Wednesday, 27 November 2013





You know me and pumpkins.  I got a bit lost in the colourful pumpkin field- it's all grey-blue Winter here now! Happy Thanksgiving, you lot! (Will you be eating some?)

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Catching up

Saintly Sandra left me, amongst many other generous gifts that she trailed round the whole of Ireland before she finally arrived here, a set of Resolution Cards. Sandra, I hereby confess that this was a new concept for me, and I opened it with no small sense of wariness!

The first card out of the little box said, "I will embrace my current season of life and live with a sense of contentment." It is now prominently stuck to the fridge door as a daily challenge. Many things are happening this week, the most important of which will be Mum's move from hospital, where she has been treated and therapied beyond anything I thought possible, to a local nursing home. This will hopefully be a short-term solution while we all work on finding an appropriate apartment for both Mum and Dad. I don't think I've been able to tell you hitherto about her very terrible stroke in August.

Other news includes Dad's selling their house, on the market less than two weeks, and my special boy approaching the last of his three transfer tests with the same level of happy trust as he did the first two.

The verse on the back of Sandra's card is 1 Timothy 6:6, "True godliness with contentment is itself great wealth." I'm still working on it. Pretty ineffectually actually. I'm also still working on catching up with all you fabulous daily November bloggers. Thank you for the rich insights into your worlds!

Come Sunday I'll be catching up with Floss's Pause in Advent participants. That will help with missing Pom Pom, MK, Kezzie, Ang and Dormouse! It's time to be looking South-East now, from here anyway! Running down the roads and the centuries, under sharp winter skies. Yes, we'll be reading this again come Sunday too! See you somewhere along the path x

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Views from my Windows

Here we are, Jane - winter dusk in Strawberry Land. Mattman thought the sky was purple. I thought it was pink. You say tomato...
No view of our friendly American today, because she is flying home as I type. Too short a stay, Sandra! On the subject of language, Sandra learnt the word we use for erasers, and we laughed and laughed. Homework will never be quite the same again. There's my kitchen reflected in the back garden once more.
And here are the television and the fire reflected in the front. I fell asleep in front of both this afternoon. While darkness fell and seasons changed.
Jo's teacher says that snow is forecast for this very day next week. Like Kipper, we strawberries are very positive about snow. Not sure that we're quite prepared for it yet though! Operation Readiness begins tomorrow...



Monday, 11 November 2013

No such thing...

....as a free ride. If you come to Strawberry Land, you may well find yourself lumbered with spellings homework!

We're welcoming Sandra from Thistle Cove Farm this week- all the way from America. This is very exciting for us. Blogging- what an adventure!

Thursday, 7 November 2013

View from my keyboard

Sorry, Jane. I could have had a spectacular view of Belfast Lough under cold, fabulous winter skies today. Or a possibly last golden views of the most resilient autumn foliage outside. And one of these days I'll charge my little camera to have a spectacular view of Cave Hill from my new place of work.  But here it is. The dining room, again! Complete with laundry, vestiges of dinner, and an aspirational monument to ironing in the corner. Installation art, I like to think of it as.

Today I:

Got up, got boys out, got out. I'm getting better at this in week two of being back at work. I've got to Thursday before crying at the cold, dark monotony of getting out of bed early EVERY day. I know. Pathetic.

Went to work. Worked. Good grief, did I work today.

Came home from work to my glorious big son.

Took him with me to collect my glorious smaller son who been eco-clubbing in the school garden. Sounds like an environmentally-friendly version of going out and having a blast. They were out. And he did have a blast.

We went to the least swish of our three four Loughside cafes and watched dusk come down over Belfast Lough with a little plane bound for the airport.

When it was time to go to the solicitor's we walked through the cold village and Jo managed not to be knocked down.

I signed a very important legal document, and came one step further to being/having Power of Attorney along with my brother.

Got home to find my brother on the doorstep, and we had a needed debrief on being/having Power of Attorney. (I did bring him in off the doorstep.)

Made dinner whilst conducting a long telephone/text/facebook exchange with my friend and mother of my children's friends who keeps me sane in the realm of homeworks, preparations, and all things needing to be done that I may not be at all aware of.

Ate dinner with Prince Charming, allowing the boys to eat in the other room because they could NOT miss this episode of Scooby Doo Something. I know. Pathetic.

Left PC struggling manfully with aforementioned homeworks, preparations and all things needing to be done.

Took Dad to hospital to see Mum. She is poorly, at the minute, despite having made some wonderful progress from a Very Bad Thing that happened way back in August.

Took Dad home and made him dinner, at 9pm. He's still working on the mealtimes thing.

Came home. Boys in bed. I packed Mattman's PE bag and PC packed his sleeping bag and pillow for a relaxation time in school tomorrow. He has three big tests this month and school brings someone in to do candles and incense and the like to de-stress the poor souls. Mattman, however, appears less stressed than hugely excited at the prospect of candles and incense and our promised Subway lunches when he comes out of the tests.

November is racing by; I can hear it as it goes. It whistles softly in the wind sometimes very late at night, like now. I am not blogging daily this year, although I do miss that opportunity to savour every cold, clear, calm moment that November holds. I have finally worked out how to link to all the fabulous bloggistes who are blogging daily though. Do call round for tea and biscuits. MK might show you how to make a hat...



Sunday, 3 November 2013

The November Challenge: they're off!

Update: The thought-full Amy has joined our November bloggistes- visit her over at Considering Lilies, and feed up on food for thought...
 
 
Under starter's orders and the November bloggistes are off to a flying with the blustery leaves start!  I have been trying for half an hour now to add a blogroll to my sidebar with no success, so here is a little post from me on the places to find those cheering us with daily wit and wisdom in November:

Pom Pom at Pom Pom's Ponderings

MK at Through a Glass, Darkly

Kezzie at KezzieAG

Ang at Tracing Rainbows

Dormouse between View from the Teapot and Fat Dormouse Getting Thinner

Obviously we will be most understanding when the pressures of real life preclude  post on absolutely every single one of thirty days, and will contain our disappointment. Another criterion for this little November Challenge is that we, the adoring public, will comment daily. And the last and most exciting criterion is that we will send prizes for the daily blogging in November, as a small token of our gratitude for the brightening of our days as winter descends! (Or for the rays of summer sunshine if you are reading this on the other side of the world!)

Now, off to catch some W&W...