For All of us faced with the after Christmas weight issue !

Don’t know who actually wrote it but I found it on a crafting site and had to laugh- hope it give you a smile too

 

Twas the month after Christmas,

and all through the house,
Nothing would fit me,
not even a blouse.

The cookies I’d nibbled,
the eggnog I’d taste,
At the holiday parties
had gone to my waist.

When I got on the scales
there arose such a number!

When I walked to the store
(less a walk, than a lumber).

I’d remember the marvelous
meals I’d prepared,
The gravies and sauces
and beef nicely rared.

The wine and the rum balls,
the bread and the cheese,
And the way I’d never said,
“No thank you, please.”

As I dressed myself
in my husband’s old shirt,
And prepared once again
to do battle with dirt.

I said to myself,
as I only can,
“You can’t spend a winter
disguised as a man!”

So away with the last
of the sour cream dip,
Get rid of the fruit cake,
every cracker and chip.

Every last bit of food that like
must be banished,
Till all the additional
ounces have vanished.

I won’t have a cookie—
not even a lick,
I’ll want only to chew
on a long celery stick.

I won’t have hot biscuits,
or corn bread, or pie,
I’ll munch on a carrot
and quietly cry.

I’m hungry, I’m lonesome
and life is a bore,
But isn’t that what
January is for?

Unable to giggle,
no longer a riot,
Happy New Year to all
and to all a good diet

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Of Droughts and Flooding Rains…….

I have always loved the poem by Dorothea Mackellar and today seems a good day to share it with you.

Today in Australia we have a Cyclone warning for Western Australia, Severe Fire Danger warnings for South Austraia and Victoria and the worst floods in recorded history in Queensland ( covering an area bigger than France and Germany combined)

MY COUNTRY

by Dorothea McKellar
The love of field and coppice,
Of green and shaded lanes.
Of ordered woods and gardens
Is running in your veins,
Strong love of grey-blue distance
Brown streams and soft dim skies
I know but cannot share it,
My love is otherwise.

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror –
The wide brown land for me!

 

 

A stark white ring-barked forest
All tragic to the moon,
The sapphire-misted mountains,
The hot gold hush of noon.
Green tangle of the brushes,
Where lithe lianas coil,
And orchids deck the tree-tops
And ferns the warm dark soil.

Core of my heart, my country!
Her pitiless blue sky,
When sick at heart, around us,
We see the cattle die –
But then the grey clouds gather,
And we can bless again
The drumming of an army,
The steady, soaking rain.

Core of my heart, my country!
Land of the Rainbow Gold,
For flood and fire and famine,
She pays us back threefold –
Over the thirsty paddocks,
Watch, after many days,
The filmy veil of greenness
That thickens as we gaze.

An opal-hearted country,
A wilful, lavish land –
All you who have not loved her,
You will not understand –
Though earth holds many splendours,
Wherever I may die,
I know to what brown country
My homing thoughts will fly.

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Making your own Linament for aching muscles

With the extreme weather conditions both here overseas I figured there are going to be lots of people who have pulled muscles while slipping in mud (here) or snow and ice (UK, Europe, USA). Here are a few recipes you can make and then rub into the affected areas on your own or someone else’s legs etc.

Where the recipe says carrier oil you can use any good quality food grade oil such as extra virgin olive oil, grapeseed oil, apricot kernal oil, sweet almond oil, sesame oil or jojoba oil. A good one to use would also be mustard oil that you can now buy in Australian supermarkets. As always when using essential oils follow the safety precautions…..only use good quality essentil oil, don’t apply any essential oil directly onto the skin without diluting with a carrier oil ( the only exceptions being lavender,chamomile or tea tree). Keep out of reach of children-if swallowed contact the poisons information centre.
To Soothe Aching Muscles
Peppermint-4 drops
Thyme-4 rrops
Lavender-4 drops
Marjoram-3 drops
5mls carrier oil
Massage Oil for Muscular-skeletal pain
Wintergreen-4 drops
Cardamom-4 drops
Ginger-4 drops
1 tablespoon of Carrier oil (sweet almond)
Rubbing oil for Sore Joints
Marjoram-10 drops
Eucalyptus-8 Drops
Cajuput-4 drops
Black pepper-2 drops
250 mls carrier oil
Massage Oil for Aches Pain & Rheumatism
Rosemary-10 drops
Juniper Berry-6 drops
Lavender-8 drops
Carrier oil – 45mls

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A Cautionary Tale

I am sitting here typing with difficulty as yesterday I sliced the tip of my finger almost right off. You know what it’s like at this time of year-so many things to do and you’re thinking about the next one before you’re finished the last one.

Yesterday’s schedule was
-get the bathrooms cleaned,
-go on the mail and grocery run,
-make the dinner and some shortbread
-be ready for the bookkeeper at 3 to get us set up for MYOB Live
-leave at 5.30pm for Maroochy Baptist Christmas Lights where I am opening and closing the curtains at the musical production .

All went well till I started slicing the veges for the ratatouille. I was using the mandolin slicer and not 10 seconds before it happened remember thinking to myself ‘got to be careful with this-don’t want any accidents’ then next thought was about something else and SLICE- there goes the top pad on my right pointer finger…..fortunately still hanging on with a bit of skin so after the initial scream and John looking at it and rinsing it then the tissue over the top to try to stop it bleeding a bit,we put it back on and bandaged it up.

So no shortbread made, every time I do anything I bang it and nearly go through the roof and I’m wondering how on earth I’m going to manage a shower this morning 😦 when I have to turn the taps on etc with the right hand.

John reckons the moral of the story is don’t let me near anything sharp ( I have a history) but I say that especially at this busy time of year the moral is DON’T allow other things to take your attention away when you are doing potentially dangerous things like
* cooking
* driving
* crossing roads
* moving heavy things etc

It only takes a moment for something unexpected to happen

SO PLEASE TAKE CARE

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The Parent’s Version of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’

…’Twas the night before Christmas
when all through the house
…I searched for the tools
to hand to my spouse

Instructions were studied
and we were inspired,
in hopes we could manage
“Some Assembly Required.”

The children were quiet (not asleep) in their beds,
while Dad and I faced the evening with dread:
a kitchen, two bikes, Barbie’s townhouse to boot!
And now, thanks to Grandpa, a train with a toot!

We opened the boxes,
my heart skipped a beat –
let no parts be missing
or parts incomplete!

Too late for last-minute returns or replacement;
if we can’t get it right, it goes straight to the basement!
When what to my worrying eyes should appear
but 50 sheets of directions, concise, but not clear,

With each part numbered and every slot named,
so if we failed, only we could be blamed.
More rapid than eagles the parts then fell out,
all over the carpet they were scattered about.

“Now bolt it! Now twist it! Attach it right there!
Slide on the seats, and staple the stair!
Hammer the shelves, and nail to the stand.”
“Honey,” said hubby, “you just glued my hand.”

And then in a twinkling, I knew for a fact
that all the toy dealers had indeed made a pact
to keep parents busy all Christmas Eve night
with “assembly required” till morning’s first light.

We spoke not a word, but kept bent at our work,
till our eyes, they went blurry; our fingers all hurt.
The coffee went cold and the night, it wore thin
before we attached the last rod and last pin.

Then laying the tools away in the chest,
we fell into bed for a well-deserved rest.
But I said to my husband just before I passed out,
“This will be the best Christmas, without any doubt.

Tomorrow we’ll cheer, let the holiday ring,
and not run to the store for one single thing!
We did it! We did it! The toys are all set
for the perfect, most magical, Christmas, I bet!”

Then off to dreamland and sweet repose
I gratefully went, though I suppose
there’s something to say for those self-deluded-
I’d forgotten that BATTERIES are never included!

*Thanks to Pastor Tim for this joke!*
cybersalt.org/cleanlaugh

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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Christmas wreaths in for sale in Kilkenny, Ireland 2008

Where has the year gone? I don’t know about you but I find it extremely difficult to believe that 2010 is almost over!

It’s been a busy year filled with lots of changes and is has certainly flown by.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this time 2 years ago when we were in London and  Dublin teaching courses there . It was very exciting for us to actually be in a place that was cold in December.We even had some snow when we got up one morning and looked out the window of the flat we were staying in on the banks of the Thames at Putney! One evening John and I went in to the Christmas market at Hyde Park where they have a full size skating rink set up and a German market. It was freezing but such fun and the mulled cherry wine was delicious!

John at the Christmas market Hyde Park, London 2008

Snow at Putney, London 2008

We spent Christmas at a little village in Ireland called Ballycotton  and stayed at a gorgeous cottage called the Rocket House on the harbour which was organised for us by the lovely folk at the  Ballymaloe Cookery School.We spent the Christmas Eve in a tiny pub called The Blackbird then we went to midnight Mass at the local Catholic church. We hadn’t  realised that everything pretty well shuts down over Christmas in Ireland and so came very close to not having anywhere to stay or being able to book in for a Christmas meal. Fortunately the Raddison in Cork were open for Christmas lunch and we were able to book in there. Afterwards we returned to Ballycotton, had a walk and then settled in to spend the cold day cosily in front of the fire at the cottage- a very special way to spend Christmas.

Ballycotton village, Ireland Christmas 2008

Ahh they are very special memories and it certainly was a very different Christmas to those we are used to here in Australia.

It has been raining for the last few weeks and while not overly hot has been very humid. I have got the decorations up and made the Christmas cake, Christmas pudding and some shortbread.

We have started attending the various Christmas functions that we have been invited to and it’s always fun to catch up with people,relax and think about the year past.

We are excited and sad about Christmas this year. Excited because our son Luke  will be with us for the first time in a number of years, but sad because Ben, Lina and little Connor won’t be as they are heading down to spend Christmas with her family. We will have to wait for next year to have our first Christmas with Connor.  Jacob will also be with us so we are very much looking forward to our celebration of Jesus’ birth this year.

John will be working up till Christmas Eve and then if you are interested in getting a massage between Christmas and New Year he will be available unless we are going out for the day 🙂 Just call us to make a booking on 07 5479 3210.

We hope you are also looking forward to your Christmas celebration and pray that you will all stay safe and be happy.

Our Christmas Tree

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Reflections on Grief-12 months on

IT was the first anniversary of Mum’s death on 19th November. 12 whole months and yet it still seems so close, so shocking, such a   short time ago.

The initial grief and shock have faded and there are whole days even weeks where I don’t think about it and how much I am missing her. And yet at the oddest times I will be overcome with a wave of hurt and anguish-where the tears well in my eyes and I am unable to banish them for a few moments. It might be the smallest thing that brings it all back or it might be the milestones…the major events where I should be able to ring her or see her and talk about them.

Connor’s birth (our beautiful grandson) is the biggest of these of course. I am so glad that she knew about his existence for the 2 weeks before her death but it seemed so unfair and wrong that I couldn’t joyfully pick up the phone and tell her when he was born. About each precious visit we have with him and about the day to day milestones that he is achieving. I guess I’m really thinking about this as at the moment because the weekend was a time of firsts for Connor. He had his first solids, his first sip out of cup and his first time in a pool (at his other grandparents place). Then his first major gastric episode complete with visit to the hospital …. I so want  to call her and chat to her about it all.

In September I went down south for a high school reunion and took the opportunity to continue on down to Mollymook and visit with Dad -the first time I was able to see him since I left after the funeral.I hired a car and drove down and as I got close to Nowra the memories came flooding back. The  hurried trip to Brisbane for me to catch a plane to Sydney…my sister and niece picking me up and then the trip down to Nowra on the train as neither of us felt safe to drive. Of having to walk into the hospital to see Dad and the shock and pain on his face…of how he had aged so much in a day.  I remember how ravaged by shock and grief my brother was after the horror of realising that the terrible fear that he had that the car at the accident site he drove past  was Mum’s-then arriving at the house and realising that it had been, of the trauma of having to identify her and then trying to protect my sister and i from the details of what had happened.Of the kindness of so many people who went out of their way to help us,of the memorial service where we realised just how much she had been loved by so many.

As I came to the spot on the highway where she had died I pulled over and spent a while crying, remembering and telling her how much I missed her.

It was a very precious visit…we cried together and laughed together and reminisced and it was actually probably the best time I have spent with him for a long time.I went with him to visit some of his friends and to see the U3A rooms where he leads his film appreciation group,to his Bible study group and we went out to dinner to the same restaurant that the photo above was taken at  in March last year-the last time I was down visiting. I was expecting to cook for him but he proudly fed me on a casserole that he had made  ,he set the table for me and made me cups of tea etc all the things that Mum used to do and he has learnt to.

Mum would be so proud of him and how he is coping. Early on he realised that she would have wanted him to get on with his life and that if he had given up that she would have been very angry with him and so he has worked hard at surviving without her. He walks every day and has had great success with his knees as he has been so diligent with the excercises. Before the accident they had been talking about making a trip to England to visit some friends and so at the end of Sept he set off on a 3 week trip. We were so happy that he had an enjoyable time. He misses Mum so terribly but he is determined to do what he knows she would want and to get on with his life.

The 19th was a hard day but it was also a day of celebration. A day where the pain of loosing her was excrutiating but a day when we were able to look back and know that she would be proud of how we have coped. The wording on the plaque in her final resting place says it all

At her favourite cafe in Milton March 2009

Margaret Rose Gordon

8-2-1933 – 19-11-2009

Darling Margie to Ted

Devoted and loving Mum and Nannie

Caring Friend

Loving to everyone and loved by all

Perfectionist

A VERY SPECIAL LADY

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