Thursday, 27 February 2014

#100HappyDays Days 17&18

For Day 17, I chose a photo of Rod because he made an effort to get home early. Although I realised afterwards that he hadn't done it for me but to spend time working in his shed building a mini press!!

We are beginning to see more blue skies now, so this is the photo I took for Day 18.

I don't think I am going to be able to complete the 100 days. The biggest problem is that I don't go anywhere during the week!!

To Twit or not to Twit?

I woke up on Monday and decided that I was not going to write my poems and short stories for the Word of the Day games for a while. Probably until after my birthday, but I will see.

I have been increasingly unhappy for some time with how much of my life I have now given over to Twitter.

I started with one account in 2012 which I used for following craft and books/authors. I eventually started following some role players too and quickly became addicted to the story lines I followed. I then started to follow some motivational people and one of those was Mermiddan (Precious Moments). He wrote some poetry which I greatly enjoyed reading so I started writing a bit too.

Then came my second account which was just going to be devoted to poetry. For a very long time, my follower count was low and I was able to read a great deal of what was written. As I started to do the WOTDs, my follower count increased greatly and became all sorts of genres. I always feel it is impolite not to follow back so I have now got to a point where I just cannot follow my timeline. I use hashtags instead and this limits what I read.

I am generous with my favs and RTs to the point that I am spending over 90 minutes a day just doing that. The result is now that a lot of people RT my RTs (!) and actually don't RT my work!! I am feeling very used!!

Add to that the time it takes me to write my short stories and poems and the time spent on Twitter has become ridiculous. Not to mention Follow Fridays and all the thank yous etc that fill my mentions.

So for my sanity and creativity (my work has become "must do" rather than "want to do") I am having a while away for reading and craft.

#100HappyDays Day 16

I am using the time that I am not on Twitter (more later) to read. Bliss!!

I have one of the earlier Kindles, but the expensive 3G model. My husband has a paperwhite. The only reason I would consider swapping to one of the new models is that you can read them with the light out!!

I have just finished If Only (Masters of Shadowland) by Cherise Sinclair. It is a BDSM novel...not my usual thing at all and I only downloaded a sample because someone else mentioned how good it is. By the time I had read that, I was hooked and downloaded the whole book, despite it being more money than I usually pay for books. It is fairly late in the series, so a lot of the characters are already well-established, but it didn't distract from the book. I was hooked by the psychological side of the book, and there was an actual story too, not just the extremely graphic sex!! I (almost) couldn't read some of those scenes!! Anyway, there was a happy ending and that made me happy. I just wonder, though, if you have to be psychologically damaged to be a dom or sub.

Anyway, I have the first Shadowland book which I was able to download for free, so I definitely read than too.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Girl on a bike card

This is an easel card that I made today. It comes from a Hobby House kit that I bought from Create and Craft last year. I placed a pearl in each scallop for added detail. It is already in its box, ready for the next birthday.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

#100HappyDays Days 14 and 15

Day 14. We always do our food shop on Saturday and Rod always treats me to a nice lunch. We were very late leaving the house, so only had a roll and bag of crisps for lunch. So we had fish and chips for tea. Delicious.

Day 15. I spent the afternoon making cards. The 2 completed cards are from kits I got from Ribbonbox years ago. I want to put more in the way of embellishments on my cards, and these kits are ideal for this and are giving me plenty of ideas.

#100HappyDays Days 12 and 13

Day 12 saw me at the hairdressers. I have had 4 weeks of no colour in my hair at all which led to one of my boys telling me he didn't realise how grey I am. I didn't know whether to have pink this time, because I will probably be looking for a small job soon and I am thinking about interviews. It was then pointed out to me, by the same son(!) that the colour of my hair does not affect my ability to do a job! I love my hair!

Day 13 doesn't have a photo to go with it. I got full marks in my final module assignment and told I am an excellent student!! I passed the whole module with 99%. I now have 2 months to complete a further 2 modules. The 20 hour video module has 11 assignments with it!! The 40 hour online only has 2!! Oh, well...I suppose I had better keep going.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Dark Shades of Daylight

Pull yourself together Girl!
I'm not a pair of curtains
That makes dark shades of daylight
Then reveals a brand new woman

This poem was inspired by the #orjay prompt in the title. The words immediately made me think of depression.
I have had depression for a great deal of my life. I have written about the reasons in Prison Without Bars. I can only manage to feel happy for minutes. Probably a couple of hours at the most. It is as though I am always expecting my equanimity to be pulled out from under me. I really don't believe that I have the right to be happy.
The few times I have tried to talk about it with "close" friends, I have often had the response "Pull yourself together". After all, what did I have to be miserable about? As a child at home, my surroundings were always very comfortable. I ate the best food, had everything I wanted (including 100s of books that I escaped into) and had holidays at fantastic destinations.
I married very young, to a man who had to control everything I did. We even moved abroad to make sure I was away from everything familiar. I had 2 children with him, and by that time he had grown bored and I was sent home while he stayed there with the soon-to-be next wife.
I married again. This time to what I thought was a nice, kind, laidback man who would never hurt me, not realising that this aspect of his personality was down to his drug of choice. I had another child and slowly things changed. Thus began the worst chapter of my entire life to date and one that I won't go into here. But at the very end, I had a complete breakdown.
For a few weeks, I took Prozac, and I think I possibly began to know what happy should be. My life became sorted. I learnt to drive, went back to college, met Rod and got a teaching degree. 
I love Rod with all my heart. I have had my happiest ever moments with him. I know he will never leave me, never hurt me. He does everything he can to make my life stress free. And yet...I still have this darkness, this waiting for everything to go wrong.
But I bet if you met me, you wouldn't have a clue I felt like this. I use the best mask possible. Humour. Laughter. I joke all the time. I am sharp, witty. It was the best tool I had when teaching.
So there we have it. That's me to date

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

#100HappyDays Day 11

I have spent hours over 5 days writing my final module assignment.  It is a lesson plan for teaching present perfect for experience. As an experienced teacher, you would expect that I can knock out lesson plans quickly. And I can...if it's for Science lessons! I have agonised over this and I am still not happy with it, although happy it is done! But at the end of the day, does it really matter?

#100HappyDays Days 10

There is an advert that states "I like this one and I like this one too". One is a branded item and the other isn't. Well, I like this turkish delight chocolate.

Monday, 17 February 2014

#100HappyDays Days 8 and 9

My granddaughter came to visit yesterday. She is nearly 14 now. Where does time go? She has been such a big help to me for the past few months as we've sorted through all of my craft boxes.

Today, I made a curry that I haven't made since I was at uni.

I took 250g of best mince and started it browning in a large pan while I chopped a large onion. I then added this to the pan and carried on browning these for 5 minutes. I put 3 teaspoons of curry powder (only mild!!) into the pan and continued cooking for another 3 minutes. I then added a teaspoon of salt, garlic flakes, chili powder, cumin, coriander and garam marsala and sprinkled on black pepper too. After stirring all of the above into the mixture, I poured in 3/4pint of water, brought it to the boil and left to simmer for 30 minutes.

I mixed a dessert spoonful of cornflour with water to make a paste and stirred this into the curry to thicken the sauce. I forgot to get tomato puree when out shopping but ketchup did the job just as well. I also added a desert spoonful of lemon juice and a tablespoonful of natural yogurt.

This recipe is totally made up by me. I seem to remember adding peas when I made it at uni.

We served it with a bowl of rice. It was very nice...just as I remember it. Rod, who is not a big curry eater, enjoyed it too.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

#100HappyDays Day 7

We both loved working together to make the baby blanket and Rod has offered to make me one for myself. He likes knitting away and watching the TV. So we had a happy half hour this afternoon selecting the wools for the second blanket.

Friday, 14 February 2014

Valentine's Day

He knows me so well

#100HappyDays Day 6

I stayed up late last night to finish sewing together the baby blanket.

It was made in strips on knitting looms. I started the first strip and then my husband decided he would like to learn how to do it. So it is definitely a joint effort.

It is very warm and cosy, and I really don't want to give it away!!

Thursday, 13 February 2014

#100HappyDays Day 5

I'm still not in the mood to complete my final assignment, so decided to make a couple of the birthday cards I need for March.

This card was very fiddly to make. There are 18 individual ribbon flowers stuck behind each of the 3 scalloped circles!! I wanted a challenge and this card was certainly that. I love it!!

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

#100HappyDays Day 4

Here is the fish pie that I managed to make before I got my good news and became totally doolally!! It hasn't been cooked yet, but I never remeber to take a photograph before I serve up.

It is of my alltime favourites.


I am so excited.

I applied for early retirement and a pension, and I learned this morning that it has been accepted. I am offically retired from the 17th February and get my lump sum the same day!!

It is such a relief, I just cannot begin to explain it. When I left teaching in September, I always thought that I would want to go back after a few months. If anything, though, the break has just reinforced that I don't want to teach again. Having this money has given me the freedom to take my time to find a part time job that I will really enjoy doing.

So today's plans are now on standby. I was going to start writing up my final module assignment, but there is no way that I could complete such a focused piece of work.

Anyway, more as it happens!!

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

#100HappyDays Days 2 and 3

We used to have a shop in Gloucester that just sold Indian sweets, but it closed after a few weeks. These are my favourites and I haven't had any for years. Then on Saturday, I found some in the chilled food aisle at a local supermarket.

Today was another cold, rainy day and my body craved porridge. Definitely a comfort food.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Valentine Card

This is the first card I have posted in a while. It is for my husband.

I LOVE(!) this card. 

I just found the embellishments, printed a background paper, and then placed the elements to make best use of the space.

100 Happy Days

Yes...I know. I haven't been on here very much this year. And we are already well into February.

One of the reasons, is that I decided that I just had to get THE COURSE out of the way. Well...the longest module anyway. As of today, I just have the final assignment to do. And I haven't had to redo any of the ones I submitted this year. Something just seems to have clicked (at last!).

Mind you, I still have one more (20 hour) module to do before I get my certificate, and it needs to be all completed by the end of April. Sounds easy, I hear you say, but there are 11 assignments within this.


With the course and other things going on (mainly trying to get my pension sorted out), I have been feeling more than a little depressed. A friend of mine is taking part in the above, so I thought I would too. It basically involves finding something that makes you happy each day for 100 days, photographing it and sharing on a social network. There are official rules and regulations but I am basically doing this for me.

It is also a way of getting me back on here, because I will put the photos on here (maybe not every day!). They will also go on my Twitter account Ali_Edmunds.

Here is yesterday's photo. Just a simple decision to replace the rather grey nets in the front room and hall. It has brightened up both areas considerably.