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Monday, 29 September 2008

Six Unspectacular Things About Me

Little Girl hasn't been sleeping so well thanks to a cold so she's having an extra nap now so I thought it was a good opportunity to do this tag seeing as it's over a month since Heather tagged me!

The rules are:
1. Link the person who tagged you.
2. Mention the rules on your blog.
3. Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours.
4. Tag 6 following bloggers by linking them.
5. Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger’s blogs letting them know they’ve been tagged.

1) I am right handed but eat toast with my left hand. This comes from when I was little and my hand would get covered in toast crumbs which would then get on the handle of my tea cup. I solved it by using different hands. I don't get messy from toast any more but I still eat it with the opposite hand.

2) I am very particular about spelling people's names correctly. This is because people always used to spell my maiden name wrong.

3) I once signed up to a website using the title "Mr". This was because I only had the options of "Mr", Mrs" or "Ms". My title was "Miss" so I figured if I had to use one which was incorrect I would go for the one which was most obviously incorrect. (I believe "Ms" is used more commonly in other countries but here it is mainly chosen by feminists who believe that their name should not change with their marital status.)

4) When I was in Sixth Form (equivalent of Junior and Senior years of High School) I was known as "Psychic Susie" by the children at the swimming club. This was actually a corruption of "Scientific Susie" because I have a very scientific mind.

5) Little Girl has a little table in the living room. It *has* to go with the grain parallel to the wall. I don't know why but it just isn't right otherwise. I didn't realise this until Hubby put it the other way one time and I just had to change it.

6) My brothers sometimes call me "Little Susan". I am 5'8" but am the smallest in my family.

Now I'll tag:
1) Jennifer from
The Krueger's Journey To Simplicity
2) Jennifer from Joyful and Graceful Living
3) Kate from The Cottage on the Hill
4) Toni from Amazing Grace
5) Rachel from Life in the South
6) Shannon from Homemaking in the REAL world

My Weekly Web Wanderings (weekly)

  • tags: Homemade household products

  • tags: pro-life

    • She doesn't care if the treatment is expensive, involves babies
      and is so controversial that it is not allowed to be performed in
      this country - among her well-heeled friends, this is the ultimate
      new elixir of youth.

      The attractive brunette has opted for a controversial stem- cell
      therapy where umbilical cord tissue from new-born babies will be
      injected into her body.

      It may seem distasteful, but thousands of women have already
      done it and it is organised by a seemingly respectable British
      clinic then carried out in Rotterdam, Holland, where rules
      regarding stemcell therapies are not so strict.

    • Despite criticism from Church leaders and religious groups on
      the Island, Barnett Suskind, chief executive of IRM, is
      unapologetic about the treatment he carries out.
    • Research shows that they openly import foetuses from
      poverty-stricken provinces in Ukraine and Russia, preying on the
      financially desperate to treat vain Western women.'
    • RUSSIA and the
      Ukraine currently top the world abortion league, with more of the
      operations carried out here than anywhere else on earth. Evidence
      gathered by the Moscow police department has shown a growing black
      market in aborted foetuses, which are smuggled into Russia from the
      Ukraine and Georgia.

      Here, poverty-stricken young women are paid 200 U.S. dollars to
      carry babies up to the optimum eight to 12-week period - thought to
      be best for harvesting stem cells. They are then sold on to
      cosmetic clinics.

    • The treatment: Foetal stem-cell
      injections from £15,000.
      Malibu psychiatrist William
      Rader, 67, previously owned a string of private clinics in LA
      dedicated to treating eating disorders. He recently founded Medra
      to offer stem-cell treatments to wealthy clients who wanted to
      combine a holiday on the exotic La Romana beach resort in the
      Dominican Republic with their stem-cell therapy.
  • tags: Homemade household products

    • Recipes and ideas to make your own household items
  • Very convicting!

    tags: Marriage

    • Alone

      By Carolyn

    • As I look back, I now know that I made many mistakes in my relationship with my husband.
    • If I had known then what I do now about God’s commands to wives, what a man needs, and what I could do to fill those needs, it may have made all the difference. Older women have failed to teach younger women how to love their husbands.

      An important point I want you to know is that much of the time, these things I did or failed to do were not everyday, not always overt, in-your-face actions. They were subtle, ebbed and flowed, but were there nevertheless, just enough to be a constant reminder to him that his wife wasn’t entirely pleased with him.
    • When he tried to make up to me for some failure, I wish I had not been so cool, waiting for him to be more intense and sincere about it.
    • When he wanted me to do something, and I didn’t want to do it, I wish I had cheerfully complied instead of making him sorry he asked. Hardheadedness is not a trait to endear any woman to a man.
    • The stress and loneliness I experienced over the years was a combination of many things, but if I had I known and obeyed God’s plan for wives early in my marriage, my life could well have turned out very differently than it has.

      Today, as I finish typing my story, I will go home to a little house trailer which I rent. I will eat alone. I will count the hours before bedtime. I call my daughter and the grandchildren, but they have their lives, and I want it to be so. God has been very gracious to me, but I am aware that I have missed the best he had to offer.
    • I hope this will be a wakeup call to those wives who are deluded into thinking that they have liberty to be the Holy Spirit and judge to their husbands. It will never, never work, and you may end up like me.
  • tags: Garlic

    • Garlic's compounds also have antibacterial and antifungal properties. I've seen garlic fight off all sorts of infections, including those of the lung, sinus, bladder, and vagina, as well as colds and flu. Garlic is a practical remedy used both internally and externally to treat fungal and bacterial skin infection.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Keeping it Real - Tour of My Home

Heather is hosting a "Keeping it Real" Blog Carnival of photos of what our homes really look like (as opposed to photos where we've cleaned or tidied specially for the photos) so today just after I put Little Girl to bed for her afternoon nap I went round the house taking photos:

First off when you walk in the front door, this is what you see.Those boxes are some of the boxes from Little Girl's room waiting to be sorted. The thing at the top of the banister is an old towel I keep ready for mopping up any spillages upstairs quickly.

If we turn right we come to the living room.

We don't usually keep a bookcase lying in the middle of the floor but yesterday the estate agent (who manage the property - we rent) sent someone round to paint the skirting board which needed repainting due to the damp proofing work in January. There's some more pictures of the living room from just after that work was done going from very messy to nice and tidy here.

From the living room, we go through into the kitchen.

Going clockwise from the bottom left is: the knife and chopping board I just used to chop the veg for slow cooker chicken casserole for tonight. A bin of car cleaning stuff because I washed one side of the car this morning while Little Girl was playing in the back yard. (I try to wash one side each week as it makes it easier than doing it all at once.) To the right of the microwave is the kombucha brew and an old margarine tub of bits of veg and tea leaves waiting to go on the compost heap. Our coats (only Little Girl's shows up well because it's pink) are hanging on the inside of the cupboard door but we keep the cupboard door open because we have our bikes in front of it and we wouldn't be able to get stuff in and out otherwise. The bucket under the highchair is drying and when it's dry it'll go in the cupboard with the bin of car cleaning stuff inside it. Finally my Home Keeping Folder is on top of the fridge with this weeks menu (which should be on the freezer door) sitting on top of it.

Looking in the other direction, there's some rhubarb and apples on the worktop waiting for me to either shuffle the food in the fridge to make space or make a crumble - whichever happens first. The grill is open on the cooker because I just used it for lunch and I am half way through the washing up.

Now we go upstairs. First we come to our room. Thanks to the painting downstairs, we brought Little Girl's main toy box up here so there are toys everywhere:
There's some "before" and "after" photos from last time I did a big tidy in this room here.

Last week's project was the bathroom so it is very clean and tidy.

Little Girl's bedroom has boxes everywhere at the moment but I couldn't take a picture because she's in bed so that's the end of this little tour.

Pop over to Heather's blog to join the "Keeping it Real" Blog Carnival and read other people's posts.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

A New Game

I have a leather elephant moneybox which Little Girl loves to play with so today I made a new game with it:

First I found ten 2p coins (I picked these because they're bigger than pennies so easier to handle but they are not worth a lot). Next I demonstrated posting them into the money box one by one and then emptying it out. It's amazing how much entertainment value there is in such simple things - Little Girl loved it!

Photobucket Photobucket

If you have made any simple games for small children, please let me know in the comments - it's good to share ideas.

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Weekly Web Wanderings (weekly)

Friday, 19 September 2008

From My Wall Friday

A friend made this for me a few years ago:


"O praise the LORD, all ye nations: praise him, all ye people.

For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the LORD endureth for ever. Praise ye the LORD."

Psalm 117

Thursday, 18 September 2008

The Fun Way To Make Apple and Blackberry Crumble

1) Run a bowl of washing up water.
2) Mix 4oz flour and 3oz sugar in a bowl.
3) Add 3oz butter and try to rub in.
4) Decide the butter is too hard and use the food processor.
5) Put the crumble mixture back in the bowl and put the bits from the food processor in the washing up water (while feeling pleased with yourself for having been so organised).
6) Get the apples and blackberries out of the fridge.
7) Start cutting up the apples.
8) Put all your spoons in the washing up water to prevent yourself from eating any more crumble mix.
8) Finish cutting up apples and arrange in a dish with the blackberries.
9) Put the crumble mix on the top.
10) Start to make more crumble mixture because you ate half of the original batch.
11) Realise it was a bad idea to put the bits from the food processor straight in the washing up water.
12) Add second batch of crumble mixture on top of apples/blackberries.
13) Leave on worktop to bake nearer dinnertime.
14) Turn round and discover three apples on the table you have managed to forget about.
15) Put the apples back in the fridge.
16) Bake at GM4 for about one hour.
17) Serve with cream and enjoy. :o)

Wednesday, 17 September 2008


I was persuaded my Nestle's propaganda that they did not market infant formula in exploitative ways. I guess this shameful practice is not covered by milk marketing codes of conduct. I intend to contact Nestle about this and urge anyone reading this to do the same and spread the word. Here are contact details for Nestle in the UK and the USA.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Catching Up and Swamped

I can't believe it's already five days since we got back!

We had a lovely time away and it was nice to see some of my old university friends at the wedding. Unfortunately we missed most of the wedding due to bad traffic (the route finder said it would be 28 minutes - we allowed an hour but it took 1hr40) but we made the end of the service and the reception. The meal at the reception was much earlier than the invitation had said which was good because it meant we didn't miss out by leaving early for Little Girl to go to bed.

On the Sunday we went to the same church on the way to Hubby's parents that we went to last time. They were very friendly and welcoming and they happened to have the same visiting preacher as last time!

It was nice to spend time with Hubby's parents and Little Girl now not only recognises them but knows who we mean if we talk about them by name. I think Little Girls favourite activities while we were there were looking at a spider who had made a web in the kitchen; helping Grandad put the fruit in the fruit bowl (by the end of the visit she would try to open the pantry door herself to get the fruit out); and helping Daddy do the washing up (a.k.a. splashing in the bowl while Daddy did the washing up).

Usually when we get back it is hard to catch up with the washing as unless it is very hot weather we can't get more than one load of washing dried in a day. Usually we end up resorting to the laundrette (I tell Hubby not to tell me how much he pays because it is expensive and I'd rather not know) but now we have a washer-dryer so I was able to get everything up to date within two days. I've found if I'm not prompt at getting the washing out of the dryer then it creates lots of ironing for me so I started setting my watch so that I don't forget to get it out straight away. As we usually have a bit of a condensation problem in the winter we have agreed that once we can't dry the washing outside we will use the dryer rather than having mountains of washing hanging up indoors and a freezing cold house because we have to have the windows open. That is rather an exaggerated description but I do think it will make life much easier and save a lot of faff.

Currently whist I am not technically behind on anything really (although there are always lots of things I could do) I feel really swamped because we seem to have mountains of stuff everywhere. We have a load of boxes of stuff usually stored in Little Girls room which we are trying to sort through. Initially I sorted some of mine and now (although not at this precise moment) Hubby is sorting through some of his. I was a bit unrealistic in my expectations so it is taking longer than I thought and in the meantime we have boxes seemingly everywhere which then means we can't get into places to put things away which then results in even more stuff everywhere. Hopefully we'll be able to get it finished this evening and then tomorrow I can restore order to our house.

Meanwhile I still have quite a few blogs to catch up on...

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Which Theologian Are You?

Which theologian are you?
created with
You scored as Anselm

Anselm is the outstanding theologian of the medieval period.He sees man's primary problem as having failed to render unto God what we owe him, so God becomes man in Christ and gives God what he is due. You should read 'Cur Deus Homo?'



Karl Barth


Friedrich Schleiermacher


Martin Luther


Jonathan Edwards


John Calvin


J├╝rgen Moltmann




Charles Finney


Paul Tillich


Interesting. I thought I would have come out with Luther and Calvin higher. I haven't heard of some of these so I guess that gives me a bit of reading to do.

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Going Away

We're going away on Friday for a week (first to a friend's wedding and then on to visit Hubby's parents) so this is probably my last post for about a week and a half. I'm currently trying to get organised which seems to take ten times as long with a child - specially when that child is a toddler who loves to spend time emptying bags and boxes! Yesterday I managed to harness that activity into loading up the washing machine and I'm sure it will be a help for unpacking but at the moment it is a bit like trying to swim against the tide. :o)



Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Perfectionism and Keeping It Real

This post is inspired by Shannon's new blog focus. It can be all too easy to give a false impression on a blog that your life is perfect and nothing ever goes wrong. It is quite natural to want to present oneself in the best possible light but in doing so, we risk perpetuating the myth of superwoman and deceiving others.

This is a picture of what our living room currently looks like:


I could explain the reasons for each bit of mess but that would be giving in to perfectionism. Mess means I have been blessed with a family to look after. Of course I intend to get it tidied up but I won't pretend it doesn't happen or that it is always dealt with straight away.

Today I made some bread. (Well I made it yesterday and baked it today.) For some reason I decided to test what would happen if I didn't grease and flour the baking tins first. I have learned from my mistake as this was the result:
My first reaction was, "Oh no! how on earth are we going to be able to use this sliced for sandwiches. This loaf is totally useless." But then I remembered how nice buttered chunks of freshly baked bread are so I took some of the random lumps and buttered them for myself and Little Girl:
It was delicious and I'm convinced that randomly shaped lumps of bread taste nicer than proper neat slices.

It can be easy to read about what other women get done in a day and think, "How come I can't get those things done in a day?" It is important however to remember that nobody does everything. Yes you can always make time for something if you think it is important enough but you have to prioritise as you can't do everything. We all have different talents and different limitations and it is important to accept this. Here are some of things I do and don't do:

I do cook almost all of our food from scratch most of the time. (This is probably the part of home keeping I consistently spend the most time on because I think it is important from a health point of view.) I don't however cook every day - I cook more than enough so I can just reheat on some days. I also freeze portions so that on the days when I just don't feel up to cooking, I have homemade readymeals in the freezer. When we are having company I often cheat and use the food processor to chop the vegetables. I don't grind my own wheat because it is too time consuming and noisy to do it using a coffee mill.

I do exercise but I am not always consistent. I was doing cycling for a while but this is not practical in bad weather because I take Little Girl on the back of my bike. I have bought some exercise videos but I have not got into them as I don't seem to have the coordination required to keep up with the moves.

I rarely go grocery shopping (unless you count popping to the local shop for one or two things which I usually do more because Little Girl enjoys it than because it is necessary). We get fruit, veg and milk delivered weekly from a local farm and I do online shopping from the supermarket every two or three months.

I did attempt to grow some token vegetables this year but they have failed/been decimated by snails.

I don't take Little Girl out to playgroups and such like every day. I do breastfeed, use cloth nappies and do elimination communication. I also make sure we spend time playing together every day.

I don't do the laundry by hand. I did this for a couple of months but even with my husband helping, wringing out the clothes was too much so we ended up buying a washer.

I do try to keep my house clean and organised but I can accept lower standards than I would like. When I was pregnant I was too ill to do anything (seriously - my husband even had to wash my hair for me) which resulted in a serious decline in the state of the house. This was very frustrating as I would be sitting around looking at things I wanted to put away or floors I wanted to vacuum but unable to do anything about it. I can see number of benefits from that time of illness and one of them is that it has made me able to accept not being able to keep things to the standard I would like which is something I would have found very hard without that experience.

I like to sew. I bought a sewing machine and have had all sorts of grand plans about making clothes but I have yet to make anything since my wedding dress three years ago.

I am prone to leaving things on the hob or in the oven and forgetting about them. (I really ought to buy a kitchen timer!)

When I read about all things other people get done which I don't, whilst it can inspire me to try to achieve more, I try to always remember that for everything they do which I don't, there is probably something which they don't do which I do.

If you have not already read it, I recommend this article at Ladies Against Feminism.

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