willingly – others we baulk at.
Any time I was asked to provide something for a cake stall I’d offer a cash donation instead or put myself down for double time manning the stall. Cake or scone making were not my idea of good fun.
Same with knitting donations. I’ll willingly knit all sorts of items for my chosen charities…..except for one.
Guess what item my group decided on for their latest winter drive? The one item on my ’really do not enjoy making’ list 😊
So as strange as it might seem here on the first day of Summer, the heat is on for each of us to make as many of these (in different sizes) as we can by the time we meet again mid February
Which will go a long way to making sure the stock cupboard will be full at the start of the cold weather next May.
What I’ve got against them is a mystery, because the toddler size is so easy to knit – and so adaptable as well. They don’t have to have stripes – they could be completely plain if you want and it doesn’t have to be a single rib band… 2×2 could work just as well.
Are there things you’ll do but not enjoy…..things you do, not because you have to or want to….things you do while muttering under your breath the whole time….and then wonder what all the fuss was about when you finish?