Monday, September 30

"what is it?"...

he asked with a somewhat suspicious tone, having opened the shower room door to find his mother and her offering

"ummm" said i, stalling for time. "would that be, what is it, or what was it meant to be?"

"both" he quipped, hair still damp

"well, lets see, it was supposed to be a nice warm mug of hot chocolate but is now a chocolate surprise pudding" i beamed

"fair enough" he replied peering closer... " interesting, how did you achieve it?"

"well" i gushed, "it just magically happened, i heated up some almond milk, added some hot chocolate powder and at the last moment, a flourish of artistic creative thought came over me as my inner Chopped Contestant spoke up and i added a banana no less! upon where i whisked it all together with my whisky thing, turned around to retrieve 2 mugs from the cupboard and went to pour out the hot chocolate to find nothing moved. on close inspection it appeared i had made a water logged blancmange."

"have you tried it yet?" he asked

"i thought perhaps you might like to go first seeing as i like you so much" 

tentatively he lifted the spoon to his mouth...

"not bad, not bad at all... if you don't actually look at it and keep your eyes closed" where upon he promptly finished up the whole bowl as i stood there wide eyed and amazed at the wonder of my 'accidental but oh so edible according to Our #3' chocolate pudding.

i left him to his shower room obliterations, and pottled down to the kitchen, empty bowl in hand thinking well how marvelous is that! picking up my bowl, i sampled the contents and after one mouthful, my little cuisine heart sank to the very bottom of my culinary soul. leaving me in the knowledge that indeed, Ted Allen and his team of judges would have chopped me without a doubt and sent me home for my 'chocolate surprise pudding'

Wednesday, September 25

go big or go home Tif ...

well i fear Mr Fall is well and truly here now. tis brass monkeys out there, damp, dreary and gloomy to boot. i have taken to wearing scarves and fingerless gloves inside and as the day progresses and the chills work their way to my bones, the layers keep on getting added. yes it would appear i am back to looking rather bag lady like, my typical Fall/Winter attire...

yesterday whilst on a pottle to the drug store ensconced in overalls topped off with one scarf, two cardigans and a pair of thick woolly socks i could not help but notice there are other much more hardy souls living around here then moi. i saw bare arms and gasp! i saw bare legs... madness i cried to myself, they will catch their death going out like that. just looking upon these 'some may say brave and i say fool hardy' folks made my body temp drop several things that it drops. degrees i am supposing but now i am wondering if there is a more modern day term of such things. after all we have fahrenheit and we have celsius which has had me confused for years. there is inches and there are centimeters, i grew up with a mother living in imperial times, was taught at a school embracing the metric movement and then moved to a country who still talk inches, feet and yards. it can all get a little tricky dicky and so i have my own system which embraces some of the old and some of the new, it works for me however i do realize i am fortunate not to have to worry about it on a daily basis. but thinking about it, now i am a baker no less, recipes! oh now there we go... cups, ounces, pounds, grams

i have no idea what i am rambling on about, why oh why am i here when i so wished to be over there, where i began, in my overalls, surrounded by hardy souls entering the drug store. and so i did, (and so did they) and before i was 3 and a half feet or perhaps nearly a meter into the store, a display unit went "pssst" then when it got my attention it went "look at my pretties, you will look at my pretties, you will see nothing in this store except my pretties" and thus i dutifully forgot what it was i was on a pottle for and immediately made haste to the little cardboard display unit calling my name. where upon i recalled just how every autumn i let things drift till we are in the depth of winter and then, waking up for spring comes around and na dah, zippo, nothing but the odd struggling daffodil my dad planted many moons ago, show their pretty heads in our front yard.

ah ha! not this time around! no sirree! this time i am thinking spring in fall, i will not look out the window and think it too chilly and wet to get out in the yard. i will bravely go where i have never gone before and stride amongst my soon to be hibernating little green friends and i will add here, there and just about everywhere, happy little bulbs of jolly springified goodness. where upon they will slumber soundly, snug and warm under the soil waiting patiently for the first rays of Mr Springy Sunshine to wake them oh so gently and begin their wonderful incredible journey of growth...

i noted upon perusing the little boxes in the little cardboard disply unit that a) never in all my born days of living here have i seen such a variety of pretties, b) they all came from holland therefore leaving no doubt in my mind these little bulbs knew what they were doing and c) they all claimed to be deer proof even the wild tulips! oh happy happy day... deer proof is music to a gardeners ears in these parts. i did note nowhere did they mention pesky squirrel proof but i decided one cannot have everything in life and thus, deer proof is good enough for me. panic ensured as the display unit was not tres large, i feared others would see what i saw and lose their drug store way and end up besides me, a struggle would commence, me in my winter woolies, they in their summer shorts, it could get ugly, it could get into the local newspaper as they really don't have a whole lot to fill their pages and a fight in the local drug store over boxes of bulbs between a summer soul and a bag lady, would surely be front page news in a town such as this. so there was nothing for it, no let me go home and think about it, or perhaps buy 2 boxes and ponder. they had to be mine, all mine, or at least the majority of them mine! i either went big or i went home. 

in the end i did both, i went big and i went home....

Tuesday, September 24

a birthday miracle...

dearest Nigella,

please forgive me, however i just had to write, for i am a little giddy, (not batty nor potty but giddy), and that giddiness is down to you in part. for a few days back i turned the spritely old age of 45 and to celebrate such a milestone and miracle, not to mention i was riding high from my 'drop dead' marvelous moment earlier in the week, i felt there was no cake making mountain i could not climb...

and so it came to be, upon the suggestion of my soul sister Debbie, that i try your lovely chocolate olive oil cake recipe for it was free of things which caused my body distress and yet would still feed my sweet craving soul. my adopted auntie came by to help out with the goings on in the kitchen, for she felt if there was a miracle it should be witnessed. a dairy free gluten free cake which other members of the clan could eat and not follow with remarks such as 'cardboard' and other such descriptive wording, was surely a miracle worth witnessing i think you will agree.

and so we sallied forth. i must tell you before my adopted auntie arrived i had carefully measured out all the ingredients into little bowls as i felt this greatly heightened our chances of success for surely with everything measured in bowls we were one step short of having our own telly program and therefore chances of the cake turning out edible were pretty darn high! one thing, just a small thing and i did fret a little but then told myself "fret not Tif"... i swapped out the sugar you suggested for coconut sugar which i have found to be most accepting for the old body. i like to think you would approve and indeed perhaps see it as a little bit of confidence in the baking department on my behalf, after years of lacking it.

well Nigella, well indeedy! not only did the cake come out of the oven smelling and sounding like a cake but it looked hopeful. (no, actually i don't know how a cake sounds but i imagine its sort of like a sigh, a sigh of happy goodness that warms our toes and our souls with its homemade sweetly goodness) and so the cake smelt and sighed in a way which gave us hope.

i am not quite sure if its colour or texture were quite like yours, i have not had a chance to see a close up picture of your own creation and i thought, why worry about such small itty bitty details. 

also why worry there is a small crater line along the top, why indeed... 

a few hours later, my lads of three and my adopted auntie's lad of one arrived back from their fishing trip, and our birthday celebrations began in earnest. the day before i had purchased some vanilla ice-cream for those that can and i purchased some coconut vanilla ice-cream for those that cannot. Oh Nigella, i am delighted to report on all accounts your lovely chocolate olive oil cake was a peachy success! we all came to the conclusion it has an almost fudge like texture, not at all too sweet, the coconut sugar made not a single bit of difference to it being edible or not and according to Our #3 it reminded him of shortbread, a chocolate shortbread no less. and i am delighted to report, the word 'cardboard' did not even come into the conversation

yesterday evening, we finished up the last remaining wedge... zapped in the microwave, dolloped with a bit of coconut vanilla ice cream and sprinkled with slices of banana on top. we ate it late at night, in our pajamas and it reminded me of when i first met you years and years ago. when you would wander late at night down to your fridge (never seeming to be alarmed there was a camera crew in your home way past bedtime) and take out some sweet leftover treat and exclaim it was always the very besty best time to eat pudding or cake and now i know, all these years on, how right you were Nigella!

thanking you most kindly for the chocolate olive oil cake recipe and for making my 45th birthday an even bigger treat than it already was 

your sincerely
Tif  x

Friday, September 20


today i am now a wise old age!

my man has taken the day off work to celebrate 
and he is taking me into the big city
to buy woolly tights
 to pottle around 
a big old bookstore.

there will not be a kitchen appliance

on the car journey 
we will listen to classical music
and reminisce about the good old days.

the 29 birthdays and years of mine,
which have come and gone
since we first met

we will both wear our rose coloured specs

i have no doubt at all

today i will be most happy
today i will be muchly thankful

to be turning 45

Wednesday, September 18

a 'drop dead' miracle...

when i was young and had only just begun, me and my brothers of three did not know shop bought cakes existed. our mother spent an afternoon each week making batches of sweet tasting treats which we would happily devour after school. i do not think she did it from a healthy stand point but more from a keeping her housekeeping budget in check. after all my parents were tres young to have four children and they had to watch where and how the monies were spent. that being said, i do believe my mother's home baked goodness were filled with love and although we probably never said so at the time, it made us feel cared for and nourished our worn out school bodies as well as our souls.

one of my most favourite things was 'drop deads', now to some they maybe a fairy cake, or perhaps a cup cake but to us they were known as drop deads. the story goes, i believe, somewhere way back in our generations there was a dearie, i like to think she was a great great auntie dearie but truth be told, i do not know. she would make her little cakes without measuring ingredients, throwing in things by eye, a true baker i have no doubt. however her clan would cry, "oh no! one day we will just drop dead because of something she happened to throw in there" or along those lines and so it stuck. the little cakes of happiness for generations became known as 'drop deads'

this week i asked my mother if she could send me the recipe as i was fast approaching being very grown up and as i had 2 out the door, 1 on the threshold and 1 with a few years to go, i did feel it was time i found my baking gene (better very late than never ever). this of course has been brought about by paying close attention to everything i put into my body these days, and in turn this has led to paying close attention to what is going into my lads of three as well. my mother kindly supplied the recipe, herewith below

drop deads

preheat oven to 350 degrees

6oz of butter
6oz caster sugar 
6oz of self~raising flour
1 rounded teaspoon of baking powder
3 large eggs

place the ingredients into a mixing bowl and beat together until nice and smooth. put into small bun cases in baking tray and place in oven on the middle shelf. 20 mins should be plenty of time for baking but do check a bit before

(if you want to make them chocolate drop deads, add 2 rounded tablespoons of cocoa powder mixed with 4 tablespoons of hot water to the mixture and beat in)

for icing, slowly melt dark chocolate and spoon over the cooled drop deads, allow to set and volia!


yesterday, i donned my baking cap and set about changing the recipe to be dairy free and not include refined sugar. it was a truly easy switch out. 

* instead of butter i used 'earth balance original spread' (which is vegan, dairy free and free of most things like soy i believe but you would have to check the label)

* instead of caster sugar i used coconut sugar which is a really wonderful alternative to refined sugar, made from the coconut flower buds and actually has some nutritional goodness in it. it does make things more 'bran coloured' but apart from that, having tried a lot of things out there, i would plump for this every time

* added 2 small handfuls of dark chocolate chips

(next time i am thinking i might add a banana to the mixture)

(i am thinking to make them gluten free you could swap out the flour for your own tried and tested alternative)

i think though for me the small miracle was not that my tweaking of the recipe worked and the drop deads came out of the oven smelling and looking just how i hoped they would (which actually really is quite a huge blimen miracle) but the fact that, me, Tif, the non baker, or when i had to be a baker was a crappity crap one, is now finding it not a chore or a 'its doomed before its begun' train of thinking. no, its noting, the more i have practiced (alot), the more i have succeeded (gradually) and the more i have learnt about what i am putting into my body (tough learning), the more i am seeing the positive changes which have come about. that there, is the perhaps the smallest but greatest miracle of them all.

once again, the proof is in the eating and although i must confess my mother's drop deads look way more delicious with their icing on top, and mine look almost bran like because of the coconut sugar, they tasted pretty darn fabby. i am not a true test though, my lads are the true test. our #4 sniffed and asked suspiciously if there was fish in the ingredients (fish being high on the old dinner menu most days now and hence his fears) so i ignored him and turned to our #3, who picked up the cake tin and took a deep breath after which he said "smells just like Ma Bear's cakes" and tucked in... 

right then and there, a higher compliment could not have existed. i made a mental note to keep him in my will for the time being and "yes, why not, of course you can have two" :)

Tuesday, September 17

more on Mister Muchly...

i am happy to report several things about Mister Muchly of late. gosh, that sounds like he's the late Mister Muchly, no no no. he is not late in the least getting anyway, he is very muchly still with us and he is not in the great las vegas in the sky for guinea piggies. good... moving on

Mister Muchly has settled into life at mossy shed brilliantly, he, much like myself is a born again classical music lover. when Our #4 is at school and Mister Muchly must spend his time in his penthouse suite with panoramic views he passes the time happily with his own personal radio

relaxing to the sounds of classical notes early this morn
tucking into breakfast, whilst awash with relaxing sounds and noting the changing of the seasons from his high rise apartment
and when Our #4 arrives home, weather permitting he hops around outside for quite the while till its time to come in for tea. after which his favourite time of day begins. telly watching time! he is particularly fond of the food network channel and gets himself in quite the giddy state 'pop~corning' all around the corner couch. 

after an exhausting game of squirrel nutkin, Mister Muchly and Little Olive settle down to the latest episode of  Chopped on the telly
Mister Muchly likes his friend Little Olive very  muchly, and i am happy to report Little Olive likes Mister Muchly too! not in a 'lickity my lips' sort of way but in a 'you are part of the pack so i will not eat you' sort of way. sometimes Mister Muchly gets a little too excited whilst watching the telly and this can result in a game of squirrel nutkin and the big owl situation going on, but thankfully Mister Muchly doesn't have muchly of a tail...

i have come to the conclusion little piggies are the most trickiest of critters to photograph, if Mister Muchly isn't hopping all over the place to start with, as soon as he sees the camera, he jolly well makes sure he starts hopping...   

Monday, September 16

cake~a~baking or making~a~cake...

crunchy on the outside, dense and some may say a little dry on the inside. who would say such a thing! why i
this weekend there was a most definite autumnal feeling in the air. on saturday morn i located my crockpot and set about making a most hearty soup stew thingy from interesting finds in my larder cupboard. spurred on by what looked to be great success heating up in the crockpot (not too orange, more on the reddy side of things), i got all carried away and announced i would be baking a cake. not just any old cake but a dairy free cake, and not just any old dairy free cake but one i had concocted from a regular cake recipe! ah yes indeedy! i was riding high from my crockpot concoction and nothing was going to deter me. 

now of course it was not too long ago that just a normal cake recipe was beyond my means, however trial, patience and determination all played a part in my final mastering of an edible cake. oh and Nigella, she truly played the biggest part of all. i do not go about making lots of different cakes on lots of different days. i had a successful breakthrough of my cake making woes with Nigella's Madeira Cake and that is where i stayed. after a few edible madeira cakes i dabbled a little, i halved the sugar and added chocolate chips to give it a little je ne sais quoi and it worked most marvelously.

however watching my lads of three devour a most deliciously smelling cake in a matter of minutes and i myself cannot participate in the activity, made me into a rather mean spirited cake baker. first off i did not care for the way my lovely cake after hours (well not quite but felt like it) of work, was gone in minutes. secondly, i know i am supposed to bake my cake and then take huge amounts of inner gratitude that my clan loved it enough to eat it so quickly. and although they said their thanks i did not feel they admiration matched the time, effort and love which went into my little cake. thirdly, then i am left with guilt, guilt i am thinking wickedly and resentfully and why can't i just be a Ma Larkin about the whole thing.

so i decided the only way to get over the whole silly cake baking 'might not make anymore because i feeling uppity' situation was to make it so i could enjoy the fruits of my labour along with my lads of three. now of course i could have looked up a dairy free cake and gone about my merry way, but i was attached to our (Nigella and mine's) madeira cake. hence, i found myself riding high from my crockpot hearty soup thingy and thought to myself, surely just a tweak of the recipe and a voila moment will follow. failing that, i would settle for a semi-voila moment...

here's what i did:
1) changed out the cup of sugar to 3/4 cup of coconut sugar
2) changed out the cup of butter (i note it says online 17 tablespoons of butter but in my book it says a cup, perhaps that is the same) to 2/3 cup of canola oil
3) added a hearty 3/4 cup of dark chocolate chips

after which, i placed my concoction with a flourish into the oven and thought i would drop the cooking time from 1 hour to 55 mins. where upon i went off to tackle the task of shuffling, for plenty of shuffling in the shed needed to be done to accommodate the emptying of Our Gladys

every now and then i peered through the oven door trying to get a glimpse of the goings on. at exactly 55 mins i removed the cake and set it aside to cool whilst eyeing it with in-trepidation. my cake did not look maderia-y in the least, it was a different colour (i suspect the coconut sugar), it was rather crunchy looking (i suspect the lack of butter) and it was rather flatter then i had hoped for (again i suspected everyone or everything except myself). of course i did not fret nor weep at this point because the old saying "proof is in the tasting of the pudding" or something along those lines kept me on the optimistic side

tentatively i sampled a small piece with Our #3. i with my critical eye felt a) it was too dry, b) it was too crusty and c) thank goodness there were chocolate chips to save the day. he with is nearly 18 yr old critical eye (and stomach) felt a) it was not too dry b) it was just the right amount of crunch and c) the dark chocolate chips made for a nice combination with the denseness of the cake.

"aaahaa, chocolate chip!... saviour of the not quite madeira cake" (sung to the theme tune of flash gordon) 

so all in all, was my 'riding high' Madeira Cake tweaked from Nigella's recipe a success? one may well ask. if the fact it got eaten by my lads of three and their buddy Tim on their fishing trip later that day (and no no no, it was not fed to the fish despite what you are thinking) and indeed, chomped on by myself, home alone shuffling, i would count it as a success. would i count it as a voila moment success? ummm, nope... i would count it as a semi~voila moment. next time i will have to change something, do some more tweaking. be it more oil, be it going back to the regular sugar or perhaps be it less baking time. 

in the meantime, whilst i ponder my next tweaking move with Madeira Cake i am daring to spread my cake baking wings and aiming high with this lovely looking beauty. according to my soul sister Debbie, its fail proof, its a party pleaser, its a crowd winner, it is the dairy free chocolate cake to aim high for, when you are nearing the end of your 44th year and you have cause to celebrate...

only time and Tif's cake baking skills will see if that is true

Friday, September 13

no longer missing in action...

i am hippily happy to report, my long lost crafty groove has been located. it took me several attempts and quite a lot of determination but late on weds eve, just before getting some shut eye i paused as i passed the open door to my studio. after i paused, i pondered and after i pondered, i pottled through the doorway where upon the need to be a roundie and not a squarie gripped me with quite an intensity. such was the intensive grip i postponed my bedtime and went about merrily seeking out roundies. when my favourite roundies from around the shed had been gathered i placed them in a pleasing order

where upon it happened. the happening i had been hoping would happen, did indeed happen the moment i stepped back to admire my roundies in a row. i looked closely and amongst all my lovely roundie friends i saw my crafty groove lying there. he did not seem particularly sorry for causing me a merry dance, nor did he seem particularly delighted at me having discovered his whereabouts. he just sort of shrugged and seemed like it was just another ordinary day (or night) and when were we going to get started...

and start we did, the very next morn, hippily and happily back together beavering away on my 'collection of sorts' which has laid neglected and forlorn for several months. as we were both feeling roundie still, 'little medals of good lucky' seemed a perfectly perfect place to begin

as i finished off later that day and turned my attention to critters, clan and cleaning (in that order)... (actually not cleaning, i didn't clean at all, that is a wicked lie used only because it sounded nice with the critter and clan bit and i couldn't think of another word beginning with 'c' except for crappity crap). and so as i finished off, i did indeed feel most relieved, and somewhat achy, but wholeheartedly happy to be back on track, crafty groove intact and a 'collection of sorts' slowly but surely coming together...

Thursday, September 12

an epiphany of the crafty kind...

i do like it when you've been dragging your crafty clogs, you've made zippo zilch muchly progress and an epiphany of the crafty kind pays a visit.

that is what happened to me last thursday as i was looking around mossy shed for my crafty groove. i happened upon this and i pondered. ah yes indeedy, just as i left you despite all my best intentions. well i thought to myself if only i could muster up a little bit of energies perhaps i might be in with a chance of getting the blanket half way done before Fall is upon us. so i buckled down to things and after 5 mins pottled off elsewhere for indeed i knew in my heart of crafty hearts i was never going to finish the blanket.

my 'lack of crafty groove' and my 'full of procrastinating' ways were to blame, however i was very muchly smitten with what i had done so far, i just could not muster the energies to complete a big project. yes, my heart of crafty hearts had spoken and at that moment i resigned myself to thinking what on earth was i going to do with all the fabby yarn i had spent my piggy bank's money upon... then it hit me! from clear across the room, like one of little olive's toys flying through the air, a thunder bolt of crafty brilliant-ness, no less!
immediately the energies began to flow, dinner was postponed, the 'do not disturb' sign, dingle dangled around my neck and i sallied forth upon my crocheting way. 

on saturday morn, as 3 lovely intrepid treasure hunting dearies were pottling around Gladys i cornered them for a bit of market research. all of them were in agreement that my beginnings of an ordinarily extraordinary blanket could indeedy become an ordinarily extraordinary neck wrap warmer thingy me jig.

now of course some might say, i trapped those poor unsuspecting lovely intrepid treasure hunting dearies in Gladys and how could they have said otherwise, but i say "not so" for they were the nicest of folks one ever gets the chance to meet and i know they would have told me the truth if the truth had been "ummm, Tif actually that will look quite pants and not at all peachy" if they truly believed it.

'twas all i needed to spur me and Mr Hook on to the finish line... where upon yesterday i tried it on. i told myself do not fret, imagination is key here... 

your bunny sweater is messing with your mind, throwing you off, making you see things a little squiffy and perhaps in fact, if Fall was here and you had yourself a rather natty winter coat upon your bod, avec a homemade frock, woolly tights and warm boots, this ordinarily extraordinary neck wrap warmer thingy me jig would look the bees knees and not as you fear this moment in time... like you have just found a half finished blanket and plonked it around your neck because you have sprained something.

i am wondering (not thinking this time, but wondering) if the missing in action crafty groove could be located, this ordinarily extraordinary neck wrap warmer thingy me jig, might be a rather fine addition to the dottie angel 'collection of sorts' coming this Fall 

Wednesday, September 11

things to note...

thing one:

last night i was most happy Our #4 survived a whole 40 minutes car drive to soccer practice with the classical radio station keeping us company. when we first hopped in the car he went to change the channel, i immediately stopped him in his tracks with a "step away from the channel changing button thingy" and he did. after 30 minutes into our 40 minute car journey he announced at the end of one particularly 'spirited' number, (which had been accompanied by some factual matters from the radio host). "i do not ever need to learn the cello". 
to which i responded, "well how marvelous is that! you have learnt something you did not know about yourself till now". upon arrival at the soccer pitch i congratulated him on surviving the car journey with his mother and her classical music repertoire. an hour and a half later, on the returning 40 minute journey it seemed only fair he should listen to his music. after a few moments it dawned on me as my body started to tense and my head started to 'bang on' that i am indeed well and truly and quite hipppity happily i might add, turning middle aged

thing two:

i finished my book not last night but the night before, tis the final book in my summer of reading challenge i set myself. i am a little ashamed to say i am not a book worm but have vowed to become one. oh how i loved this book, i did not wish it to end and i am thinking i am probably not alone in my thinking

thing three:

this morning i decided to take action with the pesky headache which has blighted me for days now. thought to myself, tis those menacing sinuses having a party... i thought of Miss Neti Pot and her magical healing powers, but blimey, where was Miss Neti Pot now i came to think of her! i must have squirreled her away good and properly a few months back, for a good old game of hide and seek ensured. after 27 and a little bit minutes of searching high and low, in every nook and every cranny, i eventually found my little friend in an old biscuit tin. we reacquainted ourselves and so far... nothing, not a thing, pesky headache still hanging on and Miss Neti Pot left feeling a little like she let me down. fear not say i, to not fret nor weep, Miss Neti Pot, we will dabble in our acquaintance once more come tea time where i have high hopes between the two of us, the blighter Mr Headache, will bugger off pronto

thing four:

today as i stared at my breakfast, on the small side as i was to add part two in a little later. (grazing being the word of the week) one banana, half a cup of pure almond milk, a teaspoon of all bran (just like chocolate sprinkles but good for you) and a glass of pure coconut water, a thought suddenly appeared. it was a thought which made me stop in my banana, almond milk, all bran sprinkles, eating tracks. i had completely and utterly forgotten about my beloved chocolate spread on toast and its existence within my life. this was, i agreed wholeheartedly to myself, used dog and little olive (who were having a morning nap in the other room but i could tell were supporting from a distance), a monumental milestone in my journey i set out upon last september. old habits made over years and years (41 years exactly, when it comes to chocolate spread on toast) can be so terribly hard to break, but break it i had and with it, many other old eating habits which had contributed to my body crying out loud and clear over 2 years back that something had to change. and yes, my body shouted for another year before i listened, by which time i had no choice in the matter, my body said "i am done Tif"
 i decided it was 'a-okay' to pat myself on the back, to take a moment to realize despite some days feeling like there is still such a long way to go, perhaps there isn't. if i really truly open my eyes and i look back, i see i have come such a long way and when i look ahead i do believe i can see my journey's end on the horizon. i know there is more to just the food side of things, i know there are other things which got a little broken along the way, but gosh, how simply marvelous to have a sign present its self to me this very morning, allowing me to open my eyes and see a little clearer and know, the changes i have worked hard to make and continue to make have been worth this 'sometimes crappity crap' but oh so enlightening journey

thing five:

little olive is thinking life is less than thrilling these days and indeed how i have become so terribly dull. however she did agree i was a little less dull when i was doing my breathing exercises at 6:45am yesterday and she was taking full advantage of me, perched upon my lap. i got to thinking how nice doggies ears are, (me: breathe in, breathe out) how they were put on earth purely because their ears sooth our souls (me: breathe in, breathe out) and how tickling her ears (me: breathe in, breath out) led to a mini doggie massage (me and little olive: breathe in, breathe out) which led to us both starting off the day calm and collected... not so dull after all little olive eh?

Tuesday, September 10

missing in action...

this week i am looking for my crafty groove
its been missing in action since the beginning of summer.
for sure i have dibbled and dabbled on occasion
but full on crafty groove mode has been nowhere in sight

i am just a little bit giddy about being reacquainted with my long lost friend,
it will be rather lovely to not have saggy baggy crafty knee socks any longer.
they are not becoming of me, i have come to decide.

in the meantime, 
whilst i spend my time wisely in my shed locating my crafty groove, 
i must intersperse my hunting moments, with moments out of the shed.
 those moments are now accompanied by classical music no less!
i am experimenting to see if i can arrive at my destination, cool, calm and collected
from listening to instrumental sounds via the classical station i happened upon.
or if it will have the opposite affect and drive me completely nutso
thus arriving, hot, bothered, and not in the least collected.
i think this is quite an interesting experiment
and one of great importance,
for how can i possibly reach the impending ripe (and somewhat wise) old age of 45
without knowing whether or not classical music
when listened to in an enclosed environment such as my car,
soothes my soul or drives me batty?

Friday, September 6

hurray hoorah for a most glorious day...

yes indeedy! 
despite laying awake late last night listening to the thunder and lightening, 
i awoke with high hopes Mr P. ItDown had buggered off. 

i fear i was not alone with those high hopes 
for many an intrepid treasure hunter appeared at Glorious Gladys' doorstep

and so i must say a very gigantic
"thank you kindly"
to all those who made their way to see me and Gladys 
despite the rather pants weather

i must also not forget to thank most kindly the marvelous dearies out in cyber world 
who have sent such cheery good luck greetings to me for today and tomorrow.  
"hello hello"

once again i am left marveling at the kindness of others 
and after closing up Glorious Gladys' door 'tis true, i felt a little pang,

but i know tomorrow is another day where Gladys' and i get to play 

before she heads to pastures new to live out the next chapter in her life 
with a most wonderful dearie called Angel

Wednesday, September 4

pants and double pants...

darn and double darn
drat and double drat...
yes indeedy,
that is what Linus and myself
have been muttering all morning.

well i have,
he's done a jolly good job
of tuning me out

but i like to think
really he is equally
its a little pants
and really truly
double pants as well

still when did a brit
ever never ever
let a bit of rain
deter them?
exactly a mondo!
so i have looked deep
into my inner brit.
(actually i do have an outer brit as well
but gasp, shock and a little bit of horror
after 13 years
its sort of got muddled up
with a bit of outer american
and some days gets confused,
so inner brit reserves
are called for)

i will not pay heed
to the weather bug
on our #3's phone.
i will laugh in the face 
of Mr P. ItDown
and will merrily continue
upon my merry 'fret not' way,
folding, and tagging
linens and things
this friday and saturday

and just incase,
you are thinking
well i don't own a brolly
and i don't own a pair of wellies
fret not,
i have a canopy to pitch
(borrowed from a buddy)
to keep the worst off the over spill 
from Gladys' fine inners
and keep intrepid treasure hunters dry
and tis a big old plus indeedy...
i have a big old dangly carrot 
to dingle dangle no less!

and upon my carrot i have carved
terribly carefully i might note,
using all my pumpkin carving skills
from when the clan were wee,
30% off everything!!
yep, its a-okay,
we can have more than one 
gasp shock horror 
in a ramble

nitty gritty can be found here
if you were asleep on friday
and are awake on tuesday,
but fell asleep again
somewhere around the middle of this ramble
and now wondering what on earth
Tif is waffling on about
with her pants and her carrots...

Tuesday, September 3

Miss Ethel and her razzle dazzling ways...

i'm a little frazzle dazzled this week.
Miss Ethel however,
 is razzle dazzling.
i would so much rather be
razzle dazzling
frazzle dazzled

i noted Miss Ethel's
razzle dazzling ways yesterday
when she sat for her portrait.

she mentioned flowers 
might be a peachy touch

a forsaken soul or two
would make for marvelous company

a row of vintage cotton reels
rather enhancing to her graceful curves

after pondering her choices
in backdrops
Miss Ethel settled for 
my studio closet doors

a few happy snaps later
and i could only marvel at
Miss Ethel's first official portrait
highlighting her razzle dazzling ways...