Friday, 16 January 2015

Sorting with love

Today I decided I should spend some time sorting through more of my dear ex-hubby's personal items.
He was blessed with a lot of creative talent and his hands were always busy creating some new art piece.  Being an avid photographer and artist, there were several beautiful photos and paintings, but today was the day to sort through his many wooden carvings.
While cleaning and sorting the carvings, it was immediately obvious how much love and thought he had put into each one.
To be honest, I remember him spending his free time carving large pieces of various wood and listening to music.  When his old workplace was expanding and adding additional rooms, many of the old mahogany trees on the property were felled, and he was privy to choose whatever trees he wanted before they were carted away.
He had invested in several human anatomy books which he referred to periodically, but mostly he could be found just carving away at some piece of wood with what I imagine was a "photo" in his head.
Most of the time I had no idea what it would be until it was finished, and to say he had a vivid imagination would be putting it lightly.
There were over thirty wood carvings to be sorted and I have highlighted a few of them here.

An Adonis figure.....

....with a snake crawling up his back.

This one I dubbed "The Madonna with the Big Boobies"
...and no, she wasn't modeled after me.

I am an "Allo! Allo!" fan, and I thought the name was appropriate....

This beautiful piece is actually a table base, it carries a round glass top above.
This one reminded me of "The Crucifixion"

Reading two books at a time....a "Double Wealth of Knowledge" gained.
I will spend another day cleaning and polishing them properly and bringing them back to a lovely lustre, then and only then will I invite other family members to come over and choose a memento to cherish.
It will all take time....time that will be filled with precious memories.....memories that I hope will make me smile like today.

In case anyone is wondering about the rock wall in the background, I created the rock facade with a few rock moulds I purchased on EBay years ago. They were made using white cement, sand and fibre was a fun project.

Monday, 12 January 2015

Happy Birthday Daughter Dear!!!

 Happy Happy Birthday Daughter Dear!!!

WOW!!!   Thirty five years ago......seems like a long time.....but as we age we apparently get sweeter like grapes and wine.
You are the BEST daughter in the world....because you are MY daughter and I LOVE YOU!!!
Wishing you a whole heap more of birthdays with God's blessings.
Did I already say I LOVE YOU????   Well I do!!!

Sunday, 11 January 2015

A simple request

Tomorrow is a special day for my daughter.
I had already done some shopping with the expectation that she would request some fancy dessert to celebrate her day....but noooo.
"What would you like for your birthday dessert?"  I asked her this morning.
"One of your peach cobblers Mum," she replied.
Taken aback by surprise, I made sure by asking, "Are you sure?"
"Yes, I'm sure," she simply said.
After lunch I got to work.  My cobbler recipe is an easy recipe which I found online many years ago. I  have shared it below.
First I gathered all my ingredients, nothing exotic, all things you may already have in your pantry.
I decided to make two fruit peach and one apple.

Peel and core and slice the apples.

Melt the butter.
I use the microwave for my melted butter.  Cover the dish with a paper napkin and melt the butter for about 40-45 seconds.
Pour the melted butter in the baking pan/dish making sure to cover the sides well.
Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl: Flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
Add the milk and mix until just blended.  Do not over mix.

Pour the batter in the pan on top of the melted butter.
Do NOT combine.
Arrange the sliced fruit on top.

Sprinkle with Cinnamon Sugar. 
Thank goodness I had purchased a new bottle because my other bottle only had about one or two shakes left inside.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45-minutes to an hour until the top is golden brown.

Look who was "sleeping" but timing the oven in his "sleep".

Apple Cobbler
Peach Cobbler

Here is the recipe:
Some call this Miracle Pie because the batter bubbles through the peaches as it bakes, creating a crusty topping.

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup of sugar (I use granulated sugar)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
Sliced tinned peaches or other fruit.

Pour the melted butter into a rectangular baking dish (3 quart).
Brush sides of the dish with the butter.  I just roll the melted butter all around the dish until fully covered.
Set dish aside.
Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl, mix well.
Stir in the milk, mixing by hand till just combined.
Pour batter over the butter, but do not stir them together,
Spread the sliced peaches over the batter, but do not stir them together.
Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar if desired.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until top is golden brown.
Serve warm or cool with whipped cream or ice cream.

A simple request taken care of.

Friday, 9 January 2015

Our canine friends

I had a blog post all planned for today, but when I saw the video below, I just had to share it here.

How cute is that?
My favourite sport and my favourite animal friends doesn't get any better than that.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Another Christmas gone

This Christmas season went by quickly, and I couldn't believe that it was already time to take down the tree.
The stores in the malls and in the city were all beautifully decorated for the season, and it had been my intention to take lots of photos and write a post to highlight them all, but this just did not happen.
Now it was time for the decorations to be taken down.

All the painstaking work that had gone into creating the beautiful store displays would be no more.....until December rolled around again.
 Store displays were being dismantled.

This one caught my eye.
An old Christmas tree being used as a skirt for this store window display....very haute couture......very clever.
If I had my way I would leave this one up for a while longer.

However on Freecycle someone was making a request for all the used Christmas trees because they were having a bonfire...they were willing to pick up the old discarded trees.
The bonfire sounds like fun, and I can well imagine the scent of pine needles as they go up in flames filling the night air.

My tree came down today, the decorations sliding off far more easily than if excited to be going back into hibernation for another eleven months.
Before we know it, Christmas will be with us again.

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Catching up

 After the wonderful homecoming surprise from my friends, I was inspired emotionally, and found myself involved in a few more household and gardening chores which lifted my spirits one hundred fold.

There was lots of other "stuff" that happened too.
First my smart phone started dropping calls - both in and out going calls. Took it to my service provider where it was checked and was told the sim card was fine, so the problem was with the phone. Came home and tried to ascertain what the problem really was with my friends Google and Youtube.  Decided to factory reset my phone.  Took the sim card out but forgot to back up my data and so lost some of my contacts, previous messages, and also some lovely photos I had taken....lesson learned....back up data first before attempting to reset a phone.
Brought my phone back on line and reinstalled the lost programs and other info but it continued to drop the calls.  Another technician told me perhaps it was the antenna that was faulty.  I tend to believe this because sometimes my wifi drops off for no reason at all.
What does all this mean?  I have to walk around with two phones for the time being.  My old phone for making and receiving calls and my poor phone for whatsapps and texts....time to look for a new phone.

My camera strap broke and it almost dropped to the floor, thank goodness my reflexes were in fine form and I caught it before it made contact, which would have certainly lead to its demise.
Luckily for me after launching a request on Freecycle a kind lady had a spare one to share.

Gift giving this holiday season was not the usual, but our good vet and his staff received their regular package and some cleaning essentials for the kennels.
Another gift for our "new" postman (who after six months still seems to forget that there is no one living here by the name of Marjorie).
This year I made up a few extra packages which included the kind folks at the funeral home, the staff at the morgue, as well as the Classifieds lady at the newspaper who was kind enough to allow us a later than usual Obit notice before the press deadline.

Usually flowers for our departed loved ones are placed on the graves on Boxing Day. What horror when I visited the cemetery where Steve is buried to find all the gates closed and locked.  I had no idea that the government controlled cemetery was closed on Bank year I will know.  We visited Steve the following day and we found the grave much easier this time around.
In the meanwhile our carpenter friend has built a lovely wooden cross to mark the grave.  I hope we can install it next week.

I attended two late night church services during the season ...on Christmas Eve and again on Old Year's night. As I parked Beast on Old Year's I noticed a security guard monitoring the car park, which I found a bit uncomfortable. On investigating, I was told that there had been a few vehicle robberies during the late night services....what is this world coming to?  We are not being persecuted for our religious beliefs but we are being targeted by hoodlums when we are praying in the sanctum.....gosh.....

New Year's Day I spent the day resting and watching tv (please remind me to stay away from the tear-jerker movies on Lifetime) since my friends did not host their regular New Years get-together.  I did bake a coconut rum and raisin bread pudding to welcome in the new year.

Today, more sad of Carl's sisters has passed.....after coming home to cheer me up, it will now be my turn to be there for him to console him and other members of my adopted family.
Having never met her but hearing only great things about her, I am sure that as a result of her strong faith, that Heaven has flung its doors wide open to receive her.
Rest in peace eternal Judy.

Friday, 2 January 2015

My friends

Brownie in a pensive mood. 
"Where did Mum get all her crazy friends from?"
So much to tell you.
I guess I should start at the beginning so here goes.  I promise not to make it too long....promise.
Remember last year I did not take my usual holiday to see my friends in the US since I spent most of my summer renovating my kitchen cupboards upstairs.
I had NO idea that they were planning to come home to spend Christmas on the island...NO idea I tell you...I still can't believe it.
I'm at home a few days before Christmas and I hear my name being called from outside (I have a doorbell so I figured it was someone who didn't know where it was). When I answered the door I was met by my crazya$$$ friends.
Carl was laughing and whooping loudly "Ha! Ha! Surprise!", my other friend Chippy held a camera on a long tripod to capture my reaction and was laughing just as loudly as Carl and announcing, "We got yuh!"
Also included in the incredible surprise were two other cousins Richadene and Ashley whom I mentioned in my visit to PACE University post.
I almost had a was a wonderful and much appreciated lifted my spirits immediately.
Amid all the hugs and laughter, I learned that they had planned the trip to coincide with a family reunion and to cheer me up....I felt so blessed.....I was immediately reminded that I have the best friends in the world....I am so thankful.
But guess what, my girlfriend Ellise who lives in Virginia was also in on the surprise....that one was hard to believe since we Whatsapp practically every day and chat quite often too.

After Steve passed, I remember telling her that Christmas was going to be quite empty and I didn't even feel like putting my tree up, to which she simply replied, "Yes, put the tree up."
She knew what was being planned since September, and was sworn to secrecy by Carl, so as she put it "I couldn't tell you anything."
"Since SEPTEMBER you kept that bottled up inside???? What kind of friend are you???" I cried.
I have been calling her a "traitor" since then because before this we had no secrets between us.
"Carl told me not to tell you!" she yelled in her defense.
"Since when do you allow Carl to tell you what to do oh ye of your own free spirit?" I asked.
She laughed at me and said, "We know you needed it."
I couldn't be upset with her....not for long anyway.
Well needless to say they all had a good time for the nine days that they were home on the island, leaving on the RedEye back to NYC on Old Years Day.

I know I've told you that Carl is one of my best friends, and is just like a big brother but he is crazy as crazy goes.
One of the surprises he pulled was on his brother Andy who like me had NO idea that Carl was on the island.
On that occasion Mr.Carl wore a Santa hat, red shorts and a shirt with its collar pulled up around his neck. He arranged to collect his brother at work.  There were other family members in the car as well, who simply introduced Andy to Carl as one of their friends when he got into the car.
Andy's seat in the back was strategically behind Carl and so he could not see who it was. On introduction all Carl said was "Hi" and took off to his sister's house.
Upon arriving everyone got out and he parked the car.  When he went into the house he walked right up behind Andy and said, "Do you like my driving?" to which Andy sprung around and started a wild hollering, "CARL!!!!  I can't believe this!!  I drive wid you and didn't even know it was you!!  CARL!!!!"

They've all returned to the cold NYC weather now, but they had a great time while here.
Thanks guys, you are the bestest!!!  Hope to see you later this year on my travels.

My spirits have been lifted, but there is someone else who needs their spirits lifted too.

My blog friend Tommo at Zut Alors! has lost his dear little companion Jock, perhaps you can head on over there and offer condolences, I think it will help during this time of his loss.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Happy New Year!!

Wishing all my Blogland family the best of everything for this new year.
Health.....Happiness......Love.....Wealth.....Faith...and whatever else your heart desires.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...