Shall I propose?

I’d like to think I’d taken the day off and done something special with my extra day in February.  I always mean to, then I only remember when, on 28th I see that tomorrow isn’t the first of March.. “Ooh! is it a leap year?”  That’s when I check my calendar and see I have lots of things booked in.  Blow that for another four years.

Earth orbit around sun=365 days and 6 hours

One year=365 days

6hr x 4=24hrs=1day=29 February every 4 years=men beware today.. tee hee.. I do feel a bit wild and unconventional or is that traditional…

As it only occurred to me yesterday that it was a leap year, and I only remembered this morning that that meant I could propose, I seem to have left it a bit late    again.  I was once encouraged to propose on this day by my then boyfriend, (Yes, to him.)  It was a most bizarre day.  Phone calls and faxes reminding me what day it was and how many hours I had left.  Was he trying to get out of buying an engagement ring?

According to the tradition, if a woman proposes and the man turned her down he had to pay her some form of compensation, stockings, some money or gloves.  This got me thinking.  How many men could I propose to in one day and request compensation for their refusals?  What would I do if one said yes?  No, that’s not going to happen.  But just in case, I’d need to be selective.

Hmm… there’s the nice young man in the deli.. the nice chappie I bump into in the lift.. that lovely man who follows me on twitter.. what fun I could have..

Do I need stockings?  It’s been a while since I’ve worn any, no.  Do I need gloves?  Happy with the warm pair I have thank you and my gardening gloves are doing ok so no, not really, not this year. Phew. Men, you can breathe a sigh of relief, this 51 year old woman will not be proposing to you today.

Mind you… I could always ask for a new pair of shoes instead.  Just in case, please remember I am partial to a kitten heel in a size 6..

Time:Where did the week go?

How often have you said where did the week go, time flies when you’re enjoying yourself, I’m running out of time or a myriad of other time related comments?

Certain hours in the day are shorter or longer than others (remember… comments here are my own).  Any hours with teleconferences in can have a tendency to expand.  Others with lunch in perhaps are rather short and the one before I leave work goes very quick as I try to cram in everything I don’t want to leave till the next day (you can breathe now...).  Some evenings, when I have little on, can be long but I love them, a nice long rest and time to ponder and potter.  The nighttimes go by in a blink of an eye because I’m sleeping, I close my eyes then OPEN them and it’s 8-9 hours later (yes, I sleep very well thank you).  Then there’s the morning rush hour and we’re back on the cycle.

Where did the week go?  There was a point this week, around Thursday I think, when my time turned back.  It was Wednesday.  I was convinced it was Wednesday and was shocked every time the computer told me a different story.  Then it shot to Friday which was nice.  Amazingly, as I went from Wednesday to Friday I had done everything I had planned for this week.

What did I do differently on Thursday?  I had a task to complete, no specific time deadline though I’d set myself next Tuesday.  My choice was to do it on Thursday, the day in my week this week which became Wednesday.  On Thursday there were no teleconferences to join, my calendar was completely booked out for this task, so nothing non-urgent could distract me, allowing me to work steadily through what became a luxuriously long day.  It was very pleasurable.  Finding tasks and days like that is my new mission.   It seemed to change the very nature of time on that day.

Time changed too between the writing and painting parts of this post.  It’s been one of the longest to complete so far taking 1.5 hours, where did that time go?  It went here for you to spend a few seconds or minutes of yours.  I hope it was enjoyable and worthwhile.

When does time speed up or slow down for you?

Alonely?

Alonely: There’s a lot of misconceptions and assumptions made of the single older female.  There are lots of times I’m in company and feel there are people there who are lonely though surrounded by people.  If you’re alone are you automatically lonely?  If you’re lonely are you automatically alone?  Lonely and alone sometimes go together yes though they are not automatic bedfellows.

In my teens I wanted to be a recluse like Howard Hughes.  ‘The recluse Howard Hughes’ was a line often on the news.  I had no idea what it meant and wanting to be like that, I doubt I understood at the time or even now know what it really meant.  For me it was more about having the amount of money he did so he could do what he wanted and if that was never be seen that was fine.

In my twenties, I spent many years needing the company of others.  Now, I realise that was because I was not comfortable with my own company.  Years of meditation and positive thinking helped with my self awareness and changed me to a point at which I am probably way too happy when on my own.  Don’t get me wrong, I can be good company too, according to my friends..

Alone or lonely, are you either?

ps Researching Howard Hughes just now, I was shocked to find we share a birthday….

Savoury or sweet pancakes?

Shrove Tuesday is the last day before Lent.  40 days of fasting for some, giving up something for others and not followed by many.  Traditionally the foods not eaten during lent were eaten on the last day as a celebration and to not waste any food.  Pancakes became the staple for what many of us know now as pancake day.

This year, far from using up the eggs and flour before fasting I have to admit in making sure I had eggs in so I could have pancakes today.  Of course, I love them any time of the year but there’s something different about eating pancakes on shrove Tuesday.  As for using up food to fill them it meant todays savoury was a breakfast one followed by a sweet blueberry and cream.

Whilst I don’t follow traditions of Lent I do see it as a time for reflection which I’ll be doing over the coming weeks (I’m not sure how many of my reflections will find their way here).

Which is my favourite?  Usually, a simple lemon and sugar will always be my favourite but the blueberries and cream was pretty amazing.  A bit decadent for breakfast perhaps.. No guesses what dinner will consist of..  (Well, the spare batter will need using up.)

Are you having pancakes today?

What needs using up in your fridge?

It’s not spring yet…

I was lulled into a false sense of security yesterday.  No need for all my heating on anymore.  The collared doves that spend a lot of time in my garden were happily enjoying the joys of spring (x-rated).

The sunshine was enough to encourage me to do a major pruning of the bush that pretends to be a tree in my front garden.  Neighbours were chatting outdoors soaking up the warmth of the sun.  All getting our full daily doses of vitamin d3.  Checking the temperature in the greenhouse made me ponder what needed doing before it would be  ready for the seedlings this year.  It was 10 degrees C and had gone down to minus 9 over the past few weeks.  All in all, spring was definitely here (yesterday).

Even getting out of bed I could feel the change.  The key test for me is my shower temperature.  As spring arrives I turn in down and this morning it headed back the other way again.  Still towel cladded I headed outside (my towels are huge,  very warm and I’m not overlooked, one day I’ll get caught out with the flying cameras though..) to check what I feared.  The birds water trays were frozen and they were waiting for me to put more food out and give them a drink.  I’m a slave to the birds in my garden (that could have been an alternate title).

It’s not spring yet, I’m still turning the shower temperature up and fishing ice out of water bowls.

What cues in your house tell you the temperature outside?

When do you consider it spring?

ps this was taken recently and they were convinced spring was in the air then too….

Do I have a craft room or studio?

A friend was talking about me in front of me and said ‘Lynnes amazing!  She does knitting and crochet; writing and painting; silk painting and felting and printing; she designed and painted her own curtains and.. and… and.…’.  What I heard was, ‘she has ‘stuff’ all over the house, she’s not the tidiest, if you go to visit it will be a mess and the whole house is her studio’.

It’s rare that I invite people over these days though I am trying to more.  Often I’ll have something I’m working on that’s taking over the house.  If you’ve been invited you’re one of the few and I’ve probably spent hours clearing away my latest creative idea.  Close friends who visit regularly (I don’t tidy for them..) see the ‘piles’ of creativity changing as they realise I’m working on something different than the last time they visited.  They get used to it and, I hope, come to wonder with interest what my current creative project is.

Who was I kidding when I said ‘I’ve been sorting the spare bedroom’.  As I went through it, yes there was the paperwork, some old makeup in the dresser and even some clothes but mainly, there was the knitting pile, the material/sewing pile; the sketch pads; the writing and painting and craft and photography piles.

Do I have a craft room or studio?

No, the whole house is my studio.. including the garden and sheds.  The spare bedroom will turn into my studio now that I’m finally coming to terms with being creatively artistic.  (Yes, I know. It’s only taken 50 years).

Do you have a craft room or studio?

Are you creatively artistic?

Seed cake

It must have been 2 years ago since I baked many cakes.  That was a time when I worked my way through most of my cakes and bakes book with glee.  You can tell just by looking at it (and me) that it was well used and loved.  This week I’ve had a similar urge to bake.  It’s something I love doing and get a lot of pleasure from.  Others, usually, are quite pleased too.

When I suddenly decide I have to bake my method of choosing which cake is simply to see what’s in the storecupboard.  (I’ll have to write about my food hoarding another time).  This week, caraway seeds were what came to hand first so that was an easy choice.

There’s a little blue book that was my mums.  It’s full of recipes she used to feed her family.  It now has some of mine too.  One that my dad and I loved was caraway seed cake.  When I mention it nowadays many of my friends look blank and have never heard or tried it.  It might be an acquired taste, I don’t know.  You might be interested in the recipe of the one made yesterday.

This recipe hasn’t been tested for reproduction by anyone other than me… (I have added in some instructions to show how I make it)

Seed cake

8oz flour SR (sieved)

6oz Sugar

6oz Butter

2 eggs

milk to mix

caraway seeds – lots! (I probably put in a heaped table spoon)

Cream butter and sugar (till it changes colour).

Beat in eggs (one at a time).

Add flour (using a table spoon, fold in).

Add milk to dropping texture.

Stir in seeds.

Put in a loaf tin and bake at 350degrees F (I have a fan oven and this cake was baked in it at 180degrees C for about 50-55mins) for 1 hour or till golden and firm to the touch.

ps I hope you don’t mind this recipe posted here.  After all it is an eclectic and random blog.  It could easily have been a cake baking; gardening or arty crafty blog.

Red roses – I love you

Flowers aren’t something I think should only be bought for you or on special occasions.  (don’t get me wrong.. feel free to buy me some if you would like to..).  Flowers in my house are considered as a necessity whilst they are also a luxury.  It’s the same with love.  Whilst being ‘in love’ can, at times, feel luxurious, love is necessary for all of us to thrive.

Love is not just for the 14th February yet it also can be for the 14th just as much as any other day.  Regardless of the expectations of valentine’s (yes I said it.. like zillions of other blogs, I guess, today) day, I hope you love well today and have more than a bit of romance in your lives and relationships. 

Have a love filled, flower filled, lovely day with a dash of chocolate and good wine too maybe.  Oops.. don’t forget the music.. and the hearts, cupids arrows and all other things we associate with today.

How do you show your love?

Any ideas how I can open my heart again?  I think it’s had one too many arrows.

ps I do love all flowers….just saying

Life’s precious

Within the last few weeks I’ve had the sad news of the death of a close family friend and happy news of the birth of a beautiful girl.  I’m very close to both families.  One was like the extra Uncle in my life and the other I will hopefully be like the extra Aunty to.  There were added complications around the birth which brought home how precious life is.

My emotions have been all over the place.  Trying to do the right thing yet, being full of cold, that’s usually meant staying away from everyone, which, in itself, was a challenge.  Not being able to talk to people or hug and comfort them or allow others to hug and comfort me has been very tough.  It’s felt a lot like I’ve been an outsider looking in whilst having my heart broken and put back together again watching others that I love hurt and be happy and hurt and be happy and knowing I had to stay apart from them.

Everyone wanted me to look after myself not them.  It was important that I was there but kept my distance, knowing the time would come when I could talk and hug and comfort and be listened to and hugged and comforted.  I am in it for the long haul.  The short immediacy when the individuals concerned were overwhelmed with others rallying with comfort would fade and that would be when I picked up the pieces of my emotions and our hearts would continue the healing.  There will be lots more emotions to cope with along the way for all of us and I hope I provide some support, make some difference, to help smooth the way.  Both families make that difference for me and have helped make my life mean so much more and be that much more precious.

How do you cope with competing emotions of happy and sad news?

Life’s precious – what are you doing with yours?

Treat me today as if it’s my last

Why don’t we always see things like they’re the first time we’ve done them?  New, fresh, wonderful ‘live every day as if it’s your last’.  You hear that a lot.  What if today was not your last but a family or friend’s last.  What if someone nearly dies, how does that change how you are with yourself, them and others?

In my teens my Dad and I had an evening habit of not saying goodnight but ‘bye’.  It seems odd when I explain it now but since there was just the two of us for a while it meant a lot to us.  It must have originated because I didn’t get the chance to say goodbye to my mum and this meant if he didn’t wake up I’d said goodbye.

I’m spending a lot of time saying to one friend who was very ill recently ‘it’s a miracle and I love you’ in a rather overtly high pitched sort of way and then she smiles and I laugh.  To everyone else I’m saying ‘if I haven’t told you recently, I love you’.  (Ok not everyone, obviously, I mean to those I love, but you get the picture).   Instead of living as if it’s your last day today why not treat others as if it’s their last day.  What if they died tomorrow, would you wish to have treated them any different today?

Look after yourselves, family and friends and if I fall into one of those categories for you please treat me nice today.

Do your loved one’s know you love them?