Monday, 30 June 2008

Green Fingers

I am trying to write a post about a small gardening success.

This afternoon, I have taken photographs of it.

I am now looking for the lead to the digital camera so that I can show them to you.

Does anyone know where it is?

Of course, I know where I left it.....but in this house, that means absolutely nothing.

If I find it, I'll be back.

Sunday, 29 June 2008

The Feast of Ss. Peter and Paul

Listen, if these two can hit the big time, there's hope for us all.

Peter was quick-tempered, hot-headed and often got things wrong. He went back on his word in the worst possible way, telling Jesus he would always stand by him, and yet at the first sign of trouble, he ran, terrified, and denied all knowledge of him.

And Paul, or Saul, as he was in the beginning, well, he was the Godfather of the persecutors of Christians. His name struck terror in Christian hearts. He was present at the stoning of Stephen, the first martyr, 'and Saul approved of their killing him'.
Acts 8:1

And yet God, who doesn't judge by human standards, saw something in both of them that we certainly wouldn't have seen. He said:

'You are Peter (which means rock) and on this rock I will build my church. And the gates of the Underworld will never hold out against it'
Mt. 16:18

And after he'd sorted Saul out by throwing him off his horse and blinding him for a few days, God chose him to take the Gospel beyond the Jews - 'he is an instrument whom I have chosen to bring my name before Gentiles'.
Acts 9:15

And pretty good at it he turned out to be as well.

So, if you're like me, and think that most of the time you're getting it wrong, look at Peter and Paul. I suppose Paul sums it up here:

'For all of you are the children of God through faith, in Christ Jesus, since every one of you that has been baptised has been clothed in Christ....And simply by being Christ's, you are the progeny of Abraham, the heirs named in the promise'
Gal. 3:26-29

I think I could get used to this preaching business!

Saturday, 28 June 2008

A Mother's Pride

Now you know I'm not the type of person given to pride.

Pride is a sin, and normally I would flee in the opposite direction.

But I just had to tell someone this.

I have worked out that I am the cleverest person in the house.

There. I've said it.

I expect you're wondering how I came by this knowledge aren't you?

Is it because I can quote Shakespeare, or tell you the formula for a quadratic equation?

Oh, no. This has nothing to do with a convent education, nor a first class honours degree (neither of which equip you with any real skills, by the way)

The reason I am the cleverest one in the house is obviously because.............


Any more exceptionally clever people out there?

Friday, 27 June 2008

Facebook Faceoff

Thought I'd better explain what the 'something nasty' was since you've all left such caring and encouraging comments.

My beautiful, clever, kind and basically good-all-round Football Fanatic has been accused, by what amounts to be a gang of jealous girls, of some of the most vile things that you can possibly imagine on Facebook, the internet social networking site.

I am only writing this post in case any of you have teenagers with a Facebook account. Whilst it can be a lot of fun if used properly, please make sure that nothing hurtful or damaging is being said about them on it.

Believe me, it can cause a lot of heartache.

Anyway, we're getting to grips with it and moving on.

As you can see from the picture, I have aged twenty years in the last week, but I hope to be back playing the glamourous housewife role tomorrow.

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Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Out of My Depth?

Just trying to deal with some pretty nasty stuff that's going on around here.

And amazingly it has nothing to do with the Father of This Lot.

Back soon.

Meanwhile, for some lovely news about Chloe, go here.

Friday, 20 June 2008

It's The Thought That Counts....

Today The Fixer has been on a Geography field trip to Castleton in the Peak District.

She phoned at about three o'clock to let me know she was on the coach on her way home.

Her: Hi Mum! I've bought loads of stuff! What would you like for a present?

Me: What's the choices?

Her: Do you like Kendal Mint Cake?

Me: Not really. What's the other choices?

Her: Well, there was a Bakewell Flapjack, but I'm halfway through it.

Me: I'll have the Kendal Mint Cake.

For Sale: One bar of tooth-rottingly sweet Kendal Mint Cake. Hardly Used.

Any offers?

UPDATED: Can you imagine taking a pound of sugar and dampening it just enough to be able to mould it into an oblong bar?

You can?

That's Kendal Mint Cake.

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

The Power of Prayer

Lastnight Renae left a comment saying she had tried to post an update on Chloe's progress, but she couldn't get it to work.

Poor girl. She tries - she's just not technically minded!!

Fortunately for Renae, she's so good at such a host of other things that it doesn't really matter!
Anyway this is what Renae wanted everyone to know:

I just spoke with Jennifer (Chloe's mum), and you will not believe this! They have already taken many of Chloe’s tubes out. She simply doesn’t need them. And they decided to move her out of ICU already! Except, there was no bed available, so she will stay in ICU one more night, and move to a regular room tomorrow. They expected her to be in Intensive Care for a long, long time, but we are seeing the power of prayer in her life!

Chloe has always had a bit of an olive complexion. Lovely, lovely girl. But now, her mother says she is as pink as a rose! Her counts (don’t ask me what counts) are dropping, which is proof that her new liver is already doing its job!

Today, Chloe has been awake, and has said, “Mama,” “eye,” “meow,” and countless, “What’s that?” “What’s that?” “What’s that?”, while pointing at various things.

She has not smiled yet. But under the circumstances, I don’t blame her.

We need to continue to pray that she does not get any infections or illnesses; it is crucial that she stay very healthy in the coming weeks.

Also pray for sleep for Jennifer and Mike.

Thank you all so much for your continued prayers! God is answering them, big time! Love you all.


Now, isn't that just the best news you've heard all day?

Pasta Like Mamma Used To Make

When this lot arrive home from wherever they've been, their greeting to me tends to be less along the lines of:

'Hello Mum! Have you had a good day?'

and more likely to be something like:

'Is there anything to eat?'
'I'm starving!'
'What's for tea?'

In answer to this last question last night I said:


It wasn't well received.

'RAVIOLI?? No-one likes ravioli. Why did you get ravioli?'

'It was on offer at Tescos. Two packets for £3' (Actually, I had to get four packets for £6, because two packets of anything is never enough to feed this lot). I continued:

'It's not any old ravioli. It's Tesco Finest Minced Beef and Red Wine Ravioli. And I shall make you tomato sauce to go with it. You'll like it. And if you don't like it, tough. There's nothing else'.

And, decked out in my 'Yummy Mummy' apron, I proceeded to fashion out of thin air a tomato sauce the like of which (not wishing to blow my own trumpet here) has probably never been tasted outside of Naples. It was exquisite. Everybody ate it in silence. Even I ate it.....and you know I have absolutely no interest in food whatsoever, so it must have been good.

There is nothing I would like to do more than share my recipe with you.

But I can't.

Unfortunately, during the concoction of this ambrosia-like substance (I mean the food of the gods, not the rice pudding), I was engaged in a somewhat heated discussion with the Father of This Lot regarding the raising of children. And whilst I remember a bit of chopping and slicing, I have absolutely no idea what went into it. I think there might have been some celery, and I have vague memories of a couple of carrots and the basil plant on the kitchen window-sill, but other than that, I can tell you nothing.

You'll just have to take my word for it.

It's roast chicken tonight.

You know where you are with a roast chicken, in my opinion.

Monday, 16 June 2008

Black Jack

CHLOE UPDATE here. Thanks be to God (that's the Irish in me) everything seems to be going well up to now.

Lastnight the Football Fanatic went out with Jack.
(You remember Jack - face like a Greek god, posh apartment, posh car, season ticket......)

They're still just good friends.


Anyway, I got a text:

At the casino. J's just paid £23 for 2 drinks.

Given that £23 would keep this entire family in drinks for a week, and certain therefore that they must be laced with heroin or some other expensive substance I texted back:

What sort of drinks?


Vodka and coke and a Jack Daniels

Somewhat relieved, I replied:

For 23 quid, I'd want a bloke called Jack Daniels thrown in.

I was relating this tale at the coffee morning after Mass today.
Amid various nods of agreement, an old lady at the back piped up:

'For twenty three quid I'd want him to stay the night and cook the breakfast next morning'.

Tsk. Tsk.

Straight out of Mass as well.

Who'd have thought it?

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Reality Check

Please go and look at this picture of Chloe.

Isn't she beautiful?

I read about her at my friend Renae's blog.

In about three hours, she's undergoing a 6 to 8 hour operation for a liver transplant.

Will you pray for her and her family, and will you remember the family who have donated the liver, who must also be going through a terrible time.

One last thing. Promise you'll remind me of this post if you ever hear me moaning again about the not-too-bad things that go on around here.

Because right now, I'm feeling pretty ashamed of myself.

Friday, 13 June 2008

That Was A Week??

I don't quite know where this week went, to be honest. I remember it involved a little shopping, a little cleaning and a lot of cooking, but I don't seem to have much to show for it.

I do know one thing though. On the very few occasions that I haven't written something good about the Father of This Lot, the whole situation has seemed to take a dramatic shift in a downhill direction. (I wonder if there's a lesson there)?

If he gets it right with me, it all goes wrong with the kids.

If he gets it right with the kids, it all goes wrong with me.

At the moment, he's getting it right with the kids.

However, I remain unperturbed. Today is St. Anthony's feastday. We're very big on St. Anthony in this house - the Football Fanatic being the greatest devotee. I have called him on myself on too many occasions to count, and even the Father of This Lot turns to him when things get a bit rough.

He is particularly invoked by most people when things go missing.

I'm getting on to him right now.

Perhaps he'll be able to point me in the right direction to find my sense of humour, peace, hope and possibly my will to live.

Monday, 9 June 2008

On Yer Bike!

It's been a strange week, Father of This Lot wise.
For a start, he has engaged in some practical parenting on several occasions, by taking the younger end of this lot out bike riding.
Three times.

This is not a natural state of affairs for any of us, but apparently, a good time was had by all, and it is to become a regular event.
On a Saturday afternoon.
When the pubs are open.
I know.
Worrying, isn't it?
Well, maybe that's a little unfair. Not worrying exactly. More of...well, like I said....strange.
Of course, I wasn't involved in any of these outings.
Oh, no.
There wasn't any of this to be seen around various parks:

And before you all start having a go at me and telling me I'm letting the side down, I had my reasons.
Two reasons actually.
  1. If I'd gone, who would have stayed at home and kept four tribes of Virtual Villagers alive, bearing in mind that this lot are more concerned with solving puzzles and collecting awards than they are with providing food for the poor little cartoon people. Being an expert in providing food, I was the obvious choice.
  2. You know how they always say that you never forget how to ride a bike?

It's not true.

Anyway, the Father of This Lot seems to be making a real effort at cementing the cracks in his relationship with his children.

So much so, that one night while he was at work, I felt obliged to send him a text saying:

You've been a really good dad today.

And believe me, in the list of sentences I thought I'd never type, that one ranks right up there with 'I hope Liverpool win on Saturday'.

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Wednesday, 4 June 2008

A Word of Warning

Never, ever download a game from the internet to keep the kids amused during their school holidays.

Especially not this game:

...which you have to keep on for twenty four hours a day to make sure all the pesky little villagers have got food and shelter and are not dying of some tropical disease.

Oh, sure, it will keep the kids quiet. It will keep them out of your hair. In fact you won't see them for hours on end.

BUT - it will tie your computer up for days at a time, meaning you can't write any blog posts, read any blog posts or comment on any blog posts until at least one o'clock in the morning.

By which time, quite frankly, you're too tired to care.

Roll on Monday.