Thursday, December 31, 2009
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Friday, December 25, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
I've been rushing around, juggling work, children, shopping and all that.
Yesterday evening, on the way to a Band Carol Service with Son, my phone rang. Son answered it, as I was driving, and I knew from him that it wasn't good news. All is well now, but my niece had an accident. First I screamed "NO!", thinking the worst, and thinking of a car accident.
It turned out to be an accident at work, where she fell and a spike thing went into her eye. My sister lives 3 hours from here, so I went to casualty to make sure she got the proper care, in loco parentis if you like. Thankfully, there's no lasting damage, but her eye looks dreadful and will be sore for about 2 weeks.
It just made me think of people who get a phone call to say that a loved one has had a serious accident. It must be a dreadful experience, especially if that person is young. I hope it never happens to me.
And it made think how a split second can change your life forever.
I know we say it quite often, but to almost feel it is scary.
And, more than anything, it made me get the whole Christmas thing in perspective- it doesn't matter if a few cards are left unsent, or jobs undone. Most of those things will not even be remembered in a couple of months.
What matters, and the only thing that matters, especially at Christmas, is the here and now, and the people you love.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
For more Ruby Tuesday pics, click on the link at the top of this page, which will take you to Mary's place. She's also having a giveaway!
Friday, December 18, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
I've been writing numbers on bits of paper and pulling one out of a bag!
Today, I finally thought of asking son to get a random number, and in the way that teenagers have of making you feel old and out-of-date, he goes onto random.org and gets it.
Well, I suppose you learn something new each day!
Anyway, the generated number between 1 and 5 was 1, so Heidi is the winner. I'll send it on as soon as I get her snail add.
Again, I'm really sorry that everyone can't be a winner, and thanks for joining in the fun.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Monday, November 30, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
To today's post, it's (kind of) Thanksgiving.
Yesterday was my birthday, and what a lovely, unusual day!
The public servants here were on strike , so I was on picket duty at 8.30, having left my 3 school-age children fast asleep at home. By the time I got back, they were up and about, ready with their best wishes. There were some lovely surprises too, one of which I'm particularly please with..tickets to Christy Moore in January. I love Christy's music, and have always intended to go to one of his concerts, and never got round to it. But now hubbie has organised it for us. Andthe venue is also one I've intended to go to, but not yet made it to. 6th January is the date, so I'll tell you all about it after that.
In the evening, the Band had their annual concert in the National Concert Hall- it was a night filled with good food (hubbie and I had a bite to eat beforehand while our kids were hard at work rehearsing on/off stage etc) music and friends. I was filled with mother-pride at my Tuba-playing daughter and my French Horn-playing son. Some of the pieces were well-known (supercalafragalistic), so clapping along made it even more enjoyable. I'm a participative sort of audience!
And I give thanks for having been guided (by eldest daughter) to this wonderful organisation, so full of muscial talent, where young and old, one and all, are embraced and musically nourished to fullness.
And the icing on the cake?
Arrived home to find a gift and this lovely card waiting in my porch! The card is hand-made in India in aid of the Hope Foundation.
Sorry about the poor-quality photography, I'm too tired/lazy to play around with light at this hour of the night.
Life is indeed very rich and good at this moment, and I am very thankful for all of it.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
It's been such fun blogging, and taking part in Mellow Yellow Monday, Ruby Tuesday and that party at Willow Manor. And I've really enjoyed meeting all of you, getting to know you, and reading your comments.
So to the giveaway, as you can see it's a Christmas Burner oil, made by yours truly, with pure essential oils of Frankincense, Clove, Fir, Orange and Lemon. It will fill your home with the aroma of Christmas, plum pudding, mince pies etc. Some of these oils, incidentally, are excellent bug-busters, so it's also a good one to burn in winter, to keep colds and flu at bay. If you don't have a burner, don't worry, it will work just as well on a tissue on a radiator.
If you'd like it, just leave a comment by midnight GMT on 24th November. I'll pick a number (random selection) and the comment number that matches will get a comment on their blog. You then email me your snail mail address, and it'll be posted within the week, in plenty of time for Christmas. If you haven't responded within 2 days, the giveaway moves on to the next number.
There it is, now, wherever you are, leave your comment!
Friday, November 20, 2009
I just dashed off the post, literally as the match ended, very much writing exactly as I felt, definitely without analysing or thinking about it.
And I have to admit that I was only half-watching the match anyway.
Well, it seems one of the French players handled the ball, twice, and scored a goal from so doing. That goal cost Ireland the match, and arguably, their place in the World Cup. The Football Association of Ireland have been calling for a replay, but it's not happening.
The fans, I'm delighted to say, behaved really well, even in the face of such an unfair defeat. The Irish players were devastated. I'm told that even the French newspapers the next day were ashamed and embarassed.
The reaction here has been strong, calling for video evidence in future games, as happens in rugby.
I'm not sure if all this has thrown the country even more into the doldrums, or distracted us from our current economic situation. One thing for sure, it suits the government, the heat is off them and onto Thierry Henry!
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
I think it's a brilliant idea, what do you think, and have you come across them in other cities?
Click on the link below to go to Drowsey Monkey and more MYM pictures.
Monday, November 9, 2009
Saturday, November 7, 2009
In this photo, on the left, is the shack where they had been living
so I can imagine that it must be bliss to now have this:
Sorry about the funny faces- I don't have permission to post their faces, and this is my best photoshopping skills.
I am learning, however; the son came along as I was trying to manually smudge the faces, and he has shown me a poly something tool that does it much better and quicker, as in the top photo.
So my new motto is "Every day, my photoshop skills get better and better"!
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Monday, November 2, 2009
Friday, October 30, 2009
This morning, at 3.15 am or so, my Mum is 22 years dead.
These were two of her favourite little poems/sayings:
1. When e're I pass a church
I always pay a visit
So that on the day when I'm wheeled in
The Lord won't say "who is it?"
2. Think of the wants of others
Think of them before your own
See all the good in others
See that and that alone.
She wasn't perfect, but she was perfect enough.
Her funeral was on All Saints Day, and at the ceremony, the priest said some words that I will always remember. "Saints are ordinary people who do their best at the ordinary things they do, and who bring good into the lives of others." He went on to say that my mother was a saint- he knew her well.
I'm so proud to have had a saint for my mother.
This morning I'll visit the church where she always insisted on visiting when she came to Dublin shopping. Often, I saw this as a waste of good shopping time, but I see it differently now. I'll light a few candles, and say a little prayer for her. Not that she needs it, she's a saint after all.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Two young lads called to her house looking for directions, which she gave. They thanked her and left.
A few minutes later her doorbell rang again, and they were there, hoods up. Quick as lightening, she tried to push the door closed, but they were quicker still, and pushed in the door.
The pushed her about, shouted at her, and dragged her from room to room looking for money. She gave them what she had, but they wanted more. They looked for jewellery, but all her jewellery was taken in another burglary a few years ago. At one point, she became breathless and thought she was going to die, so they shoved her onto a couch and gave her water to revive her.
Eventually, they shut her in a room and left.
This woman is 84 years old. She has a heart condition and many other medical complaints.
But I take my hat off to her, she stayed on her own a few nights later. They took her money, but she will not let them take her independence.
What a very brave lady. What cowardly young lads, to pick on her.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
I took it one morning on my journey to work, while stuck in traffic. I did get some funny looks as I stuck my camera out the window, but no effort is too great for my blogging friends!
For once, I looked beyond the obvious, and noticed the dream catcher in the window, above the red door, to the left of the P sign.
I hope you'll be able to enlarge the pic to see it too. If not, and if someone knows how to put that in a post, please do comment to me, and I'll edit it. The bag of rubbish on the ground just about completes the picture- depending on how long that was hanging around, you might have great need of a dream catcher! For more RT pics, or to participate, click on the link below, which will take you to Mary at Work of the Poet, who kindly hosts RT.
Monday, October 26, 2009
And I just had to show you the side of the egg- all glitter and glamour, even for scary Hallowe'en! They had multi-pronged branches attached to the wall, on which you hang these, varying eggs with the season. I'm hoping to try this at home!
Drowsey Monkey hosts this fun meme, so just click on the MYM link at the top for more!
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Even though I never went on a school trip abroad when I was in school, I really believe this is a fantastic learning experience for kids, and that all of them get something from the trip, no matter how well travelled they are. And I think their teachers get to see them in a different light, away from the classroom and the pressure of getting through the curriculum.
The children who I teach have special needs- I won’t go into the exact nature of the “special” here. So all of what I said above applies even more to them. Here are just a few of the areas of growth that I see from a trip abroad- Geography, Science, History, Culture, Money Management and Currency, Social Skills, Timekeeping, Negotiation, Team Work, Patience, Adventure, Independence... Basically, I suppose I’m saying that travel broadens the mind. I’d be delighted if anyone wants to add to this list.
This is also true for the teachers, and again it applies even if they are well-travelled.
But I really feel today that I might never go on another one. When we arrived back in Dublin at 11.00 at night, having been away for 4 days, having had a 4.00am start on the day of departure, having taken charge of these children 24 hours a day for all of that time, some of the parents were late to collect, and NOT ONE of them said “thank you” for the trip. Honestly, they just took their child’s hand in one hand, their suitcase in the other, and sailed off! The children were lovely, really appreciated everything that we did for them, but where are those parents coming from? Did they think that we had a free holiday?Or that eating every meal with many interruptions of “I need xxx” was dining out? Did they think that negotiating for 2 hours to prevent some of those kids from beating each other up was a fun way to spend a night? Did they think that leaving our own families behind for that time was fun? Did they not think we were dying to get back to them? And that standing around at the airport for an extra hour was just too much?
The same has happened on every trip I've gone on, over many years, with just an odd exceptional parent who says "thanks". It's not that you expect any big deal, just a plain and simple "thanks" would be perfect. And even though you're doing it for the kids, not the parents, a bit of manners wouldn't go to loss.
The mind boggles!
Monday, October 19, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
I don't know whether it's post-party exhaustion or what, but honestly I can't get the time or the energy to even do a decent post. I apologise- it has just been one of those weeks that at the end of it, you go "Phew, glad that's over, but actually where DID those 7 days go?"
Now, back to this title, I really am convinced.
Last night, Hubby and I went off out for our tea, and popped into a local little restaurant/café.
Us: "Do you have a table for 2 please?"
Them : "Do you have a booking?"
Them: "Sorry, we have nothing till 9.30". Full to the brim.
Now, that is a good sign, isn't it? ( Apart from the "do you have a booking" question which drives me mad- I always want to say "if I did, I would have said so"!)
Then today, I went to the shops and it took 15 minutes to get into the car park of the shopping centre! Packed! Queues at all the checkouts! Nearly like Christmas.
But please, whatever you do, don't tell either Brian Cowen or Brian Lenehan this- they are currently drafting what's billed as the worst budget in decades, with cuts all round.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
And now, very tired, I bid you good night. Back to normal in a day or two.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
I got killer heels to wear with it- they give me that extra bit of height I need!
Monday, October 12, 2009
Then Mary announces she's having a giveaway, so my arm is twisted..
Here it is:
This house is in the same park (I DO occasionally visit other parks!), and, apart from the red bricks, it has lovely red flowers in the front garden.
Now, why don't you go over to Mary's and get yourself into a free draw- the prize is wonderful! Just click on the ruby slippers at the top.
Today's offering is from the same Dublin park- St. Stephen's Green.
It's taken from the same bridge, just the other side. I like the yellow reflections in the water, and the activity of the ducks.
And do you recognise the same bridge in this next photo of a photo? So you can see why I love this bridge and this park so much- every time I walk through it, the memories of this wonderful day come flooding back. I cropped Hubby out, as he wouldn't want to become famous!
You can see more Mellow Mellow images by clicking on this badge, which will bring you to Drowsey Monkey, who hosts this meme.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
The only outgoing flight that would get us there on time was at 6.30am, which involved a 4.30 start.
Bad enough, but the only flight back was at 23.05pm!
That also was bad enough, but when we got back into Dublin, we couldn't find the car! We spent an hour searching, searching searching. Level 1, 2 and 3. We had to be in Section C because we had booked online. So after an hour, and it was now 1.15am, we called the car park supervisor for help. He assured us that according to their system, our car hadn't left the car park.
At this stage I had visions of thieves putting paper over our number plate, or even fitting a false plate, and leaving the car park.
Mr. Supervisor came down and we began searching. Within 5 minutes, he pointed and said "it's there" matter-of-factly. We had somehow wandered (driving) into section B in the morning! We eventually got home at 2.00am! 22 and a half hours after we had woken up. Lesson learned- always take down the space number when you park. Or don't book flights that leave at 6.30 am!
The conference was brilliant. We met lots of aromatherapists who work in many different situations, from private practice to clinics to teaching universities.
One of the sessions particularly impressed me, and taught me once again just how individual plants are. There were 4 different unidentified oils on the table, and we smelled each one, just registering characteristics and how it made us feel, not looking to name any of the oils. Most of the 12 people around the table agreed on most of the characteristics and effects.
The facilitator then divulged that all 4 oils were Lavender, just grown in different places. One was at high altitude, another near a sea, another at very low altitude, and another in Provence. They were distinctly different, and have different healing properties, even though they all come from the same plant family. Depending on the season, the age of the plant and other influences, the chemical make-up of the oil obtained varies from batch to batch.
I suppose it's similar to people- even though we come from the same "people family", we are different to our siblings, and we have different talents. And we change with the seasons and with our age and our influences.
It's interesting, isn't it?