Sunday, 27 February 2011


We are home again after a wonderful week with my mum.  DS is almost himself again, thankfully.
I didn't get any scrapping done, but I did get to show off my Yesterday & Today album ...
and I did come home with a treasure trove of old photo albums, an Army service record and copies of birth, marriage and death certificates.
Oh, and I met a lady who is my 3rd cousin, but sadly I forgot to photograph the occasion.  There's always next time ...
Now, what about that pile of laundry?

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Love Is ...

~ a boy and his Granny ~

Never Work With Animals And Children

The pooch is here with me and DS this week, as DH is not in a position to look after him.  He's a simple soul, the pooch, and puts up with all the strife that DS aims his way.
On Monday evening, just as I was about to head off in to the cold and dark with the pooch for the evening constitutional, I realised that he was lame ~ his right hind leg was pulled up almost to his ear.  It was all rather perturbing, as I couldn't work out how he'd done it.  Cue a quick call to the nearest vet and 20 minutes later, and £30 lighter, we were back home and the pooch was as high as a kite, dosed up on morphine.  He pretty much lay in the same position all evening.  He couldn't stand to go out for his bedtime wee.  He was still in the same spot come Tuesday morning.
By the time I came home from meeting Mel (my mum having reassured me that he would be fine with her), he was at the front door, tail waving.  Nothing short of a miracle.  A follow-up appointment with the vet happened Tuesday afternoon (and another £20): he was also amazed at the difference less than 24 hours had made.  A process of elimination occurred and the vet and I were able to piece together what had happened.
On Monday afternoon DS had climbed into the pooch's bed, while the pooch was asleep in it.  DS likes to do this in order to fuss the pooch.  The pooch tolerates this behaviour.  However, DS sitting on the pooch's leg is not a good idea.  The end result is a dislocated patella (kneecap) for the pooch.  Ouch.  He, and we, were lucky that it popped back in of its own accord and without serious damage occurring.  And lucky that a vet could see him so quickly and worth the unexpected outlay of £50.
The pooch is giving DS a very wide berth!

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

When Virtual Becomes Reality

This morning was, oh, so exciting!  I was practically squealing with delight and having to pinch myself to make sure I wasn't dreaming!  And why was this, you ask?
Because today I met this wonderful lady in the flesh ...
Yes, I met Mel of I Speak Melsh and she was just as lovely as I knew she would be.  How lucky I am that it transpires that she doesn't live that far away from where my mum lives.  We talked scrapping, parenting and families to name just three subjects and drank skinny Fairtrade gingerbread lattes, of which I am now a convert (much less sweet that the ones offered by Starbucks). She had her The Children with her and it's no lie when I say that they were delightful.  (If my DS turns out as well as those two, I will be content.)  The Girl acted as photographer, that's her shot above ... can you see the book with animal cupcakes on, to my left?  The Girl was adamant it should be in the shot.  So it is, but here's a cropped version of Mel and me.
 And here is Mel with her The Girl.
And last, but not least, here is Mel's The Boy.  The Boy was totally unfazed that he had to spend 2 hours with a woman he didn't know and then watch her and his mum get their cameras out in the middle of a bookshop.  He's a dude.
Mel gave me a gift ~ the gorgeous Card Organiser you can see below.  I'll photograph the inside pages in the daylight tomorrow.  Thank you, Mel.  I love it!
I had planned on giving Mel something that I'd made myself, but time got away from me.  I'm afraid she had to make do with a bunch of flowers (and I forgot to photograph them, so this image is from Mel.)
An absolutely perfect morning.  Thank you, Mel and The Children.  And a big thank you to my mum ~ she took DS off on an adventure and I don't think I was missed at all.
Who can I meet next ....?

Monday, 21 February 2011


~ DS with his Great Auntie ~
At the end of the day, it's all about family.

There won't be much blog hopping from me this week, but I'm sure you'll understand why.  This week is all about roots and family.  However, having said that, tomorrow morning is going to be very exciting for me ... pop back tomorrow evening to find out why.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Behind This Door ...

... is where you'll find me and DS for the next week.  It's going to be lovely.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Friday Mish-Mash

There was some of this ...
~ Can't beat a cuppa in a china mug ~
There was some arty-farty photography ...
~ Squashed blueberry ~
There were 12 of these ...
~ Summer fruit muffins with coconut streusel ~
There was no time for this ...
~ Newspaper yet to be opened ~
There is always time for this ...
~ Story time ~
 How was your day?

52 In Black & White: Week 7

Wednesday, 16 February 2011


This afternoon, I took DS for a haircut.
And for the first time, he was able to sit in the chair by himself ~ progress, indeed.  Now, I'm sure some of you might be thinking, "So what?  My child has been able to do that since he/she was XX age."  And that's lovely.  For DS, however, today was a huge milestone and a celebration was called for.  Cue a visit to Starbucks for a Babycino and then catching the bus home.
A good day.

Small World

Funny how small the world is, virtual or otherwise.  I hopped over to Ali Edwards' blog and had to smile when I saw this ...
(image (c) Ali Edwards)

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

That One Little Word

As you know, because I've mentioned it enough times, my One Little Word for 2011 is better.  I'm even trying to photograph it this month.  Thing is, I'm struggling with it this week.  Truth be told, I'm feeling overawed by stuff that is going on in my family and I feel pretty darn miserable.
However, my blog friend Mel came to the rescue this evening, without even knowing it ... thank you, Mel.
So, a random number of happy thoughts ~ the prospect of meeting a blog friend next week, spending time with my mum and sister soon, albeit not at the same time, the prospect of a weekend away ~ by myself ~ to indulge in family history research and the prospect of meeting another blog friend at some point later this year.
And all of a sudden, things aren't so bad after all.  Things are looking decidedly better.

Wit Or Wisdom: #5

Some food for thought ~ how do you keep in touch with your friends?  I reckon that very few of us do it by writing them a letter or by using a land line telephone ~ how old-fashioned ~ and sometimes I regret that. 

Monday, 14 February 2011

Association Of Ideas

Today, according to all retailers, the Western World has been busy celebrating romantic love.  I've never been a huge fan of Valentine's Day ~ too many years of suffering co-workers who were all loved up when I was resolutely single, I suppose!  Mind you, it's very nice that DH likes to make a fuss, so I'm not really complaining.
But, let's not forget all the other types of love ~ the love for children, family and friends.  The page you can see on the left is something I've been working on for the last week or so and it celebrates the love I have for my brother-in-law; I deliberately chose a photo of last week's Shepherd's Pie as the illustration. 
You see, for the last 15 years or so, I have associated Shepherd's Pie with the day my Dad died.  Working through the Yesterday & Today class has taught me to look at my memories differently.  I can now look at the photo of the Shepherd's Pie and think about the moment my BIL became part of our family.
My BIL is a pretty amazing guy, and not only because he loves my sister and nephew.  He'll be embarrassed to know I've made a page about him, but I hope he appreciates the sentiment behind it.
The reverse of this 6x12 page has a photo of him at my wedding.  He put himself in to a position he never imagined he'd be in and all because I asked him to ~ he gave me away, a stand-in dad, if you will, and subsequently made a moving speech to over 120 people.

And paraphrasing The Hollies: It's a long, long road, from which there is no return.  While we're on the way to there, why not share?  And the load doesn't way me down at all.  He ain't heavy - he's my brother.

Love & Muffins

 ~ muffins ~
~ surprise gifts ~ 
A great combination.  Hope your day was filled with love.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Yesterday & Today: Week 7

The suggestion from Ali this week was to consider the then & now stories.  LOs that detail information from yesterday and today, stories based on both facts and feelings (similar to week 4).
Making the most of a Solo Sunday, I was able to finish off two LOs that I'd made a start on on Friday.
First up is a then & now LO.  In my mind, it began as listing the differences between being a mother in the late 1960s and being a mother in the late Noughties.  The LO finished up mostly being about my mum.
It's actually nothing like the one Ali used as her example this week, but I can live with that.  I apologise for the shocking light, but it's the best I can do at this time of the day.
Second up is a LO about just how alike we ~ me, my sister, son and nephew ~ are.  Just look at that likeness!  I'm top left, with DS top right.  My sister is bottom left, with my nephew bottom right.  The photos of our boys are 10 years apart, but it really is quite spooky just how like each other they were as newborns.
The journaling reads: Who knew that the {maiden name} genes were so strong?  Me (Ruth) in 1968 and {DS} in 2007; {sister} in 1967 and {nephew} in 1997.  Peas in a pod.  The invisible threads that binds a family to each other throughout the generations.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Crossing To The Dark Side?

I have given in and purchased Photoshop Elements 9 (along with PSE9 For Dummies).  It arrived this morning and has duly been installed on to my PC.
But, here's the thing ... I don't understand it.  The reasoning behind the purchase was to make full use of the journaling stuff offered with the Yesterday & Today class, not to become a digi scrapper (heaven forbid!).  Ali's notes in her handouts make it all sound so simple.  Yours truly is obviously a dunce, because I am not getting it.  Not at all. My PC uses Windows 7 and I have the Microsoft Office 2010 package in the starter version ~ does that make a difference, does anyone know?

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

The Art Of A Self-Portrait

It should be easy, shouldn't it?  Set up your camera.  A quick look through the view finder to check what's going to be behind your head.  Press the automatic timer and away you go.
Or not ...
~ The I'll-lie-on-the-floor approach ~
~ The I'll-lie-flat-on-the-floor approach ~
~ The Okay, the-looking-over-the-back-of-the-sofa-shot-wins approach ~

Monday, 7 February 2011

Yesterday & Today: Week 6

A perfect one for me this week, as it was all about creating LOs where yesterday combined with today.  A veritable rouges' gallery, if you will.  Or, put another way, a family historian's delight.
These photos are all from my mum's side of the family and mostly from her mum's line.  My maternal grandfather came from the north of Ireland (prior to partition in 1922) and left home to join the Army.  The story goes that his father's second wife was a classic wicked stepmother type (my grandfather's mother having died when he was barely 8 years old), so that might explain the lack of photos of his family.
The photos were printed out as two to a page, 6x4, and then trimmed to approximately 6.5x6.5 cms.  In Ali's example, she used two journaling squares as part of her design, one on each page.  However, I must admit that I didn't like the finished look with them in place on my DLO, so I took them out and added 2 more photos.
I am really pleased with my overall finished look.  So much so, I've completed another page for my dad's side.
My dad was an only child and his dad was also an only child.  Suffice to say, there are not many photos from his side at all.  But what I do have are lots of my paternal grandparents together, looking so happy to be with each other and so much in love.  That's what stands out from looking at their photos ~ love.  There's another 7 weeks of Yesterday & Today to run, so I'm sure that they will be starring in a DLO of their own before I'm done.
I'm considering making a LO for DS's album, where I can show his own family history ~ him, us, his 2 sets of grandparents and 4 sets of great grandparents.  I think that would be pretty cool.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Storytelling Sunday

This week, I thought it might be fun to take part in Sian's Storytelling Sunday series.  As previously mentioned here, I've been looking back a lot lately and laughing at photos from 30 years or more ago ~ all down to the Yesterday & Today class I'm taking with Ali Edwards at BPC.
I belong to a family fortunate enough to have lived in the Far East, Hong Kong to be precise, in the early 1970s.  I think most of my memories are probably inherited ones, but I have enough that are mine and mine alone.  I also have the HK album my parents sent to my paternal grandparents and I love looking at us all caught in a time-warp for eternity.
I digress.  What's my story?
Before I was married, I worked in secondary education and one of the pupils I knew well was Hong Kong Chinese.  She was thrilled when I mentioned that I'd lived in HK as a child and asked if I had any photos she could look at.  Along with some others, I showed her the above photo. 
She giggled and said, "You know, Miss J., you haven't really changed that much, have you?"
"What on earth do you mean?" I asked.
"Well, you're still slim and your hair is still dark brown ..."
"You muppet, E, that's my mum!  That's me, there!  The small chubby one."
"Oh," said E.
" Just how old do you think I am, E?  On second thoughts, don't answer that!"

Why not pop on over to Sian's blog to see what other stories are being shared today?  You could even join in ...
Happy Sunday.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

One Little Word: February Focus

The idea this month is to capture the essence of your word through your camera lens.  Given that my word is better, I had to give this some serious thought.  In the end, I decided that I would photograph things that make me smile or give my spirits a lift.
Such as the colour of the sky one lunchtime last week ...
I'm open to suggestions for things to photograph that fit the category of better.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

What Are You Reading?

I was at my reading group this morning, albeit a little later than usual, because I'd forgotten about an appointment with the dental hygienist.  We discussed Cutting For Stone by Abraham Verghese ~ I thought it was excellent.  Not the type of novel I would normally choose to read, but it turned out to be a real page turner.
Added to pile on my bedside table is this month's read, The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton ~ a true classic, in my opinion.  I'm looking forward to re-acquainting myself with it.  You may have noticed that the other 3 in the pile have something of a military feel to them.  Two memoirs from the men of Easy Company and the memoir of a Battle of Britain pilot.  It's in my blood, what can I say?
What are you planning on reading this month?

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Design Your Life: Week 3

This week is all about repetition ~ the act of repeating something ~ repetition.  And remembering the lessons from weeks one and two when creating a LO.

An asymmetrical LO, with the two different sides providing balance.  The repetition comes in with the use of squares ~ a deliberate way to tie two differently designed pages together.
It's easy to guess which negatives I've been running through my scanner, isn't it?  One of the first albums I made, when I began scrapbooking, was the New York City one.  And, oh, my goodness ~ it's cringe-makingly bad (I'm not sure that's a proper use of the English language, but I'm sure you get my drift).  And wouldn't you know, there was plenty of apple-themed paper in my stash ~ how fortuitous! 
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