Sunday, November 30, 2008

Christmas Shopping

In a previous post I wrote about the insanity revolving around Christmas and gift giving. I am so glad to be exempt from this hassle, because I tend to buy gifts throughout the year. Whenever something catches my eye and I know it would be perfect for a friend or someone in the family I go ahead and buy it. It's then kept for safe-keeping until that person's birthday or another 'traditional' event, such as Christmas comes up.
Naturally, most of my female friends receive one of my handmade gifts, which is all the more appreciated, because when I made it I only had them in mind. This is a truly unique gift. Not only do I love choosing fabrics which I know they will like, the whole designing and sewing process becomes that much more enjoyable! I usually plan these gifts well in advance. Now, isn't that a much more relaxing approach to Christmas?
All I need to think about is what I'll be cooking for Christmas dinner. I usually pre-order the meat for the main course well in advance. Then I just need to pick it up a day before or so. Desserts can be made a day in advance, too. So, instead of slaving away for hours in the kitchen on Christmas Eve (we celebrate on the 24th) I can reduce that time to about two hours and enjoy sitting at the dining table with my family instead.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Walking your dog in the snow

(image courtesy of wikimedia)

My BIL and his family have a chocolate retriever about one-and-a-half years old. He's huge and needs to be exercised daily regardless of the weather. But what if there's a half metre of snow outside (not that we get that much anyway)? Well, it's okay for a dog to walk in the snow, but make sure he doesn't eat too much of it! This is harmful for a dog's stomach. And dangerous if road salt has been sprinkled on it! It's best to keep to areas that have not been treated with road salt. When you get home it's a good idea to wipe the dog's paws and perhaps apply a bit of salve.

Happy walking!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I need more time!

I have been neglecting this blog somewhat - but only because my other blog is keeping me busy, busy, busy. Not only have I been selling my bags like crazy, I received an award yesterday too! So, apart from my regular work I am working on new bag designs, sourcing fabric and sewing non-stop. Then there's all the promoting to do. Help! I need more time!
A good friend of mine reminded me to come up for air once in a while. She's so right. I've been neglecting the chores around the house too, and I haven't done any exercise in weeks! I feel so guilty. Hubby hasn't complained or anything (bless him), although I have caught him eyeing the laundry basket wondering when I'll get round to washing the underwear...
So I have made a deal with myself.
I will restrict promoting to one hour per day. I will get up half an hour earlier to go through my exercise routine. From now on Monday will be Laundry Day, and on Sunday I will just relax, go for a walk, okay, maybe jot down a few new design ideas...
Keeping fingers crossed, hoping this new self-imposed regimen will work ☺

Monday, November 24, 2008


This is what our back garden looks like today.
This is a rare sight for us, because the region where I live doesn't usually have this much snow. We get rain.
I had to go out this morning to run some errands and I found it really uncomfortable wearing my contact lenses. I have astigmatism. This combined with the heater on all day makes for really dry eyes. As I mentioned in my previous post: I really don't like snow!
The weather service broadcast more snow for tomorrow, which will turn into rain later this week. That's fine by me!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

It's snowing

Last night we've had our first snow - and when I woke up this morning it was still snowing. Mind, up here in the north-west we only get the slushy kind of snow! The thin layer usually disappears into a wet slick by mid-afternoon.
I'm not really a fan of snow. This is partly due to the fact that the kids I tutor take this as an excuse to stay home. So in a round about way the snow has a negative effect on my bank account! Not to mention the extra work involved clearing the footpath in front of our house. We wouldn't want anyone to slip and fall and break their ankle. That could have a negative effect on our bank account too. We will have to stock up on road salt - speaking of which, this stuff is so aggressive that it worked a hole into the soles of my loafers last year. I have since bought a pair of boots with thick rubber soles, which make me look like Bob the builder from the knees down, but at least I'll be able to walk the short stretch to our car without risking wet feet!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

What does Christmas mean to you?

Although most people in this town are staunch Catholics, it always amazes me how materialistic everyone starts to act, especially around the Christmas season.
I was talking to a few of my students about what they liked most about Christmas, and most of them replied 'the gifts'.
Indeed, I've seen plenty of harrassed-looking mothers dashing in and out of the only toy-shop in the town center loaded down with bags full of cheap plastic in the shape of barbie dolls and playmobil - all undoubtedly made by tiny hands in the Far East.
I've seen even more harrassed-looking fathers heaving stereo's and flatscreen T.V.'s and huge PC's into their family van. Yep, kids are so demanding these days.
When I think of Christmas I have fond memories of sitting round the dining table eating my mum's delicious home-cooked meal, having pleasant conversations, laughing a lot, and yes, of course I was excited about what my parents might have bought me, although I never demanded anything. I was always happy with anything they bought me. We weren't showered with gifts - all the more to appreciate what we did receive. Till this day I appreciate everything that is given to me, regardless of its value in the material sense.
Sometimes all I need is a hug and I'm happy.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Prevention is the best medicine

For the last seven days I have been taking spoonfuls of Enterococcus faecalis bacteria. It tastes a bit like milk gone sour, but it helps to build up your immune system, especially if you're prone to upper respiratory infections.
I should have thought of taking them earlier as a preventative measure...maybe it was the cost of a bottle that put me off. It doesn't come cheap. The price of one small bottle costs 10 Euros (about 12.7 US$) and lasts approx. four days.
I guess I should be investing in my health more. Next time I'm in town I will be purchasing the pack of 3, which is marginally cheaper than buying only single bottles. I will be taking these throughout the cold months plus my usual zinc and vitamin C pills in the hope that I won't come down with anything until next Spring!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Here we go again!

I am s-l-o-w-l-y crawling up the road to recovery, only to find my cat Sammy is acting strange. Maybe getting sick? He seemed a little subdued all day and his appetite wasn't as good as it usually is. Normally he chomps down his food, no questions asked. This evening he circled the bowl suspiciously and only ate the top layer. Atleast he lapped up his water; I'm thankful for that. I'll be observing him for the rest of the evening and hope that today is a one-off. If he isn't better tomorrow morning it's off to the vet with him. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
What a week...sigh.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Birthday Wishes

I know I'm supposed to stay in bed. I do feel awful, but how could I not wish my good friend Y. in Cologne a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY. May all your wishes come true!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

100 posts today...and I've got the flu!

Great. I had a special post planned for my 100th, but I'm in a bad way, so I'm just going back to bed with a cup of sage tea (I know, it's disgusting but it helps).

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Quick - a new shop!!!

Readers who have been following this blog will know that I live in a town mostly reserved for is therefore hardly surprising that most shops here cater to pensioner's needs. Yes, we have plenty of pharmacies, opticians and shops selling hearing aids. We also have quite a few premises that stand empty.
So, whenever there's even the slightest inkling of a new retailer opening up, there's always a frisson of anticipation in the air. Immediately everyone (under the age of 60) starts speculating. The renovation of the shop in question is followed closely. Difficult to guess what's coming. The new shop owner usually covers up the windows with old newspapers.
Last week a forlorn looking place located at a disadvantageous place in a recessed part of a road opened up 'shop'. Great disappointment. It turned out to be a school of dance. Not the hip hop, jazzy type - more the waltzing kind. For elderly people. Oh well.
I heard a new fitness club was opening up. I can already see a clutch of grannies in trainers rushing to get to the coveted step machine.

Monday, November 10, 2008

PC Problems...sigh

I'm not too happy with Opera at the moment. I've been using this browser for ages and I quite like the interface. Everything worked fine - until now! Even with the updated version the pages I call up don't load completely or stop loading entirely. Yesterday, Opera completely shut down by itself...
So, I'm using Mozilla now. I will need to import all my important bookmarked sites. I wonder if Mozilla has a feature that let's me call up my favourite sites quickly (like Opera does). Can anyone enlighten me on this?

Attention all Entrecarders: If I don't reciprocate drops, it's because I can't seem to log in to Entrecard! And when I finally do, the 'drop' doesn't work. Also had to approve an advert twice - hope that worked at least! Entrecard seems to be lagging! So...I apologize in advance.

I really hope someone will help me solve my PC problem...

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Happy Sunday!

If my cat Sammy were a soft toy, he would look like this...

Friday, November 7, 2008

What happened to the BLOGGER tool bar???

There's something strange going on with the posts here on Blogger. Since yesterday, I no longer have the 'tool bar' at the top of the 'create new post' box!?
So, how should I add links now? Or enlarge my words? Or move my text right or left?
Anyone else have this problem?

ps - I haven't done any changes or switched browsers either. Cache and cookies all cleared, too.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Embarrassing moments # 3

you can read E.M. # 2 here (also links to # 1)

I must have been about was my first time on a sophisticated date. All my previous dates were more the 'Pizza Hut' kind. Anyway, my date took me to dinner to this really classy restaurant in a five star hotel, and I was a just a little nervous, since I hadn't eaten at such a fancy place before. The week before I had even splurged on a new dress just for the occasion.
So we sat there at the candle-lit table contemplating the menu. There was a waiter hovering silently nearby. Soft, classical music played in the background. At the time I knew nothing about wine, so I was pretty relieved when my date offered to make a choice for both of us. 
Then the waiter sidled up to the table and it was time to order. I thought 'Lobster Bisque' sounded nice, so I ordered that as an entreé. It was in the soup section on the menu, so what could go wrong, right? 
Anyway, my date and I were enjoying each other's company, and a little while later both our entreé's arrived. I remember being a little surprised when the waiter set down the deep plate in front of me, because all I saw were three pieces of lobster 'morsels' arranged artfully at the centre. My date had ordered a ceasar salad, and it was clear he was ready to tuck in, so I picked up my fork and began spearing one of the lobster pieces. At that moment I heard the waiter snickering behind me. I didn't want to upset the mood, so I just ignored him. Then - out of nowhere - another waiter swooped down on me bearing a soup terrine and this huge ladle. At this point there was one lobster morsel left on my plate. The waiter coughed and told me to please lay down my fork...I was really confused, but I did what he told me..and then, omg, I realized! I was supposed to have waited for the piping hot soup to be ladled on to the lobster pieces. My date was trying not to smile. And I was trying not to disappear into a hole in the ground.
Jeez...I was eating soup with a fork.
The two waiters were cracking up, and the one with the ladle really took his t--i--m--e to fill up my plate.
Somehow, 'Lobster Bisque' sounded better than it tasted.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Spotted Dog

I know Halloween is over, but I just couldn't resist posting this pic of my niece (who lives in the U.S.) in her dalmation outfit - her choice, she insisted ☺

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Top 3 Entrecard Droppers for October

Here are my top three...why not go check them out!

# 1 Money Saving Pro

# 2 Brick for Jade

# 3 A World of Progress

Thanks! And keep dropping!