Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Month in Numbers ~ February

I took some time away by myself this evening, in an attempt to think of something other than the loss of my lovely, lovely FiL and remembered that Month in Numbers was due at Julie's place.
Lots of good things did happen in February; one amazing thing happened in February.
4: The number of Happy Mail parcels sent.
6: The number of missing relatives located ~ all thanks to the Internet.
17: The number of times I walked the pooch.
39: The number of blog posts in February {mainly due to Photo a Day}.  This should be 40, if I'm counting this post!
2: The number of snowfalls we had in West London.
7: The number of Zumba classes I attended.
21: The number of pints of blood I have given.
9: The number of times I drove the car.  {A higher number than is usual, because I had the car over half-term}.

How about you?  Do you count through your month?
If you hop over to Julie's, you'll be able to see who else is busy counting things.  And I think she also has a link to a Pinterest board.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Photo a Day: 27th February

This photo of The Boy Child, The Brainy One, my FiL and my Sil was taken at 5pm yesterday afternoon.
At 9am this morning, my FiL suffered a massive heart attack and, despite the heroic efforts of the paramedics who worked on him for an hour and a half, he died.
I have no words to describe how I feel right now, but I am trying to take comfort from two things.  Firstly, his last week of life was filled with love and laughter; he was with all his immediate family ~ daughter, son, SiL, DiL and three grandsons.  Secondly, he was struggling to cope with his life without his adored wife of almost 60 years.  He missed her terribly.  It is less than 11 months since she passed away.  
I don't know how much blog posting and reading will go on over the next week or so. I'm committed to a Blog Hop post on Thursday afternoon, but it may be all for a while.  It may be that blogging and reading your blogs will prove to be helpful, as it did last time.
Whatever happens, I know that you'll understand.

Happy Mail 2012: #4

Two small parcels of Happy Mail are due to go off in the Royal Mail this morning ~ both staying here in the UK.
If you'd like an chance to be a recipient of the next round of Happy Mail, just send an email with your address to: roo1968ATyahooDOTcoDOTuk with Happy Mail 2012 in the title.  No limit to how many rounds of Happy Mail you can enter and Internationals are most welcome. 
It might be nice if you left a comment here as well.
A few of you have asked questions, such as, "Is there a catch?"  The answer is, "no, there's no catch".  Happy Mail 2012 is one of the ways I am giving in 2012.  It's a project purely aimed at making someone smile.  
Should you be the recipient of one of these parcels, please do let me know that it arrived safely.Stalking the Postie, one of my favourite past times! 

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Photo a Day: 26th February

I'm the first to admit that this is not the most exciting photo of the year so far.  But there is a story behind it.  Long-standing readers will know of our loft conversion in 2008, that our loft is now The Brainy One's office and that it can also be be called in to action as an extra bedroom, should the need arise.
The picture windows in the gable end are the USP of the whole conversion, with the French windows and Juliet balcony a close second.  Trouble is, for the last 3 years they have hardly been visible due to the amount of junk useful items in boxes stored in front of them.  Last week The Brainy One finally set to and sorted it all out.  Loads of stuff went to the tip, some was free-cycled and the space under the bed in the spare room is no more. No matter, at least the glass gable end and French windows are visible and usable again.
I took this shot using my camera's night portrait setting and I was pleased with the outcome; in particular, how the street lamp reflects our neighbour's trees on to the gable end.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Photo a Day: 25th February

A regular Saturday around here ...
I walked the pooch in the park.  The boys went swimming.  We all went back to the park after lunch in order to make the most of the lovely weather and The Brainy One then rustled up pizzas from scratch.
A good day.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Photo a Day: 24th February

The Brainy One has decided that if he is working from home on a Friday, we should have lunch out.  Who am I to argue?  Today we tried a local pizzeria that is receiving great reviews.  We weren't disappointed.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Just One Sketch: Part Ten

Part ten of Miss Smith's Just One Sketch class ~ layering.  Oh, how I hate layering. I always admire it on other people's pages, but never on mine.
The good thing about this page is that I've been able to use a museum flyer, our bus tickets and the receipt from the coffee shop where The Boy Child and Granny were treated to coffee and cake.
Up next, a page without a photo ...

Photo a Day: 23rd February

Spring is showing her face around here.  The temperature has risen and I'm planning on hanging washing on the line outside.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Just One Sketch: Part Nine

The challenge was to use circles while still sticking with the heart of the sketch. Those circles caused me a great deal of anxiety, I can tell you.  The finished page is approximately version 4, but overall, I think I like it. 
Up next in part 10, layering ...

Photo a Day: 21st February

Today, I did good.
I gave a pint of blood.
My 21st pint of blood, as it turned out.
50 pints donated is my new goal, but the sky's the limit.
I'm aiming high.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Photo a Day: 20th February

I went on The Boy Child's school trip to the Science Museum today.  The best part was the IMAX cinema in 3D ~ Under the Sea.  The Boy Child loved it; some of his little friends didn't.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Photo a Day: 19th February

We are now back home in London after our wonderful half term with family.  I've a busy week coming up and as there are currently over 170 blog posts showing up in my reader, it may be a while before I get to you and comment.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Photo a Day: 18th February

We were at my cousin's flat today for his girlfriend's birthday tea.  It was great, loads of people related to me, people I've known pretty much my whole life and a few new friends.
I love the expression on The Boy Child's face.

Friday, 17 February 2012

Photo a Day: 17th February

This smiley lady is my auntie, my mum's sister.  She has been running a holiday club at her church this week and The Boy Child has been to 2 sessions, along with his four cousins.  We've regrouped after holiday club at her house for lunch, lots of tea drinking and catching up.
Before The Boy Child was born, I didn't see that much of my cousins once we'd grown up and left home and it didn't bother me because I knew where they were. Now though, I want The Boy Child to have the same childhood I had and that means lots of time spent with cousins.  And as a result, I'm now seeing more of my cousins and aunt and uncle.
It's a win win situation.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Photo a Day: 16th February: {On Seeing Mel}

We interrupt the normal posting on this blog to bring you a news update.

This morning, Ruth met Mel of I Speak Melsh fame for coffee and she is delighted to report that Mel is very much in the land of the living.  Photographing Mel with today's newspaper was inspired and should reassure one and all.  Ruth and Mel spent about an hour and a half together, long enough for 2 coffees each.  Ruth was able to pass on all the good wishes from mutual blog friends and Mel was able to extend her heartfelt thanks to all who have been worried about her.
Please pass word of this post to anyone who may read Mel's blog, but not necessarily this one.
Thank you.
Normal blog posting resumes shortly.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Photo a Day: 15th February

These are the five youngest branches on my family's tree and they make my heart sing.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Photo a Day: 14th February

The Boy Child had a date with dinosaurs today.  They scared him half to death.

Move More, Eat Well 2012: January

So.  January has been and gone, and taken as a whole, it wasn't that bad.
In January I put my money where my mouth was in relation to begin the process of getting fit.  I went to Zumba five times and walked the pooch for a total of 12.5 laps around the park.
I made a good start.
I did well with eating a proper lunch at the proper time; mostly low fat hummus with two wholemeal pitta breads and followed by low fat natural yoghurt with a handful of strawberries an raspberries.
Where I fell down was discounting low blood sugar levels mid-morning and mid-afternoon.  That was the time I normally snacked on toast and jam {mid-morning} or a biscuit or chocolate with a cup of tea before setting off on the school run.
If I succumbed to mid-morning toast, I missed out the hummus and pitta breads at lunch, eating just the yoghurt and fruit.
The afternoon low ebb was harder to work through and a few times I failed miserably.  Over about a week I consumed crisps, Haribo sweets {my greatest downfall}, several Bounty bars and at least half a packet of chocolate biscuits.
The easiest way to prevent this happening is to not buy them.
I know that.
I need a plan, a coping strategy for dealing with the sugar cravings.
And that is going to be a work in progress.  
The numbers card isn't filled in for two reasons: as previously stated, I'm not planning on sharing them here and I've not actually weighed and measured myself this month yet. I thought a shot of my trainers and sweaty socks post Zumba added a certain realism ... 

Monday, 13 February 2012

Photo a Day: 13th February

Happy Mail waiting to be sent off to blog friends.  See this post here if you'd like to be considered for inclusion in the next batch.

Happy Mail 2012: #3

Two small parcels of Happy Mail are due to go off in the Royal Mail this morning ~ one to Europe and one staying here in the UK.  Wrapped up all pink and girly in honour of Valentine's Day tomorrow.  Sort of.
If you'd like an chance to be a recipient of the next round of Happy Mail, just send an email with your address to: roo1968ATyahooDOTcoDOTuk with Happy Mail 2012 in the title.  No limit to how many rounds of Happy Mail you can enter.  It would be nice if you left a comment here as well.
Stalking the Postie, one of my favourite past times! 

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Photo a Day: 12th February

Looking at photos of our relative who went to the US and filling my mum in on last weekend's exciting news.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Just One Sketch: Part Eight

If part 7 was about taking the sketch large, it stood to reason that part 8 would be to take the sketch smaller.
The photo is half of a 7x5 and I took the patterned paper down an inch in size.  There's no title as yet, partly because I can't decide if I want to use white or blue alphas.
This post also links to Stacey's Scrapbook Saturday.

Photo a Day: 11th February

We have travelled 225 miles north to spend half-term week with Granny.  On long journeys, I sit in the back and become Entertainments Officer and provider of food to both boys.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Photo a Day: 10th February

Love, love, love my new camera bag.
Bag charm courtesy of my sister.

10 Things

We had our second snowfall of this week over night.  This year, I'm finding that I'm looking at snow differently and it's thanks to The Boy Child.  At 5-years-old, he loves all things snow related and his delight in the white stuff has reminded me to stop and enjoy it for its own sake.
 ~ The Boy Child and friend ~
 ~ garden clock/thermometer ~
 ~ three is the magic number ~
 ~ our road at 8.10am this morning ~
~ neighbour's gate ~
 ~ pond in the park ~
 ~ beautiful ~
 ~ the road less travelled ~
~ the War Memorial ~
~ couldn't forget to include the pooch ~

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Photo a Day: 9th February

I have lived in West London for almost 7 years and this is the first time I have seen the pond in the park completely frozen over.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Just One Sketch: Part Seven

I had fun with this prompt ~ go large and fill the page.
I went with two 7x5 photos and expanded the depth of the paper by an inch.  I also added to the embellishment clusters.
And in case you were wondering, the man in the photos is my missing relative ...

Photo a Day: 8th February

This house is for sale.
It is on the same road as The Boy Child's school.
It backs on to the park.
I.  Want.  This.  House.
I can't afford this house.
Did I mention that it is for sale?

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Photo a Day: 7th February

Do you have any really old books?  This gem is a first edition from 1955 ~ amazing that there is so little damage ~ and I found it on t'internet..  My mum had a copy of this book when she was a girl, along with a book called Air Hostess Ann, and I can remember reading them both lots of times when I was a girl.  I have no idea what happened to mum's copies and I don't think she does, either.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Photo a Day: 5th February

Storytelling Sunday

I didn't have a story for today until this morning.  And it's a story that has made me squeal with delight!  As regular readers know, I am keenly interested in genealogy and the history of my family.  My tree is viewable on the Ancestry website.
To cut a years old story very short, I am finally, at long last, in touch with the granddaughter of my Great Uncle.  He went to live in the US in the 1940s and after he and his wife died in 1977 we lost touch with his son.
Yesterday I noticed that someone was looking at the American line of my tree with interest, so I dropped them an email and then waited very impatiently for a reply. Hoping that I would indeed receive a reply.  I was in luck, because there she was, waiting in my InBox at 7am this morning.  I managed to curb my patience until 8am before ringing my mum.  There was much more squealing, which caused The Boy Child to observe that, "Mummy is very excited!"
Now, I need to take the space to think through my reply to her.  I don't want to overwhelm her with information or scare her off.  There's that saying, good things come to those who wait.  And as I have waited years for this moment, a few more hours won't hurt.

This story is part of Sian's Storytelling Sunday series.
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