My Penny Profit

Strangest thing. Sometimes when I am who-ing and haw-ing about a decision, I will just leave it to fate in some way. I tend not to give up easily but sometimes it is better to throw the towel in and just move on.

I have been undecided about a part time research job I have. It would be great but something I am doing or not doing is making me fail at it … it was an epic fail to start, getting only one or two interviews knocking on doors for four hours and some days not getting any at all. After three months it is a bit better but still more failure than success.

It may not even be anything to do with my greeting, my funny accent or the clothes I wear. It may be the cold weather or the economic unrest or any number of other things making people decide to not share their opinions, whatever it is sometimes you just need to say enough.

I think a deciding factor was on one of the last days I went out. A rather impatient Staffordshire terrier had had enough of me interviewing her owner and decided it was time to make me leave. I would say the gods that protect people from dog attacks took a shining to me that day because the owner was about as much help as a bowl of Cheerios.

Well anyway I threw my cards to the wind and tossed a coin. Heads I would put in my notice, tails I would wait ( two out of three of course ). I tossed the penny up after holding it between my palms instructing it as to the question requiring an answer and the criteria I wanted to follow. I received three heads.

OK, three out of three sounds pretty definitive. Just for fun and already accepting the answer expressed, I asked the penny again, but this time I asked if  it meant what it had decided – heads yes, tails no. Oh dear it was three more heads straight. I would have put my notice in any way.

All those heads aside I asked it a couple more questions just to make sure that penny wasn’t head happy and it wasn’t all heads on any of the questions.

I often struggle following my gut, letting go, admitting defeat and saying enough is enough time to move on. Sometimes hanging in there is the right thing to do, sometimes it isn’t. Just wish there was a little button that could be pushed to answer difficult and stubborn questions that pull from multiple directions.

Oh wait! There is always a penny.

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A (not so) Quiet Year 2018

I have been quiet this year.

Between work and different issues it seemed that every time I thought about posting, the time or subject didn’t seem adequate. Quality over quantity to pen an old phrase.

2018 has been a bit of an algorithm with no rhythm what-so-ever. From a new grandchild to the death of a close family member, from a bountiful garden harvest to changing jobs, this year has seen so much in adjustments, both good and bad, with both positive and negative aspects to each.

Through it all I have hopefully risen to each challenge to the best of my ability. I am not one to preach positivity, although it is a good way to be (most of the time). Sometimes we need to be sad, we need to cry, we need to feel lost or just so angry we could scream. I know I have felt all those this year and more.

Being a creature of some habits as December rolls in each year I begin to shake through all that has happened. Sorting through those things that need to be left behind as memories, bad habits I need to change (and making excuses for the ones I plan to keep), places I meant to visit and didn’t, blogs I haven’t posted in much, closets or cupboards I meant to give a good sorting out and didn’t, and the list goes on.

Pretty much done with all that now as my better half and I await the sleepless night full of fireworks and merry making, the precursor to the start of the Next Year. Looking forward to it finally, I always do the closer it comes. It is something new. A new adventure can start any time in our life but a New Year adventure starts at a predetermined time.

All the Best, to you all. xx

New Year Improvements

It’s a New Year (– well more like a young year seeing as it is already few months gone) and like many people I made plans for improvements. I don’t do resolutions. I prefer to call and shape them into Improvements.

My biggest improvement concerns Plastics. I have done some improving over the years but this is a priority improvement I have put in place for this New Year.

I decided more than 4 years ago that I would not purposely replace any of my plastic containers and I haven’t. My old plastic containers have slowly dwindled but have improvised by using largemouth pint and quart jars for left over in the fridge. Jars don’t work for all left overs but they have helped fill a growing void.

This year I decided to invest in glass storage containers. I am devastated that they only come with plastic lids but it is a step forward. I have even made a couple of crocheted covers for them to keep them safer during transporting and am really pleased. So far it has been an easy transition. Bonus they are Pyrex so they can go into the oven and freezer too.

I moved my remaining old plastic containers up to my crafty room to use there.

As well as storage containers I am doing other little things.

  • Avoid buying products in plastic bottles and containers. This is going to take some creativity to achieve. May not avoid all but as many as I can uncomfortably if necessary.
  • Replacing plastics used in freezing meats etc. with waxed/greaseproof paper and bags. I bought a pack of those food bags such as is used by pasty and sandwich shops. So far so good. Have been looking for butcher paper but it has been unobtainable so far here in the UK.
  • Trying to buy unwrapped fruit and veg. Just wish they would give more options. Like organic bananas only seem to be found in bags. Bananas are the only real organic I will go out of my way to buy for reasons of my own.
  • Washing and reusing those plastic bags I can. I will even wash the bags that frozen peas or fruit come in and use them again in the freezer when freezing fruit and veg.

There is more to do, I know, but this is a start. I do not want to make this a flight of fancy but a lifestyle change. I cannot see the reward of just clearing the house of plastics that are already here. Then I am just adding to the plastics in the garbage. I think for me it is more important to try to reduce the incoming plastics and use and re-use those plastics that are here and those I can’t avoid until I find a way to avoid them.

A Grandmother’s Art Gallery

Sometimes I stand and admire my refrigerator door. It is an art gallery of which I am full of pride – a grandmother’s pride. I was proud when they were just scribbles because in their eyes they were well imagined works of art.  I was proud when it was their mother’s scribbles that hung there (different refrigerator).  These squiggly artist are our future and they deserve our pride, our appreciation, our encouragement and always our love.


“Lily (age 6) chicken don’t teeth.” Her mom said.
“My chicken has teeth.” Lily replied.

 

 

 

Wally320

 

 

 

 

This is Wally. ===>

 

 

 

 

Unicorn Wagon320

 

 

 

And then there are Princesses that love their unicorns so much they take them for a ride.

Lets Talk Wine

Another sort of kitchen adventure started about seven maybe eight years ago. The bounty of free foods or edible items here in Britain is amazing. I love the idea of getting something for little or nothing (and on the premise I am not taking advantage of others to do it).

My throw into wine making was the seemingly unlimited amount of elderberries I would see but was not sure about what I could use them for until I was reading more about nature’s bounty in various books. Elderberry wine came up again and again. I had never made wine and so started an unending adventure.

Wines I have made over the past seven to eight years include – Elderberry, Rosehip, Apple, Pear, Carrot, Parsnip, Ribena, Rose Syrup (as in Turkish Delights), Potato, Green Tomato, Elderflower, Lemon Balm, Tea and Raisin, Rhubarb, Apricot, Dried Apricot, Port. Plus a few others which I can’t remember.

The initial costs might be a little bit of an investment but most of the items except for things like yeast, nutrient, pectin enzyme, sugar etc, will be one offs. Demijohns cost a few pounds used and are cleanable. If you are thinking about trying it, keep an eye out at the local boot-sale, jumble sale, flea market for people selling assortments of equipment for wine making.

It is a creation that requires patience to some degree, only in reference to having to wait once it is racked off into the demijohns. Wines need time to make their alcohol, age and settle. I have over the years lost my taste for the effects of alcohol so I have all the patience needed.

The best book and my very first (widely recommended by any well-seasoned wine maker) is First Steps in Winemaking by C. J. J. Berry. Can’t rant enough about it. I learned so much from reading it and the recipes are straight forward. It is still my first go to book although I do have an assortment of them now.

The first wine I recommend trying is elderberry. Other than being a little messy cleaning the berries, it is one of the simpler recipes to work with. Starting simple is better than jumping in at the deep end.

I could ramble on and on about wine making. In the future I will share some of my experiences making it and sharing it as well as some ideas, tips, tricks.

In Search of the Strange. London

We have been to London many times and have seen most of the regular touristy things. This current trip to London to show my family a little of this magnificent city has lasted three days.

The first two days were the touristy spots and a bit of shopping for the kids but today – we the grandparent generation – took the initiative. We paid for all day tickets on the BigBus tour for the young’uns and we went looking for a little museum or two that is of interest. Weird and Strange always top the ‘Interest’ list and we struck pay dirt not far from Euston Station.

The Wellcome Collection

The Grant Museum of Zoology

Both of the above small museums are free to the public and around the corner from each other. The Wellcome Collection is both modern and interesting in the their multiple exhibits. The Grant Museum is full of specimens of bone and in bottles. Another one we visited a couple years back s the Hunterian Museum in Holburn – this museum is extensive in the specimen displays both human and animal.

Early Dawn ‘Pink’ Rainbow

APinkRainbow

I am not sure if I have ever seen a rainbow of only one color.
Over the six or seven months we spent living in a caravan between homes, I was privy to this lovely pink rainbow. This was taken in late August 2015.

I do miss being an early riser (something my job hours now will not afford me – but I have adjusted well enough). I miss the quiet, watching the sunrise. Hearing the bird song with pleasure (rather than swearing at the little morning peeps).

I am sure I will sometime in the future again find my early mornings( 4am is a great time to be awake), to great the day, to sing her in in my heart and my imagination. Mornings are amazing.