Friday, 29 February 2008

Tag, you're it!

I've been tagged by Misslionheart

Here's the rules:

1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages).
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people.

Well, here's the nearest book:

Hang on while I get the reading 123...fifth three sentences:

'You shouldn't have got pregnant'.
'I didn't intend to'.
'You were talking about it'.

You have no idea how much I hope this is not a prophetic post.

And I have received a beautiful bouquet of flowers from Carolyn:

I am passing these on to Adrienne, who is living proof that whining will get you everywhere!Make sure you put them in water Adrienne. If you let them die you're not getting any more!

Thursday, 28 February 2008

Waiting in Line

There is a queue for the computer tonight and apparently I'm at the back of it. Two history projects and a religion homework are in front of me.

Oh, look, I'm not quite at the back - that'll be me with the basket and the pestering kids. And I'm pretty sure that's my old headmistress striding along in the road like a woman on a mission.

Anyway, I'll make it quick. What a clever lot you are. Everybody worked the puzzle out (although if I do another one I'll hide the comments).

It was the maid.
In the hall.
With the letter opener.
Oh no...wrong game.

I really wish the butler had done it though.

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Murder, She Blogged

Calm down, all of you. It's not the Father of This Lot. (Although if anything suspicious did ever happen to him, I imagine I would be the prime suspect, having threatened it so many times).

No, it's a puzzle. Something to get your brains going while I am out at yet another Parents Evening. Actually, that's something to bear in mind if you're thinking of having a lot of children. Once they are all at school, you will be attending a Parents Evening every other week.

Here's the puzzle:

A man was found murdered one Sunday morning.
His wife immediately called the police.
The police questioned the wife and staff and were given these alibis:

The wife claimed she was in bed reading a book
The cook claimed she was cooking the breakfast
The gardener claimed he was planting seeds
The maid claimed she was collecting the mail
The butler claimed he was polishing the silver

The police instantly arrested the murderer.
Whodunnit, and how did they know?

I'll see you later!

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Wonderful Women of the Web!

Last week Casdok very kindly gave me this award:

When I wrote the 'self-pitying' posts last week, I was genuinely bowled over by all the encouragement, lovely comments and promises of prayers. I realised I had, over the last month, been befriended by some wonderful women.

So, I would like to pass this award on to all of you!

In no particular order, come and get it!

And David, you'll either have to become an honorary 'Wonderful Woman of the Web' (no dressing up, mind) or make yourself a 'Wonderful Man of the Web' award!

I have not been commenting on any blogs for a couple of days because my keyboard appeared to have packed up, but I have re-jigged all the plugs and it seems okay now, so I am off to catch up on everything I've missed!

Weekly health update: The Football Fanatic has a chest infection, but it has not stopped her eating, clubbing or watching football, so we are not unduly worried.

I am however, expecting Social Services to call if any more of this lot attend the doctor's surgery in the near future.

Sunday, 24 February 2008

Dilemmas Resolved

I had visions last night of women not usually interested in football waiting for the Sports Report at the end of the news and husbands up and down the country asking
'Why do you want to know if United won?'

Dilemma Number 1

Didn't do any washing or ironing.

Manchester United 5 Newcastle United 1

See, it does work!

Dilemma Number 2

I went.

While it was not quite the candlelit dinner some of you were imagining, it did not end in the barnstorming row that is usual on these occasions, so whoever's praying, keep at it, because someone's listening! And today we managed to shop for various household items without actually killing each other, which is a bonus, I always think.

Is that RC behind him? She gets everywhere, that one.

So, if I make a start on the washing and ironing tomorrow, I reckon we'll be able to cross the landing by about Thursday.

Oh, I almost forgot...please don't take any notice of Bella's latest ramblings. Some say she's deranged. Some say there's more in that mocha than meets the eye.

Third Sunday of Lent

Those who bring thanksgiving as their sacrifice honour me;
To those who go the right way
I will show the salvation of God.
Ps. 50:23

I have just read through all my posts of the last week, and in every one I seem to be moaning about one thing or another.

I think it's time for me to read this poem again, which I found on Lisa's blog.

Count your blessings instead of your crosses;
Count your gains instead of your losses.
Count your joys instead of your woes;
Count your friends instead of your foes.
Count your smiles instead of your tears;
Count your courage instead of your fears.
Count your full years instead of your lean;
Count your kind deeds instead of your mean.
Count your health instead of your wealth;
Count on God instead of yourself.

~Author Unknown~

I'm making this my Lenten journey for next week!

Saturday, 23 February 2008

Two Dilemmas

This is what happens when you abandon your natural inclination towards housewifery (!) in an attempt to keep your children entertained during their half-term break.

This brings me to Dilemma Number 1.

(May I suggest you go and get a cup of coffee, a Red Bull or a couple of Pro-Plus tablets because it gets a bit complicated from here on in).

You may have noticed that this is a football mad household. I'm not kidding. It's like a religion. When Manchester United win, all's well with the world. If they, you wouldn't believe me if I told you. Anyway, one Saturday during the 2005-2006 season, United were playing away at Middlesborough. It was a fairly important match. United and Chelsea were virtually neck-and-neck at the top of the League and a win would have put United in first place. Middlesborough were languishing down at the bottom and had hardly won a match all season. They didn't stand a chance.

I was happily washing and ironing school uniforms in readiness for Monday and listening to the match on the radio. The Football Fanatic, it being an away match, was at home, pacing up and down the hall floor, praying to Saint Anthony. The Fixer was up in her bedroom going through the Litany of Saints and praying for the intercession of anyone who would listen. (You think I'm kidding, don't you? I'm not).

Well, Heaven must have been shut that day because United got beat 4-0. The final whistle blew. For a moment you could cut the silence with a knife......

Later, when I had replaced all the doors that had been slammed off their hinges, do you know what I discovered? It was my fault. It most certainly was NOT the case that United had got a bit cocky and had been outplayed by a lesser team. I alone had caused the defeat by washing and ironing during the match. (Obviously I felt obliged to send a letter of apology to the team, the manager and all the supporters, stating most fervently that I would never do it again).

And I haven't. Honest to God, I've never washed or ironed during a match since. (Listen, you're only reading it. I'm living it).

So, finally, back to the Dilemma. The laundry, during the course of the last few days of being ignored, has assumed Biblical proportions. I can see it waiting for me every time I pass the washing basket. I really, really need to get on with it, BUT - United are playing away at Newcastle. The match starts in just over an hour. The Football Fanatic is not back yet. I could get one load done and she'd never know. BUT...the current leaders, Arsenal, only drew today. A win for United would mean there was only three points difference at the top of the table.

What shall I do? Shall I chance it? Would you risk the wrath of the Football Fanatic if they lose? Answers on a postcard as quick as you can please......

Oh...I almost forgot. Dilemma Number 2.

I've been invited out for the evening by the Father of This Lot.

Should I stay or should I go.....?

Thursday, 21 February 2008

Food, glorious food

The Football Fanatic came home from a night out during the week at 3.30am. With no thought for anyone stupid enough to be asleep at this hour she shouted up the stairs those oh, so familiar words:
'MUM! Is there anything to eat? I'm STARVING!'

I love my eldest child. I would do anything for her. Anything, that is, except get up and start cooking in the middle of the night. I explained this to her.
Fairly miffed, she said:
'Right. I'll get myself something then.'

Bravely ignoring the ice-cold hand which gripped my heart at the thought of her going into the kitchen I decided to wait and see what happened. Ten minutes later she came clattering into my bedroom carrying a tray.

'I've made myself a bit of a buffet,' she said with childlike glee.
She plonked herself down on my bed and I watched in fascination as she ate:

1 sausage sandwich
3 slices of ham
1 chicken drumstick
half a large tub of coleslaw
1 packet of ready salted crisps
1 raspberry yoghurt
and 1 can of Pepsi Max

while telling me who did, who didn't and who said what to who
during the course of the evening.

Finally, she went to bed. As we both have to get up at 5am so she can go to work, this left us with...oh...a good hour's sleep each. I went into her bedroom at the appointed time, somewhat bleary-eyed, to make sure she was awake, to find her applying mascara with one hand and straightening her hair with the other.

'Oh, good,' I said 'You're up.'
'Course I am,' she replied brightly. 'Is there anything to eat? I'm starving'.

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Love is a Battlefield

I was overwhelmed by the comments on my last post, but for those of you who are worried that my life is in danger, I think I've got some explaining to do.

The Father of This Lot is not a psychopath. I admit I may have called him one on many occasions, but for the moment we'll just have to put that down to my natural charm.

Once, we were a couple of twentysomethings with a houseful of baby girls. A blissfully happy, had-it-all type of couple. In fact, we were that couple for an awfully long time. Then things happened. Nothing major, just kids, marriage, financial ups and downs, more responsibilities, work stresses.
Life really.

And that was about the time that Stella got her claws into him. And to give her her due, she has hung on with a tenacity that is nothing short of remarkable. I told him it was a slippery slope, but he was only too willing to go the distance. I did fight for a long time, but then I woke up one morning with no fight left in me. The kids were hearing and seeing a lot of stuff that I thought they would be better off without and so after a lot of soul-searching on both sides, we decided that, for the moment, it would be better to live apart.

There are some things that the Father of This Lot, due to dogged determination and the amount of practice he has put in, does exceedingly well. Getting drunk is one of them. As for the others, well, this is neither the time nor the place. He always was, and still is, a fantastic provider for his family. He will do anybody a favour. He would give you (if you weren't too stubborn to ask) his last penny. If you met him, you'd think he was a great bloke.
He is a brilliant friend and a good son.
In fact, if he put his mind to it, he could be a marvellous husband.
He just doesn't put his mind to it.

All that said, he is still the first person I would go to in a crisis.
He's still my best friend.
And while we both agree that it's more peaceful living apart, neither one of us can imagine a life without the other one in it.
Which just makes it all the more sad, really.

I wish it could be different. Maybe one day it will be.

Normal service will be resumed tomorrow!

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

I'm Over It

My moment of feeling sorry for myself, I mean. I was having one of those 'Can't Do This On My Own Anymore' days, but it seems to have passed. It's not such a bad life. There are far worse things than being skint, with no-one to talk to and being the only sane person in a house full of deranged human dustbins, I'm sure. And anyway, when you weigh up the options, most of which include living with the Father of This Lot again, it seems positively idyllic.

So, onward and upward. The sun is shining, there's a chicken roasting in the oven, and I think I feel a hot flush of motivation for attacking The Singer's bedroom coming on. All's well with the world.

And to the Father of This Lot, if you're reading (which I know you're not, because I'm still alive!), maybe I'm being a little unfair, but you know how I love a witty graphic. And, honestly, did you think I'd be able to resist this one?

Oh come on. We both know that if I showed you this you'd laugh.

(I think).

Monday, 18 February 2008

Second Sunday of Lent

'Cease to do evil, learn to do good;
seek justice, rescue the oppressed,
defend the orphan, plead for the widow'
Isaiah 1:16-17

I have been following this story all week.
Please go over and read it.

Saturday, 16 February 2008

All alone

I have had a bit of a lonely day today. It started with a Mass to celebrate a local couple's Golden Wedding anniversary - a milestone which I look less and less likely to achieve with every passing week.

The Football Fanatic went to the match this afternoon and has not returned. She is currently celebrating a four-nil victory in an Italian restaurant before moving on to an Irish bar. I have spent a large part of the evening praying that there is not a repeat of last week's fiasco, when at an 'All you can eat Indian Buffet' she finally had her plate removed by the waiters on the grounds that she had taken advantage of their offer.
No, I'm not kidding.

The Singer, The Fixer and The Noise went to my mother's house for the afternoon and have phoned to say that they are staying the night. So, that leaves me and The Peacemaker, and even she's downstairs playing on the Wii.
I've asked.
It's a one player game.

So, here I am, Billy No-Mates, sitting at the computer with nothing but a bag of Liquorice Allsorts for company. I don't particularly like Liquorice Allsorts, but you may remember that I have given up chocolate for Lent. I think the idea of replacing the sacrifice with something else is probably cheating, but I am too fed-up to care.

Anyway, in an attempt to lighten my mood, I have been flicking through my extensive collection of retro graphics, and I found some familiar faces:

Here's Bella and qualcosa di bello comparing mocha notes:

Jennie's working on another doll:

Mrs. Fox is modelling one of her hats:

And Misslionheart's sorting out the fridge (again):

RC seems happy in her work (but I don't like the look of that man coming down the path)

Liz is showing off her new bookshelves:

Adrienne and Angela are taking another Catechism class:

I even found one of the Father of This Lot:

(Actually, this is a pretty good likeness. I wonder if he modelled for it in a previous life?)

It's amazing how bored you can get on a Saturday night.

Friday, 15 February 2008

And the next award goes to....

The other day I received this from GoneBackSouth:

It's a brand new award - she made it herself!
(I don't know how - she's not telling)!

So, without further ado, I would like to pass this award to:

And for some Friday fun, look at this picture. It's been on the computer since last summer. More than likely stolen from another blog, but as usual, I have no idea whose!

Can you see the baby?

It took me a few minutes, but this lot got it in seconds!

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Is there a Doctor in the House?

Guess where I've been today? The doctors. For the sixth time in six weeks. When they have the place redecorated, they're going to consult me on my choice of wallpaper.

We've rung the changes today, though. Not only do we have a new sick child - The Singer - we now have, after various strains of flu, ear infection and sinus trouble - The Infected Toe.

An infected toe is what you get when you find a manicure set that someone got for Christmas, and without informing your Mother, you clip your nail. When you have clipped the nail too short and your school tights become attached to it, there is a strong possibility that when you take them off, they will rip the nail further.
If you have ever done this you will know that when you do finally decide to mention in passing to your Mother that your foot is sore, it will resemble that of the largest living land animal and a band of redness will be creeping towards your ankle, giving out enough heat to cook a roast dinner for six people.

Quite honestly, I feel like crying. However, years of marriage to the Father of This Lot have ensured that I am made of much sterner stuff.

I will do what I always do:

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Blessed are the Peacemakers... of whom is eleven today!
Still streaming and coughing from her latest virus, but she has managed
a day in town to rid herself of some birthday cash!
Happy Birthday to my little Peacemaker.
May you always be blessed!

Monday, 11 February 2008

Tagged, Awarded and Feasted

I've been tagged! No, not security tagged. Tagged for a meme (it's like learning a new language this blogging lark) by Angela. Here's the rules:

1. You have to post the rules before you give your answers.

2. You must list one fact about yourself beginning with each letter of your middle name.
(If you don't have a middle name, use your maiden name or your mother's maiden name).

3. At the end of your blog post, you need to tag one person for each letter
of your middle name.
  • A Amazing? Adorable? (You can probably hear this lot screaming with laughter behind me)I think I'll go for ASTUTE. Well, this lot don't get much past me anyway.
  • N I shall disregard the suggestions of nasty, noisy and nit-picking, and because there are not many complimentary adjectives beginning with N I would say I am NOT NORMALLY given to hysterical outbursts.(Well, not more than one a week).
  • N Most days I NEED someone to talk to. So keep commenting!

I was very grateful to receive this from The Rotten Correspondent.
I'm not sure what she thinks I create. Chaos, I expect.

Now, I know it looks like I just give awards to the same ones all the time, but I just happen to blog about with some very creative types. For all the stick I have given her on this very matter over the last few weeks, I have to award it to Bella. (I can see her laughing up her sleeve as she reads this. I wonder whether she will let me live it down). Jennie deserves this award also for her lovely dolls. She says she's making Easter Bunnies at the moment, but I think that's just a front for the Ronaldo doll she's secretly working on. Little Jenny Wren is another lovely doll maker and Rhonda Jean creates virtually everything in her home. Liz can take the ordinary and create the extraordinary and for creating the most stunning pictoral posts with her photographs, (make sure you see this one) Merisi.

Phew! Finally, today is the feastday of Our Lady of Lourdes - one of my favourites. The church was packed this morning. I refrained from pew-dusting, because Mass was said in the Lady Chapel and the scaffolding doesn't reach that far. I was in Lourdes once, and in his youth, the Father of This Lot spent a few summers working there as a 'brancardier' - volunteers who transport the sick from the hospital to the Grotto. I suppose he's not all bad!

Sunday, 10 February 2008

First Sunday of Lent

Is this not the fast that I choose,
to loose the bonds of injustice,
to undo the thongs of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
and bring the homeless poor into your house,
when you see them naked, to cover them,
and not to hide yourself from your own kin?
Then your light shall break forth from the dawn,
and your healing shall spring up quickly.
Your vindicator shall go before you
and the glory of the Lord shall be your rearguard.
Isaiah 58: 6-8

We will be judged on whether we fed the hungry,
clothed the naked, welcomed the stranger,
comforted the sick or visited the imprisoned.
Did you?

I once heard an American priest say
'It's no use saying you can swim, and sitting at the side
of the pool reciting the swimmer's creed.
If you don't go in the water, it means nothing'.

Prayer for the First Week of Lent
God, who breathed the spirit of life within us,
draw out of us the light and life you created.
Help us to use our lives to reflect Your glory and to serve others.

Saturday, 9 February 2008

What would your Mother say?

I was inspired to write this by Casdok's comment on my previous post 'What's adult conversation like?' Sadly, I no longer feel qualified to answer this question in any depth. I do however, have a Masters Degree (With Honours) in 'Mother Speak', so I thought I would share with you some gems which have served me well over the years. (It would seem that I utter these phrases with alarming regularity, given the speed at which this lot were able to recall them when asked).

First up is the good old 'Because I said so'. Useful on a variety of occasions and especially good when you are fed up with the conversation and want to kill it stone dead.
'I'm the mother, you're the child' is a variation on the same theme.

'Just eat it'. Bring this one into play if anyone is looking suspiciously at a plate of something you've spent all afternoon cooking. Also can be said quietly through gritted teeth if you're eating at the home of a friend and a cursory glance around tells you that one of them is about to drop you in it.

'You'll have someone's eye out with that' For use with any sharp implement, sticks of more than average length, darts, catapults etc. (Yes, I know they're all girls. Please refer to previous posts).

'Don't put that in your mouth, you don't know where it's been'. Covers anything but food, really. I suspect that if I gave examples of when this has been used round here, you wouldn't believe me anyway.

'I hope when you grow up you have a load of kids just like you'. I was never more serious about anything in my whole life.

'Stop crying or I'll give you something to cry about' For those whining moments.

'Well, you must get it from your don't get it from me'. Can be generally applied to all types of unwanted behaviour, juvenile delinquency, poor character traits, that sort of thing.

'If you can't say anything nice to each other, don't say anything at all'. Exceptionally useful when you want a prolonged period of absolute silence.

'It's like talking to myself, talking to you lot' Personally, I wouldn't recommend this one. I've always found it to have little or no effect.

'For God's sake, TURN IT DOWN' Self-explanatory.

'What's that smell of burning?' I have been known to actually sprint down the road and shout this one on entry to the house.

'Over my dead body' Can be liberally applied in the region of too short skirts, too much make-up or any item of clothing which looks as though it has been rescued from the bin.

'Right. That's me finished. I'm leaving'. Some years ago, if I combined this one with the act of putting my coat on and opening the front door, its effects were astounding. Nowadays, nobody actually looks up from what they are doing.

'Sweet Jesus, give me strength' Still the Big One. When they hear this one, they know to run!

Dear God, I've just re-read this and I think there is a very strong possibility that I have actually turned into my mother. Either that, or, when the midwife hands you the first baby, some sort of osmosis takes place and these phrases are organically diffused into your bloodstream, to be used at regular intervals and with varying degrees of intensity for the rest of your natural life.

Anything to add to the list?

Explaining my absence

Apologies to anyone who came here lastnight expecting pearls of wit and wisdom, but...I WENT OUT!!! For the first time since Christmas 2006 or thereabouts, I got dressed up and had an evening away from here! Oh, don't get excited, it was only a family party, and I had to take this lot with me, but we had a great time and I got...wait for it...some adult conversation!! How cool is that? Once I had remembered how to actually speak to an adult there was no stopping me!

So this morning I am all refreshed and ready for another twelve months of cabin fever.

I will be back later today. Possibly with some wit and wisdom.

Thursday, 7 February 2008

Thankful Thursday

Well, I have had some lovely news - two awards given to me today!
The first, from Piacere

"Mathetes is the Greek word for disciple, and the role of the disciple (per the Great Commission) it to make more disciples. I'd like to take the opportunity to award five other bloggers with this award and badge for acting in the role of a disciple of Christ. These five all share the message in their own creative ways, and I admire them all for what they do."

Fancy me being called a disciple! I'll tell Fr. J - he could do with the laugh! (He's already warned me off his new 'Enquirers Group' on Tuesday night. He wants me to make the tea, but on no account am I to sit in at the meeting and 'cause trouble'. Charming)!

I would like to pass this award to Amrita, especially for this post, which moved me to tears, Lori, who can always find joy in the littlest things, Karen Edmiston, whose blog has a shockingly clever title, and whose posts are not bad either, Vicki at Virtue Alert who retains happiness in the midst of teenagers and Angela at Where Angels Go for some good old fashioned Catholicism.

Here are the rules, ladies. Off you go and pass it on!

In the spirit of this award, the rules are simple. Winners of this award must pick five other "disciples" to pass it on to. As you pass it on, I just ask that you mention and provide links for
(1)this post as the originator of the award ( Dan King of
Management by God)
(2) the person that awarded it to you, and then
(3) name and sites of the five that you believe are fulfilling the role of a disciple of Christ.

My other award was from Rose at La Vie en Rose...

...which I now get to pass on to ten other blogs. So here is a list of ten, some of which I have just found in the last week.

I know it's eleven - so sue me!

Thank you again for both awards, and I hope you all find some new blogs you enjoy from the lists!

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

And so it begins...

Nothing like a bit of pew-dusting to start your day, in my opinion. The church is being redecorated, there is scaffolding everywhere and the pews look like victims of nuclear fallout. Not the best situation when you've got half the parish arriving at half-past nine to 'get their ashes'. Well, what else could I do? A quick whip round with two dusters (one for me, one for The Peacemaker,off school again with another virus) and we were ready to roll. Not done to my usual standard, I'll admit, but at least you could sit down without looking like you'd spent the morning clearing out the cellar.

I would like to make an observation here. I don't know who the priest in the picture above is. I don't know if he was aware that he was having his photograph taken. I only know that in all my years of receiving ashes on Ash Wednesday, I have never come away looking like this. Mine have always taken on a splodge-like appearance, giving the impression that I have not had a wash that day.

The Busby Babes

Just after 3 o’clock on a chill afternoon in Munich on 6th February, 1958, the plane carrying a victorious Manchester United team back from Belgrade crashed on a snow-covered runway while making a third attempt to take off after a refuelling stop. It claimed the lives of 23 people, including eight of the team.
"When I approached the ground and moved over
the bridge along which our supporters had squeezed fifty abreast in their tens of thousands to shout for us I could scarcely bear to look. I knew the ghosts of the babes would still be there, and there they are still, and they will always be there as long as those who saw them still cross the bridge, young, red ghosts on the green grass of Old Trafford."
Sir Matt Busby

My dad would have liked today's post.

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

What a T*sser!

I'm sorry about the title of this post, but it was begging to be written and I couldn't help myself!
And to be fair, tossing pancakes is something I do rather well.

I wish I could tell you this is one of my pancakes. It's not. I got this picture from the BBC Good Food website. Unfortunately, in the nanosecond it took between piling my pancakes artfully on a plate and getting the camera, they were gone. They were very nice though. I know this because...I GOT ONE! For the first time ever, in the history of Pancake Tuesday, there was actually one left for me! (Note to self: In future only ever make pancakes before the Football Fanatic arrives home).
So that would appear to be it. Lent begins tomorrow. Playtime's over.

Monday, 4 February 2008

Just reflecting

I'm having a bit of a holy week of sorts, it being almost Lent and all. I seem to be figuring quite highly on Fr. J's list of 'People To Do Things' otherwise entitled 'Soft Touches With Time on Their Hands'.

This lot are still working out what they're giving up for Lent. Please God, 'not pestering the life out of my mother when she has been up since five in the morning' will rank somewhere.

I was going to write what I will be doing during Lent, then I remembered something that I found last year (I've forgotten where, so if I pinched it from your blog, I'm sorry. Offer it up!)
It occurred to me that if everybody, religious or otherwise did this, the world might be a nicer place for a few weeks:

A Lenten Reflection

Give up complaining - focus on gratitude

Give up pessimism - focus on optimism

Give up harsh judgements - think kindly thoughts

Give up worrying - trust divine providence

Give up discouragement - be full of hope

Give up bitterness - turn to forgiveness

Give up hatred - return good for evil

Give up anger - be more patient

Give up pettiness - become more mature

Give up gloom - enjoy the beauty around you

Give up gossiping - control your tongue

Give up giving up - hang in there!

Author unknown

Now, don't you think you might feel better if you try a couple of these? And purely because you have become accustomed to getting a dash of humour when you visit here, I will leave you with the prayer Fr. J printed in yesterday's church bulletin:

Sunday, 3 February 2008


Is it really nineteen years? Wasn't it only last week I was bundling you up in a pink snowsuit and mittens to take you out for a walk?

I must have blinked.

Happy Birthday kiddo.

Two feastdays this week. (There will be a short theology exam at the end of the year)!

February 2nd

The Presentation of the Lord

"This child is destined for the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign which men will refuse to acknowledge, so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed". Luke 2:34-35

Also known as Candlemas Day, so called because in the Catholic and Anglican churches, it is the day when all the candles to be used during the year are blessed. (Except at my church, where the priest forgot, so we are completely changing the Christian calendar and having it on another day instead. When he remembers).

February 3rd

Feast of St. Blaise and the Blessing of Throats

Before she went to school I always took the Foootball Fanatic to Mass on this day (see post above) and we always had the Blessing of Throats:

"May God at the intercession of St. Blaise preserve you from throat troubles and every other evil.

She's never had any trouble with her throat and neither have I!

Saturday, 2 February 2008

Sorry, did you say half-term?

Finally, the infections/bugs/viruses that have been passed around this lot since before Christmas have gone. It dawned on me this morning that from Monday, for the first time since mid-December, I will have the house to myself. I will be able to clean a room in the morning and it will stay clean for a whole day. I will be able to finish the de-cluttering and sorting out stuff for the charity shop. (A futile exercise in my experience, with children around. They just take everything out of the bags saying 'I still play with that!' or 'I've looked all over for this'). The euphoria threatened to overwhelm me. I walked to the greengrocers with a spring in my step.

Matthew the greengocer asked how the children were.
Me: All better. All going back to school on Monday. House to myself.
Him: Oh, that's good. Too bad it's only for a week, eh?

I laughed at his little joke. He didn't.

Me: What do you mean, only for a week?
Him: They're only in next week, then it's half-term. Didn't you know?

I laughed again. More hysterically this time.

Me: Oh, course I did. Must have forgotten.
Him: You're not coming down with it are you? You look really pale.
Me: Me? No! I'll be fine! Five pounds of King Edwards please.

Friday, 1 February 2008

What should you be when you grow up?

You Should Be a Politician

Confident, assertive, and dedicated - you know what you want in life and how to get it.
Stubborn and opinionated, you can stand your ground... even if it's unpopular.
And while you have strong views, you never overwhelm people with your opinions.
A true charmer, you subtly influence people into seeing things your way.

You do best when you:

- Work according to your own rules
- Can change the world with what you do

You would also be a good lawyer or talk show host.

This is for all those people who thought I was a shrinking violet.

Funny, The Father of This Lot often says I should be a politician as well. (Usually when I'm winning hands-down in an argument).